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The Re-Institutionalization of Higher Education in the Western Balkans

The Interplay between European Ideas, Domestic Policies, and Institutional Practices


Jelena Branković, Maja Kovačević, Peter Maassen, Bjørn Stensaker and Martina Vukasović

Higher education in the Western Balkans is currently undergoing substantial changes as a result of European reform ideas, new domestic policy initiatives as well as universities and colleges in the region trying to adapt to new expectations and challenges. The book analyzes the changes in both policy and practices in various countries in this region predominantly through a comparative approach. Through a number of empirical studies in which new data was collected and systematized, the book shows how countries in the Western Balkans are struggling to maneuver between adapting to broader European reform ideas while at the same time handling domestic challenges. Hence, the book is a valuable contribution to those interested in studying how various higher education systems are developing in the different European regions.
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Chapter 6: Dimensions of Higher Education Governance in Macedonia: Exploring the Roles of the State


Martin Galevski

While higher education governance has become a global topic, the majority of these studies tend to be elaborated in the context of the more affluent countries from Western Europe and the US. In addition, the methods and instruments used to understand different pathways of higher education development have been produced in a similar fashion. So far, however, there has been little discussion about the penetration of new modalities of higher education governance in peripheral countries such as those of Eastern Europe and the Western Balkan region (Zgaga et al. 2013). As a result, the ways in which these higher education institutions and systems are governed remain unclear.

The following chapter is an attempt to lessen this gap by providing an analytical view of a number of different higher education governance dimensions with particular reference to the Macedonian higher education system – which in itself has been highly under-researched. The chapter also suggests the use of an existing analytical framework (Olsen 1988) that may help increase understanding of recent higher education governance approaches in post-socialist countries such as Macedonia.

Over the last three decades, new ways of thinking about the role of governance of publicly funded institutions have emerged. While this shift in governance has been approached in multiple ways, public management reform has often been described as a move from the traditional emphasis on forms of centralized top-down command and state dominance towards a repertoire of less hierarchical governance steering models based on...

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