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1 What kind of universities in Greece invited external evaluation (EUA-IEP)? Antigoni Papadimitriou CHEPS/University of Twente & Aristotle University,

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Presentation on theme: "1 What kind of universities in Greece invited external evaluation (EUA-IEP)? Antigoni Papadimitriou CHEPS/University of Twente & Aristotle University,"— Presentation transcript:

1 1 What kind of universities in Greece invited external evaluation (EUA-IEP)? Antigoni Papadimitriou CHEPS/University of Twente & Aristotle University, Greece Don F. Westerheijden CHEPS/University of Twente, The Netherlands 31st Annual EAIR Forum 23 to 26 August 2009

2 2 CONTENTS  Objectives of the Study  Content analysis of EUA-IEP’s reports  Findings: Isomorphism through the eyes of EUA- IEP evaluators  Comparison between EUA-IEP adopters and non-adopters  Conclusions

3 3 Objective of the study Was to understand the pressures (coercive, normative, mimetic) that Greek universities felt, in the absence of any national quality performance monitoring system (until 2006) and invited the EUA-IEP. And the university characteristics that influence the adoption (or lack of adoption)

4 4 Theoretical framework This study relies upon a conceptual framework created from a thorough review and synthesis of the literature: in systems theory neo-institutional theory universities’ characteristics : vision, mission, size, location, age, type of studies, leadership quality management

5 5 Content analysis of EUA-IEP’s reports 8 EUA reports Total length of the 8 reports varied from 17 to 25 pages The reports covered the period from 1999 to 2005 Each of the eight reports was written by different EUA teams. Thematic analysis. Data analyzed by following Miles and Huberman (1994), Boyatzis (1998) and Creswell’s (2003) suggestions

6 6 Isomorphism through the eyes of EUA-IEP evaluators EUA-IEP invited as a results of : 1. normative pressure 2. mimetic pressure may have occurred but could not be proven 3. coercive pressure was noticeably absent

7 7 Universities’ Characteristics U1, U2, U3, U4: old, medium-size, peripheral, multidisciplinary U5, U6: new, medium-size, peripheral, multidisciplinary U7: old, large-size, urban, multidisciplinary U8: old, medium-size, urban, multidisciplinary

8 8 Analysis in comparison to the rest of the 21 universities University AgeOldNewTotal EUA628 Non-EUA9413 Total15621 Old: 1837–1982 New: 1982–2005

9 9 SmallMediumLarge Total EUA-718 Non-EUA84113 Total811221 Small:< 1000 freshmen students Medium: 1001-3000 freshmen students Large: > 3000 freshmen students University Size

10 10 UrbanPeriphery Total EUA268 Non-EUA8513 Total101121 University Location

11 11 MonothematicMulti Tota l EUA-88 Non-EUA8513 Total81321 Type of studies

12 12 Conclusions Normative pressure was visibly detected in this study -stem primarily from professionalization: 1. rectorate’s management commitment 2. 8 universities participated in a professional association, i.e. the EUA. 3. peer review team’s profession, Greek rectors, felt probably more “secure” with the idea that international colleagues performed the review process. “communication and affiliation of specialists in professional networks” (Van Vught, 1989 in Maassen & Potman, 1990)

13 13 -2- Universities invited the EUA-IEP due to mimetic pressure is based on university characteristics: location All of EUA-IEP “inviters” were located outside of Athens Theoretically speaking, these universities would desire to invite the EUA-IEP to validate the “quality” of their institution. It is possible that Athenian universities were perceived as “elite” within the Greek higher education system. “Pioneer universities in quality assurance practices were not from elite universities”. Banta (1993) and Westerheijden (1999)

14 14 -3- For universities on the periphery of Greece it is possible to “grab” EUA-IEP as a compensating policy to gain prestige/legitimacy in absent of any differentiation among Greek universities. It is possible to “borrow” European/international legitimized practices from other actors in their field. Practice such as EUA-IEP may initially be invited to solve problems such as prestige and “the sleepy peripheral university was becoming more Europe- minded” (paraphrasing Powell & DiMaggio, 1991, p. 70).

15 15 -4- Another argument pleading for the prevalence of mimetic pressure in all of 8 cases, could be that none of them participated in the follow-up evaluation, to maintain some (normative) pressure on the universities for quality enhancement. The universities’ rectors statements about their interest in performance improvement, therefore, which we interpreted as mirroring normative pressure, may then well have been either socially desirable answers to mask mimetic isomorphism—or may indicate that Greek university rectors were not powerful enough to make a turnaround in their universities on their own.

16 16 -5- Leadership was the other important university characteristic for having invited the EUA-IEP. Mission and decision-making were the same for all 21 universities Vision was regarded by the evaluators’ teams as a missing element for most of the EUA participants. The lack of vision in the majority of the 8 participants in the EUA-IEP indicates that it is possible to suggest mimetic behavior.

17 17 -6- EUA-IEP was invited once by non-Athenian multidisciplinary universities Under the 2005 QA law, Greek higher education institutions are required to participate in the evaluation process so that coercive pressure is supposed to strongly encourage universities to develop quality management systems for quality enhancement beyond just the legal requirements.

18 18 Thank you! Questions – Comments?

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