23 SES 01 A, Policy Formation in a Globalised Setting
One of the first scholars who focused critical attention on the close connection between the transformation of the university, the transformation of the state and the transformation of the global economy was Readings´ in his book “The University in Ruins” (1996). We may disagree with his findings about the ruined tradition and mission of the university, but nonetheless we must agree that university has become a very different kind of institution, which is no longer linked to the destiny of the nation-state as the producer, protector, and inculcator of the national culture. (Kwiek 2006). Today, the universities must balance between two cultures; the traditional academic culture and the culture of the free market.
Changes driven by economic, ideological and pragmatic motives have heavily modified the forms and mechanisms of governance and university policy making. The old traditional models such as ‘collegial organisation’ or ‘professional bureaucracy’, ‘ have been replaced by alternative perspectives and models such as ‘corporate model’ of universities’ or ‘entrepreneurial model’. Common to all of them is the perception of universities as peculiar bottom-heavy organisations with weak organisational governance.
Dale (2007) lists three important aspects of the recent changes: 1) cutting the funding and demand for funding from non-state sources which brought new stakeholders and partners to the university governance. 2) strengthening governmental control and evaluation of the allocation of funding 3) integrating universities into the broader process of the reform of the public sector (NPM).
In the Nordic countries, states are trying to increase competitiveness between universities by diminishing funding and establishing assessment procedures “to guarantee and improve efficiency and quality”. The expectations placed on universities are enormous. However, the domination of a top-down effectiveness-based approach is also seen by many as damaging and the resistance to market-oriented changes is strong in many institutions. (Rinne & Koivula 2005; Koivula et al. 2009)
The freshest university doctrine, “the neo-liberal NPM-doctrine”, has just arrived into Finland. It takes its institutional form in the new radical University Law (2009) in which universities are given a far stronger financial and administrative status. They are made “independent legal persons”. The universities are now more closely resembling businesses and managed by the principles of NPM. The power of boards, rectors and deans has been increased at the expense of collegial decision-making . The new law is the culmination point to break away from the old Finnish national university model and rush for the new neo-liberal university model.
The preparing for this shift have been going on in Finland already for two decades and got form in numerous radical reforms. The purpose of the paper is to analyze how has the new higher education policy been manifested in the Finnish university at the national, institutional and organizational level seen by academics and administration staff. We answer to this question mostly by a large survey which is part of a larger research project “Power, supranational regimes and new university management in Finland” (Rinne & al. 2007).
Dale, R. 2007. Repairing the Deficits of Modernity: The emergence of parallel discourses in higher education in Europe. In D. Epstein, R. Boden, R. Deem, F. Rizvi & S. Wright (Eds.),World Yearbook of Education 2008. Geographies of knowledge, geometries of power: framing the future of higher education (pp. 14–31). New York & London: Routledge. de Boer, H., Enders, J. & Leišytė, L. 2007. Public Sector Reform in Dutch Higher Education: The Organizational Transformation of the University. Public Administration Vol. 85, No. 1, 27-46. Fuller, S. 2006. What Makes Universities Unique? Updating the ideal for an entrepreneurial age. Paper presented in the EUEREK Workshop in CELE in University of Turku, Finland, February 11th – 12th 2006. Halsey, A. H. 2006. The European University. In H. Lauder, P. Brown, J-A. Dillabough & A. H. Halsey. (Eds.) Education, Globalization & Social Change. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 854-865. Koivula, J., Rinne, R. & Niukko, S. 2009. Yliopistot yrityksinä? Merkkejä ja merkityksiä Suomessa ja Euroopassa. Kasvatus 40 (1), 7–27. Kwiek, M. 2006. The University and the State: A Study into Global Transformations. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang. Readings, B. 1996. The University in Ruins. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Rinne, R., Simola, H., Kauko, J. & Simola, M. 2007. Power, Supranational Regimes and New University Management – Outlining the late mushrooming of the NMP in Finnish university field. Paper presented in Eera-conference, September 2007, Ghent, Belgium. Rinne, R. & Koivula, J. (2008). The Dilemmas of the Changing University. In M. Shattock & G. Williams (Eds.),Entrepreneurialism in Universities and the Knowledge Economy. Diversification and organisational change in European higher education (pp. 183–199). London: Open University Press & Paris: IIEP, Unesco. Slaughter, S. & Leslie, L. L. 1997. Academic Capitalism: Politics, Policies, and the Entrepreneurial University. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press. Yliopistolaki (2009). Yliopistolaki 558/2009. 24.7.2009.
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