Relevance of Higher Education

Our centre, together with the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS, University of Twente) and the Deutsche Zentrum für Hochschul- und Wissenschaftsforschung (DHWZ) have been commissioned by the European Commisson to carry out a study on the relevance of higher education.

The general objective of the study is to produce evidence, conclusions and recommendations to support those involved in designing and implementing higher education reform in EU Member States to improve the effectiveness of policies and measures to promote the relevance of higher education systems to societal needs.

The specific objectives of the study are:
1. Based on an in-depth review of existing practice internationally, and a cross country analysis based on existing data, to provide recommendations about the most useful indicators that can be used to assess the relevance of the teaching and learning activities of higher education systems to societal needs;
2. To develop a user-friendly typology of the policy mechanisms (levers) available 
to public authorities to support the alignment between higher education and societal needs, including both system-wide steering and measures to support relevance at institutional and programme level;  
3. On the basis of international literature and evidence from selected case study higher education systems, to provide policy-relevant conclusions and recommendations about the advantages, disadvantages, applicability and limitations of the different policy mechanisms in the typology; and
4. To propose a framework and core elements for an analysis and diagnosis tool for structuring systematic reviews of the relevance of higher education systems, which could be used by policy makers or external experts to assess current performance of national systems in terms of relevance and identify beneficial reforms.

The final report of the project can be found here.

Project duration: November 2015 - July 2017