Ministers Met Macabere Moed: Een verklarende studie naar de beleidsresultaten van Vlaamse ministers betreffende het hogeronderwijsaanbod, 1988-2019

Translated title of the contribution: Ministers with Macabre Courage: An explanatory study into the policy results of Flemish ministers regarding the program supply in higher education, 1988-2019

Ton van Weel

    Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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    Abstract

    This doctoral research focuses on the question To what extent the success of Flemish education ministers' policy initiatives aimed at the program supply of universities and universities of applied science can be explained by the type of policy and other factors. The study covers the higher education policies of seven Flemish education ministers during the period 1988-2019. In this survey 11 policy initiatives (cases) of these ministers were systematically compared. The policy initiatives that were examined focus on the program supply of universities and universities of applied science: six reduction initiatives (aimed at supply reduction) and five non-reduction initiatives (aimed at supply consolidation or expansion). The researcher prepared for this analysis an Educational Program Dataset that identifies all supply changes during the research period. The study used qualitative and quantitative data that was analyzed through table analyses and detailed process analyses. The research shows that, contrary to general perception, there was regular policy success. This includes difficult-to-implement reduction initiatives that often encounter significant political and social resistance.
    In explaining the success and failure of policy initiatives, a theory developed in the United States of America by Arnold has served as a basis. This theory also proves fruitful in the context of Flemish higher education policy. Important factors, which in interaction with the policy type (non-reduction and reduction initiatives) contribute to policy success, are the anchoring of the policy initiative in the coalition agreement of the cabinet and the sector on which the policy is focused (greater chance of success in the universities of applied science sector). In addition, the minister's sector-specific experience (only in relation to reduction initiatives) and his strategies matter for policy success. Those strategies primarily involve considering the political-electoral cycle in the timing of unpopular reduction and popular non-reduction initiatives. In addition, early realization of co-ownership with the policy field also appears to be important for achieving policy success.
    Section 12.2. Empirical findings offers a complete answer to the main research question and the four sub-questions. It shows that Flemish education ministers do not lack 'Macabre Courage' to take difficult policy initiatives and are rewarded for this in certain cases with policy success.
    Translated title of the contributionMinisters with Macabre Courage: An explanatory study into the policy results of Flemish ministers regarding the program supply in higher education, 1988-2019
    Original languageDutch
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Twente
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Denters, Bas , Supervisor
    • de Boer, Harry F., Co-Supervisor
    Award date27 Oct 2023
    Place of PublicationEnschede
    Publisher
    Print ISBNs978-90-365-5847-1
    Electronic ISBNs978-90-365-5848-8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2023

    Keywords

    • Programme supply
    • Education policy
    • Flanders
    • Higher education policy
    • Efficiency

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