Papers presented at the conference
Presentations can be downloaded by clicking on the title of the presentation.
Keynote presentations are available here.
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The paper attempts to examine whether higher education policies in the Central and Eastern European countries exhibit features distinct from the classical types of welfare regimes (social-democratic, liberal and conservative) that would allow one to classify them under a single label. It also re-examines the relationship of different national approaches to higher education participation and funding with welfare regimes. Policies are operationalized in four general indicators: (1) participation in tertiary education, (2) educational expenditures, (3) tuition fees and student financial support, and (4) pre-tertiary stratification. Correspondence analysis is used to explore the relationship between the countries and indicators. The strong correspondence between the indicators’ values and a given welfare regime has been confirmed. However, no regular pattern of higher education policy has been found among the CEE countries. Thus, no distinct ‘post-communist’ welfare regime can be identified with regard to this policy.
Zsuzsanna CSÁSZÁR – Tamás WUSCHING: Inward Student Mobility in Hungary and in Western Europe – Some Important Differences
Internationalisation of HE is nowadays one of the most researched subjects amongst scholars dealing with geographies of education. The process has a very significant role in the transforming HE of the 21st century and the knowledge-based economy, thus it is strengthening year after year. The most important part of internationalisation is international student mobility: nowadays more and more students are moving to another country for a part of their study (“credit mobility”) or a full-degree program (“degree mobility”), nowadays their number is around 5 Million. However international student mobility shows great spatial differences both globally and within Europe. These significant geographical differences have various social, economic and political reasons. Within Europe, in terms of inward student mobility a clear line can be drawn between the developed Western countries and the post-socialist countries of Central and Eastern Europe. There are major differences in the motivation behind the choice of university of mobile students, as well as other in factors which are driving student mobility. The aim of the presentation is to enlight these differences with the help of the literature and a large scale empirical research conducted at a Hungarian university: in Pécs, we implemented a complex questionnaire survey involving 546 international students. As a result of this survey, we got very useful information about the students’ motivations and reasons of their study abroad, as well as their experiences of studying in Hungary and in Pécs. The results have also revealed some important differences between determinants of student mobility in Hungary and in Western countries.
Liliana Eva DONATH: A Sustainability Approach of Higher Education
Modern higher education governance means the involvement of all stakeholders, i.e. academics, students, businesses, university management. Under the new public management paradigm, higher education, in CEE, countries is put under pressure to adopt a new efficiency driven management approach that would answer the needs of all the stakeholders. The study looks at this topic through the lenses of sustainability, endeavouring to find to what extent it can contribute to fill in the gap between efficiency of the employed resources and the effectiveness, i.e. the outcome of the teaching and research processes. The study is based on the current literature concerning sustainable education, visualisation through diagrams and benchmarking against the best practices in this field. It also considers the latest experiences of the West University of Timisoara, concluding that the inclusion of the sustainability concept in higher education governance is able to give a better insight concerning the effectiveness of the entire education process.
Jozef HVORECKÝ - Peter SÝKORA - Emil VIŠŇOVSKÝ: Slovak Accreditation Processes and European Standards
Compared to remaining V4 countries, Slovakia has no representative among 500 World Top Universities. There are various reasons for this situation e. g. historical ones (the first still existing university is less than 100 years old) and economic ones (Slovakia used to be a poorer part of both the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Czechoslovakia). At the same time, the authors see bad management of the Slovak higher education system as the main reason for persisting problems. In our paper we will analyze one of its components – quality evaluation. For unclear reasons, our Accreditation is not a member of European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) and there are no visible efforts to become one. As our contributions will show, the current standards and procedures are incompatible with those of ENQA. For that reason we will not only point to the differences but will also state recommendations showing the necessary steps to remove them.
This paper investigates system change in higher education (HE) in the region undergoing post-Soviet transition, specifically – in post-Rose Revolution Georgia. It pays attention to the Bologna Process-inspired reforms that represent instances of transnational policy and institutional transfer into national contexts. On the example of university autonomy, the paper argues that in Georgia, Bologna-inspired reforms were introduced in order to gain legitimacy at the global higher education arena. However, these reforms have produced symbolic system change and have created decoupled institutions.
Gabriella KECZER: Community College – A Proposal for a Viable Hungarian Model
The government has decided to establish a new type of higher education institution: the Hungarian version of the American community college. While the raison d’ etre of an institution that serves the local needs is inevitable, the organizational solution elaborated by the educational government raises doubts about the viability and efficiency of the so called community educational centers (CEC). Based on an extensive research we propose a different organizational model as an alternative. Our model does not overrule the most important governmental principle, that the CECs would not be independent institutions but affiliates of universities. Yet, in our model the CECs are more than just training locations of faraway universities. We deal with issues not covered by the governmental notion, such as what the role of the CECs would be; how to ensure the necessary teaching and administrative staff; how to govern and manage these centers; how to obtain a close cooperation and coordination between the CEC, the local actors and the gestor university; how to grant the local engagement of the Hungarian community colleges etc.
It has been a central thrust for Quality assurance in European higher education following the signing of the Bologna Declaration and the Prague Communiqué , and has been highlighted as a policy implication in the discussions being sponsored by the Global Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) (Barrows,2002). The Hungarian Accreditation Committee (HAC) considers the vetting of prospective university professors an important part of its mission to ensure the quality of higher education. The Higher Education Act 2011 provided the criteria for evaluation of teachers in Higher education. Based on the legal mandate, the HAC has developed and applies a set of evaluation criteria. Further, Post-independent India had shown concern for developing appropriate ‘accountability measures for teachers’ to ensure positive action for professionals towards the beneficiaries of the education system. Hence, the objectives of the research to conducted are to: Meta-analysis of policies for Teacher appraisal for Higher Education in Hungary; and Compare procedures employed for Teacher appraisal in Universities at India and Hungary. The study employs literature survey on policy documents, University circulars/notifications and research articles for the meta-analysis. The perceived outcomes include development of a model for Indian Universities based on Appraisal system employed at Hungarian Universities.
Gábor NAGY - József BERÁCS: Antecedents to the Export Market Orientation of Hungarian Higher Education Institutions and Their Performance Consequences: The Role of Managers in Fostering Export Market Orientation in the Organization
Our paper aims at understanding the role of managers in facilitating the internationalization of higher education institutions by building and empirically testing a model on a sample of 147 effective respondents from Hungarian higher education institutions on the relationship of managerial support, organizational systems, and activities related to export market orientation, and export performance. By this we fill a gap in the literature on how managers may foster/hinder export market orientated behaviors to spread across the organization.
Pusa NASTASE – Mátyás SZABÓ: Good Practices in the Student Centered Learning in Central and Eastern Europe
Student centered learning (SCL) has been introduced in 2015 in the European Standards and Guidelines (ESG) and became officially part of the European higher education framework. Implementing SCL is therefore a binding commitment for all signatory countries of the Bologna process although it is a challenging task given that there are no guidelines on how to assess and adopt SCL practices and policies. The absence of specific guidelines is justified first because there is no one-size-fits all approach in SCL, therefore each institution needs to define its own SCL strategy in accordance with its mission and specificities. Second, the national context also plays an important role in how SCL is implemented.
This paper offers an insight into what SCL looks like when implemented at institutional level by giving the examples of good practices collected during an international cross sectorial study conducted during 2015 and 2016 in Serbia, Romania, Poland, Croatia and Latvia. It highlights initiatives and practices deemed as good practices following the peer assessment visits conducted during the project Peer Assessment for Student Centered Learning (PASCL) supported by the European Commission through its Erasmus + program. The authors participated both in project design and the visits as members of the assessment teams. The present study covers most university policies and practices relevant for the SCL including student participation and engagement in governance and management, teacher training and teaching support, assessment and feed-back, support services, internationalization and mobility, the social dimension and quality assurance.
The main purpose of this study is to investigate the correlation between an improved brand orientation and an increased reputation in the higher education environment. An important finding to emerge in this study is that the branding challenge for higher education institutions is to develop a strategy and value proposition which creates a meaningful differentiated positioning, and to promote this consistently to stakeholders and other target audiences. This project has been designed to consider the extent to which the lessons learned by business can be translated into valuable lessons for higher education.
A brand develops its value, that is the impact it derives from the goodwill and awareness it has earned over time, in the minds of the stakeholders. This process is supported by aspects such as visibility and reputation. Nevertheless, the translation of an organisation-based identity into a brand image and brand equity is a complex and sophisticated process which requires a strong brand-orientation.
Skill formation is endorsed as an effective policy for increasing individual and societal well-being by national governments worldwide. Prior research suggests that higher education credentials from different nations may be associated with substantially different levels of skills; and that the skills of tertiary-educated individuals vary substantially within nations. Given that adult skills are produced at both educational and work settings, it is likely that a combination of higher education and labor market experiences may explain variation in skills across individuals and across nations.
In this paper, I use data from the PIAAC 2011 International Survey of Adult Skills to identify predictors of skills among adults who live in one of three Central European nations: Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia. I use literature review, descriptive statistics, and multivariate regression analyses to answer two research questions: 1) How do adult literacy, numeracy, and information and computer technology (ICT) skills vary based on individual background characteristics, educational attainment, and labor market experiences in the selected Central European nations?; and 2) What are the relationships between educational attainment, labor market experiences, and adult literacy, numeracy, and ICT skills in the selected Central European nations, after controlling for differences in individual background characteristics?
One of the main goals of the actual science policy documents is to intense the collaboration between academic and business sector. The study is to analyse the attitudes of PhD holders towards the business sector and its structural frames.
The aspects explored are the differences between STEM and SSH researchers in their attitudes and career path strategies. However a positive shift is recognised in the attitudes of STEM researchers between 2007 and 2012, they still avoid the business sector more than SSH researchers. The study exposes the structural background of this phenomena and identifies the determinant factors behind.
Findings could help in understanding how the science policy goals can more effectively be achieved and provide considerations for the higher education.
The grounding of the findings are the career-path researches among PhD holders conducted at the Department for Science Policy and Scientometrics at the Library and Information Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences between 2007 and 2014. The focus of these research projects were different but one of their common marginal aspects was the attitudes of the researchers refer to the collaboration with the business sector.
The study of student organisation has been pioneered by Philip Altbach. According to Luescher-Mamashela (2015) Altbach manages to develop “a comparative theoretical understanding of student activism in terms of its causes, organisation, ideological orientation and outcomes, along with the backgrounds and identity of student activists, and the importance of national and institutional contexts and historical conjunctures in the emergence of student activism and in the response of national and university governments to student protest”. Borrowing from Schmitter and Streeck (1999) logic of membership/logic of influence, Klemenčič (2012) proposes a more theory driven descriptive framework for student organisation. Starting from the observation that collective action is central for the definition of student organisation from both influential perspectives outlined above, we propose a conceptual frame derived from classical theories of collective action, in the rational choice neo-institutional perspective. We outline the major explicative variables and we organize accordingly evidence from literature on student organisation in Central and Eastern Europe.
Lenka RÁBEKOVÁ – Jozef HVORECKÝ: Tailored Courses for Adult Learners
A good educational strategy can facilitate students’ interest in their lifelong learning. It should support their own intrinsic motivation and desire to learn perpetually. In our contribution, we will demonstrate our recently developed methodology for courses aimed to adult professionals.
Šimon STIBUREK – Aleš VLK: Study Success and Dropout in the Higher Education Policy in Europe and CEE countries
The issue of study success has appeared high on the agenda of the European Commission as the number of students failing to finish their university studies has been steadily increasing across the EU member states. A large comparative study was initiated by the EC and published in 2015 focusing mainly of the governmental and institutional policies concerning dropout (HEDOCE).
The outcomes of the HEDOCE study are summarized while special attention is paid to the Visegrad countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia) with regard to common features and differences. The appropriate definition of study success, various indicators as well as description of selected measures on national and institutional level are also discussed.
In Romania, the expansion of education has triggered significant changes in the composition of the population according to educational levels and in relation to the emergence of the principle of equity. We analyse this phenomenon according to three aspects: age, status of residence and sex, and all these by comparing the total population and the Hungarian population from Romania, and also with other minority populations from Romania, as the case may be.
Our main research questions in this paper are the following: How did the educational level change as a result of the extension of higher education, especially the percentage of higher education institution graduates between 2002 and 2011?
How does the expansion of education prevail in the completion of social justice and in decreasing/eliminating ethnic-linguistic inequalities?
Which are the main factors of inequality in the context of Roma and Hungarians from Romania?
Aleš VLK – Otakar FOJT: Should I Stay or Should I Go: R&D policy in Visegrad Countries
R&D is considered as the most important aspect of economic growth and national competitiveness. Currently, a lot of R&D data is available at many existing databases like OECD, EUROSTAT etc., however, a narrative of what the data mean, how to interpret them and what this leads to, are missing. This paper attempts to create such a narrative, and focuses on a comparative study of R&D systems in V4 countries – the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. These countries are often overlooked by leading science nations, however, V4 countries wisely applied EU structural and cohesion funds and invested billions of EUR into R&D in 2007-2013 programming period, and they are quickly progressing. This paper describes R&D governance structure, national R&D inputs and outcomes, funding process and evaluation of individual research organizations, and as a special in-depth study, a progress of Czech science policies since 1990 up to now.