04 jui 2007
Policies and Networks in the Construction of the European Higher Education Area
Within the European Union, issues of comparability and compatibility regarding higher education policy are defined by new challenges, while interest politics increasingly affect the actions and the discursive practices that constitute both the new European Higher Education Policy Area and its relation to other crucial public policies (economic, social and labour policies). This article attempts a policy-impact analysis focusing on a) issues of interest politics, key-actors, interaction among supranational policy agendas and policy networks, b) issues of decentralisation, internationalisation and deregulation in higher education policy, with particular reference to the Bologna Follow-Up process, and c) educational reform processes organised as policy reform rituals. The main hypothesis of the study is that HEIs are perceived as key partners/providers and this perception transforms the role of the HEIs within the context of strategic partnership interests (at national, regional and institutional levels).
04 jui 2007
The Internationalisation of Portuguese Higher Education
Portuguese internationalisation policies essentially intend to promote an attitude favouring participation in internationalisation activities. However, as higher education institutions are autonomous, those policies aim at creating opportunities for development and management of these activities instead of imposing them.
In this article we attempt to analyse Portuguese HEI responses to internationalisation. After reviewing briefly the recent changes in national and EU policies aiming at promotion of higher education internationalisation, we present the results of six organisational case studies, conducted with the goal of obtaining an answer to the question: how are Portuguese higher education institutions facing the internationalisation challenge?
Based on the internationalisation profiles of the six institutions selected, we identify which factors foster and which factors impede the development of international activities at the organisational level in the Portuguese higher education system. Simultaneously we analyse the rationale explaining the different patterns of international activity between and within institutions.
04 jui 2007
Broken Down by Sex and Age
This article examines trends in Australian university staffing through an analysis of ten years’ staff statistics, 1994-2003. An introduction which considers definitions, methodological issues, and overall changes in patterns of casualisation, sex and the distribution of academic and general ("non-academic") staff categories is followed by an examination of changes in participation of university staff by sex and by age. Although most of the focus in the discourse about university staffing concerns academic staff, these staff comprise only 42% - 43% of total university staffing in Australia. Therefore it is relevant to investigate changes which have occurred in the majority group of university staff. The characteristics of academic and general staff are quite different, so each category has been considered separately. In particular the progress of women in senior academic posts and in university management is considered, as are patterns of aging, particularly in academic fields of education.
04 jui 2007
Trade Liberalisation, Regional Agreements and Implications for Higher Education
According to the OECD, the value of global annual trade in 1999 in higher education has been estimated at USD 30 billion. Australia is a major participant in international education: it is the third-largest international student destination in the English-speaking world behind the United States and the United Kingdom. In recent times, the Australian government has been very active in establishing free trade agreement with key trading partners.
This article will discuss developments in bilateral and multilateral agreements and their implications for higher education. It will also look at the state of play of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations towards the General Agreement on Trade in Services. It will be presented from the perspective of an institution actively involved in overseas student recruitment and offshore delivery of programs/services.
04 jui 2007
Performance Funding of Swiss Universities - Success or Failure?
In the past decade, based on a change in paradigms in university policy, performance funding on a cantonal and central state level has been introduced in Switzerland: the universities have been granted higher autonomy, combined with global budgets and contract management by the responsible authorities (cantonal authorities). At the same time, the allocation of the central state subsidies, which is only of a secondary nature, has no longer been based on input but on the achievement of targets (new University Funding Law from the year 1999). The introduction of these new performance-oriented elements – higher autonomy combined with global budgets and contract management and target-oriented allocation of central state subsidies led to intensive, sometimes controversial debates in the different parliaments and media. This work examines whether - and to what extent - these new incentives have led to behavioral changes at the universities. To test this, the work has analysed the development of efficiency - as an input/output comparison in the university production process - and that of effectiveness - as the degree to which targets formulated in the University Funding Law are achieved.
04 jui 2007
Monetary Rewards and Competences of Young European Graduates
We use data from a sample of European higher education graduates at early stages of their working careers to provide evidence on the determinants of the human capital competences (talents, skills and capabilities) acquired by young graduates in Education and of those required by the jobs they perform. More than 36 000 graduates holding a first higher education degree were surveyed about four years after graduation (graduates from 1995 were surveyed in 1999). The data set used examines in detail a number of human capital competences of the graduates and their utilisation on the job, as well as the extent to which the graduates consider their position and tasks linked to their educational careers.
Regarding the labour market, both human capital theory, from the supply side, and job competition theory, from the demand side, misses the definition of the links between the competences possessed by higher education graduates and those required by jobs. By looking at realised matches in the labour market, we try to identify those competences associated to graduates’ professional success, as well as their determinants and any possible surpluses and shortages of these key competences and their payoffs. Regression techniques are used to gain insight into the labour-market role of those competences generated or promoted through higher education. The following research questions are addressed: What competences are more demanded by jobs performed by young graduates? Do graduates’ competences match those required by their jobs? How are competences rewarded in the labour market?
By José-Gines Mora, Adela Garcia-Aracil, José-Miguel Carot and Luis E. Vila
04 jui 2007
Higher Education and the Spectre of Variable Fees
As part of a larger effort to fund public universities, variable fees at the graduate and undergraduate levels are a topic of discussion in the United States and increasingly throughout the European Union. This essay describes the relatively new shift to have students pay for a significant portion of their university education, emerging fee structures, and discusses the possible policy implications of variable fee structures. We argue that emerging cost-sharing fee policy in the United States and in England is being pursued incrementally, without an adequate conceptual model for long-term funding of universities and their possible impact on students and academic programs.