Findings (3): Policy Practices/Effects
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Chapter 8 is the third of the four findings chapters and it focuses on the ‘practices/effects’ of quality and standards policies within institutions of higher education. Major themes characterising policy enactment included: defensive manoeuvring by institutions; a focus on comparisons and competition between institutions; specification of threshold minimum standards; increased bureaucratisation and workload; improved awareness of the standards movement; and the development of improved assessment tasks within universities. As with ‘influences’ and ‘policy text production’, different dimensions (or subthemes) were evident within themes, and they varied in prominence between different settings from global to local levels. These observed policy effects in institutions were not only in reaction to new government policies, but they often reflected attempts to anticipate policy changes and try to ‘get ahead of the game’ in the competitive global market. Avoidance of ‘naming and shaming’ for under-performance seemed to be a strong motivation for universities to engage with quality and standards policies.
KeywordsPolicy trajectory Policy analysis Policy practices Policy effects
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