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ERIC Number: EJ795129
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 13
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-1474-9041
University Governance in Denmark: From Democracy to Accountability?
Carney, Stephen
European Educational Research Journal, v5 n3-4 p221-233 2006
This article reports the findings of a Danish research council-funded project aimed at exploring a comprehensive package of management reforms in higher education instituted in Denmark since 2003. The reforms attempt to change not only the way institutions are governed but the very notion of democracy and engagement in higher education. In short, a long-established tradition for university governance based on the internal election of staff and students has been replaced by the formation of university boards comprising a majority of members external to the university. In most cases the leadership of these boards has fallen to senior executives from the commercial sector with a mandate to reform decision-making processes, to encourage the reorientation of educational programmes to the labour market, and to make research more accessible to industry and commerce. Whilst boards are responsible for the university's development agenda (and formal development contract with the government), university rectors (vice-chancellors) and their senior management teams are given greatly increased powers to "run" "their" institutions. Whilst Danish universities have maintained some degree of continuity with earlier democratic/administrative forms of governance based on internal elected representation, these non-executive bodies are in the process of being marginalised by new hierarchical models of "executive" governance. In the process, "democracy", understood by internal stakeholders as a parliamentary political discourse based upon proportional representation, becomes an attachment to rather than a defining element of the university, posing fundamental questions about the role of such institutions in late modern society, and the place of academic staff within them. (Contains 4 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Denmark