The Interface between Research and Policy
In an article of the European Journal of Higher Education, Åse Gornitzka sketches out the range of uses of research in policy-making and discusses these modalities with reference to developments in higher education governance in Europe.
The article is published in a special issue of the European Journal of Higher Education entitled 'The Past, Present and Future of Higher Education Research: Between Scholarship and Policy Making'. The special issue is edited by Pavel Zgaga at the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment and functioning of the Consortium of Higher Education Research (CHER).
The nexus between research and policy in higher education as in other sectors of society is multimodal and not adequately captured by the notion of a cultural gap between the world of practice and the world of research. Neither can the relationship be seen as unidirectional. This paper sketches out the range of uses of research in policy-making, from instrumental to symbolic use, as well as different formats for how to organize research and expertise into policy-making. These modalities and their implications are discussed with reference to developments in higher education governance in Europe over the past decades. It is argued that the current horizontalization of higher education constitutes a double challenge: (1) giving ‘special treatment’ to higher education in policy-making becomes difficult when it is subsumed to the service of other sectors; and (2) it becomes inadequate to research higher education inside a sector ‘silo’.
'The Interface Between Research and Policy – A Note with Potential Relevance for Higher Education'
European Journal of Higher Education, Vol 3, No 1, pp. 255-264