The Governance of British Higher Education: The Impact of Governmental, Financial and Market Pressures (Paperback)
Book of the Week, Times Higher EducationForms of institutional governance critically shape the culture, creativity and academic outcomes of higher education. The book provides a new, updated and research based account of the changing face of the governance of British higher education. Historically, British universities were deemed amongst the most, if not the most, autonomous in Europe, with governance rooted in their collegial disciplinary structures. This assessment must now be decisively revised, although the belief systems deriving from it remain buried deep in university culture. Drawing on the authors' investigation of the governance of higher education in the four UK nations, including extensive on-site interviews, and discussions with government policy-makers, the book shows how global, national and system level pressures have changed the face both of the external governance of higher education institutions and how universities govern themselves. Government priorities, new funding methodologies and marketisation have all played a part in this process. Since the mid-1980s, there have been drastic changes in the external environment, reinforced by the increasing diversity within the higher education system as a whole and between the national sub-systems. In addition a new private sector of higher education has been created. New forms of institutional governance are emerging which may have profound effects on research and teaching and on academic creativity and innovation. The study discusses the effects of a state regulated system compared with the more heterarchical system which preceded it. It offers a comparison of the effects of devolved governance to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on the respective higher education systems and their impact on institutional governance. The study concludes that England is becoming increasingly an outlier, and discusses the long term implications for the coherence of a British higher education system.
Michael Shattock is Visiting Professor at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London, UK and Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Education at the University of Oxford, UK. He leads the research programme on the governance of higher education in the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE) at the University of Oxford, UK. Aniko Horvath is Assistant Professor in the Department of Organization Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and is Researcher at the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE) at the University of Oxford, UK.