Danish University Governance and Reforms Since the Millennium:
The Self-Governing University Between State and Institutions, the National and the Global
Keywords:higher education governance and administration, university reform, university autonomy, internationalisation, nationalisation, regionalisation, doctoral education
Global and European political shifts are having an impact on the present and future of Nordic universities, including ideals of institutional autonomy. The aim of this paper is to explore the status of governance, and central policy ideas that have shaped reforms and institutional change at Danish universities since the millennium. On the one hand the article explores how powerful policy ideas have shaped the development of Danish higher education policy, and on the other hand, how such ideas are received in very different ways by the sector and the institutions. The article unravels the history of the reform of the Danish higher education system of the past two decades, as two parallel ideational streams in policy development. The first ideational stream revolves around the relation between state and institutions, and the second centres on the relation between the national and the global. Focusing on recent developments, the article demonstrates that the range of possible sector and university responses towards centrally initiated reforms and initiatives varies significantly. The article suggest that these variations must be seen in the light of the universities struggling to come to terms with their position as self- governing institutions, including defining and exploiting their space for agency.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Katja Brøgger, Lise Degn, Søren Smedegaard Bengtsen
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