Politics and policies of higher education

A master-level course at the Department of Public Policy at the Central European University in Budapest, academic year 2011/2012. Mandatory for the MA specialization in Higher Education Governance and Management; elective for other streams and departments. 


Short description:

This course aims to offer a critical overview of the political issues and debates that shape and influence contemporary higher education policies. More specifically, it aims to approach relevant issues in the field of education in relation to broader public policies, and discuss their implications in/for the students’ own experience and research.

It asks the following key questions about policies, debates and conflicts in higher education – (1) What is higher education about? (2) Who should it be for? (3) How should it be governed? (4) Who should decide? –– and uses them to understand issues such as access, (in)equalities, (de)regulation, transnationalization, commodification, values, roles and purposes of education, etc. The course aims to move beyond the technical-rational descriptions that sometimes characterize the research on higher education, and focus on the deeply contested, and thus political, nature of the field.

Objective:

The objective of the course is to provide participants with knowledge and skills to facilitate the understanding, analysis and critical assessment of contemporary debates, trends and issues in higher education. Through the analysis of arguments and projects that inform contemporary higher education policies, and their contextualization within social, political and ideological frameworks, the participants will learn to recognize broader political and philosophical background of higher education policies on national and transnational levels. In this sense, the course aims not only to offer knowledge relevant for the field of higher education, but also methodological and interpretative frameworks to facilitate the understanding and analysis of policy issues in participants’ future academic and professional endeavors.

Learning outcomes:

After the completion of the course, students should be able to:

  • Understand the broader political and social issues shaping the debates on the contemporary transformations of higher education in Europe and beyond;
  • Identify and deconstruct arguments used in particular policy orientations, strategies and agendas;
  • Critically analyze values and ideas implicit in contemporary higher education policies;
  • Interpret the changes and conflicts happening in higher education in their political, social, economic and cultural contexts; and,
  • Apply the analytical approaches used during the course in the evaluation and assessment of higher education policies relevant to their professional and/or personal experience.

Assessment: 60% final paper; 30% presentation in class; 10% participation in class.

 Syllabus

Note: all print (= hard copy) resources (books) are available on the designated shelf in the library.

All journal articles, as well as those print resources available in the electronic format, will be uploaded to the e-learning website.

Texts marked as mandatory are obligatory reading for every session.

Texts marked as elective are to be presented by two course participants in each session (sign up during the first week); in order to stimulate the discussion, other participants are strongly encouraged to read them.

Texts marked as reference (the list is not conclusive) are there to provide additional information and context. Books are normally available in the general section of the CEU library, electronic resources will be uploaded to CEU’s e-learning website.

 

I Introduction to the course. Contemporary debates and issues in higher education Higher education and the world of policy/politics. Methodologies and skills for the analysis of higher education.

 

II What is higher education for? Part one: economic development and growth. Higher education and development. National and regional development. The concept of ‘human capital’. ‘Brain drain’, ‘brain gain’, ‘knowledge transfer’.

Reading

Mandatory:

  • Peters, M. 2004. Higher education, globalization and the knowledge economy. In: Walker, M. and J. Nixon eds. Reclaiming Universities from a Runaway World. London: SRHE/OPUP, 67-82.

Elective (2):

  • Rinne, R. and J. Koivula, The Dilemmas of the Changing University, In: Shattock, M. (ed.): Entrepreneurialism in Universities and the Knowledge Economy: Diversification and Organizational Change in European Higher Education, 183-189.
  • Laredo, P. 2007. Revisiting the Third Mission of Universities: Toward a Renewed Categorization of University Activities? Higher Education Policy, Vol. 20, 441-456.

Reference:

Readings, B. 1996. The University in Ruins. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

Lyotard, J-F. 1997. [1984]. The Postmodern Condition: a Report on Knowledge. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Commission of the European Communities. 2003. The Role of Universities in the Europe of Knowledge. Brussels: CEC.

 

III What is higher education for? Part two: education and social development. Higher education and democracy, citizenship, social capital and social participation. Higher education and inclusion. Public role of higher education.

Reading

Mandatory:

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). 2007. Understanding the Social Outcomes of Learning. Paris: OECD. Ch. 2: Sketching the Relationships: Capitals, Competencies and Outcomes, 35-50.

Elective (2):

  • Biesta, J. 2006. Beyond Learning: Democratic Education for a Human Future, Chap. 6: Education and the democratic person, 117-145.
  • Zgaga, P. 2009. Higher Education and Citizenship: ‘the full range of purposes’. European Educational Research Journal, 8(2), 175-188.

 

Reference:

  • Bergan, S. 2011. Not by bread alone. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing.
  • Bergan, S. (Ed.). 2004. The University as Res Publica. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.

 

 

IV Who should be in charge of higher education? Part one: education and the state. University and the creation of the nation-states in Europe. ‘Humboldtian’ and ‘Napoleonic’ models. Governance structures. Internationalization and transnationalization of higher education.

Reading

Mandatory:

·      Enders, J. 2004. Higher education, internationalisation, and the nation-state: Recent developments and challenges to governance theory. Higher Education, 47, 361–382.

Elective (2):

·      Neave, G. 2000. Universities’ Responsibility to Society: An Historical Explanation of an Enduring Issue, in: Neave, G. (ed.): The Universities’ Responsibilities to Societies: International Perspectives. Paris: IAU, 1-28.

  • Kwiek, M. 2006. The University and the State: A Study into Global Transformations, Ch. 3: The University and the Nation-State: The Impact of Global Pressures, 139-166.

Reference:

  • Bleiklie, I. and M. Kogan. 2007. Organization and Governance of Universities. Higher Education Policy, Vol. 20, 477-493.
  • Ruegg, W. (ed). History of the University in Europe, Vol. III, 33-75.

 

V Who should be in charge of higher education? Part two: deregulation. Introduction of professional management. New Public Management, ‘audit culture’ and the rise of the evaluative state. Mechanisms of accountability. Accreditation and quality assurance.

Reading

Mandatory:

  • Paradeise, C., Bleiklie, I., Enders, J. et al. (2009). Reform Policies and Change Processes in Europe. In: Huisman, J (ed). International Perspectives on the Governance of Higher Education: Alternative Framewors for Coordination. London: Routledge, 88-106.

Elective (2):

  • Morley, L. 2003. Quality and Power in Higher Education. London: SRHE/OPUP. Ch 1: The policy context of quality in higher education. Ch 7: Reconstructing students as consumers.
  • R (ed). 2004. The University in the Global Age. Ch. 4: The university and the regulatory state.

Reference:

  • Shore, C. and S. Wright. 1995. Higher education and the Panopticon: Quality assessment as “disciplinary technology”.
  • Power, M. 1997. The Audit Society: Rituals of Verification. London: Verso.

 

VI Who should be in charge of higher education? Part three: university, students and the academic profession. University autonomy and academic freedom. Free speech on campus. Student movements and struggles. Recent trends: massification of higher education. Precarization of the academic workforce. Limits of academic freedom?

Reading

Mandatory:

 

Elective (2):

  • Krause, Keri-Lee. 2009. Interpreting Changing Academic Roles and Identities in Higher Education. In : Tight, M. et al. Eds. The Routledge International Handbook of Higher Education. London: Routledge, 413-426
  • Doumani, B (ed.) 2006. Academic Freedom after September 11th. New York: Zone Books, Ch. 1: Between Coercion and Privatization: Academic Freedom in the 21st

 

Reference:

  • Boren, M.E. 2001. Student Resistance: a History of the Unruly Subject. London: Routledge.

 

VII Who is higher education for? Equality and access. Higher education, race, class and gender. The reproduction of social inequalities. Different approaches to issues of access. Liberal and communitarian policies in education.

Reading

Mandatory:

  • Brennan, J. 2002. Tranformation or Reproduction? Contradictions in the Social Role of the Contemporary University. In: Enders, J. and O. Fulton (eds.). Higher education in a globalising world: international trends and mutual observations: a festschrift in honour of Ulrich Teichler. Dordrecht: Kluwer.

 

Elective (2):

  • David, M.E. 2009. Social Diversity and Democracy in Higher Education in the 21st Century: Towards a Feminist Critique. Higher Education Policy 22, 61-79.
  • Matear, A. 2006. Barriers to equitable access: higher education policy and practice in Chile since 1990. Higher Education Policy 19, 31-49.

Reference:

  • Bourdieu, P. and J-C. Passeron. 1977. Reproduction in education, society and culture. London: Sage.
  • Brighouse, Tooley and Howe eds. 2010. Key debates in educational policy: educational equality. 1 : introduction. London: Continuum.
  • Callan, E. 1997. Creating citizens: political education and liberal democracy Oxford: Clarendon Press.

 

VIII Higher education and social transformation. Part one: European integration and the Bologna Process. Transnationalization of the governance of higher education. Issues and stakeholders. Tensions and contradictions.

 

Reading

Mandatory:

  • Maassen, P. and J.P. Olsen, eds. 2007. University Dynamics and European

Integration. Dordrecht: Springer. Ch. 7 : The Bologna Process: an Intergovernmental

Policy Perspective, 135-153.

Elective (2):

  • Batory, A., & Lindstrom, N. (2011). The Power of the Purse: Supranational Entrepreneurship, Financial Incentives, and European Higher Education Policy. Governance, 24(2), 311- 329.
  • Amaral, A. and G. Neave. 2010. On Bologna, Weasels and Creeping Competence. In: Amaral, Neave, Musselin, Maassen eds. 2010. European Integration and the Governance of Higher Education and Research. Dordrecht: Springer, 281-299.

 

IX Higher education and social transformation. Part two: Central and Eastern Europe. Higher education during and after communism. Higher education and transition. Specific ‘nature’ of higher education transformation in CEE?

Reading

Mandatory:

  • Kwiek, M. 2004. The Emergent European Educational Policies under Scrutiny: the Bologna Process from a Central European perspective. European Educational Research Journal, 3, No 4, 759-776.

Elective (2):

  • Dobbins, M. and C. Knill. 2009. Higher Education Policies in Central and Eastern

Europe: Convergence toward a Common Model? Governance, Vol. 22 No. 3,

397-430

  • Pabian, P. 2009. Europeanization of Higher Education Governance in a Post-Communist Context: the Case of the Czech Republic. In: Amaral et al. (eds), European Integration and the Governance of Higher Education and Research. Dordrecht: Springer, 257-278.

 

Reference:

  • Scott, P. 2009. Reflections on the Reform of Higher Education in Central and Eastern Europe. In: Tight, M. et al. eds: The Routledge International Handbook of Higher Education. London: Routledge, 269-284.
  • Marga, A. 2005. University Reform Today. Cluj-Napoca: Cluj University Press.
  • Tomusk, V. 2000. The Blinding Darkness of the Enlightenment: towards the Understanding of post-state Socialist Higher Education in Eastern Europe. Turku: University of Turku.

 

X Value debates in higher education. Part one: higher education as public/private good. Financing higher education. Higher education as expenditure or investment. Returns to higher education. Public responsibility for higher education.

Reading

Mandatory:

  • Vincent-Lancrin, S. 2009. Finance and Provision in Higher Education: A Shift from Public to Private. In: Higher Education to 2030, Vol. 2: Globalisation. Paris: OECD, 259-284.

Elective (2)

  • Soerlin, S. 2007. Funding Diversity: Performance-based Funding Regimes as Drivers of Differentiation in Higher Education Systems. Higher Education Policy 20, 413-440.
  • Tandberg, D. 2010. Interest Groups and Governmental Institutions: The Politics of State Funding of Public Higher Education. Educational Policy 2010 24:735

 

XI Value debates in higher education. Part two: Liberal vs. labor market-oriented education. Neoliberalism and neoconservatism in higher education. ‘Curriculum wars’ in the US. The position of social sciences and humanities. ‘Crisis’ of liberal education (?)

Reading

Mandatory

  • Nussbaum, M. 2010. Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities, 1-26.

Elective (2)

  • Naidoo, R. 2005. Universities in the Marketplace: the Distortion of Teaching and Research. In: Barnett, R (ed): Reshaping the University. London: SRHE/OPUP, 27-36.
  • Apple, M. 2004. Creating Difference: Neo-Liberalism, Neo-Conservatism and the Politics of Educational Reform. Educational Policy Vol. 18 No. 1, 12-44.

Reference

  • Bloom, A. 1987. The Closing of the American Mind. New York: Penguin Books.
  • Levine, L.W. 1996. The Opening of the American Mind: Canons, Culture and History. Boston: Beacon Press.

 

XII Wrap-up. Q&A.