Among the recent mergers in Swedish higher education, two have been takeovers, where the smaller party has been fully integrated into the larger party. These are, firstly, the takeover of Stockholm Institute of Education by Stockholm University in 2008 and, secondly, the takeover of Gotland University College by Uppsala University in 2013. Our comparative analysis of the two mergers shows that the main drivers and rationales, as well as the implementation, differ substantially. Whereas the former was a conflict-ridden process driven by a national political agenda and ideological disagreement on quality, the latter was a more proactive, reciprocal process driven principally by financial and personal motives at the institutional level. As such, the processes can be labelled “hostile” and “friendly”, respectively. Beyond this categorisation, however, the cases are found to carry more complexity. Depending on how “success” is defined, both processes have had some positive short- and mid-term effects. This partly contradicts previous studies identifying e.g. lengthy consolidation phases and cultural compatibility as success factors. Both cases point to the role of the state and the importance of the political context.
Dordrecht: Springer, 2016. 145-159 p.