New research into higher education reforms in Europe
Two new independent studies look at progress of reforms of governance and funding in higher education in 33 European countries. Analysis and recommendations cover the main trends and themes across the EU, but also provide detailed analyses of national contexts.The European Commission ordered the studies as part of the 2006 EU Modernisation Agenda of Higher Education. They were carried out by a consortium of research bodies led by the 'Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies' (CHEPS) in the Netherlands.
The studies present a wealth of information which will be of interest to both policy-makers and researchers. In addition to EU level analysis and recommendations, they provide detailed national system analyses for 33 countries (EU Member States + Croatia, Turkey, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and case studies for a range of countries.
The studies focus on four key questions:
- What have been the policy changes in the governance and funding of European higher education systems between 1995 and 2008? And what have been the policy changes in national higher education systems as regards governance and funding reforms?
- To what extent does the current state of governance and funding in European higher education reflect Europe's modernisation agenda for higher education?
- What are the possible links between governance reforms, funding reforms and the performance of higher education systems?
- What lessons can be learned and what might be the key governance and funding policy themes in the further development of European higher education?
The authors highlight that many new educational acts have been passed over the last decade, in particular on quality assurance and accreditation systems, which have been major reform themes in many countries. Another overarching trend in higher education governance is that towards more autonomy of institutions, including increased freedom in financial management.
As regards funding reforms, the research emphasises that expansion of higher education systems has brought budgetary pressures for many governments. A marked trend towards cost-sharing policies can be observed, with many countries rethinking tuition fee and student aid policies. Approaches to the allocation of public funding for higher education systems are examined in detail in the studies and an assessment of the public (social) and private rates of return to investment in education is presented.
The studies are presented over 5 volumes, representing approximately 1,300 pages. Executive summaries are included in volume 1 of each study.
To know more
- Study on progress in higher education reform across Europe "Governance Reform"
- Volume 1: Executive Summary and main report
- Volume 2: Methodology, performance data, literature survey, national system analyses and case studies
- Volume 3: Governance fiches
- Study on progress in higher education reform across Europe "Funding Reform"