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Not just another evaluation: A comparative study of four educational quality projects at Swedish universities
KTH, School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science (ECE), Learning.
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2014 (English)In: Tertiary Education and Management, ISSN 1358-3883, E-ISSN 1573-1936, Vol. 20, no 3, 239-251 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this study, four recent self-initiated educational quality projects at Swedish universities are compared and analyzed. The article focuses on how the universities have handled the tension between external demands and internal norms. The aim is to contribute to an improved understanding of quality management in contemporary universities. On the one hand, the projects are found to be built on similar rationales associated with accountability, reputation building and strategic management. This is interpreted as a response to the shared external policy context. They are also found to mirror similar ambitions regarding raising the status of education. On the other hand, the projects are found to differ considerably in their actual design, methodology, implementation, stakeholders and outcomes. This is interpreted as an active adaptation to the unique internal academic norms and cultures that exist in each university.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 20, no 3, 239-251 p.
Keyword [en]
quality, management, strategic planning, higher education policy/development, organization structures
National Category
Educational Sciences
Research subject
Education and Communication in the Technological Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-161736DOI: 10.1080/13583883.2014.932832OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-161736DiVA: diva2:795267
Note

QC 20150407

Available from: 2015-03-15 Created: 2015-03-15 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The Active University: Studies of Contemporary Swedish Higher Education
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Active University: Studies of Contemporary Swedish Higher Education
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis, contemporary universities and their response to external pressure are studied. The term “the active university” is put forward as an analytical tool. The active university “acts” in two ways: by taking concrete initiatives and by playing a role. The concept is inspired by theories on strategic actorhood and by new institutional theory.

The thesis presents empirical studies of a number of strategic initiatives undertaken by Swedish universities in recent years. Predominantly drawn from the technical university sector, the initiatives include evaluation projects, organisational change, policy changes and new work practices. The policy context is new public management and recent reforms aimed at improving accountability and management capacity in the higher education sector.

In the empirical studies, “acting as strategy” and “acting as role play” both come to the fore. External rationales to do with quality and competition are frequently put forward as motives for internal change. Many of the initiatives are image-driven. At the same time they can have profound, albeit sometimes unintended, internal consequences. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. iv, 87 p.
Series
TRITA-ECE, 2016-1
National Category
Learning
Research subject
Education and Communication in the Technological Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-186194 (URN)978-91-7729-007-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-06-02, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, KTH Campus, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20160509

Available from: 2016-05-09 Created: 2016-05-04 Last updated: 2016-05-09Bibliographically approved

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Geschwind, Lars

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Citation style
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