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See detailBlurring the boundaries: University actorhood and institutional change in global higher education
Zapp, Mike UL; Marques, Marcelo; Powell, Justin J W UL

in Comparative Education (2021), 57

Higher education (HE) scholarship often focuses on the so-called ‘entrepreneurial’ university as a consequence of new public management reforms. Simultaneously the remarkable expansion of private HE is ... [more ▼]

Higher education (HE) scholarship often focuses on the so-called ‘entrepreneurial’ university as a consequence of new public management reforms. Simultaneously the remarkable expansion of private HE is said to fragment specialize and diversify HE systems. Such diagnoses are misleading as they ignore wider environmental pressures and simultaneous changes in both public non-profit and for-profit HE. We argue that putative diversity in HE operates as a ceremonial façade behind which large-scale isomorphic change across national HE systems sectors and organizational forms occurs. Multiple causes trigger such change originating in the increasingly global HE environment including a burgeoning international HE regime accounting and accountability practices increased permeability of HE systems facilitated by open borders education markets and global science as well as (neo)liberal ideologies stressing human capital and human rights. As other organizations those in HE become subject to these pressures turning universities into more rationalized standardized and strategic actors. [less ▲]

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See detailComparative Education in an Age of Competition and Collaboration
Powell, Justin J W UL

in Comparative Education (2020), 56

Comparative education relies on experiences, expertise, data, and criticism derived from multiple contexts and diverse levels to generate insights, facilitate understanding, and explain change. Marked by ... [more ▼]

Comparative education relies on experiences, expertise, data, and criticism derived from multiple contexts and diverse levels to generate insights, facilitate understanding, and explain change. Marked by connectivity, our contemporary era vastly increases the (potential) diffusion of ideas essential for scientific advance. Three interlocking trends emphasise the growing relevance of comparative educational research. Firstly, competition has become more potent – among scholars, their organisations, and within as across countries. Secondly, educational studies, as science more generally, are increasingly conducted in collaboration – across disciplinary, cultural, linguistic, and organisational boundaries – enhancing the potential for discovery while producing influential scholarship. Thirdly, while educational research and policymaking are increasingly comparative, comparative knowledge stores are often only selectively used. To counter such reductionism, in-depth comparative institutional analyses across divides of academy, policymaking, and practice remain crucial. The multidisciplinary field must claim its relevance more persuasively, even as scholarly exchange, mobilities, and cultural knowledge endure as vital foundations. [less ▲]

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See detailHigher Education in Germany - recent developments in an international perspective
Dusdal, Jennifer UL

in Comparative Education (2019), 55(2), 292-294

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See detailBeyond internationalisation and isomorphism – the construction of a global higher education regime
Zapp, Mike UL; Ramirez, Francisco

in Comparative Education (2019)

National higher education systems are undergoing profound changes, discussed in many but unrelated studies as outcomes of internationalisation dynamics and institutional isomorphism pressures. We propose ... [more ▼]

National higher education systems are undergoing profound changes, discussed in many but unrelated studies as outcomes of internationalisation dynamics and institutional isomorphism pressures. We propose to link these studies by emphasising the influence of both internationalisation and isomorphism on the formation of a global educational regime. Through a broad range of indicators, we describe the growth of the discursive, normative, and regulatory dimensions of such a global higher education regime. We find evidence of the following developments: (1) a rapidly growing network of international organisations focused on conferences, initiatives, and programmes supporting a global higher education agenda; (2) a striking increase in the number of international and national accreditation agencies, their mutual cross-national recognition as well as the number of universities that are nationally and internationally accredited; and lastly, (3) parallel increases in regional qualification frameworks and in the implementation of national qualification frameworks. These developments create integration pressures manifest in the mutual recognition of higher education degrees, for which a new generation of regional conventions has emerged worldwide in the past two decades. We discuss these processes and their implications for understanding ‘national’ higher education as well as the threats and limits to the burgeoning higher education regime. [less ▲]

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