The Dynamics of Change

Part of the Higher Education Dynamics book series (HEDY, volume 27)

This book distinguishes between three types of explanation for change: (a) structural, (b) cultural, and (c) interest-group approaches. Structural change includes two processes. One is related to technological, economic, and social changes in society that have conditioned the establishment of the various study programmes and educational institutions that constitute college education, and also had an impact on the organisation of this sector and the content of the programmes. The other is related to self-generated changes in the educational system itself, such as the large expansion in the number of schools and colleges leading to a complex and not easily manageable organisational field, in the view of the state bureaucracy.

In addition to the impact of structural change on the transformation of the educational system, it is important to understand the cultural context in society within which higher education takes place and the culture of the institutions themselves. Traditional ways of thinking and behaving have gradually been replaced by new thoughts, ideas, and behaviours. Thus, new ideas may obtain a cultural hegemony making possible and even welcomed change processes in the education system unthinkable years ago. Cultural change of importance for the transformation of college education includes change in value systems related to social utility, equality of opportunity, efficiency, and quality. Another type of cultural explanation is concerned with the drift of ideas and organisational solutions across countries and sectors in society. Educational change in one country accordingly may influence educational policy in another country.


High Education High Education Institution Study Programme Vertical Integration High Education System 
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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2009

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