Higher education policy in the EU, an institutional account

Tzortzis, Konstantinos (2008) Higher education policy in the EU, an institutional account. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

This research examines the development of the EU higher education policy under the theoretical lenses of historical institutionalism. Starting from the assumption that institutions matter, this thesis follows the evolution of higher education policy in the EU premises from its emergence in the early 1970s to date. Unfolding in four phases, this case study focuses on the institutional parameters of the policy and the polity context in order to explain the critical factors that shaped the policy outcomes and the scope of higher education. In a story development full of unanticipated consequences and normative building, this thesis critically examines the relation between the levels of governance to assess their impact on the policy outcome.

The main finding is that higher education has been developed as a `market-supporting' policy. The human capital role of higher education has been the main attribute identified in the EU level. As such, higher education gradually evolved from being a policy field aimed at battling unemployment to becoming one of the driving forces behind the knowledge driven society. At the same time higher education moved from the doldrums of EU competence and activity to the centre of policy action to become a policy example of applying the new modes of EU governance.

In between the formal EU settings and the Bologna process, institutions and actors have withheld the idea that academic and professional mobility, recognition, comparability are the main areas for the future European workforce.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Supervisors:Bieler, A.
Fieschi, C.
Uncontrolled Keywords:European Union, education and state, European Union countries
Faculties/Schools:UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Politics and International Relations
ID Code:1246
Deposited By:Ms Valerie Airey
Deposited On:26 Apr 2010 13:26
Last Modified:26 Apr 2010 13:26

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