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Regular version of the site

Education Policy in a Comparative Perspective

2020/2021
Academic Year
ENG
Instruction in English
4
ECTS credits
Course type:
Elective course
When:
3 year, 3, 4 module

Instructor


Потапова Елизавета Павловна

Course Syllabus

Abstract

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

  • 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
  • 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
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 8 - Student fund policies. Who pays for higher education?
  • Week 9 - Accreditation and quality assurance. What is a good university?
  • 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
  • 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.
  • non-blocking In-class presentation
    Students are expected to prepare and deliver an in-class presentation on a higher education policy, program, or intervention of their choice that would include a comparative perspective. For example, this can be a cross-national comparison of the same policy or a comparison of different policies under one thematic umbrella or different stages of one specific policy. In the presentation, students should introduce the policy in terms of the actors involved in conceiving it, its characteristics and design, the process of how it was implemented. Students must not only describe, but also critically assess the design and implementation of the policy that their presentation is focused on. In addition to presenting their projects, each group is expected to provide comments and questions for at least one 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. The grade for this assignment is an evaluation of the individual contribution, yet group work, as well as comments to other teams, are taken into account.
  • 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). In addition to the content related to the policy, students are expected to have a section of a few paragraphs reflectinf the process of group work and highlighting individual contributions in the course of the project production. This assignment is graded in a blended way, both group work and individual efforts are taken into account.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.1 * Class participation + 0.4 * Final Paper + 0.3 * In-class presentation + 0.2 * Written presentation
Bibliography

Bibliography

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