The project focuses on: 1) How policy makers try to affect the behaviour of individual HEIs and the HE system. 2) How and to what extent national reform policies diffuse within and across countries, or are confined to specific national reform trajectories . 3) How European policies are formulated and how they may have affected national reform trajectories. 4) To what extent policy processes at different organisational levels have changed university institutions.
The changes observed will be explained in t erms of actor constellations (the number and type of actors involved in governance and steering), governmental structural arrangements and institutionalised styles of policy making and implementation.
The research design calls for a qualitative approach based on interviews and site visits, available policy documents. Based on the overall TRUE research design, the project will be based on three different data sources in close cooperation with the other IPs within the CRP:
1) National case studies of HE p olicies. A first stage will be based on literature review and a review of national and European official documents. The second stage will consist of semi structured interviews with policy makers..
2) Case studies of individual institutions. The IP will c ollaborate with IPs working on the sub theme on organisational change and on the policy sub theme in developing questions to be integrated in the common case study interview framework and provide for extensive sharing of results.
3) Survey of all HEIs in the countries involved. The project will develop a section of the questionnaire containing a number of key questions allowing discrimination of different national arrangements, actor constellations, policy designs and policy styles and how they affect ins titutions.