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Higher Education Policy

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 295–316 | Cite as

The Research Mission of Universities of Applied Sciences and the Future Configuration of Higher Education Systems in Europe

  • Benedetto Lepori
  • Svein Kyvik
Article

Abstract

This article presents a comparative analysis of the development of research in universities of applied sciences (UAS) in eight European countries and its implications for the configuration of the higher education system. The enhancement of research has mostly been seen as a case of academic drift where UAS attempt to become more similar to universities, thus pushing towards a unitary system. However, our analysis indicates that convergence is only one of the possible paths and that in countries like Finland and Switzerland, the specialisation of UAS towards a research profile focused on applied research and cooperation with regional actors is likely to maintain the binary divide. A specific rationale for these institutions oriented towards regional development, a coalition of interests with the economy, and a strong sense of collective action of UAS seem to be key factors to promote this development.

Keywords

research universities of applied sciences binary systems regional knowledge transfer professional education 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors wish particularly to thank the researchers who participated in the joint project on research in universities of applied sciences: Ben Jongbloed, Egbert de Weert and Frans Leijnse (Netherlands), Kristin Heggen, Berit Karseth and Ingvild Marheim Larsen (Norway), Ellen Hazelkorn and Amanda Moynihan (Ireland), Jef Verhoeven (Belgium), Petr Pabian (Czech Republic), Jussi Välimaa and Marja-Liisa Neuvonen-Rauhola (Finland), Marianne Kulicke and Thomas Stahlecker (Germany).

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Copyright information

© International Association of Universities 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benedetto Lepori
    • 1
  • Svein Kyvik
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Organizational Research, University of LuganoLuganoSwitzerland
  2. 2.NIFU STEP Norwegian Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and EducationOsloNorway

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