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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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Introduction: Challenges for European Higher Education: ‘Global’ and ‘National’, ‘Europe’ and ‘sub-Europes’ (Pavel Zgaga, Ulrich Teichler and John Brennan)


Introduction Challenges for European Higher Education: ‘Global’ and ‘National’, ‘Europe’ and ‘sub-Europes’ Pavel Zgaga, Ulrich Teichler and John Brennan This book addresses the globalisation and/or internationalisation challenge for European higher education from two cross-cutting perspectives: convergence and diversity, centres and peripheries. At this point, we cannot enter into the complex relationship between the concepts of globalisation and internationalisation; instead, we will focus on the double meaning the globalisation and/or internationalisation challenge for European higher education has had over the last two decades: as ‘globalisation in the true sense’ on one hand and as ‘Europeanisation’, i.e. “the regional version of internationalisation or globalisation” (Teichler 2004: 4) on the other. In this book, this “regional version” is brought to forefront without forgetting the former. However, we also do not forget that even ‘Europeanisation’ has a double meaning: Europe as a ‘global region’ (i.e., a perspective of ‘looking out’) vs. Europe as ‘European regions’ (i.e., a perspective of ‘looking within’). I A review of the state of the research field which formed the basis for the EuroHESC programme (Higher Education Looking Forward: An Agenda for Future Research – HELF) found that “there is limited comparative research on the extent of the differences between countries and the possibility of convergence via globalisation” (Brennan et al. 2008: 11). Research on these issues is therefore strongly needed; however, its approaches should be carefully reconsidered. First of all, new research should begin by recognising that “a single narrative or ‘idea’ cannot any longer capture the complex and often...

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