Higher Education Management and Policy

Institutional Management in Higher Education

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Previously published as Higher Education Management, Higher Education Management and Policy (HEMP) is published three times each year and is edited by the OECD’s Programme on Institutional Management in Higher Education. It covers the field through articles and reports on such issues as quality assurance, human resources, funding, and internationalisation. It also is a source of information on activities and events organised by OECD’s IMHE Programme.

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Keywords: university, policy, administration, institutional, higher, education, practical, practice, management, policies, tertiary

The intended and unintended effects of the Bologna reforms

Institutional Management in Higher Education

Bologna reform eulogies and protests tend to focus on the benefits and shortcomings of the new two-tier curricula, their implementation and orientation. In this article, an assessment of the Bologna reforms is made in terms of their larger and less widely discussed systemic and institutional effects - which go far beyond the original reformers’ intentions. Apart from the introduction of new degree structures, the two Bologna reform dimensions which have been most readily adopted and dynamically implemented are the overhaul of Europe’s quality assurance system and the recent reforms of doctoral education. In contrast, the visionary goals of using learning outcomes and competencies as the structuring principle of all curricula in order to ensure greater transparency and reliability, and of promoting student-centred learning, have only been adopted by few countries and institutions. However, the Bologna reforms have also had a range of unintended effects on systems and institutions that often go unnoticed when discussing their impact on European higher education. These include redefining the relationship between institutional profiles, strengthening central institutional leadership and mobilising horizontal communication within institutions.

Sybille Reichert, Reichert Consulting: Policy and Strategy Development in Higher Education, Switzerland


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