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Imagining higher education in the European knowledge economy: Discourse and ideas in communications of the EU

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter

Publication date19/07/2013
Host publicationThe Globalisation Challenge for European Higher Education: Convergence and Diversity, Centres and Peripheries
EditorsPavel Zgaga, Ulrich Teichler, John Brennan
PublisherPeter Lang
Number of pages24
ISBN (electronic)9783653065084
ISBN (print)9783631672990
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameHigher Education Research and Policy
PublisherPeter Lang
ISSN (Print)2193-7613


The paper focuses on the role of EU institutions in European higher education. Following the outset of the EU Lisbon Strategy (2000), the EU Commission positioned itself as an influential venue for generating, coordinating and communicating discourse on higher education (within the Bologna Process and beyond). Gradually, the scattered ideas converged into a relatively detailed set of policy proposals on the systemic and institutional reforms needed to engage higher education in the regional economic project. The ideas evolved within the imagined knowledge economy. The dominance of this political rationale has resulted in the steady advance of the Europeanisation of higher education, including the incremental tendency to transfer national competencies to supranational arenas - so far limited to soft instruments such as recommendations, guidelines, reporting and common actions.