Policy and Governance

University as a social institution and higher education as a societal sector are undergoing a profound transformation.

Many different actors and their interests have entered the field and now include not only the state and universities, but also non-governmental organisations, philanthropists, private companies, and policy entrepreneurs, among others. They engage in dynamic networks, in various configurations depending on the power relations between them, and function at an individual, institutional, national, regional and global level.

We critically examine the role and effects of these networks on the HE sector and its governance, including their interactions, strategies and devices. We investigate the shape and direction, extent, frequency, timing and scale of their interactions with higher education and with broader social policy and governance.

Our work spans the micro, meso and macro levels and our fundamental aim is to influence higher education policy and governance to manage change towards greater social justice and wellbeing.

Spiral staircase inside a building
Photo by Sven Read on Unsplash

Key research interests within this theme:

  • Paul Ashwin: higher education policy, teaching and learning policy; Teaching Excellence Framework
  • Brett Bligh: stakeholders in policy formulation; international branch campuses.
  • Richard Budd: (higher) education policy; comparative policy analysis; political actors; policy interactions; policy logics.
  • Melis Cin: peace education in higher education; higher education and gender equality.
  • Gemma Derrick: research excellence frameworks; research policy and governance; socio-evaluative behaviours in research; academic self-governance.
  • Janja Komljenovic: political economy of higher education; higher education industry and markets; privatisation; market devices; datafication and digitalisation of higher education governance; platformization of higher education; performativity of markets; universities as buyers and sellers.
  • Natasa Lackovic: graduate employability policy paradigm shift; ecological and relational turn.
  • Murray Saunders: evaluating policy; implementation tracking; policy enactment.
  • John Taylor: organisation and management in higher education; internationalisation.
  • Paul Trowler: policy-making, reception and enactment.