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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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The Effects of Europeanisation on Institutional Diversification in the Western Balkans


Manja Klemenčič


A lack of diversity among higher education institutions is coming to be seen as one of the key weaknesses of European higher education. The European Commission [EC] suggests that a low degree of diversification – implying uniformity and egalitarianism among HE institutions – is an obstacle, indeed “a bottleneck”, to achieving excellence and efficiency at the system level. The key question investigated in this article is to what extent national policy developments reflect the European recommendations on institutional diversification. In other words, to what extent can we speak about Europeanisation in the sense of policy adaptation and institutional change towards institutional diversity? This question is explored in the context of four Western Balkan countries: Albania, Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia. The article first reviews the European positions and recommendations on institutional diversity focusing on those formulated by the EC. The second section is devoted to an analysis of the key strategic and regulatory documents concerning institutional diversity within the last decade in these four Western Balkan countries. This section highlights the key dimensions of institutional diversity pursued by the respective governments, and how they are pursued. The article closes with a discussion of the key drivers for diversification within the national contexts, and how these play out with the impulses coming from the European context.

Key words: institutional diversity, institutional diversification, Europeanisation, diffusion, Western Balkans, higher education reforms

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