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ERIC Number: ED223150
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Sep
Pages: 30
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Values and Higher Education Policy. Comparative Higher Education Research Group Working Paper #2.
Premfors, Rune
Previous analyses of higher education policy in Sweden are addressed to examine the nature of the major tradeoffs between values. In addition, a set of value categories relevant to higher education policy in general is suggested. Values identified as particularly relevant to the analysis of higher education policy are equality, excellence, autonomy, accountability, and efficiency. Higher education admission policy, the geographic location of new institutions, and many nontraditional teaching and learning modes are motivated by values of equality. In addition, the desire to achieve greater equality of status between different institutions and programs was a chief motive behind a 1977 decision to create an integrated system of higher education. In recent years, excellence in higher education has begun to be emphasized and admission regulations have been adopted that will improve the relative standing of applicants with high academic merits. While autonomy and the freedom to choose between alternative courses of action has been an important value, the Swedish system is centralized and uniform in terms of decision-making authority. The desire to improve accountability by opening up higher education institutions to various external interests has been most pronounced with respect to undergraduate education. Efforts to improve efficiency in Swedish higher education are also noted. Value conflicts and tradeoffs are addressed, including equality versus excellence and autonomy versus accountability. One specific problem concerns the links between tradeoffs in higher education policy and the more general problem of meritocracy. It is suggested that higher education policy must relate to a broader set of policies vis-a-vis the role and distribution of knowledge in society. (SW)
Comparative Higher Education Research Group, Graduate School of Education, 320 Moore Hall, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90024.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Los Angeles. Graduate School of Education
Identifiers: Meritocracy; Sweden
Note: For related document, see HE 015582.