23 SES 06 C, New Modes of Governing HE and Their Effects
In the last decades the relationship between knowledge production and public governance forms was tightened with the development and strengthening of several funding mechanisms such as performance-based research funding and thematic projects over the traditional forms such as formula funding and project-based research funding. Studies from science and public policy have been giving account on the rise of these mechanisms as a form of restructuration of the relationship between the State and science and the possible consequences for universities and researchers (Hicks, 2012; Whitley & Gläser, 2007; Geuna, 2001; Lepori et. al, 2007). The massification of tertiary education, the tension between private and public funding and the putative need for reduction of public expenditure are often considered as the drivers for such change within higher education. Those funding mechanisms incorporate a set of more or less direct purposes often considered as a form of steering research (Edquist, 2003; Ozga, 2006, Meyer and Benavot, 2013).
This contribution presents a cross-national comparison between the United Kingdom, Germany and Norway. The focus is on the development of the most significant research funding instruments that have shaped educational research in the last decades. Performance-based research funding systems have been assuming a major role to inform the allocation of public funding to research organizations and are widely diffused and highly diversified. In the United Kingdom, the Research Excellence Framework (Oancea, 2014), has seen seven exercises since 1986 using peer-review process as the main evaluation tool. The Norwegian model (Aagaard, Bloch & Schneider, 2015) started in 2004 and relies on bibliometric indicators. In Germany, the federal government has been pursing goals of performance-based funding since 2004 by establishing so-called centers of excellence based on the assessment of applications (Kehm and Pasternack, 2010).In the last decade, educational research in these three countries experienced the rise of large thematic programs such as the Teaching and Learning Research Program – TLRP (UK); the Programme for Educational Research – UTDANNING2020 (Norway) and Framework Program for the Promotion of Empirical Education Research – BMBF Framework Program (Germany).
Much of the literature, both single case studies and cross-national comparisons, tend to focus either on one research funding instrument or to look at particular aspect of that instrument (often discursive or regulative) without a broader institutional approach of public funding mechanisms in educational research.
This work advances such a broader perspective. Through an analysis of major policy documents dealing with funding mechanisms and forty semi-structured interviews with researchers and policy-makers in the field of educational research, we analyze the contemporary challenges of educational research in these three countries. We frame our study in a neo-institutional lens seeking to map the regulative, normative and cultural-cognitive (Scott, 2013) changes led by those mechanisms and the consequences in the structural organization of educational research at the organizational and individual level.
Aagaard, K.; Bloch, C. & Schneider, J. W. (2015). Impacts of performance-based research funding systems: The case of the Norwegian Publication Indicator. Research Evalution, 24(2): 106-117. Biesta G (2015). On the two cultures of educational research, and how we might move ahead: Reconsidering the ontology, axiology and praxeology of education. EERJ 14(1): 11-22. Campbell, J.L. (2002). Ideas, Politics, and Public Policy, ARS, 28: 21–38. Edquist, O. (2003). Layered Science and Science Policies, Minerva, 41, 207-221. Ertl H, Zierer K, Phillips D and Tippelt, R (2013) Analysis of academic journals in education: A comparison of publication patterns in England and Germany. Research in Comparative and International Education 8(1): 1-16. Geuna, M. (2001). The Changing Rationale for European University Research Funding: Are there Negative Unintended Consequences? Journal of Economic Issues, 35:3, 607-632. Gudmundsdottir, S. (1994) forsking på utdanning og læring. In J. Lauglo (ed.) Norsk forskning om utdanning – perspektiver og veivalg. Oslo: Ad Notam Gyldendal. Hicks D (2012) Performance-based university research funding systems. Research Policy 41(2), 251-261. Kehm, B. M. & Pasternack, P. (2010) The German “Excellence Initiative” and its role in restructuring the national higher education landscape. In D. Palfreyman & T. Tapper (eds.) Structuring mass higher education: the role of elite institutions (pp.113-127). New York: Routledge. Lepori B, et al. (2007) Comparing the evolution of national research policies: What patterns of change? Science and Public Policy 34(6): 372-388. Meyer, H.-D. & Benavot, A. (eds.) (2013). PISA, Power, and Policy: the emergence of global educational governance. Oxford: Symposium Books. Oancea A (2014) Research assessment as governance technology in the United Kingdom. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft 17(6): 83-110. Ozga, J. (2008). Governing knowledge: Research Steering and Research Quality. EERJ 7(3), 261-272 Scott, W. R. (2001). Institutions and Organizations. Thousand Oaks: Sage. Whitley, R. and Gläser, J. (2007). The Changing Governance of the Sciences. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer. Zapp, M., & Powell, J.J.W. (2016). How to Construct an Organizational Field: Empirical Educational Research in Germany, 1995–2015. EERJ 15(5), 537–557.
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