Higher Education System Reform

An International Comparison after Twenty Years of Bologna

The Bologna Declaration started the development of the European Higher Education Area. The ensuing Bologna Process has run for already 20 years now. In the meantime many higher education systems in Europe have been reformed – some more drastically than others; some quicker than others; some with more resistance than others. In the process of reform the initial (six) goals have sometimes been forgotten or sometimes been taken a step further. The context too has shifted: while the European Union in itself has expanded, the voice for exit has also been heard more frequently.

Higher Education System Reform: An international comparison after Twenty Years of Bologna critically describes and analyses 12 Higher Education Systems from the perspective of four major questions: What is currently the situation with regard to the six original goals of Bologna? What was the adopted path of reform? Which were the triggering (economic, social, political) factors for the reform in each specific country? What was the rationale/discourse used during the reform?

The book comparatively analyses the different systems, their paths of reforms and trajectories, and the similarities and the differences between them. At the same time it critically assesses the current situation on higher education in Europe, and hints towards a future policy agenda.

Contributors are: Tommaso Agasisti, Bruno Broucker, Martina Dal Molin, Kurt De Wit, Andrew Gibson, Ellen Hazelkorn, Gergely Kovats, Liudvika Leišytė, Lisa Lucas, António Magalhães, Sude Peksen, Rosalind Pritchard, Palle Rasmussen, Anna-Lena Rose, Christine Teelken, Eva M. de la Torre, Carmen Perez-Esparrells, Jani Ursin, Amélia Veiga, Jef C. Verhoeven, Nadine Zeeman, and Rimantas Želvys.

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Bruno Broucker, Ph.D., is guest professor at the KU Leuven Public Governance Institute (Belgium), research fellow at the Leuven Economics of Education Research Centre and higher education expert at the Institute of Tropical Medicine. He is member of the executive committee of EAIR – the European Higher Education Society and has published articles and chapters on higher education governance and reform.
Kurt De Wit, Ph.D. in Sociology, is head of the Data Management Unit of the Education Policy Department at KU Leuven (Belgium). He publishes on governance reforms, uses of (big) data, and ICT use of students in higher education.
Jef C. Verhoeven, Ph.D., was Professor of Sociology at the KU Leuven (1970–2006) and is emeritus professor since 2006. He established the Centre for Sociology of Education at the KU Leuven (1977) and was head of this Centre. His recent publications are about higher education and the use of ICT, the access of Chinese ethnic minorities to Higher Education, and higher education policy.
Liudvika Leišytė, Ph.D., is professor of Higher Education and vice director of the Center of Higher Education (zhb, TU Dortmund). Her research focuses on academic work and organizational transformation in the context of changing institutional environment. She has published three books, a large number of chapters in edited books and peer-reviewed articles in Higher Education, Higher Education Policy, Public Administration, Public Management, Science and Public Policy and Studies in Higher Education.
"The analyses in this book will give all of us working in academia a clear image of where we currently stand [in higher education] as a united Europe, and may contribute to making further plans and ambitions more concrete. Given the current European political context, this seems to be more important than ever before." - Liesbeth van Welie, Leiden University and Saxion Hogescholen, in: Th&ma, 2019 (3): 79-80 [translated from the original Dutch text]
Rosalind Pritchard>
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors

1. An Introduction on the Study of Higher Education Policy Reforms
Jef C. Verhoeven, Liudvika Leišyte, Kurt De Wit and Bruno Broucker>
2. Higher Education System Reform in Flanders (Belgium)
Kurt De Wit, Jef C. Verhoeven and Bruno Broucker>
3. Higher Education System Reform in Germany
Sude Peksen and Nadine Zeeman>
4. The Higher Education System in the Netherlands: Overview and Analysis of Changes Induced by the Bologna Process
Christine Teelken>
5. Higher Education Reforms in Finland: From a Ponderous to a More Agile System?
Jani Ursin>
6. Higher Education System Reform in Denmark in the Bologna Era
Palle Rasmussen>
7. The Bologna Process: Reforms in Italian Higher Education
Tommaso Agasisti and Martina Dal Molin>
8. Reforms in the Spanish Higher Education System Since Democracy and Future Challenges
Eva M. De La Torre and Carmen Perez-Esparrells>
9. Reconfiguring Portuguese Higher Education: Between National and European Priorities
Amélia Veiga and António Magalhães>
10. “Part of the Furniture”: Ireland, Bologna, and Two Decades of Higher Education Reform
Andrew G. Gibson and Ellen Hazelkorn>
11. Intensification of Neo-liberal Reform of Higher Education in England or ‘Change’ as ‘More of the Same’?
Lisa Lucas>
12. Higher Education Reforms in Lithuania: Two Decades after Bologna
Liudvika Leišyte, Anna-Lena Rose AND Rimantas Želvys>
13. The Bologna Reform in Hungary
Gergely Kováts>
14. Understanding Higher Education System Reform: Practices, Patterns and Pathways
Bruno Broucker, Liudvika Leišyte, Kurt De Wit and Jef C. Verhoeven>
All scholars, experts, policy makers and practitioners in higher education policy and governance, who are interested in developments in the European Higher Education Area.