23 SES 10 C, Governing by Expectation: School Inspection and Evaluation across Europe and Beyond (Part 1)
Symposium: to be continued in 23 SES 11 C
As a part of the ‘audit society’ (Power 1997), the idea of systematic evaluations is strongly promoted in contemporary education policy (Ozga et al. 2011). Higher education is not an exception and European policy like the Bologna declaration and the development of common quality indicators are just a few examples. Looking at the national arena, this paper aims at exploring the relation between evaluation systems in Swedish higher education and governing from 1993 and onwards. Theoretically we recognize the dynamic relationship underling both institutional reproduction and change (Mahoney & Thelen 2010). Evaluation systems may change gradually or more dramatically and these dynamics hold implications for governing and for how we can understand expectations of what is to count as, for instance, as ‘good quality’ Hopmann et al. 2007). Official policy texts are used and a qualitative content analysis (Bergström & Boréus 2005) is performed, guided by questions like: What is evaluated? Why? By whom? How? With what consequences? Preliminary results suggest that the governing potential in the evaluation systems in Swedish higher education partly relies on the shifts themselves. By constantly changing the systems, expectations are also changed and form one important part of the work of governing.
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