This 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.