The Australian Educational Researcher

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 13–43 | Cite as

Worlds apart? Amalgamation and the restructuring of the higher education system in Australia and the Netherlands

  • Leo G. J. Goedegebuure


Both in Australia and the Netherlands, the higher education system is experiencing profound changes. In this article an attempt is made to analyze these changes and to explore to what extent similarities exist between two countries who are geographically far apart and whose higher education systems are located within different traditions. The article focuses an two main themes. In the first part the change and reforms within higher education policy are explored. After presenting an overview of the Dutch higher education system and the recent policy developments which have taken place, a comparison is made with the recent changes that have occurred in Australia. In this comparison, emphasis is placed on governmental steering, control and institutional autonomy. In the second part of the paper, one of the major instruments adopted in both countries for system change is discussed, namely institutional amalgamation or merger.

The objective of the article is to bring forward some broad trends apparent in both countries, not a detailed analysis. A second limitation is that attention is confined to the policy documents and actions of the Australian federal government. State governments’ responses and actions are not taken into account. Although this is a severe limitation, an incorporation of State plans and actions would exceed the scope of this article.


High Education High Education Institution High Education System Dutch Government High Education Policy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Australian Association for Research in Education 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leo G. J. Goedegebuure

There are no affiliations available

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