© 2007

University Dynamics and European Integration

  • Peter Maassen
  • Johan P. Olsen
  • Represents a unique cooperation initiative of internationally leading general social scientists with higher education specialists

  • Presents an important framework of analysis in an area that is usually ‘theory-poor’

  • A detailed research agenda for the coming 5 to 10 years is presented

  • Convincingly argues why the knowledge basis under the current University reforms in Europe should be considerably strengthened


Part of the Higher Education Dynamics book series (HEDY, volume 19)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XII
  2. Introduction

  3. Perspectives on University Dynamics

  4. European Reform Processes

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 133-134
    2. Guy Neave, Peter Maassen
      Pages 135-154
  5. A Research Agenda

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 179-180
    2. Åse Gornitzka, Peter Maassen, Johan P. Olsen, Bjørn Stensaker
      Pages 181-214
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 215-245

About this book


The European University is under stress. It has become commonplace to argue that radical reforms are needed. The claim is that while environments are changing rapidly, European universities do not learn, adapt and reform themselves fast enough. Reform plans comprise the purposes of universities, i.e. definitions of what the University is, can be and should be, criteria for quality and success, the kinds of research, education., services and innovation to be produced, and for whom. Reform plans also include the universities’ organization and financial basis, their governance structures, who should influence the future dynamics of universities, and according to what principles. In contrast, it can be argued that the currently dominant reform rhetoric is only one among several competing visions and understandings of the University and its dynamics. What is at stake is "what kind of University for what kind of society" and which, and whose values, interests and beliefs should be given priority in University governance and reforms? This book explores the visions underlying the attempts to reform the European University as well as two European integration processes ("Bologna" and "Lisbon") affecting University dynamics. Above all, the book presents a framework for analyzing ongoing "modernization" reforms and reform debates that take place at various governance levels, not least the European level, and a long-term research agenda.


Bologna Bologna process EU European Integration European integration process Governance Humboldt education innovation quality university

Editors and affiliations

  • Peter Maassen
    • 1
  • Johan P. Olsen
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OsloNorway

About the editors

Peter Maassen is an expert in public governance (including policy reform and institutional change) of higher education; university leadership and management; and North-South development cooperation in higher education and science. Current research interests are: changes in public governance models with respect to higher education; the contribution of higher education to regional development in developed as well as developing countries; the governance of access to higher education; and the effects of European integration on higher education. He is also co-editor of our book series Higher Education Dynamics.

Academic background in Public policy analysis, with a focus on the field of higher education policy studies. Professional experience includes the directorship (1997-2000) of the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS), University of Twente. In addition, major experience in system and institutional level reviews in higher education, at the assignment of individual universities and colleges, national Ministries and governments, as well as international bodies and organisations, such as OECD, UNESCO and World Bank.



Bibliographic information

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From the reviews:

"University Dynamics and European Integration is a collaborative effort aiming to explore the visions underlying the attempts to reform the European University. … This book invites reformers to reflect on their intents. … Policymakers have picked on a topic where academics have heartfelt things to say, and this work promises to be an invitation to a significant and interesting discussion." (Tito Correa, Times Higher Education Supplement, October, 2007)