Tag: Nordic HE

News: University rankings as institutional strategy tools?

euaLast week, EUA published a new report on rankings  ‘Rankings in Institutional Strategies and Processes: Impact or Illusion?‘ (RISP) where the project examines in detail how rankings are used for institutional development across Europe. This report directly follows up on two earlier EUA reports on rankings that had primary focus on analyzing the methodology of rankings. Earlier this year, NIFU also published a report on the Nordic countries, where focus was on a comprehensive deconstruction of the rankings to identify what assures success, and to examine the impact of rankings on the leadership of research intensive universities in the Nordic region.

Data for the EUA report was gathered in various forms. An online survey was sent out to all EUA members (about 850). The survey yielded responses from 171 institutions in 39 countries, with a broad coverage of various European countries. 90% of the respondents came from instituions who are part of a ranking. Folloing up on the survey, a total of 48 meetings were conducted through six site visits to understand in more detail how instituions work with rankings, and a roundtable was organised with 25 participants from 18 European countries to create an arena for peer learning and sharing of experiences.

The main conclusion from this project is that rankings indeed do have an effect on institutional behaviour, but that this effect varies. 60% of those who answered in the survey replied that rankings are used in their institutional strategies – but the specific kind of use varied from examining certain indicators to using them in a comprehensive manner. Furthermore, it is highlighted that as many as 39% report that the results of rankings “to inform strategic, organisational, managerial or academic actions, and another third of respondents were planning to do so”. Unsurprisingly, rankings were widely used in marketing, but the respondents had also reported use in “the revision of university policies, the prioritisation of some research areas, recruitment criteria, resource allocation, revision of formal procedures, and the creation of departments or programme”.




Online seminar broadcast tomorrow: university mergers in Nordic countries

helsinkiInterested in themes related to mergers in the Nordic countries?

University of Helsinki is holding an open seminar on “Higher education and research in the Nordic academy – a beter future through mergers?”. The seminar will also be broadcasted online. There seminar includes two presentations and a panel discussion.

The event takes place Friday 31.10.14 at 10:30-12:00 Finnish time (09:30-11:00 CET). 

Presentation themes:

Dr. Romulo Pinheiro (Agder University, Norway): The last decade alone has seen considerable change in Norwegian higher education. Dr. Pinheiros’ presentation takes stock of the most important developments in the last decade, culminating with the October 2014 government announcement of a long-term strategy for higher education and research, with possible consequences on a number of fronts.

Dr. Lars Geschwind (Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, Sweden): Presentation takes a closer look at the recent years’ policy development and examples of responses by Swedish higher education institutions.

Panel debate

After the presentations Dr. Leena Treuthardt (UNIFI), Dr. Marja Sutela(TAMK) and other speakers will join a panel discussion on Nordic higher education reforms and voluntary mergers. The event is part of a Network of Nordic Higher Education activity.

Please note that the event also marks the launching of the book “Higher Education and Research in Academe – Who should pay?”, edited by Prof. Timo Aarrevaara (University of Helsinki) and Prof Elisabeth Berg (Luleå Tekniska Universitet).

Follow the event through live webcast




Call for participants: Mergers in the Nordic countries

agderInterested in higher education in the Nordic countries? Curious about merger processes in higher education?

There is still an option to participate at a seminar on mergers in the Nordic countries at the University of Agder on 27th of May! The seminar takes place in Kristiansand in Norway.

The presentations include:

  • Introduction – Mergers in Nordic Higher Education – Romulo Pinheiro (Univ of Agder) and Lars Geschwind (KTH)
  • Mergers in Norwegian higher education: Many initiatives, but mixed outcomes – by Svein Kyvik (NIFU) and Bjørn Stensaker (Univ of Oslo)
  • Mergers in Finnish higher education: Path dependencies under sectoral development – by Timo Aarrevaarra (Univ. of Helsinki) and Yuzhuo Cai (Univ. of Tampere)
  • Mergers in Danish Higher education: an overview – by Hanne Foss Hansen (Univ of Copenhagen), Jørgen Gulddahl Rasmussen (Univ of Aalborg) and Kaare Aagaard (Univ of Aarhus)
  • Mergers in Swedish Higher Education: Response strategies and strategic action in a changing landscape – by Lars Geschwind (KTH) and Mars Benner (Lund Univ)

View the information about registration and programme here




Call for Papers to a conference in Oslo on Nordic higher education

NFHEThe Nordic Fields of Higher Education (NFHE) conference will be held in Oslo on 8-9 Oct 2014, at Litteraturhuset in Oslo, Norway. The conference is titled: “Nordic model at times of crisis – what is at stake?

The conference is of relevance for those who are working in relevant knowledge areas, including policymakers, stakeholders as well as researchers on the field of education. By combining both the research relevance and user focus the conference will provide a flexible and unique arena for knowledge exchange.

The conference will feature keynote speakers as well as selected number of high quality papers from researchers that are focused on four thematic tracks:

  • Recruitment and social structures of higher education in the Nordic countries (Session chairs: Mikael Börjesson and Jens-Petter Thomsen)
  • Dropout and study progression in Nordic higher education (Session chairs: Elisabeth Hovdhaugen and Carina Carlhed)
  • Organizational features (processes of change) of Nordic higher education systems (Session chairs: AgneteVabø and Sakari Ahola)
  • Transitions from upper secondary education to higher education (Session chairs: Christian Helms Jørgensen and Håkon Høst)

The conference marks the end of a Nordforsk funded project/network “Nordic Fields of Higher Education” by highlighting key findings and results from the project. The presenters include network members who have worked in these topics, but is also open for selected scholars who work on related themes. 




New Norwegian government announcing changes in the higher education system

norwayflagIn October 2013, Norway got a new coalition government formed by the Conservatives and the Progress Party after eight years of a social democrat government. In the area of higher education, a number of ideas have already been put forward, and the prime minister has also recently stated clearly that issues related to the knowledge society and knowledge politics are amongst the most important ones for this new government.

Until recently, Norwegian university colleges could apply for university status if they fulfilled certain criteria. This led to the development of a number of new universities in Norway, most recently University of Nordland that gained its university status in 2011. However, for the time being there is an informal cap on the process and it is not likely any new universities would be approved at this point. Earlier, the government has also announced that they would examine the consequences of introducing student fees for foreign students, but their coalition partners have worked hard to stop that process.

In august 2013, shortly before the elections, a Commission had been appointed to examine the funding system in Norwegian higher education, led by Professor Fanny Duckert from University of Oslo. That Commission was disbanded shortly after the new minister was appointed. The argument was that while there is a need to re-examine the funding structures, this should also be seen in the context of the policy objectives of the new government.

The new minister of education, Torbjørn Røe Isaksen launched a seven point plan earlier this week on the visions of the current government for Norwegian higher education in the upcoming years. These include