University governance and leadership in Continental Northwestern Europe

Harry F. de Boer, Peter Maassen*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)
    19 Downloads (Pure)


    With regard to the governance structures of European universities, changes have been proposed aimed at their democratic nature, the composition of governing bodies, the degree of centralisation in decision-making and redirecting the balance between collective and individual governing responsibilities. In this article, we address the effects of such governance reforms in public, comprehensive universities in Norway and the Netherlands. Differences across countries, even within a relatively homogeneous region such as Northwestern Europe, can be traced back to differences in underlying political visions towards university governance. After an overview of the main features of university governance structures in the two countries, we argue that a specific regional university governance practice has emerged with different combinations of executive and democratic elements.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2045-2053
    Number of pages9
    JournalStudies in higher education
    Issue number10
    Early online date15 Oct 2020
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


    • Governance reform
    • University governance structures
    • Norway
    • Netherlands
    • Decision-making
    • 22/2 OA procedure


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