European-level policy dynamics in higher education

Authored by: Nikolaos Zahariadis , Laurie Buonanno

The Routledge Handbook of European Public Policy

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138927339
eBook ISBN: 9781315682723
Adobe ISBN:


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Policy dynamics in higher education are strongly related to policy dynamics in other knowledge-related domains, such as research and innovation. The importance of these domains within the EU is evident in the number of EU policy initiatives and significant funding for cooperation in higher education and in research. Knowledge has been subjected to a “functional-economic turn” (Walkenhorst, 2008, p. 569): it has been “exported” to other policy sectors (e.g., competition, environment, welfare) as a policy solution for problems inherent for these sectors (e.g., climate change). The so-called knowledge triangle – education, research, and innovation – is the foundation of the EU’s overall strategy to position itself as a “Europe of Knowledge” and as an “Innovation Union,” as is evident in the latest EU2020 strategy for smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth (European Commission, 2010).

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