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ERIC Number: EJ897438
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 31
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1755-2273
Autonomy and Control: Danish University Reform in the Context of Modern Governance
Wright, Susan; Orberg, Jakob Williams
Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences, v1 n1 p27-57 Spr 2008
In 2003 the Danish government reformed universities to "set them free" from the state. Yet ministers are actively trying to shape universities and even set research agendas. How does the government's notion of "freedom" reconcile independence with control? We identify three discourses of freedom: freedom to use academic judgement over what to research, teach, publish and say publicly; a free trade discourse where universities are free to pursue profit; and a modernising state discourse where government steers universities to contribute to the knowledge economy. Danish universities were reformed as part of the modernisation of the welfare state. We explore the assemblage of administrative and funding mechanisms through which the government now steers independent organisations: a chain of contracts for outsourced services, newly appointed managers, output payments and accrual accounting. While responsibility for achieving government policy is passed downwards through the independent organisation, formal lines of accountability run back up to the government. University leaders and academics are set free to manoeuvre within the system, but their economic survival is firmly dependent on responsiveness to centralised steering mechanisms. (Contains 1 figure and 9 notes.)
Berghahn Journals. 150 Broadway Suite 812, New York, NY 10038. Tel: 212-233-6004; Fax: 212-233-6007; e-mail: journals@berghahnbooks.com; Web site: http://www.journals.berghahnbooks.com
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