28 SES 01, Governing by Data and Standards: Normalization, Paradoxes and Resistance
This paper treats the effects of the ‘harmonisation’ of higher education policies in Europe engaged with the Bologna Process since 1998. It aims especially to analyse the impact of the European framework for quality assurance (launched in Bergen in 2005, revised after) and of the European Quality Assurance Register (EQAR, launched in London in 2007) on national higher education policies.
Since 2005, all the European countries are encouraged to develop agencies and mechanisms of quality assurance (Saarinen 2005) and all must respect the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the EuropeanHigher Education Area (2005) if they ambition to integrate the EQAR (Gorga 2011; Kalpazidou Schmidt 2009). Facing the apparent acceptance of these mechanisms in the different European countries, resistances appear in some countries and in some universities and take various forms. This paper aims to study these different kind of resistances and answer the question « why resistances are they discreet, hidden, rarely proud and why they are only sometimes radical? » (Charlier & Croché 2015). The paper analyse also the justifications of the resistances : contestation of the finalities of the quality evaluation, contestation of the European criteria, criticizes of the functional effectiveness of the quality mechanism, opposition to a European harmonisation and affirmation of national specificities, etc.
The theoretical framework comes from Foucault’s work and especially its concept of apparatus and the concept of governmentality. To highlight the coherence of the policies initiatives and to answer the question « why resistances are they discreet? », the foucaldian concept of ‘apparatus’ is interesting. An apparatus isa much more general case of the episteme. It is « the system of relations that can be established between » all the heterogeneous elements that compose it. We defend the thesis that since 1998, a « European higher education apparatus » (Croché 2010) exist and this apparatus produces a new kind of « conduct of the conduct » of the academics, notably on the consideration of internal and external quality evaluation.
Charlier J-É. & Croché S. 2015 « Les résistances à la qualité », Carrefours de l’éducation, à paraître Charlier J-É., Croché S. & Leclercq B. 2012 Contrôler la qualité dans l’enseignement supérieur. Louvain-la-Neuve : Academia Croché S. 2010 Le pilotage du processus de Bologne. Louvain-la-Neuve : Academia-Bruylant Fallon C. & Leclercq B. 2014 Leurres de la qualité. Louvain-la-Neuve : Academia Gorga A. 2011 Les jeux de la qualité. Impacts sur les politiques éducatives et la vie académique en Suisse et en Roumanie. Louvain-la-Neuve : Académia-Bruylant Kalpazidou Schmidt E. 2006 « Evaluation », in Bijker W.E. & D’Andrea L. (eds.) Handbook on the Socialisation of Scientific and Technological Research, Social Sciences and European Research Capacities, Rome: TR. Saarinen T. 2005 « Quality in the Bologna Process : from ‘competitive edge’ to quality assurance techniques », European Journal of Education, 40(2), 189-204
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