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Бакалаврская программа «Политология и мировая политика»

Higher Education Policy in a Comparative Perspective

Учебный год
Обучение ведется на английском языке
Курс по выбору
Когда читается:
3-й курс, 3, 4 модуль


Потапова Елизавета Павловна

Course Syllabus


The course provides an introduction to fundamental issues and topics in contemporary higher education policy. Higher education policy studies is an interdisciplinary field combining components of education studies, sociology of education, and public policy. It can be personally relevant to those who are interested in university machinery, as well as those who want to know more about policy-making or policy-related research in a specific area. During the course, we will identify the key actors and target groups of various higher education policies, as well as the main structures and practices forming fields of higher education in different national contexts. Policy areas covered in the course include policies related to higher education provision and governance, higher education access policies, funding policies, policies related to quality assurance, and performance measurement. They are contextualized in a wider context of social integration and economic development, identity politics, and knowledge production. After successful completion of the course, students will be equipped with the knowledge and methodological tools to access higher education policies as the field of research. At the same time, working with the cases and identifying policy problems and potential ways to address them provide students with an idea of a professional career in the governmental or non-governmental sector dealing with educational matters.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Recognizing the main actors and policy challenges in contemporary higher education settings
  • Learning how to develop alternative solutions to specific higher education-related problem
  • Understanding and critically assessing how specific higher education policies are designed and implemented
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Able to learn and demonstrate skills in the field, other than the major field
  • Able to efficiently communicate based on the goals and communication situations
  • Student is capable of participating in organizing and implementing various management processes, and of achieving the goals set by his/her superiors
  • Student is capable of executing applied analysis of the political phenomena and political processes - by using political science methods - and in support of practical decision making process
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Week 1 - Introduction. Structure of the course. Making sense of higher education as a field of study.
  • Week 2 - From medieval to neoliberal university. Emergence of new topics in higher education studies.
  • Week 3 - Higher education and the state. Governance. Autonomy. Accountability. Control.
  • Week 4 - Higher education and the market. New Public Management. Massification. Internationalization.
  • Week 5 - Academic imperialism. How do we study higher education policies in developing contexts?
  • Week 6 - Internationalization of higher education.
  • Week 7 - Access and equity policies. Should higher education be merit-based?
  • Week 10 - Overview of the course. Student presentations.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Class participation
    Students are expected to attend all classes, read all required readings prior to the class for which the readings were assigned, and actively participate in all in-class discussions and activities. All the sessions excluding week 1 (1 Introductory session + 1 seminar) and week 10 (2 final sessions for presentation of the final projects) will be treated as seminars with graded participation. For active participation (familiarity with all the home readings, meaningful comments on the topics of the session, involvement in group work) a student gets 2 points for each session. For average participation (familiarity with some of the home readings, meaningful comments on the topics of the session, involvement in group work) a student gets 1 point for each session. For attending the class without participating in the discussion a student gets 0,5 points for each session. For 16 graded sessions a student can get max 34 points. This is 100% or 10. Lower grades are calculated proportionally.
  • non-blocking Written presentation
    In thematic groups (~4 people per group) assigned during the first class, students are expected to submit a two-page (max.1,000 words) description of a higher education policy, program, or intervention within the thematic scope of the group by the end of 3rd module (after 5th week of the course). One assignment per group. This assignment is graded as a collective effort, with no individual evaluation. 0-2 - the research agenda of the project is clearly formulated 0-2 - relevance of the topic explained 0-4 - quality and appropriateness of literature used (6-8 relevant sources need to be covered for 4 points) 0-2 - demonstrated understanding of prospective division to individual projects
  • non-blocking In-class presentation
    Students are expected to prepare and deliver an in-class presentation that would include a comparative perspective. For example, this can be a cross-national comparison of the same policy, a comparison of different policies aiming to achieve the same goal, or another appropriate comparison coordinated with the instructor. In the presentation, students are expected to provide an overview of their project - explain the scope of selection and the criteria of comparison, cover the main readings justifying theoretical framework - and then discuss individual policies - starting from the actors involved, design, stage of implementation, to social and/or political relevance. Students must not only describe, but also critically assess the design and implementation of the policy that their presentations are focused on. This part of a task will weigh 8 points. - 0-2 points - for the effective structure of the project (detailed common part, individual parts fitting the topic and making sense as an overall composition) - 0-2 points - for effective coverage of the individual policies - 0-2 points - for using relevant scientific literature supporting the argument in the individual presentations - 0-2 points - for assessment of a policy, discussion of its strong and weak parts In addition to the presentation of their projects, each group is expected to provide comments (at least 3) and questions (at least 2) for the presentation of another group. To achieve this goal with the lowest transaction costs for participants, the slides for this presentation should be sent 2 days before session 10. This part of a task will weigh 2 points.
  • non-blocking Final Paper
    The final paper is an assignment that accumulates the efforts invested in group projects during the semester. Students are expected to submit a critical assessment of a higher education policy, program, or intervention of their choice (max. 8,000 words). The final paper must combine a revised version of the written presentation (the first collective assignment), comparative content from the in-class presentation (individual contributions), discussion and critical assessment of the implementation of the policy (based on the comments received during in-class presentation). This assignment is graded in a blended way, both group work and individual efforts are taken into account. Common part: 0-1 point - the quality of theoretical background of common parts (appropriate use of literature, noticeable progress in comparison to the previous version presented at the stage of written presentation) 0-1 - clarity of the argument of the overall project (formulated at the beginning and developed in the individual parts) 0-1 - coherence of the overall project ( all the pieces fit each other and common parts) Individual part: 0-1 - appropriateness of a selected individual topic for the context of a project 0-1 - communicated contribution to the main topic 0-1 - clarity of the individual argument 0-2 - expertise in the selected topic (depth of demonstrated knowledge on the case measured in the degree of elaboration and quality of sources used) 0-2 - the quality of delivery of information (how clear and reader-friendly is the written text)
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • 2021/2022 4th module
    0.2 * Written presentation + 0.3 * Final Paper + 0.2 * In-class presentation + 0.3 * Class participation


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Jeroen Huisman, Anna Smolentseva, & Isak Froumin. (2018). 25 Years of Transformations of Higher Education Systems in Post-Soviet Countries: Reform and Continuity. Web server without geographic relation, Web server without geographic relation (org): Palgrave Macmillan. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.8736F319
  • Jeroen Huisman, Harry de Boer, David D. Dill, & Manuel Souto-Otero. (2015). The Palgrave International Handbook of Higher Education Policy and Governance. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • John C. Smart. (2008). Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research. Springer.
  • Michael B. Paulsen, & Laura W. Perna. (2019). Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research : Volume 34. Springer.
  • Plank, D. N., Ford, T. G., Sykes, G., & Schneider, B. L. (2009). Handbook of Education Policy Research. New York: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=270704

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Darla K. Deardorff, Hans de Wit, John D. Heyl, & Tony Adams. (2012). The SAGE Handbook of International Higher Education. SAGE Publications, Inc.
  • Denison, D. B., & Secolsky, C. (2012). Handbook on Measurement, Assessment, and Evaluation in Higher Education. Routledge.
  • King, R., Naidoo, R., & Marginson, S. (2011). Handbook on Globalization and Higher Education. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • McCowan, T. (2015). Three dimensions of equity of access to higher education.
  • Smolentseva, A. (2017). Where Soviet and neoliberal discourses meet: the transformation of the purposes of higher education in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. Higher Education (00181560), 74(6), 1091–1108. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-017-0111-7