Universities and Regions: the 'hinterland' issue in European higher education

Universities and Regions: the 'hinterland' issue in European higher education

Michael Shattock (Oxford University) and Aniko Horvath (Oxford Centre)
Higher Education Seminar - On line 17/02/23
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The Higher Education Seminar provides a stage for research carried out in France, as well as in Europe and other regions of the world, on the subjects of higher education and research. It is intended for and open to all experts, practitioners, researchers, and doctoral students interested in these questions.

On the 17 january at 12:30 to 14:00, Michael Shattock (Visiting Professor of Higher Education Studies at UCL and Honorary Research Fellow in the Centre for Global Higher Education at Oxford University) et Aniko Horvath (Assistant Professor at V R Amsterdam Associate of the Oxford Centre) will do an online presentation :

Universities and Regions: the 'hinterland' issue in European higher education

Summary :

We have become accustomed when reviewing national HE systems to employ implicit historical criteria to assess institutions and their performance; ranking systems are geophysically neutral. In this project we have approached the theme of 'universities and regions', therefore, not from the position of evaluating the impact of universities on their regions—the usual approach-- but rather the impact of regions on institutions and on the HE policy process.

This has uncovered a common feature in HE policymaking in Europe, how to deal with the 'hinterland' problem, the efforts to open up higher education in so-called 'left behind' areas, in other words in localities and regions away from the dominant urban centres which house the historically most prestigious universities. European countries have approached this question in different ways.

The result has been to differentiate system architectures; indeed, responding to 'hinterland' pressures has been a determinant of much national European HE policymaking. Our examination of the issues in six widely contrasting European countries, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Norway, Portugal and the UK, suggests that insufficient attention has been paid to regions as constituting key factors in the way HE systems are being structured and re structured.

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