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Palgrave Macmillan

Higher Education Policy Convergence and the Bologna Process

A Cross-National Study

ISBN 9781137412782
Publication Date August 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Transformations of the State

Political interest in higher education provision and research has risen remarkably. From a European perspective, changes in higher education program structures can be related to the Bologna Process, but we still lack knowledge regarding whether this process had a direct impact on higher education policy convergence. This book investigates whether the soft governance mechanism of transnational communication evoked cross-national policy harmonization, exploring the relational patterns between this policy convergence and domestic factors conditioning the degree of convergence. Empirically, convergence processes are measured on the basis of undirected dyadic data, assessing changes in higher education policies of 20 OECD countries between 1996 and 2008. Results suggest that the Bologna Process, even though it rests on voluntariness, has triggered substantial policy harmonization beyond both general policy convergence and its European members.

Eva Maria Vögtle is a Researcher at the German Centre for Higher Education and Science Research (DZHW), Germany.

1. Introduction

2. The Bologna Process: Emergence, Goals and Developments

3. Policy Diffusion, Transfer and Convergence

4. Theoretical Framework

5. Research Design

6. Descriptive Analyses of the Dependent Variables

7. Analysis of Causal and Conditioning Factors

8. Conclusion

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