The aim of the this project is to provide practical recommendations relevant to policy makers in EU Member States on structural reforms in higher education. In specific, the project investigates a) the circumstances under which different structural reform policy options and instruments may best be used, as well as b) the design, communication, implementation and evaluation of different types of structural reform processes. Structural reforms refer to government-initiated or supported reforms aimed at affecting a significant part of the system and its structure. Examples of structural reform include institutional mergers, the establishment of new types of higher education institutions and new ways of configuring the relationships between universities and research organisations.
The project team produced a) a literature review on structural policy reforms in higher education; b) a typology of structural reforms initiated by national governments in a range of EU and non-EU higher education systems in the last 15 years; c) a methodology for analysing policy processes of structural reforms in higher education; d) an analysis of twelve case studies of significant structural reforms in higher education in different systems; and finally e) recommendations.
The synthesis report of the projects can be found here and the twelve case studies (Alberta-Canada, Flanders-Belgium, Croatia, Finland, Denmark, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Wales-United Kingdom, Poland, Norway and Austria) can easily be retrieved if you put "structural reform"in the search box of the EU bookshop. The coordinators of the project have also edited a book on the structural reforms, published by Palgrave.
The research project is commissioned by the DG Education and Culture of the European Commission and is jointly implemented by CHEGG and the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS), University of Twente, the Netherlands.
Project duration: January 2015 – February 2016.