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Category Archives: Education

Economic imaginary of the European knowledge economy – ideas and discourse

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After being in the back front of higher education policy making for a good decade – between 80s and 90s of the past century (Corbett, 2006, 2011), the European Commission got a new opportunity to establish itself as an influential actor in the European higher education sector[i]. And it managed to do so quickly and […]

The hybridization of vocational training and higher education in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland

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This entry looks at institutional changes in the relationship between vocational education and training (VET) and higher education (HE) in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland[i]. It is quite common for foreign observers to praise these three countries for the quality of their VET systems. All three countries are part of the “collective skill system cluster” (Busemeyer […]

Construction of the European Area of Skills and Qualifications: Challenges and Opportunities

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Today mobility across national borders is seen as increasingly important for competitive labor market, excellent research and higher education. Free movement of people is one of the four freedoms constituting the EU Single Market. Facilitating mobility of researchers is among the core aims of the European Research Area, while the ERASMUS programme supports student mobility.   However, […]

Raising researchers’ voices in Europe

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Research in Europe is increasingly targeted towards fostering excellence. At the heart of this policy drive is the concept of researcher mobility, which requires researchers to work not just across borders but also across disciplines and sectors. The demands on modern-day researchers are high. Yet the existing research infrastructure in Europe often hampers researcher mobility […]

What is the place of ideals in higher education and science?

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Ideals help us to see not only the trees or the forest but also the space between the trees. So, what is scientific research compromising?   388 researchers from humanities and social and natural sciences around the globe were asked about their highest ideal as a researcher. Results show that 33% of researchers and teachers […]

Global University Rankings: Challenges for European Higher Education

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What effects global university rankings have in diverse national, disciplinary and institutional contexts? Why do they attract so much attention? What do they tell about global power shift and changing transnational policy discourse on higher education? Do rankings facilitate stratification and commodification of higher education? Today a new book Global University Rankings: Challenges for European […]

The Bologna Process model for world regions: Lessons from the Europe of Knowledge

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The Bologna Process, inspired by the development of the Europe of Knowledge, has been an example for world regions[i]. The policy implementation experiences from the Bologna Process have been simulated by world regions that value higher education cooperation across countries. Across regions the degree of integration in higher education varies along the policy process from […]

Can regions shape university performance?

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During the last twenty years researchers and policymakers have focused their discourses on the important role that universities play in stimulating the development of regions under the umbrella concept of “knowledge economies” [i]. Universities contribute to the region generating research and consultancy income, embedding knowledge in students and employees, upgrading regional business environments and potentially […]

The Science and Research Factor: Policy Deficit in Australia or a Failure to Articulate Impact?

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What does allocation of cabinet portfolios tells about the priorities of the government (and society)? An opportunity to reflect on the need for a science minister is provided by a new Australian government, where such portfolio does not exist.   This week a new Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his cabinet were sworn in […]

Comments please: How can social sciences and humanities be better integrated in research on ‘Societal Challenges’?

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In an earlier post, Thomas Koenig wrote about the upcoming Lithuanian EU Presidency conference ‘Horizons for Social Sciences and Humanities’, which reacts to the so-called ‘integrative approach’ the European Commission proposed in the preparation of the ‘Horizon 2020’ research funding programme; more precisely the third pillar known as the ‘societal challenges’. Seven such challenges have […]

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