Tag: Europeanization

Thematic week: The Re-Institutionalization of Higher Education in the Western Balkans.

bookThis final post in our thematic week is a brief background and introduction to one of the key project outputs, the newly published book: “The Re-Institutionalization of Higher Education in the Western Balkans. The interplay between European ideas, domestic policies, and institutional practices”. The review is written by Jelena Brankovic (Ghent University) 

During last three decades, European higher education systems and institutions have witnessed dramatically changing socio-economic, technological and political environments, general public sector reforms aimed at modernizing public sector governance and management, and increasing demands for positive social and economic impacts of their education and research activities. However, the change dynamics experienced and challenges faced by some countries and regions have been essentially different than others.

The countries often described as “the Western Balkans” (former Yugoslavia, minus Slovenia, plus Albania) during the last couple of decades have faced two interrelated sets of challenges. First, they had to re-establish their own national higher education systems following the institutional upheaval of the break-down of former Yugoslavia or the fall of the autocratic regime of Enver Hoxha in Albania. This required the development of new laws and regulations, the establishment of new governance and funding systems, and the adequate handling of problems with respect to the quality, efficiency and relevance of higher education institutions. Second, the countries had to adjust these newly developed systems to European developments, not least the Bologna Process and more internationally oriented higher education institutions while maintaining national and regional relevance.

The book The Re-Institutionalization of Higher Education in the Western Balkans. The Interplay between European Ideas, Domestic Policies, and Institutional Practices, is the 5th volume in the series Higher Education Research and Policy issued by Peter Lang Publishers.




EUREDOCS conference for PhD candidates

euredocs9th EUREDOCS conference “Missions of higher education and research in the 21st century” will be held at Centre de Sociologie des organisations, Sciences Po Paris in France at 23-24 May 2014.

EUREDOCS is a network of European doctoral students working on issues related to the Europeanization of higher education and research. It aims to facilitate and enable more communication among doctoral students and new doctoral candidates and to promote publication and dissemination of research results and to facilitate exchange and mobility among young scholars in this field. EUREDOCS is an interdisciplinary network and accepts membership from doctoral students and recent doctoral candidates in sociology, political science, economics, history, and educational studies.

The 9th EUREDOCS conference will explore the broad question of the evolving purposes and missions of higher education and research in the 21st century. Three subthemes have been identified for  the conference, but these should not be seen as exhaustive:

  • The influence of European union and international institutions in the redefinition of higher education and research missions
  • The transformations of higher education and research purposes and the changing university boundaries
  • Evolving higher education and research missions, the academic profession and the students

The specific benefit of the EUREDOCS conference is that all selected papers receive substantial feedback and discussion, usually there is between 45-60 minutes per paper for presentation and discussion. This implies that the conference is  rather selective and only 12-16 papers will be selected.

Participants will have to cover their own travel costs, but the organisers cover accomodation and meals during the time in Paris for those participants who present a paper.

The deadline for the submission of a proposal is 30 January 2014.

Download the call for more information on the conference theme, how to  submit a proposal and  the application form. 




HEIK seminar: The role of European initiatives in higher education in national policy development

We are pleased to share yet another session from the HEIK academic seminar series in the field of higher education, with both invited international speakers and members of the research group HEIK (Higher Education: Institutional dynamics and Knowledge cultures) here at the University of Oslo.

This lecture was recorded in February 2013 and features Martina Vukasovic (HEIK, UiO) who discusses the role of European initiatives in higher education in national policy development, with focus on three countries of the former Yugoslavia – Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia, and covering roughly the period between the break-up of the former federal country (1990) and the proclaimed deadline for establishment of the European Higher Education Area (2010).


Listen without the Flashplayer

Abstract for the session:

Martina Vukasovic  (HEIK, UiO)

Martina Vukasovic
(HEIK, UiO)

The paper analyses the changes in governance and policy of QA in the three countries by tracing the shifts in (a) the rationale for quality as an issue for national policies, (b) the actors involved in quality assurance, their roles and relationships and (c) key elements of the QA approaches on the system level (regulative basis, focus on higher education institutions and/or study programmes, etc.).

The role of European initiatives in higher education is seen through three different theoretical perspectives: Europeanization of higher education focusing on the vertical dynamics, policy transfer facilitated by European initiatives focusing on the horizontal dynamics and multiple streams approach focusing on whether and how European initiatives facilitate opening of policy windows.

The paper concludes with highlighting the key similarities and differences between the three theoretical approaches and stressing the benefits of using multiple perspectives in terms of minimizing analytical blind spots.