The future of higher education in Central-Eastern Europe: problems and possibilities
The main beliefs, strategies and problems marking the road of higher educational change in the Central Eastern European countries are analysed and distinction is made between three main actors: government, clients and the academic community. At governmental level the focus is on the handicapping effects of conflict between short and long-term reform and the internal nature of the government-higher education relationship. Government initiated reforms should offer transitory and contextual solutions rather than permanent and substantive ones. The traditional lack of distinction between higher education as public versus private good and the problems and consequences of expanding higher education is examined. The political power of the academic community can hamper the effectiveness of reforms and external accountability. Reforms should separate the merged functions of supervision, allocation and professional accreditation. At the institutional level, executive leadership should be separated from the traditional academic hierarchies. Institutional leaders need to be given more independence and need to improve their skills of financial management, institutional planning and self-evaluation. As for academic control, new institutional patterns of cooperation should be assisted at the expense of the traditional hierarchies of higher knowledge.
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