A European Perspective on New Modes of University Governance and Actorhood, by Georg Krücken


Higher education systems in Europe are currently undergoing profound transformations. At the macro-level,there is an increasein the number of students enrolled, subjects of study offered, and university missions that have gained legitimacy over time. At the  second  levelchanges  are  evident  at  the  level  of  university  governance.  New  Public  Management  reforms  have  put  into question  the  traditional  mode  of  governance  that  was  based  on  the  interplay  of  strong  state  regulation  and  academic  self-governance. Under the current regime, new actors like accreditation and evaluation bodies or boards of trustees are emerging. At a third institutional level,profound changes can be observed at the university level itself. The university as an organization is transforming  into  an  organizational  actor,  i.e.  an  integrated,  goal-oriented,  and  competitive  entity  in  which  management  and leadership  play  an  ever  more  important  role.  In  the following paper  empirical  evidence  for  social  inclusion,  new  modes  of governance  and  the  organizational  actorhood  of  universities  will  be  presented.  Furthermore,  I  will  outline  an  agenda  for comparative research. Although the United States is in all three respects a forerunner of what we are observing in Europe, the label  “Americanization”  is  misleading.  Instead, a  global  frame  of  reference  as  well  as  national  path-dependencies need to  be taken into account.

Georg Krücken
Publication date: 
December 1, 2011
Publication type: 
Research and Occasional Papers Series (ROPS)
Krücken, G. (2011). A European Perspective on New Modes of University Governance and Actorhood. UC Berkeley: Center for Studies in Higher Education.