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  • Governmental Policies and Programmes for Strengthening the Relationship between Higher Education Institutions and the National Economy, Final Report


The main aim of the HEINE project was to examine organisational change or adaptation in higher education. More specifically the research question of the project was as follows: How do higher education organisations change in response to or in interaction with government policies and programmes? The project was focussed on changes in the economic policies of universities and colleges, assuming that an analysis of these changes would make it possible to draw general conclusions. The institutional activity clusters with respect to which changes were examined were first-degree programmes, lifelong learning structures, and governance structures. Eight national case studies (Austria, Belgium/Flanders, Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, United Kingdom/England), as well as 40 institutional case studies, including universities as well as colleges in all eight countries, were undertaken. The starting point in time for the case studies was 1975. The main outcomes at the two levels can be summarised as follows. First, in all eight countries, the economic crisis of the late 1970s, early 1980s led amongst other things, to a growing interest on the government side in the economic role of higher education. Second, national governments have overall adapted their steering approach with respect to higher education. There is a general tendency away from central government steering towards other forms of steering in which external stakeholders and the market have become important steering factors. However, in none of the countries a "pure" market approach has been introduced. The current steering approaches with respect to higher education can be described as hybrid. Third, with the fading away of the economic crisis national higher education policies have been innovated. This has led to a partial �de-instrumentalisation� of higher education and a renewed interest in other, e.g. social, and cultural, roles of higher education.

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