Elken. M. and Stensaker, B. (in press) Policies for quality in higher education – Coordination and consistency in EU-policy-making 2000-2010

Journal article. Accepted for publication in European Journal for Higher Education


Internationally there is much political consensus on the key role higher education has in developing the knowledge society. One can argue that a key condition for establishing a knowledge society is the need to coordinate policies across different areas, at least linking higher education with research, innovation and labour market policies. In all these policy areas, ‘quality’ has been emphasised as an important dimension, and this article undertakes an empirical check as to how coordination regarding ‘quality’ is taking place in EU policy formation. A key finding of the article is that much variety can be found as to how, and to what extent various policy areas are linked with respect to ‘quality,’ and that considerable political ambiguity exist as to how different policy areas should and can be combined. Implications of the findings are discussed, not least in relation to assumptions concerning increasing horizontalisation of policymaking in the EU.

Published Mar. 2, 2012 11:35 AM