Globalisation and Differentiation in Higher Education Systems

Franciscus A. van Vught, Marijk C. van der Wende, Donald F. Westerheijden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


In this chapter, we argue from a theoretical perspective that globalisation has impacted differentiation within higher education systems. The three propositions about mechanisms affecting diversity distinguished by van Vught (environmental conditions, competition for resources and academic norms) remain the same, but the initial conditions have changed. Governmental policy, in particular, affects the degree of openness of higher education systems (positively or negatively), either through (de-)regulation or by affecting higher education institutions’ strategies for internationalisation. Thus, we add as a fourth proposition that increasing institutional autonomy increases system diversity in the context of globalisation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTheory and Method in Higher Education Research
EditorsJeroen Juisman, Malcolm Tight
Place of PublicationBingley, UK
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78769-277-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-78769-278-7
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameTheory and method in higher education research
ISSN (Print)2056-3752


  • Globalisation
  • Differentiation
  • Institutional autonomy
  • Internationalisation
  • Government policy
  • Deregulation


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