Sverker Sörlin: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Abstract: More explicitly than before, universities have become instruments of industrial and economic growth policies. This has led to an increase in accountability regimes and in the application of the so called New Public Management on universities hitherto governed by a Humboldtian, Weberian, or Mertonian norms and a high degree of internal freedom and autonomy. This paper reviews some of the literature on these phenomena and analyzes critically some of the positions taken. It is concluded that while there is arguably a considerable change in governance going on in Western university systems, the change is far from altering the academic ethos. Still, it is argued, institutional norms should also be defended, which could be achieved through differentiation of higher education and among research performing institutions and organizations. An important virtue of the university remains to deliver social value precisely because it is an institution of credibility, criticism, and trust.
20 pages, March 28, 2006
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