ERIC Number: ED311811
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1986-May-2
Reference Count: N/A
Scandinavian Higher Educational Reform: From Elitism to Egalitarianism.
Blumberg, Melanie J.
An evaluation is made of the extent to which Scandinavian higher education has been democratized, noting democratization includes the four elements of: subordination of university decision making to parliamentary democracy and to corporate representative bodies; decentralization of higher education regionally; equal access to higher education on the basis of class and gender; and internal democratization of university decision making. Postwar educational reforms in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden are examined with reference to four categories of social choice: scope; policy instruments; distribution; and restraints and innovation. Norway and Sweden have been the most successful in democratizing higher education; Denmark and Finland, while also implementing significant reform measures, generally have failed to equal the level of democratization reached by the other two countries. Iceland lags behind in terms of the university's subordination to government planners and the lack of equal representation for faculty, students, and staff on university governing bodies. Finland, Norway, and Sweden have been more successful than Iceland in decentralizing higher education regionally. Recent reports indicate that Denmark, Iceland, and Norway have corrected the gender imbalance. While Finland and Sweden have not achieved equality, women in both countries do earn the highest percentage of first degrees. Women in all five countries remain underrepresented on many prestigious faculties and in postgraduate work. Overall, Scandinavian higher education reform has leveled a number of inequalities, but in the process, university autonomy was eroded and institutions lost decision-making authority in most areas. Tables are included. Contains 43 references. (SM)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Change Strategies, Decentralization, Decision Making, Democracy, Educational Change, Educational Improvement, Elitism, Equal Education, Equal Opportunities (Jobs), Females, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Institutional Autonomy, Sex Discrimination, Womens Education
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Denmark; Finland; Iceland; Norway; Sweden