This volume casts light on mergers and alliances in higher education by examining developments of this type in different countries. It combines the direct experiences of those at the heart of such transformations, university leaders and senior officials responsible for higher education policy, with expert analysts of the systems concerned.
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Higher education in Europe faces a series of major challenges. The economic crisis has accelerated expectations of an increased role in addressing economic and societal challenges while at the same time putting pressure on available finances. Broader trends such as shifting student demographics and expectations, globalisation and mobility and new ways of working with business have contributed to these increased pressures. In the light of these trends there have been moves, both from national or regional agencies and from individual institutions to respond by combining resources, either through collaborative arrangements or more fundamentally through mergers between two or more universities.
After an introductory chapter by the editors which establishes the context for mergers and alliances, the book falls into two main parts. Part 1 takes a national or regional perspective to give some sense of the historical context, the wider drivers and the importance of these developments in these cases. Included are both systemic accounts (for countries as France, Sweden, Romania, Russia, Wales and England), and specific cross-cutting initiatives including a major facility at Magurele in Romania and a Spanish programme for promoting international campuses of excellence. Part 2 is built from specific cases of universities, either in mergers or alliances, with examples from different countries (such as France, UK, Romania, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland). A concluding chapter by the editors assesses these experiences and indicates the implications and future needs for understanding in this domain.