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Characterizing the European university system: a preliminary classification using census microdata

  • Andrea Bonaccorsi
  • Cinzia Daraio

The paper addresses the issue of characterization and classification of universities in the European system, by using the recently developed Aquameth dataset. Preliminary cluster analysis based on structural variables identifies systematic differences in size. However, this structural distinction is associated with differences in strategic orientation of universities (towards research or towards teaching, respectively) only in a few countries. In most European countries there are no discernible differences across universities along these dimensions. The paper argues that countries in which universities are more differentiated according to research or teaching dimensions have implemented differentiation policies through a variety of policy instruments. In turn, these countries also are ranked high in international rankings of universities. This suggests a structural linkage between the poor performance of European universities in research-based rankings and the lack of differentiation. Copyright , Beech Tree Publishing.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Science and Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 36 (2009)
Issue (Month): 10 (December)
Pages: 763-775

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Handle: RePEc:oup:scippl:v:36:y:2009:i:10:p:763-775
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