22 SES 08 C, Policy, Management and Governance in Higher Education
Higher education is a key economic and social priority in the global arena. Many countries have sought to advance reforms aimed at increasing access, promoting greater educational quality, and ensuring financial responsibility and sustainability. Often, strategies for achieving these aims are informed by experiences elsewhere. However, transporting education policy reforms can be problematic. Kazakhstan, a signatory of the Bologna Process, offers an example of a country seeking to improve student access and success, and promote greater fiscal efficiency to advance the overall quality of its higher education system (Merrill, 2010). A key strategy for achieving these goals is through reforms in university governance—specifically, adopting practices from other nations that move the locus of control from the Ministry of Education and Science to individual campuses and the establishment of new systems of accountability, especially the formation of boards of trustees.
In Central Asia, policy makers advance education reforms in order to accomplish several goals,including meeting “the new demands of ethnic nationalism, a globally competitive economy, and a labour market freed from administrative control” (Anderson & Heyneman, 2005, 361). In Kazakhstan, policy makers have concluded that a system predicated on decentralized control with greater institutional autonomy (and accountability), along the lines of the U.S. system, offers a promising strategy for improving the overall quality of its higher education system. Recent legislation requires a majority of universities to establish boards of trustees by 2020.
However, the kind of institutional autonomy that exists in the U.S. developed in a particular historical and social context. For example, colleges and universities were established and maintained by particular communities of support and boards represented a way for external groups to provide oversight for their investment (Taylor, Chait, & Holland, 1999). Volunteering for these kinds of leadership positionsisaccepted (and valued) cultural practice. Historically,the system of governance in the U.S. mirrors the practices of participatory democracy where board members, senior administrators and faculty all play a key role in decision making processes (Hartley, 2003). Such customs are not widely practiced in Kazakhstan with its legacy of Soviet state control.
Institutional leaders in Kazakhstan are being asked to implement reforms that emphasize institutional autonomy and shared governance. Their experiences reveal some of the challenges of importing policies from other nations. They are also in the position of looking at the notion of a decentralized system of governance with fresh eyes and offering important insights into some of the limitations of such a system.
Given these governance reform efforts, our focus on institutional autonomy is examined through the following research questions:
- What is the current state of academic governance practices in Kazakhstan?
- How are higher education leaders in Kazakhstan adapting to meet governance reforms being advanced by the Government?
- How are these leaders structuring the work of their institutions to support greater autonomy, especially the development of systems of shared governance?
Anderson, K.H. & Heyneman, S. P (2005). Education and Social Policy in Central Asia: The Next Stage of the Transition. Social Policy Administration, 39 (4), 361-380 Hartley, M. (2003). The Promise and Peril of Parallel Governance Structures. American Behavioral Scientist, 46 (7). Harrison, M. (1994). Diagnosing Organizations: Methods, Models and Processes (Vol. 8). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Merrill, M. (2010). Central Asia: Increasing Under Diversity. International Higher Education, 59, 26-28. OECD – World Bank (2007). Higher Education in Kazakhstan. Reviews of National Policies for Education. Paris: Author. Saldana, J. (2009). The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers. London, UK: Sage Publications. Taylor, B. E., Chait, R.P., & Holland, T.P. (1999). The New Work of the Nonprofit Board. Harvard Business Review on Nonprofits (pp. 53-75). Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.