The creation of a more evidence based policy making process for higher education and research in the Western Balkans
The research group HEIK (Higher Education: Institutional dynamics and Knowledge cultures) has recently started a new three-year project focused on higher education in the Western Balkans. The project is funded through the NorGlobal programme by the Research Council of Norway.
The project officially started in 1st of March and the kick-off meeting to the project was held on 24th of March in University of Oslo. Representatives from various partner organisations attended the meeting, including the team from Department of Educational Research in University of Oslo led by prof Bjørn Stensaker. The project partners from Western Balkans included representatives from the Faculty of Political Sciences in University of Zagreb in Croatia, as well as the Faculty of Political Science in University of Belgrade and the Centre of Education Policy in Serbia.
The kick-off meeting focused amongst else in explaining and discussing the proposed analytical framework, that focuses primarily on the dynamics of higher education and research systems in these countries. In order to understand some of the challenges higher education in these countries is facing, there is a need to better understand the linkages to various European processes in addition to the environment characterised by specific economic, social and political developments.
While the European processes frame some of the reform agendas, the universities in the region are also expected to contribute to their local regions. Being a region characterised by great regional disparities, it will also be vital to further understand the role of universities can play in further development of these countries and how various policy initiatives can either further this process.
Photo: Mari Elken
Research and development
The project has both a research and development focus, and the aim is to produce knowledge that is applicable not only in Western Balkans but also in other transition countries. The primary objective is to strenghten the basis for evidence based policy making in higher education and research in the partner countries, through amongst else building research capacity, developing a database and production of joint research.
Ends in 2014
The project will be finished in 2014, meaning that by that time a better understanding of the dynamics of higher education in Western Balkans can be provided, having previously been an under-researched area.