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Host an ECPR event

Policy Translation and Adaptation in Higher Education Systems and Organizations

Policy Analysis
Higher Education
Policy Implementation
Panel Number
Panel Chair
Sandra Hasanefendic
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Panel Co-Chair
Davide Donina
Università degli Studi di Bergamo
Panel Discussant
Sandra Hasanefendic
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

07/09/2017 15:50 - 17:30
Building: BL16 Georg Morgenstiernes hus Floor: 2 Room: GM 206
The Panel aims to explore the conditions that shape public policies in the higher education sector and their national and organizational translation and adaptation. Though many studies highlighted common global trend in higher education policies (i.e. Pinheiro and Stensaker 2014), other studies highlighted that global and European policies have been translated and adapted in dissimilar ways both by national policy designers (e.g. Hasanefendic, 2017; Donina et al. 2015a) and individual organizations (e.g. Hasanefendic et al., 2016; Donina et al. 2015b). Collectively, these analyses show different understandings of global and European policy at national (and regional) levels and a diversity of organisational adaptation within national contexts. Yet, there is still limited knowledge about why different countries responded in such diversified ways, as well as why have higher education organisations adapted to these policies heterogeneously. By stimulating discussions and comparisons across case studies, the goal of this panel is thus to understand not only how the power-sharing arrangement affect policy design and implementation, but also why new policies have been translated and adapted in such heterogeneous ways across Europe.

We welcome both single and comparative case studies, which can provide lessons to (European) policy designers and university managers as well as papers that contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the conditions that affect policy translation and adaptation in national higher education systems and organizations.

* This Panel will foster a dynamic discussion on similarities and differences across countries relating to translation of policies, from a systemic and organisational perspective. The aim is to come up with practical policy recommendations which can be disseminated in a join blog post, as well as provide a synthesis of findings which might have theoretical value for the development of the higher education field, yielding potential future research collaboration.


Donina, D., Meoli M., and Paleari, S (2015a). The new institutional governance of Italian state universities: What role for the new governing bodies?. Tertiary Education and Management 21(1), 16-28.

Donina, D., Meoli M., and Paleari, S. (2015b). Higher education reform in Italy: Tightening regulation instead of steering at a distance. Higher Education Policy 28(2), 215-234.

Hasanefendic, S., Heitor, M., and Horta, H. (2016). Training students for new jobs: The role of technical and vocational higher education and implications for science policy in Portugal. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 113, 328-340.

Hasanefendic, S. (2017). "Brain drain, brain gain... brain sustain?" Challenges in building Portuguese human research capacity. Sociologia, (83).

Pinheiro, R. and Stensaker. B. (2014). Designing the entrepreneurial University: The interpretation of a global idea. Public Organization Review 14(4), 497-516.

Paper List

Title Details
Convergence or Divergence in University Institutional Governance Reforms? View Paper Details
Higher Education as a Foreign Policy Tool - The Case of the European Union View Paper Details
Organizational Responses to Research Policy: Complexity and Maneuvering by Portuguese Polytechnics View Paper Details
Research and Higher Education Policy Implications of Complex International Collaborations View Paper Details
Territorial and Identity Politics and the Shaping of Higher Education and Research Policies- Exploring the Subnational Context View Paper Details
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