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The Globalisation Challenge for European Higher Education

Convergence and Diversity, Centres and Peripheries


The last decade has marked European higher education with particular dynamics. Today, after a decade of «connected» policy, national systems look much more convergent but new questions and dilemmas are emerging: about the nature and quality of higher education, about the real impact of recent reforms in different countries, and about higher education's future. The book examines the impact of Europe-wide and global developments on national higher education systems. The authors try in particular to place upfront issues of convergence and diversity, of equity and of the relationship between centres and peripheries in higher education. The book is an outcome of research collaboration between six institutes which developed a EuroHESC research proposal on the consequences of expanded and differentiated higher education systems.


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Pavel Zgaga, Ulrich Teichler and John Brennan In this monograph, 19 authors – from different parts of Europe and of different ages – consider in 15 chapters some crucial aspects of higher education dynamics over the past decade or two. Different perspectives and experiences are therefore involved. This has been one of the objectives from the outset of our joint work: during the last two decades, the ‘globalisation challenge’ for European higher education has been continuously discussed and these discussions have most often led to identifying common features, trends, issues and policy directions. Also here, one of the objectives is to focus on major issues such as e.g. mobility, quality, diversification, access etc. as they appear within the contemporary European higher education discourse. Further, some social implications of higher education change and equity issues are elaborated, mainly through ‘national lenses’ and case studies. However, the aim has also been to present some ‘hidden’ or ‘alternative stories’ which speak about European policy transfer issues within specific and problematic regional and/or national environments. Therefore, the intention has been to discuss commonalities as well as differences within contemporary European higher education. At the beginning, it is necessary to briefly sketch the context in which this monograph was formed. The story began with a research project proposal under the EUROCORES scheme of the European Science Foundation (ESF) a few years ago. Within this scheme, a theme proposal on Higher Education and Social Change (EuroHESC) had been selected in 2007 for further development. One of the research...

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