1887

A Power Perspective on Programme Reduction

Institutional Management in Higher Education

In the beginning of the 1990s, Dutch government and representatives of employers’ organisations have urged the higher professional education sector (HBO) to restructure the supply of the programmes in the sub-sectors of HBO. The sub-sectors were challenged to cut back the number of study programmes to increase the efficiency of the supply. A theoretical framework based on resource dependence and network analysis is proposed to explain why different sub-sectors have reacted differently to the pressure to reduce the pressure. An empirical analysis is carried out for foursub-sectors: agriculture, economics, engineering and the socialcultural sector. The hypotheses could only partly be confirmed, but the simultaneous effect of government dependence, labour market dependence and sub-sector heterogeneity can be shown. Given the restricted number of cases, suggestions for further research are formulated. At the same time, it is implied to complement the chosen quantitative macro-approach with micro-analyses (case studies) on the emergence and disappearance of study programmes.

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