Building: BL09 Eilert Sundts hus, A-Blokka Floor: 1 Room: ES AUD6
Higher education is a central institution of modern societies. While it always fulfilled core societal functions, recent years saw an increase in higher education’s political salience and relevance in relation to other policy areas. Following domestic pressures or international prescriptions, in recent decades many national higher education systems have undergone structural changes in their governance arrangements, mainly designed to enhance the overall performance of universities in the fields of teaching, research and their third mission. As in other parts of the public sector, a well-functioning bureaucracy and political-administrative order are a pre-condition for higher education to fulfill its tasks. Combined with the previously described growing relevance of higher education for national development, this poses the question in how far there is a relation between the quality of governance and the effectiveness of the higher education sector of a given country. In addition, it is necessary to assess the real effects of the mantra of “reforming governance” that has been a global phenomenon. These effects include 1) political effects, addressing the distribution of authority and power in the field of higher education, 2) policy effects, addressing the mix of policy instruments and governance structures adopted, and 3) performance effects, addressing questions related to systemic efficiency or effectiveness as well as international competitiveness. The Panel invites contributions that address either the link between the quality of governance and the effectiveness of the higher education sector or the effects of governance reforms along the three dimensions outlined above. All contributions have to be conceptually well grounded and should present results of recent empirical research.