Mergers in Norwegian Higher Education

  • Svein KyvikEmail author
  • Bjørn Stensaker
Part of the Higher Education Dynamics book series (HEDY, volume 46)


This chapter provides an overview and analysis of mergers in Norwegian higher education. We distinguish between three phases of mergers: state-initiated forced mergers of regional colleges in the first half of the 1990s, voluntary merger initiatives and mergers between higher education institutions from the turn of the millennium to 2013, and state-initiated forced ‘voluntary’ mergers from 2014 on. In 1994, the non-university higher education sector was reorganised through the merger of 98 professional and vocationally-oriented colleges into 26 university colleges. This was followed by many voluntary merger initiatives, primarily between university colleges, which were planned as a strategy for the merged university colleges to apply for university status. Only four of these processes were completed, leading to a 2014 governmental initiative to further reduce the number of higher education institutions through a policy of forced ‘voluntary’ mergers. By using an institutional logic perspective as a starting point for the analysis of this development, the chapter argues that different logics fit well with mergers as a solution to perceived problems in the sector, and that this makes mergers more attractive throughout the sector.


High Education High Education Institution High Education System Institutional Logic Regional College 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NIFU Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and EducationOsloNorway
  2. 2.Faculty of EducationUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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