Autonomy and Accountability


Sijbolt Noorda, Terhi Nokkala, Margrit Seckelmann, José Joaquín Brunner, Júlio Pedrosa


19,99 € (110 Seiten, PDF)


  • Academic Autonomy as a Lifelong Learning Process for Universities

    Sijbolt Noorda

    Universities need a fair degree of autonomy to be able to fulfil their mission well. Yet autonomy in itself is not sufficient for success. This article describes three factors that are essential for the success of academic self-government. 1) The missions and profiles of universities are always contextual, so academic autonomy should be practiced as a dynamic project, changing over time and responsive to new demands. 2) Even more important are the internal structure and culture of the autonomous university. Because it is at the same time a complex and a professional organization, academic autonomy should be organized at all levels, in all fields and work processes of the university. 3) Self-government cannot be practiced without changing traditional fragmentary models of academic organization. This requires strong academic leadership at all levels and in all fields.

  • Organisational Autonomy for Flexible Universities – A European Comparison

    Terhi Nokkala

    In the era of globalisation and knowledge-based economy, universities have been vested with the task of economic and social change, and are expected to contribute to the competitiveness of nation-states as well as their local communities. The relationship between the state and universities has been redefined by strengthening universities’ institutional and financial autonomy while increasing their accountability to the state and tax payers. Strong institutional leadership and management, organisational flexibility and a clear institutional mission have been introduced as vital tools for universities to adapt to the changing operational context. Focussing on the organisational autonomy – the university’s ability to define its organisational and governance structures – the paper discusses the ideas of universities needing organisational flexibility and management capacity to operate in an increasingly competitive and challenging environment.

  • Autonomy and Accountability

    Margrit Seckelmann

    Institutions of higher education and research contribute to society by generating new ideas, furthering not only research but societal and economic progress as well. To enhance the quality of research results, scholarship has traditionally been based on freedom of teaching and research – in many countries this is guaranteed by the constitution. In the classical model of research, developed since the 17th century, publishing is the functional precondition for certifying and validating scientific claims. However, for at least a decade now, a “new autonomy” of the university is being sought. The concept of the “unchained university” (Müller-Böling 2000) is one that demands exoneration from state control as well as from corporate regulation. In the course of this paper, different concepts of the autonomy and accountability of science and its participants will be analyzed.

  • Chile: Challenges to Autonomy and Accountability in a Privatized Context

    José Joaquín Brunner

    This article explores the changing relations between autonomy and control in the highly privatized national higher education system of Chile. It examines how the system was implanted by a military regime committed to neo-liberal economic and social policies by pushing the privatization of tertiary education, and analyzes the system’s evolution after the reestablishment of democracy, through public policies that sought to increase control over markets, university accountability to the State and other external stakeholders, and the capacity for self-regulation by the academic profession. These changes have resulted in close interconnectedness among the higher education institutions, market forces and government policies, which in turn have brought about increasing instability, with tensions and breakdowns at key points and a consequent lack of trust, which will have to be rebuilt.

  • Autonomy and Accountability in University Governance

    Júlio Pedrosa

    The main goal of this article is to analyze and discuss the contexts, the rationale and the challenges associated with integrating autonomy and accountability in university governance. Contexts, concepts and uses of the words governance, university, autonomy and accountability in higher education are revisited. The design and implementation of participatory governance models is seen as a way to call for accountability and for the development of an understanding of the present role of universities.

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