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Higher Education Governance Reform in Practice. Matching Institutional Implementation Practices and Policies

La reforma de la gobernanza de la educación superior en la práctica. Puesta en práctica de los objetivos políticos en la gestión universitaria

Abstract

Governance is one of the most important higher education policy reform areas in the European Commission. The experience of many years in this field shows that in Europe the diversity of both higher education systems and higher education institution typologies is an important aspect to consider when assessing which governance model to apply in each case. Due to this diversity, there is no ideal governance model for each institution and/or higher education system, and the most appropriate strategy to follow varies depending on the mission and typology of each higher education institution. The increasing tendency towards the globalization of higher education and the economic crisis are impacting directly on universities, forcing them to position themselves in this context. Implementing an appropriate governance model according to the corporate strategy of choice is essential, although good practice models in one case might not be directly applicable to another.

The European Commission works in parallel with two types of governance instruments: firstly, policy instruments to promote the exchange of good practice and mutual learning between and among governments, countries and institutions. In recent years, the need for transparency regarding how different higher education institutions perform in the various fields where they operate is of increasing interest. Moreover, financial instruments available through programmes such as Erasmus facilitate the development of pilot projects and studies presented at the initiative of transnational consortia. This article reviews the latest trends in higher education governance in Europe, with special emphasis on the need to preserve the diversity of higher education systems and institutions through transparency tools, showing relevant examples of cooperation projects for improving governance practices.

Resumen

La mejora de la gobernanza es uno de los temas más importantes de la agenda política de la educación superior en la Comisión Europea. Tras muchos años trabajando en este campo, la experiencia demuestra que en el caso de Europa es importante considerar la diversidad de sistemas educativos y de tipologías de instituciones de educación superior a la hora de analizar los modelos de gobernanza que han de aplicarse en cada caso. Esto conlleva que no exista un modelo de gobernanza ideal para cada institución y/o sistema de educación superior, y que la estrategia varíe según los objetivos y el tipo de cada institución de educación superior. La creciente globalización de la educación superior y la crisis económica están afectando directamente a las instituciones, obligándolas a posicionarse en este contexto. Implantar un modelo de gobernanza adecuado a la estrategia institutional elegida es esencial, si bien los modelos de buenas prácticas que pueden usarse en un caso no son directamente aplicables a otro.

La Comisión Europea trabaja con dos tipos de instrumentos en el área de gobernanza: por un lado, los instrumentos políticos fomentan el intercambio de buenas prácticas, el aprendizaje mutuo entre gobiernos, países e instituciones, y la creación de herramientas para la rendición de cuentas. Por otro lado, los instrumentos financieros a través de programas como Erasmus facilitan la elaboración de proyectos piloto y estudios que se presentan a iniciativa de consorcios transnationales. Recientemente está cobrando importancia la necesidad de proporcionar mayor transparencia en cuanto a la actividad y la eficiencia con la que trabajan las instituciones de educación superior. Este artículo revisa las últimas tendencias de la gobernanza en Europa, con especial énfasis en la necesidad de preservar la diversidad de sistemas y tipos de instituciones a través de las herramientas de transparencia para líderes institucionales, dando ejemplos de los proyectos de cooperación más relevantes en materia de gobernanza.

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Correspondence to Endika Bengoetxea Castro.

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Bengoetxea Castro, E. Higher Education Governance Reform in Practice. Matching Institutional Implementation Practices and Policies. Int J Educ Technol High Educ 9, 267–279 (2012). https://doi.org/10.7238/rusc.v9i2.1415

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Keywords

  • governance reform
  • university management
  • quality assurance
  • internationalisation
  • Europeanisation

Palabras clave

  • reforma de la gobernanza
  • gestión de universidades
  • evaluación de la calidad
  • internacionalización
  • europeización