22 SES 02 A, Management and Governance in Higher Education
Universities are increasingly governed and functioned according to the ideas and values of neo- liberalism and new public management. Effectiveness, competition, innovativeness, accountability, market orientation and other principles alike are additionally emphasised in the practices of contemporary, “efficiency” university. (Ball 2006; Jauhiainen et. al 2009; Neave 2000; Slaughter & Leslie 1997.) During the last 10–15 years these trends have been clearly strengthened also in the Finnish higher education policy. The relationship between the Ministry of Education and the universities has changed into result-based management and steering. Several re-constructions and reforms have been carried out concerning legislation, administration, budgeting, steering mechanism and management of universities. Such as annual working hours system, new salary system, degree reform, work time allocation, quality assurance system etc have been introduced. We call these new policy techniques (Ball 2003; 2006). The development culminated in the new University Act (2009) Along with it the universities resemble now more closely businesses and they are even more managed by the principles of NPM. The power of rectors and deans has been increased at the expense of collegial decision-making. The status of university employees has also changed: tenured posts changed into contracted positions.
In consequence of these trends and changes it has been argued that the conditions and culture of academic work is changing. There is an increasing literature focusing on the changing nature of academic roles, work and identities. Some researchers, like Slaughter and Leslie (1997), have emphasised the importance of disciplinary differences in the possibilities to meet the market-orientation. Attention is beginning to be given also to how social identities and inequalities of age, ethnicity, social class and gender might be implicated within processes of experiences of academic life and identity. (Archer 2008; Clegg 2008; Morley 2003.)
In this paper we concentrate on the floor-level university staff: researchers, teachers and administrative staff. We take the fragmented culture and multi-positionality of the university (Becher 1989; Clark 1993; Delanty 2008; Rowland 2006) as the principal subject of the study. We are interested in how the fragmented nature of university work and multi-positionality is manifested in the context of NPM. The purpose of the paper is to analyse how Finnish academic staff experience their everyday work in the context of the new higher education policy. How do they feel that the recent university reforms and new types and forms of governance have affected their work and status, and what was their attitude to these changes in general? How do they experience the atmosphere, managing, meaningfulness of their work and the relation between teaching and research in their work? We compare the experiences and views of, as well as the contradictions and similarities between different academic groups, genders, age and working experience. Our study is part of a larger research project “Power, supranational regimes and new university management in Finland” (Rinne & al. 2007).
Archer, L. 2008. The new neoliberal subjects? Young/er academics’ constructions of professional identity. Journal of Education Policy 23 (3), 265–285. Ball, S.J. 2006. Performativity and Fabrications in the Education Economy: Towards the Performativity Society. In Lauder, H, Brown, P., Dillabough, J-A., & Halsey, A.H. (eds.) Education, Globalisation & Social change.Oxford: University Press, 692-701. Becher, T. 1989. Academic Tribes and Territories. Milton Keynes: The Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press. Clark, B. R. 2003. Sustaining Change in Universities: Continuities in Case Studies and Concepts. Tertiary Education and Management 9 (2), 99-116. Clegg, S. 2008. Academic identities under threat? British Educational research Journal 34 (3), 329–345. Delanty, G. 2008. Academic identities and institutional change. In: Barnett, R & Napoli, R.D. (eds) Changing Identity in Higher education. London: Routledge, 124–133. Jauhiainen, A. Jauhiainen, A. & Laiho, A. 2009. The Dilemmas of the ”efficiency university” and the everyday life of university teachers. Teaching in Higher Education Journal 14 (4), 417-428. Morley, L. 2003. Quality and Power in Higher Education. Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press. Neave, G. 2000. Introduction. Universities’ Responsibilities to Society: An Historical Exploration of an Enduring Issue. In Neave, G. (ed.) The Universities’ Responsibilities to Society. International Perspectives. Issues in Higher Education. Oxford: Pergamon Press for International Association of Universities, 1-28. 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. Rowland, S. 2006. The Enquiring University. Compliance and Contestation in Higher Education. Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press. Slaughter, S. & Leslie, L. 1997 Academic capitalism. Politics, policies, and the entrepreneurial university. London: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
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