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Title: Reforming European Universities and Reforming European Welfare States: Parallel Drivers of Change?
Authors: Kwiek, Marek
Keywords: higher education reforms
university reforms
welfare state
welfare state reforms
public sector
European universities
European welfare states
drivers of change
institutional change
public services
market forces
postnational constellation
risk society
comparative higher education
comparative welfare state
comparative research
Central Europe
governance models
welfare state models
welfare typology
non-core no-state
external revenues
pension systems
European welfare model
European social model
welfare restructuring
economic pressures
economic crisis
public services
Issue Date: 2013
Citation: Higher Education Reforms: Looking Back – Looking Forward, Ljubljana: CEPS 2013 , pp. 147-157.
Abstract: We are discussing here links between reform agendas and their rationales in higher education and in the welfare state. Lessons learnt from welfare state reforms can be useful in understanding higher education reforms, and we see the links between the two under-­‐researched. Assuming that higher education services have traditionally been state-­‐funded welfare state services in postwar Continental Europe, welfare state reforms debates as a background to higher education reforms debates are a significant missing link. We intend to fill this gap and explore possible links between the two largely isolated policy and research areas. Permanent processes of reforming universities in the last two or three decades do not lead to their complete reform. They rather lead to further, ever deeper, reforms across Europe. As Jürgen Enders and colleagues put it recently, “nowhere today is higher education undergoing more substantial change than in Europe”. The whole idea of the welfare state is under renegotiations, and the conditions for access to, and eligibility, for various tax-­‐based public services are under discussions. It is increasingly related to possible individual contributions (co-­‐funding and private policies in healthcare, multi-­‐pillar schemes in pensions, and cost-­‐sharing in higher education). Transforming governments have been following in the last two decades the rules of a zero-­‐sum game: higher expenditures in one sector of public services or public programs (pensions or higher education) occurred at the expense of expenditures in other sectors of public services (healthcare), programs or public infrastructure (roads, railroads, law and order etc.). The financial dimension of changes in both welfare state and higher education seems crucial, especially that costs generated by all welfare state components and each of them separately cannot be easily reduced.
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