Papers presented at the conference
Presentations can be downloaded by clicking on the title of the presentation.
Keynote presentations are available here.
You can download all the presentations in one file by clicking here.
Nicholas CHANDLER – Gábor KIRÁLY – Zsuzsanna GÉRING – Péter MISKOLCZI – Yvette LOVAS – Kinga KOVÁCS – Sára CSILLAG: When two worlds collide: cheating and the culture of academia
The culture of academia in higher education has been described as tribes with their territories (Becher, 1987). Cheating, on the other hand, seems to traverse boundaries as not only students, but teaching staff may also have a role to play in regard to their tolerance or even compliance with cheating. Thus, the question arises as to how cheating fits into academic culture.
Our paper considers teaching staff as a functional subculture and we explore cheating as perceived by these staff as we attempt to piece together the factors that link perceived cheating with the culture of academia through the use of Causal Loop Diagrams.
We found that academic culture is characterized by conflict and cultural clashes which is further exasperated by cheating. Massification has an effect on academic staff and cheating, potentially leading to a sense of powerlessness, despite apparent autonomy. This sense of powerlessness and uncertainty is argued as leading to a stronger academic culture. The link is made between organizational culture type (hierarchy), with values based on stability and control, and the importance of control as a perceived causal factor of cheating.
Jan L. CIEŚLIŃSKI: Old and new funding formula for Polish universities
The funding formula for Polish universities defines the volume of the block grant which is the main source of the revenue for Polish public universities. Theoretically this block grant is “for teaching purposes” but the salaries of the staff come almost exclusively from the block grant for teaching. Now, the funding formula is considered in Poland as a „black box” producing a distribution of block (core) grants for higher education institutions. We show that the funding formula is not a passive tool for the distribution of public funds. Using the funding formula one can achieve a variety of specific goals. Until 2016 only one incentive was clear and widely known: the total enrollment. This had deteriorating impact on the quality of higher education in Poland. Since 2017 a new funding formula has been introduced (quite abruptly, in fact). The new formula is a very strong incentive for improving the student-staff ratio at Polish universities (in order to obtain the desirable value 13). We present a detailed analysis of both funding formulas (old and new). We describe specific objectives rewarded by the formulas and discuss to what extent the rewarded goals are consistent with the mission of public universities.
Daniela CRACIUN: Higher education internationalization: the state of affairs
Until recently, the discourse on the importance of and need for internationalization in higher education went as follows. With the rise of the knowledge-based economy, governments have waged a ‘global war for talent’ (Florida, 2005; Brown & Tannock, 2009), as highly-skilled individuals are believed to be the pre-requisite ingredient for sustaining economic growth and competitiveness (Fernandes, 2006; Csedö, 2010; Bergerhoff et al., 2013). In this context, the University has become “the knowledge factory” (The Economist, 1997) which provides the breeding grounds for human capital development. Furthermore, globalization has challenged the inward looking nature of national education systems and attempts at reform have become central to sustaining their functioning (Scott, 2000). As a result, internationalization is considered a significant strategic priority for governments, “which are increasingly aware of the importance of universities in supporting national and regional competitiveness” (Wilson, 2013, p.30, quoted in Jones & de Wit, 2014, p.28).
The recent rise in nationalist sentiments and the apparent return of Realpolitik around the world, seem to challenge this widespread discourse and, as a result, questions have been raised about the future of internationalization in higher education. The present paper argues that it is important to take stock of the current state of affairs in internationalization, before we can make any sort of predictions about its future in light of current political developments.
Starting from the premise that the nation state plays a central role in the process of internationalizing higher education, the paper presents original data with regards to the spread of national internationalization policies around the world. It finds that strategically thinking about internationalization is a relatively new phenomenon with limited coverage in terms of the number of countries that adopt internationalization policies. This picture describes a world dominated by scattered efforts when it comes to higher education internationalization. Why is the absence of an internationalization policy problematic? In countries where universities are largely dependent on public money, having no cohesive direction for internationalization at the system level is likely to also lead to lead to limited internationalization efforts at the institutional level. In keeping with the regional focus of the conference, the paper zooms into and out of the Central and Eastern European area. It zooms into the national internationalization approaches of the area in order to contextualize the rationales and realities behind the process. It zooms out of area in order to understand the developments here in a wider frame of reference and to avoid what is called eastern European orientalism.
Zsuzsa M. CSÁSZÁR – Tamás Á. WUSCHING – Anna SÁLYI: Trends and motivations behind foreign students’ choice of university in three Hungarian provincial university towns
Mirroring global trends, international student mobility is increasing in Hungary: in the autumn of 2016 28,628 foreign students studied at a higher education institution in Hungary, most of them at medical schools. For those who take part in full-time HE programmes – students who come in the framework of ‘’degree mobility’’ – choosing their place of education is a very complex process which involves many aspects as this decision will influence students’ life for a considerable amount of time. It is not surprising therefore that in the case of Hungary most foreign students choose to study in Budapest. However, there are three provincial towns in which welcome students in large numbers (all three are home to medical schools): in the autumn of 2016 there were 11 thousand such students combined at the universities of Debrecen, Szeged and Pécs, which shows a growing share compared to the total number of students in Hungary. Present paper compares students’ motivations and their personal experiences in these three cities based on a questionnaire survey, taking into consideration the different student pools they draw.
Valéria CSÉPE – Krisztina ROZSNYAI: Trends and challenges in Hungarian higher education quality assurance
After 23 years since the Hungarian Accreditation Committee’s establishment and the 2016 completion of its third full cycle of institutional accreditation, the HAC has passed a new Strategy for 2017-2018, prepared by the new president. The Strategy stresses the HAC’s readiness to assist higher education institutions in fully exploiting their responsibility for their internal quality assurance and will offer workshops to offer its expertise and to exchange ideas on approaches and methodologies.
The Strategy extends to the revision of the HAC’s evaluation criteria in light of the ESG 2015, a variety of approaches to accreditation depending on institutions’ degree of maturity in quality assurance, and considering institutional profiles. Program accreditation will evaluate the full student life-cycle, with a shift from input to process and output criteria. Internal restructuring of the secretariat, the hiring of young staff with language proficiency and the streamlined administration of committee work has begun. Additional funding has been secured; a new IT system is being planned.
According to the mainstream literature innovation in the public sector considerably differs from that of the business sector at least along three dimensions 1) the strength of external pressure on the organization 2) the characteristics of the expected rewards for the innovator, and consequently 3) the form and level of motivation that drive organizational members to innovate.
From this perspective it is interesting to examine how public universities, that are supposed to make state-of-the-art research and fulfil critical parts in the product and technology development value chain of several industries, regard and manage innovation within and beyond their organizations.
Since the innovation typology stated in the generally referred Oslo Manual has limitations when applied to specific sectors and fields, first a new classification system had to be set up that is adapted to the characteristics of higher education institutions. This new classification defines 1) research related 2) education related 3) management and organizational and 4) business model innovations. Then, the present management patterns and future challenges of these four innovation categories are elaborated and tentative conclusions are made, including some proposals for university managers.
The subjects of the research are Hungarian public universities in which the author gained considerable experience in the last 25 years as faculty member, leader of different organizational units and projects, as well as management consultant. In the second phase of this research project targeted interviews are planned with key stakeholders of university level innovation in Hungary.
Katalin ERDŐS: Regulative environment of spin-offs in Hungary
The contribution of university spin-offs to the development of some of world’s leading high-tech regions attracted significant interest of policy-makers and scientists alike. Many countries changed their regulative environment in order to create success stories like the Silicon Valley or Route 128. Modifications affected for example intellectual property rights and university IP management. The intention was to spur innovation and technology transfer to enhance competitiveness. Nevertheless, the regulations that are effective in a certain environment do not necessarily work under different institutional settings.
The legislative changes in Hungary around 2004 and 2005 explicitly encouraged universities’ active involvement in technology transfer. Though also support schemes were introduced to spur spin-off activity, the evidences are mixed. This research aims to investigate the regulative environment of spin-offs in Hungary. Besides summarizing the most important legislative changes related to university spin-offs it also investigates the practical implementation of those and their outcomes.
Zsuzsanna GÉRING – Kinga KOVÁCS – Yvette LOVAS – Viktória TERECSKEI: Social roles of Hungarian higher education institutions as communicated in their mission statements
In connection with higher education (HE), a large part of the academic discourse is concerned about changes and challenges in relation to globalization, third mission, technological innovation or even to teaching methods. All of these inquiries lead to a core question, namely, what is the (changing) role of higher education institutions in society.
This is the main question of our research as well. To find an answer, we analyzed the mission statements of the Hungarian higher education institutions with textual analysis.
In our research, we identified the social roles, goals and tasks mentioned based on the mission statements of all the Hungarian HE institutions. We used public institutional websites as source. The research extended not only to the textual coding of social roles, but also to the completion of the textual analytical results with standard institutional characteristics (like number of students etc.). In this fashion, we were able to analyze if there are different groups regarding the communicated social roles among the institutional differences.
As a result, this research helps us to understand the main topics and issues addressed in the sector, and could show us how different Hungarian HE institutions identify themselves as important actors in society.
Magda ILLYÉS – Anna SOÓS: Double specialization in teacher training: A European comparison
The existence of double specialization in teacher training is a core issue since most secondary and high school subjects are taught in small weekly class numbers. In order to get a full teaching position, teachers either have to work in more than one school, or (and this is the ideal case) they have to teach more than one subject. Moreover, many vacant positions in schools are for very small number of weekly classes, schools can’t offer a full job position is most cases.
Although double specialization in university teacher training would solve many of these (and many other) problems, the introduction of the Bologna system abolished double specializations in Romanian higher education. The Law of Education of 2011 makes possible the reintroduction of such specializations, but the lack of an application methodology delayed the process. The situation might change in the near future since several higher education institutions are urging the process of developing the above mentioned methodology, but there are still many open questions and gray spots regarding the issue of double specialization. The present paper aims at presenting a synthetic comparison of the situation of double specialization in teacher training across Europe emphasizing best practices and suitable models.
“ELTE – a community of knowledge.” This is the motto of Eötvös University (ELTE), it has been used a lot in recent years. The question could arise, is the ELTE community more than just a single sum of the eight independent faculties? There are many elements of the inside relations in the universities. In the case of a multi-campus university the geographical space has importance in the connections between faculties. In addition, many other factors can play a role as well, such as the distance between disciplines, institution history, communication within the institution, or personal experiences. In this study the focus will be on the university identity and the students’ opinions of each other.
The university identities are powerful in the Eötvös University, the academic program identity is the strongest, followed by the faculty and the university identity. Students’ opinions of each other from different faculties may have an effect on the internal operation of the university. If there are negative stereotypes among the students against other discipline students it may reduce the efficiency of the university, because it makes harder the development of interdisciplinary relationships. The results show this is an existing phenomenon in the Eötvös University.
Éva KARCSICS: Competence management in the service of higher education
Competence-based human resources management is one of the key tools for implementing an organizational strategy. In using this tool, we define the critical competences (knowledge, skills, capabilities, etc.) that are required for fulfilling a job successfully and effectively (and implementing an organizational strategy). Our next goal is to achieve a match as perfect as possible (by assessing the degree of congruence) in the selection of labor force, development, career planning and performance management. The higher the degree of match between the competences of the individual and the job, the better chance we have to implement the organizational objectives. As the main goal of higher education institutions in society is to produce experts who are competitive in the labor market, competence management – with proper adaptation – can be successfully applied in this sector as well. This paper provides an overview of the development of competence-based human resources management why the concept of competence has become important in higher education as well. It will introduce the most important research projects on this theme and present how the first competence assessment in Hungary has been developed in the area of training economists.
In 2014 the Hungarian government decided to establish a new type of higher education institution: the community college. In the 2015 amendment of the higher education act of 2011 it was declared that the new type of institutions would be called “community higher education centres” (CHECs), and they would not be independent institutions, just training locations of existing universities. In my paper submitted to the last CEHEC conference I raised some doubts concerning the Hungarian version of this type of institution.
Since in 2016 four CHECs started its operation, it is worth to examine whether my concerns were valid or not. Thus, I study the experiences of the community higher education centre of Hatvan, Siófok and Kisvárda. My research methodology is interviews conducted with the local government of the new higher education locations and with the gestor universities. I focus my analysis on the drivers behind establishing the CHEC, the preliminary expectations and the initial experiences. The fourth CHEC (Sümeg) that got permission from the ministry in the first round was the off-site location of a private institute, but its permission has been revoked after several problems of academic, financial and legal nature. I include the conclusions of the Sümeg case in my analysis.
István Vilmos KOVÁCS – László HORVÁTH – Orsolya KÁLMÁN: Reforming learning and teaching in the Institute of Education (Eötvös Loránd University)
Quality teaching is becoming an important issue in higher education institutions. Analysing the practice of higher education institutions (OECD, 2010) three major ways of supporting quality teaching were identified: (1) institution-wide and quality assurance policies (2) initiatives focusing on monitoring programme design and implementation and (3) supporting teaching and learning at the individual level of teachers and students. The aim of our study is to develop a conceptual framework for enhancing teaching and learning, and promoting professional development of university teachers in the context of Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary.
We introduce the Research Group on Higher Education and Innovation and its initiatives according to the previous statements along the three missions of higher education, focusing on our main projects: European Doctorate in Teacher Education (EDiTE), Master in Research and Innovation in Higher Education (MARIHE), our higher education specialisation programme, the innovation research and other research project and our involvement in the HEInnovate initiative.
The issues mentioned in our study culminates in an institutional strategy for supporting the professional development of university teachers which builds upon the synergy of the three mission and reflects on the special academic culture that could be a driver or a barrier for the implementation of the strategy.
In 2014 a new system of governance was adopted in Hungarian higher education. State-appointed chancellors became responsible for the finance, maintenance and administration of institutions, while rectors kept their responsibilities in academic issues. This governance system was completed by the introduction of a new board (called consistory) which has veto power in economic and financial issues. The new governance system created institutions the success of which depends on the cooperation of its two independent and interdependent leaders, the rector and the chancellor.
Although unitary leadership is dominant in current management practice and assumed to be more efficient in management theory, dual leadership is not unheard of. Terms such as dual leadership, shared leadership, co-leadership, distributed leadership, top management teams and collective leadership are all used. As a result there is no clear description of the challenges posed by dual leadership situations and the conditions when dual leadership is beneficial. The main questions of the paper are the following: What are the key challenges and success factors in dual leadership situations in higher education? What recommendations can be derived from these success factors to higher education policy and institutions generally? How the chancellor system in the Hungarian higher education can be evaluated against these recommendations?
The evaluation is based on the analysis of the legislative and incentive structure on one hand, and on quantitative (survey) and qualitative (interviews) data collection on the other.
Renata KRÁLIKOVÁ: Can a textbook reform of (higher) education work in practice?
According to international comparisons and reports Slovak education, including the higher education, performs poorly. Teachers are increasingly unhappy with their low pay and employers with the lack of qualified labour, young people vote with their feet and leave to study abroad. All these negative trends created a momentum for reforms of education in Slovakia. One of the current reform initiatives – Learning Makes Sense – will be described and analyzed in the paper. This initiative could be labeled as an attempt for a textbook reform as it aims at designing comprehensive reform, based on proper analysis of problems of education and on proposing solutions for the identified problems. These solutions will be tested in the pilot projects. The results of the problem analysis and the reform proposals will be widely discussed with all relevant actors. The paper aims to discuss whether such textbook reform is viable and what are the dilemmas related to the reform process in general and to the changes in higher education in particular.
Kari KUOPPALA: Institutional change and higher education organizations
In Finland, all universities as part of state administration were moved to a new state steering system in 1993, called at that time result based management, which has been called a Finnish version of New Public Management (NPM). In a modified form this steering system still determines the financial position of Finnish universities even if they are nowadays formally private sector organizations and not any more state accounting offices. The period from the year 1993 until 2013 offers a higher education laboratory for the analysis of institutional change. The long lasting effects of deep institutional change can be empirically underlined through the analysis of HRM (Human Resource Management) in the universities. One formally big reform of Finnish universities took place in the year 2009 through the new university law which gave full employer status for the Finnish universities first time in their history. The effects of profound institutional change of the year 1993 are evaluated through the interviews of chief human research managers in eight biggest universities in Finland. It seems that the move to the result based management system changed even the HRM of universities more than the later change of the employer status.
Anastassiya LIPOVKA: Raising gender equality in Kazakhstan through management education modernization
The majority of economics and management students in Kazakhstan are females. Women graduates face impediments in professional employment, career development and labor remuneration due to gender challenges. Gender managerial stereotypes widespread in Kazakhstani society underpin gender inequality. The study of gender managerial stereotypes of Kazakhstani undergraduate students was conducted in one of Almaty universities. The study comprised a survey and a focus group. The survey sample constituted 162 (81 males and 81 females) respondents, and the focus group included 10 participants (5 males and 5 females). The study identified higher level of gender managerial stereotypes of economics students comparatively to technical students. Management male students demonstrated the highest level of gender stereotypes out of all respondents. The significant discrepancy in females and males’ responses indicated lower level of stereotypes among female students. Both males and females associated a man with an image of an effective manager and attribute managers’ characteristics mostly to men. Implications of modernizing management education with gender aspect are discussed.
Although Slovakia signed the Bologna Accord in 1999, figures show that Slovak higher education institutions (HEIs) have been since then struggling to introduce flexible, professionally-oriented, attractive-for-students and recognized-by-employers first-cycle degrees. Only 3% of the Slovak adult population completed their tertiary studies with a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, whereas this portion of graduates accounts for 16% of the 25-64-year-olds in the OECD countries.
Learning Makes sense is launching an intense qualitative research into the vices of the Slovak HE sector, and the problems related to a failed implementation of the Bologna process regarding the introduction of well-functioning and full-fledged Bachelor’s programs will be a big part of our research endeavor. We will probe into the reasons why the public HEIs do not offer fully fledged Bachelor degrees which would produce a much bigger part of the graduate population that would be qualified and prepared to find their place on the labor market once completed their first-cycle degree. What are the factors standing behind the unsuccessful introduction of Bachelor’s programs at our HEIs? This is one of the crucial questions we will try to find the answers to.
Pusa NASTASE – Mátyás SZABÓ: Life-Long Learning in Romanian universities: between strategy and planning
Lifelong learning has been an important component of European employment policy and was incorporated in the national policy documents of all EU member states. In this context adult education has been given a particular attention as it relates directly to several key important issues such as the employability, equity and access to higher education among others. The universities have incorporated LLL in their strategic documents but the offer of lifelong learning programs has been very different in scope and achievements in the EU countries. This research explores the existing lifelong learning programs available at public universities in Romania and highlights how key policy implementation stages are approached. It investigates how decisions about which programs to offer are taken at university and department level and the degree of autonomy available to departments in choosing whether to offer or not such courses and in which form. It also sheds light on the type of teaching and learning pedagogies involved and whether they are suitable for such type of programs. In light of the debate of funding for LLL programs the study also looks at the financial implications of these programs and whether they are financially self-sustainable and can even contribute towards the institutions’ budget.
Éva PÁLINKÓ – Zsófia VIDA: How to achieve high scientific impact in SSH research projects? Findings of a Case Study
This article is based on a case study of an interdisciplinary social science research project with outstandingly high scientific impact. The main goal of the case study is to analyse in depth the scientific success achieved by the project and the key elements that led to it. Besides the detailed analysis of the scientific impact and its background, the case study examines both the political and social impacts of the project, and those which were made on the ERA.
The case study has a comprehensive methodology of desk research and fieldwork. Desk research methods used: Document analysis, Web content analysis, Co-participation analysis of the project members and the other stakeholders, Geographical analysis of the dissemination activities. Field work method used: In depth interviews with communicative orientation (Gómez–Puigvert–Flecha 2010). According to this communicative approach, the case study not only identifies and explains the elements that enabled the project to achieve impact but also could improve the capacity of Social Sciences research to reach high impacts.
By the findings the following dimensions proved to be the most important and effective in achieving high scientific impact: experienced and efficient leadership, committed consortium, orientation to achieve at high standards, high number of top scientists in the project, clear concept, sufficient internal communication, and effective dissemination activities.
Viorel PROTEASA – Liviu ANDRESCU – Delia GOLOGAN: Putting organizations at the center of student movements: a Central-Eastern European exceptionalism?
We use a neo-institutionalist framework for understanding the dynamics of student organizations in Central Eastern Europe, which we argue that explains also the “neo-corporatist – pluralist” tension in the Romanian case, but also the configuration of the organizational field and the repertoires of collective action. For the Romanian case we identified four arenas of competition between student entrepreneurs and other actors, more or less connected to the campus, especially from the professoriate: (1) the patrimony of the former communist associations, (2) the services traditionally offered by the former communist associations, complemented by the market opportunities, (3) national representation, where competition manifested in terms of coalition, cleavages on one hand, and on the other hand in terms of representation towards the government, including disruptive action, such as protests, strikes a.o. These arenas opened for competition due to the ‘structural holes’ left by the sweeping of the communist arrangements regarding student organization and representation. We argue that such an account explains not only Central Eastern Europe’s exceptionalism in terms of the major role played by organizations in student movements, but also the major organizational types and their dynamic.
Matild SÁGI – Marianna SZEMERSZKI: Reforms in teaching professions and changes in recruitment of initial teacher education
In our analyses we try to recover changes in (self-)selection of application into teacher track of higher education in Hungary, between 2013 and 2016. For this analysis the pulled official data base of higher education entry register were used.
Besides the descriptive analyses, multinomial logit models were applied for disclosing potential effects of time spent since introduction of mass of educational reforms. For it, date of student application to the higher education (year) were involved as explanatory dummy variable (with the reference category of 2013), while our dependent variable refers to the combination of the main tracks of initial application to tertiary education. Total average entrance scores, the existence of the advanced level of maturity exam, special disadvantageous status and some information about formal secondary education were also involved into our models as explanatory variables (control variables).
Our analysis supported our main hypothesis: since 2013, a bit larger proportion of young people has applied for entrance to teacher education than previously, so the selection base of higher education widened a bit. The year of application has significant effect on choice of teacher/non-teacher track of higher education.
Graduate Career Tracking System (GCTS) has become an important element of quality management policy on universities during the last few years. The task for modern university is to prepare highly qualified specialists in accordance to the requirements of the labour market.
One of the most significant factor of this process is the feedback from graduates. It could be measured by rate of employability, although it is not the only way to evaluate the efficiency in education. The crucial role in this process plays system of collecting data from graduates concerning their current job position, earnings, job satisfaction or competency level. As a great source of information about the professional progress of graduate students and their opportunities on the labour market, it gives feedback for university how well graduates are prepared for their professional role.
I present results of my research on GCTS implementation in Taiwanese universities. Taiwan is an interesting example of adapting the higher education system to the new challenges that face the universities in global world.
Samir SRAIRI: Determinants of student dropout in Tunisian universities
The purpose of this paper is to analyse the determinants of university dropout in the first year of the bachelor programs at Tunisian universities. We consider 160 higher education institutions with an average of 671 bachelor study programs per year from 2010 to 2015. Using several econometric models (pooled ordinary least square, fixed effect model, and random effect model), we regress student dropout rate on four categories of indicators: student characteristics, institutional, contextual and external factors. The estimation results suggest that the institutional characteristics have a significant impact on dropout. The findings show that student-staff ratio has a positive influence on student dropout. We also find a negative association between staff quality and dropout rate. In addition, the analysis reveals the importance of contextual factors such as university accommodation in helping students to complete university. Finally, regression also indicates a significant and positive interaction between unemployment rate and dropout rate
Yegor STADNY – Maria KUDELIA – Tetiana ZHERIOBLIKA – Mariana KAVTSENIUK: Content analyses of university website as a QA tool
The development of the Internet requires universities to pay special attention to their websites, which becomes the main tool of information policy. From the lack of attention to the content of sites suffer both universities and students/applicants. This article describes a study conducted in Ukraine, which intends to help universities to better understand the informational needs of applicants and students. CEDOS (Kyiv-based think tank) conducted content analysis of 186 higher educational institutions websites where more than 91% of all university students in Ukraine studies. Content analyses was held by specially composed methodology which is based on the needs of the students. As a result of study each of 186 universities receives individual recommendations on how to improve the content of its site. The article tries to show how external university website assessment could help to strengthen internal quality assurance.
Kateryna SUPRUN – Ulyana FURIV: Governance equalizer: Ukrainian case study
Despite the vast research on new public management concept as a new managerial model in Anglo-Saxon socio-cultural context, little is known about its application in the perspective of post-Soviet countries. This study attempts to obtain a holistic picture of higher education system in Ukraine from 1991 up to the present and to determine whether the new managerial concept can actually be applicable within the scope of existing socio-productive relationships. The investigation is based on the qualitative research method, namely on such analytical tool as a governance equalizer. By comparing its various dimensions, such as state regulation, external guidance, academic self-governance, managerial self-governance, and competition, the key factors stipulating transformational characteristics of the higher education market have been identified.
Simona TOROTCOI: Reclaiming higher education social inclusion policies in Central Eastern Europe
In the early 1990s, in the search of a more democratic society and in line with adapting therefore to the European values, most of the post-communist countries started looking after (policy) ideas and approaches which were believed to positively contribute in reforming their main sectors. While there is a lot of talk about the failure of such copy-pasted models and the consequences they have created, there was no comprehensive analysis of what exactly has been adopted and how it was implemented/ transformed on the ground. This paper aims to contribute to this field and shed light on such aspects in the field of social inclusion policies in the higher education sector. It aims to engage in the discussion which aim to reconciliate theories of policy learning and policy change (Bennett & Howlett, 1992; Evans & Davies, 1999; Dolowitz & Marsh, 2000), more specifically to point out where is the line between naturally inherited national policies and policies which were imported from outside, and who reclaims these policies, as a result of policy change.
Aleš VLK – Šimon STIBUREK: Diversification, autonomy and relevance of higher education in the Czech Republic
Our contribution discusses the relationship between relevance of higher education (HE), the diversification of the sector and the autonomy of higher education institutions (HEIs) in the Czech Republic. It reveals that while employment-related aspects are predominant in the HE relevance discourse, there is a lack of consensus in how employability of graduates should be understood –the “narrow” short-term job-specific and “broad” transferable competence oriented perspective form a major cleavage.
The national policy takes no clear stance in this discussion and only indirect measures are applied. While understanding of the role of HE remains mostly homogenous on the institutional level, the actual profiling takes place, if even, on the level of study programmes. In many cases, individual study programmes are de facto autonomous in how they understand their relevance, and they often miss a broader strategic perspective and steering on the system level.
The conservativism of academia limit the diversity of education provision mostly ignoring the needs of the heterogeneous 21st century student body. In this respect, a lack of formal diversification in the HE system combined with extensive autonomy of HEIs as well as their faculties and departments makes the study provision rather slow to adapt to new challenges.