Advertisement

Mergers in European Higher Education: Financial Issues and Multiple Rationales

  • Vera Rocha
  • Pedro N. Teixeira
  • Ricardo Biscaia
Original Article

Abstract

In recent years, mergers have been widely used in higher education (HE) to achieve a variety of purposes, ranging from problems of institutional fragmentation to the lack of financial and academic viability, and low institutional efficiency and quality. However, despite a large stream of HE literature addressing those issues, there has been little attention to the link between funding-related problems and merger processes. Moreover, there is very little comparative research among different higher education systems experiencing those processes. In this paper, we map and characterize the recent experience of 25 European countries with these processes, aiming at identifying main patterns regarding key drivers and motivations. We also analyze the main difficulties identified, the role of funding and financial incentives and, whenever possible, the main impacts and economic gains associated with those merger processes.

Keywords

mergers Europe consortia funding 

References

  1. Abbott, M. (1996) ‘Do higher education amalgamations work? The case of Victoria College’, Agenda: A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform 3(1): 93–104.Google Scholar
  2. Archibald, R.B. and Feldman, D.H. (2010) Why does college cost so much? New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barr, N. (2004) Economics of the Welfare State, 4th ed, Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bates, L. and Santerre, R. (2000) ‘A time series analysis of private college closures and mergers’, Review of Industrial Organization 17(3): 267–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brinkman, P.T. and Leslie, L.L. (1986) ‘Economies of scale in higher education: sixty years of research’, Review of Higher Education 10(1): 1–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clotfelter, C. (1996) Buying the BestCost Escalation in Higher Education, Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Clotfelter, C. (Ed.) (2010) American Universities in a Global Market, Chicago: NBER and Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Cohn, E., Rhine, S. and Santos, M. (1989) ‘Institutions of higher education as multiproduct firms: economies of scale and scope’, The Review of Economics and Statistics 71(2): 284–290.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Curri, G. (2002) ‘Reality versus perception: restructuring tertiary education and institutional organisational change — a case study’, Higher Education 44(1): 133–151.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Docampo, D. (2007) ‘International comparisons in higher education funding’, Higher Education in Europe 32(4): 369–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Eastman, J. and Lang, D. (2001), Mergers in Higher EducationLessons from Theory and Experience, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Eicher, J.-C. and Chevaillier, T. (2002) Rethinking the Financing of Post-Compulsory education. Higher Education in Europe XXVII(1–2): 69–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gamage, D.T. (1993) ‘The reorganisation of the Australian higher educational institutions towards a Unified National System’, Studies in Higher Education 18(1): 81–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Goedegebuure, L. (2012) ‘Mergers and More: The changing tertiary education landscape in the 21st century’, HEIK Working Paper Series, HEIKwp 2012/01, Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Oslo.Google Scholar
  15. Goedegebuure, L.C.J. (1992) Mergers in higher educationa comparative perspective, Management and Policy in Higher Education and CHEPS, Utrecht: Lemma.Google Scholar
  16. Harman, G. (1986) ‘Restructuring higher education systems through institutional mergers: Australian experience, 1981–1983’, Higher Education 15(6): 567–586.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Harman, G. and Harman, K. (2003) ‘Institutional mergers in higher education: lessons from international experience’, Tertiary Education and Management 9(1): 29–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Harman, K. and Meek, L. (2002) ‘Introduction to special issue: merger revisited: international perspectives on mergers in higher education’, Higher Education 44(1): 1–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hay, D. and Fourie, M. (2002) ‘Preparing the way for mergers in South African higher and further education institutions: an investigation into staff perceptions’, Higher Education 44(1): 115–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. HEFCE (2012) Collaborations, Alliances and Mergers in Higher Education. Consultation on Lessons Learned and Guidance for Institutions, Bristol: Higher Education Funding Council for England.Google Scholar
  21. Huang, H. (2000) ‘College and university mergers: impact on academic libraries in China’, College and Research Libraries 61(2): 121–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Johnstone, D.B. and Marcucci, P.N. (2010) Financing higher education worldwide: who pays? who should pay? Baltimore.Google Scholar
  23. Jongbloed, B., de Boer, H., Enders, J. and File, J. (2010) Progress in higher education reform across Europe Funding Reform, Brussels: DG for Education and Culture, European Commission.Google Scholar
  24. Kyvik, S. (2002) ‘The merger of non-university colleges in Norway’, Higher Education 44(1): 53–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kyvik, S. and Stensaker, B. (2013) ‘Factors affecting the decision to merge: the case of strategic mergers in Norwegian higher education’, Tertiary Education and Management 19(4): 323–337.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Liefner, I. (2003) ‘Funding, resource allocation and performance in higher education systems’, Higher Education 46: 469–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Luukkonen, T. and Nedeva, M. (2010) ‘Towards understanding integration in research and research policy’, Research Policy 39(5): 674–686.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Mao, Y., Du, Y. and Liu, J. (2009) ‘The effects of university mergers in China since 1990s — From the perspective of knowledge production’, International Journal of Educational Management 23(1): 19–33.Google Scholar
  29. Matthews, D. (2013) ‘Meetings of minds or shotgun weddings?’, Times Higher Education, 17 January.Google Scholar
  30. McGinnis, R., McMillen, W. and Gold, J. (2007) ‘Merging two universities: The Medical University of Ohio and the University of Toledo’, Academic Medicine 82(12): 1187–1195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Norgard, J. and Skodvin, O. (2002) ‘The importance of geography and culture in mergers: a Norwegian institutional case study’, Higher Education 44(1): 73–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Pick, D. (2003) ‘Framing and frame shifting in a higher education merger’, Tertiary Education Management 9(4): 299–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pollitt, C. and Bouckaert, C. (2011) Public Management Reform, Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Rosser, V. (2002) ‘Governance’, in J. Forest and K. Kinser (eds.) Higher education in the United StatesAn Encyclopedia Vol. 1, Santa Barbara (CA):ABC-CLIO, pp. 279–284.Google Scholar
  35. Rowley, G. (1997a) ‘United we stand: a strategic analysis of mergers in higher education’, Public Money and Management 17(4): 7–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rowley, G. (1997b) ‘Mergers in higher education: a strategic analysis’, Higher Education Quarterly 51(3): 251–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sehoole, M. (2005) ‘The politics of mergers in higher education in South Africa’, Higher Education 50(1): 159–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Shattock, M. (ed.) (2008) Entrepreneurialism in Universities and the Knowledge Economy: Diversification and Organisational Change in European Higher Education, London: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Skodvin, O. (1999) ‘Mergers in Higher Education — Success of Failure?’ Tertiary Education and Management 5(1): 65–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Teixeira, P. (2013) The tortuous ways of the market: looking at the European integration of Higher Education from an economic perspective. LSE Policy Papers LEQS Paper No. 56/2013.Google Scholar
  41. Wan, Y. and Peterson, M. (2007) ‘A case study of a merger in Chinese higher education: the motives, processes, and outcomes’, International Journal of Educational Development 27(6): 683–696.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Wildavsky, B. (2012) The Great Brain Race, Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Association of Universities 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CIPESMatosinhosPortugal
  2. 2.CBS – Copenhagen Business SchoolFrederiksbergDenmark
  3. 3.University of PortoPortoPortugal
  4. 4.Universidade PortucalensePortoPortugal

Personalised recommendations