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Managerialism Rhetorics in Portuguese Higher Education

Abstract

In Portugal, as elsewhere, the rhetoric of managerialism in higher education is becoming firmly entrenched in the governmental policymakers’ discourse and has been widely disseminated across the institutional landscape. Managerialism is an important ideological support of New Public Management policies and can be classified as a narrative of strategic change. In this paper, we analyse how far the managerialism narrative has been injected into the discursive repertory of Portuguese academics in their role as the co-ordinators of the higher education institutions’ teaching and academic middle levels. Based on an analysis of interview responses, it seems that most academics support traditional academic values such as autonomy and collegiality, and reject university or polytechnic governance based on corporate philosophy.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    A network of polytechnic institutions was created at the beginning of the 1980s to provide new shorter and vocationally-driven HE cycles aiming at producing a better-qualified workforce for the middle-level occupations.

  2. 2.

    We have to add the number of student places offered by the private sector, but this sector is less socially legitimated and the students have also to pay higher tuition fees.

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Acknowledgments

This study was supported by a grant from FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia-Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology): PTDC/CPE-PEC/104759/2008.

Author information

Correspondence to Teresa Carvalho.

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Santiago, R., Carvalho, T. Managerialism Rhetorics in Portuguese Higher Education. Minerva 50, 511–532 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11024-012-9211-9

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Keywords

  • Excellence
  • Managerialism
  • New Public Management
  • Higher Education
  • Portugal