Norwegian institutions of higher education have been involved in a government-led process of restructuration involving an evaluation of the sector allegedly based on criteria of quality as well as cost effectiveness of education. This process has led to significant policy changes that alter the institutional framework in which Norwegian knowledge-based institutions have developed since the 1970s. Institutions have (more or less willingly) had to consider the possibility of merging, diversifying, expanding, down-sizing or closing down in order to adjust to the new institutional setting. This can be expected to impact far beyond the sector itself, potentially influencing areas as diverse as technological clusters, internal labour and student mobility, housing and population dynamics, local and regional economies, and more.
The aim of the special issue is to initiate a research-based dialogue on the realities and prospects of the ongoing restructuration process in Norway, and to learn from similar experiences elsewhere in Western Europe and the Nordic countries. The issue invites contributions for both original research articles and short articles.
Contributions should address one or several of the questions and issues identified in the list below. This is not an exhaustive list, and other relevant issues in the same thematic field will be considered:
- What are the main features of the restructuration process in the Norwegian higher education sector?
- What strategies are available for knowledge-based institutions in the current institutional and policy-climate?
- What experiences have been made with similar restructuration processes in Nordic and European countries?
- What are the geographical implications of such restructuring?
- What impact does the merging, relocation and closure of regional knowledge-based institutions have for local and regional labour markets?
- How is the discipline of geography and related fields being affected by the restructuration of knowledge-based institutions?
- Case studies of specific restructuration processes and their effects in Norway, Nordic and other European countries.