Changing balances in Dutch higher education

Leo Goedegebuure, Don F. Westerheijden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

12 Citations (Scopus)
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Like many other higher education systems in the Western world, Dutch higher education underwent profound changes during the last decade. In this article we will present an overview of these changes, and try to formulate an analytical framework that might be suited to analyze this process. In order to set the stage, we will begin with an overview of the Dutch higher education system, in which the broad structure is described, and some trends are presented. Next, an overview is given of the retrenchment and restructuring operations with which Dutch higher education was confronted during the last decade. Drawing, mainly, on public administration and political theory, we then attempt to formulate a framework for analysis. In this we focus on the Dutch higher education system as a policy network, and address the relationships that exist between the various key actors in the network: between government and higher education, among higher education institutions themselves, and among the different actors within the institutions, especially administrators and academics. In doing so, we hope to demonstrate that at all these levels some identical basic processes operate which to a large extent determine the outcomes of governmental policies aimed at changing the higher education system. Time and again the modern state stumbles over the academic system (Clark 1983: 137)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-520
JournalHigher education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1991
EventSeminar Policy Change in Higher Education: Intended and Unintended Outcomes 1990 - University of Turku, Turku, Finland
Duration: 4 Jun 19907 Jun 1990


  • High education
  • Education system
  • Analytical framework
  • Education institution
  • High education institution


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