In the first part of the presentation an attempt will be made to conceptualise the notion of governance: where does the concept come from, how is it applied, and what are the underlying paradigms (e.g. modernisation of public administration, lean state, societal self-regulation). Questions will be answered concerning the forms and objects of coordination in the new notions of governance (e.g. stakeholder inclusion in strategic decision-making processes). In addition, the notion of multi-level governance will be explained.
The second part will demonstrate the different perspectives (together with their underlying empirical and normative assumptions) in which the concept of governance is perceived in research about higher education: the Universalist perspective, the instrumentalist perspective, and the institutionalist perspective.
In the third part of the presentation a four country comparison (Austria, England, Germany, and the Netherlands) will be carried out about the impacts of new forms of governance on research in universities.
In addition some information about governance changes in higher education in the Nordic countries will be presented.The basic shift which can be noted is that from strong state regulation combined with strong academic self-regulation to strengthening external guidance (stakeholder inclusion), managerial self-governance of institutions, and competition (introduction of market-like steering).These changes have impacted on a number of dimensions in the research activities at universities, e.g. choice of research problem, balance between risky and mainstream research, publication strategies, and the unity of teaching and research.
In the last part of the presentation the results of the country comparison will be interpreted and discussed in the light of the three perspectives (universalist, instrumentalist, institutionalist) and an agenda for further research will be proposed.
Barbara Kehm (Universitat de Kassel)
Barbara Kehm is a professor and head of the Centre for Research on Higher Education and Work (INCHER) at the University of Kassel, where she will take over a chair in higher education research. One of her tasks has been the creation of a master and subsequent doctoral program in higher education studies, to be taught in English.
She had worked as an assistant lecturer (wissenschaftliche Assistentin) at the University of Kassel from 1990 till 1996. From 1996 onwards she was active as a senior researcher at the Institute for Higher Education Research of the University of Halle-Wittenberg, and from 2001 she coordinated research projects at the same institution. At the present she is managing director of the INCHER. She is also a member of the EAIR executive committee and of the editorial boards of four international higher education journals. She has carried out several large-scale projects for international organizations such as UNESCO, OECD, and the Council of Europe. Among her publications in English, she has edited the volumes: Reforming University Governance. Changing Conditions for Research in Four European Countries (with U. Lanzendorf) (2006), and Looking Back to Look Forward. Analyses of Higher Education Research after the Turn of the Millennium (2007).