Policy Implementation in Higher Education

  • Bjørn StensakerEmail author
Living reference work entry

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9553-1_138-2



The process of putting plans and decisions into effect.


In higher education, change can be said to be the new constant, where various kinds of government-initiated reform and modernization attempts are sweeping through the sector around the globe (Maassen and Stensaker 2011). Given this profound interest in reform and change in and of the sector, it is a paradox that the most well-known work using an explicit policy implementation approach in higher education appeared in the mid-1980s (Cerych and Sabatier 1986), with few systematic attempts to explicitly utilize specific policy implementation approaches since (Gornitzka et al. 2002; Kohoutek 2013).

Policy implementation is often understood as a specific part of the policy-making process, where political ideas are turned into concrete actions and where these actions contribute to create the intended effect behind a specific policy (O’Toole 1986). There are several...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

Section editors and affiliations

  • Alberto Amaral
    • 1
  • António Magalhães
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.CIPESUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.Faculty of Psychology and Education SciencesUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies (CIPES)PortoPortugal