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Title chapter: In defence of European universities: Scholars and activists, unite!
Author: Hannu Nieminen
Keywords: university reform, university policy, normativity, scholarly identities
Abstract: In the last couple of decades, European universities have undergone several major upheavals. These include a policy of harmonizing university degree programmes (the Bologna Process); attempts to streamline and coordinate university governance structures, to transform the standards for universities' public funding; and so on. Together with other pronounced societal transformations, the roles and identities of European academic scholars have experienced significant challenges.Both scholars and policymakers largely agree that in the last 20 years European higher education policy has turned from policy based on democracy and culture towards policy driven by market-based ideals. Although there is a broad consensus that this major policy shift has occurred, there is less agreement over its reasons and consequences. If we really want our universities not only to defend their crucial capacity but also to expand it to better meet the major challenges of our times - climate change, immigration, inequality, terrorism, renewed Cold War - we must find a way to create an alliance between scholars with different academic identities and normative orientations.
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