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Towards Better Theoretical and Empirical Understanding of Change Dynamics in European Higher Education

European Union
Institutions
Integration
Higher Education
Peter Maassen
Universitetet i Oslo
Peter Maassen
Universitetet i Oslo

Abstract

At the beginning of the 21st century there was a clear political “momentum” for the university in Europe. The Lisbon summit of 2000 (re-)confirmed the role of the university as a central institution in the “Europe of Knowledge”. Consequently, we can observe that since 2000 the Commission has become highly interested in the university as an object of European level policy-making. This was clearly inspired by the interpretation of the university’s central role in connecting education, research, and innovation, and the assumption that the effectiveness of this connection is considered to be of major importance for the competitiveness of Europe’s economies, and the level of social cohesion of its societies. In our book ‘University Dynamics and European Integration’ we presented a frame of analysis and a long-term research agenda for addressing questions on how the university institution is affected by ongoing processes of European integration. In this paper I will discuss what has been done on specific points outlined in the long-term research agenda. In this discussion the main rationale for the book is of special importance: contributing to the improvement of the theoretical and empirical basis for understanding ongoing reform- and change processes in higher education in Europe. How has the book in the 10 years since it has been published contributed to a better theoretical and empirical understanding of change dynamics in European higher education? The Paper will discuss the book’s contributions through an analysis of the research work of the authors involved in the book; an examination of the citations of the various chapters of the book (in total the book has been cited around 1200 times); and the way in which the book’s research agenda has been used in various Master and PhD level dissertation projects.