Mikael Börjesson, Sakari Ahola, Håvard Helland & Jens-Peter Thomsen (eds.) - PDF

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Mikael Börjesson, Sakari Ahola, Håvard Helland & Jens-Peter Thomsen (eds.) Mikael Börjesson, Sakari Ahola, Håvard Helland & Jens-Peter Thomsen (eds.) Working Paper 15/214 Published by Address Nordic Institute

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Mikael Börjesson, Sakari Ahola, Håvard Helland & Jens-Peter Thomsen (eds.) Mikael Börjesson, Sakari Ahola, Håvard Helland & Jens-Peter Thomsen (eds.) Working Paper 15/214 Published by Address Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU) P.O. Box 5183 Majorstuen, N-32 Oslo. Office address: Wergelandsveien 7, N-167 Oslo Project No Customer Address Print ISBN ISSN NordForsk Stensberggata 25, N-17 Oslo Link Grafisk (online) Preface In 211, the research network Nordic Fields of Higher Education was established with financial support from NordForsk. The network is headed by Professor Mikael Börjesson, Sociology of Education, Uppsala University, and consists of research groups from various higher education institutions and research institutes in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. In 212, some members of the network, representing Uppala University, the University of Copenhagen, the University of Turku, the Centre for the Study of Professions at Oslo & Akershus University College and the Nordic Institute for Studies in Education, Research and Innovation, were successful in a grant application to the NordForsk research programme Education for Tomorrow to conduct a research project on the topic of network. We are taking the opportunity to disseminate some preliminary results of this research project in a working paper distributed in connection with the closing conference of the network in Oslo, October 8-9, 214. This working paper on the patterns of expansion of higher education in the Nordic countries from 197 to 21, is part of a more comprehensive study of recruitment patterns that will be completed next year. We wish to thank Chris Allinson (Brighton) for copy-editing this paper and Tove Hansen (NIFU) for technical assistance. Oslo, October 214 Sveinung Skule Director Nicoline Frølich Head of Research 3 4 Contents Summary Introduction References Denmark Introduction The policy context Danish higher education institutions a typology Expansion of the system and rising educational levels General enrolment and admission rates Gender Types and level of studies Fields of study A general overview The fields of humanities and educational sciences The fields of business and social science The fields of natural and technical sciences The field of health Internationalisation Conclusion References Finland Introduction The policy context Expansion of the system Type and level of studies Fields of study General overview Education, social sciences, business and law Humanities and Arts Agriculture, health and welfare Institutional landscape Expansion and development of the institutional structure Institutional development Internationalisation Conclusions References Norway Introduction The policy context Expansion of the system Expansion in absolute numbers of students, entrants and degrees Share of an age cohort Conclusions Type and level of studies Types of studies Level of studies Fields of study A general overview Education Humanities and arts Social sciences, business and law Science, mathematics and computing Engineering, manufacturing and construction Health and welfare Conclusions Institutional landscape A typology 4.6.2 The development of types of institutions Internationalisation Conclusions References Sweden Introduction The policy context four distinct different directions Expansion of the system Expansion in absolute numbers of students, entrants and degrees Share of an age cohort Conclusions Type and level of studies Type of studies Level of studies Fields of study A general overview The Humanities Social sciences Natural sciences Technology/Engineering Health and medicine Teacher education Conclusions Institutional landscape A typology The development of types of institutions Internationalisation Conclusions References Conclusions Introduction The overall expansion Types of study Fields of study Institutions References Appendix List of Tables List of Figures Summary The aim of this report is to give an overall account of the patterns of enrolment to higher education in the four Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Enrolment is analysed from a range of different angles. First, we study the overall numbers of students over the last half century. Roughly, the systems have expanded more than tenfold in a period of a little more than half a century, and we have seen a transition from systems of elite education to mass education, to now having reached a stage of universal access. Higher education in 214 simply means something very different from what it meant in There are a number of explanations for the overall expansion. At a very general level, the economic transition from a society largely based on agricultural production to an industrial society, and to today s post-industrial service-based economy is closely related to the expansion of the educational system in general, and the higher education system in particular. This is conditioned by a political will to expand the system and increase the funding in order to do so. Such an ambition has been apparent in all studied countries. This ambition has been paired with an increasing demand for higher education, clearly expressed by the increased participation of women in higher education. Another factor is that the educational offer has been widened due to, among other things, upgraded credential requirements for many semi-professions. In addition, many educational programmes have been extended, increasing the time individuals spend in higher education, which affects the overall volume of the system. In later years, the intensified internationalisation of higher education has meant increasing numbers of incoming students, forming a substantial part of the student population. We also highlight that the expansion has not been continuous, but rather occurred in two large waves, in the 196s and in the 199s. Very different conditions were at hand for each of the two phases. The first expansion of the 196s was implemented at a time of long and stable economic growth and an increasing demand for a more skilled labour force. This was also driven by a demographic growth, especially when the baby-boomers of the 194s reached the age of university entrance in the 196s. This stands in sharp contrast to the expansion of the 199s, which occurred in a time of economic stagnation and crisis, and with a declining youth population. Second, we analyse the enrolment for the last three decades with regard to different types of education, such as divisions between courses and programmes, types of programme and the length and the level of educational programmes. Today, all the Nordic countries have implemented the threecycle structure of the Bologna process, where the overlaying cycles require exams from the underlying cycles. For our four countries it is noteworthy that the time frame has differed. Denmark had already in 1993 introduced a system, which was thus in line with the Bologna model. For the others it ranged from the implementation in Norway in 23, to Finland in 25, and then Sweden in 27. Even more important, the Bologna system was varied in line with the existing national systems. In 7 Norway, higher education studies had traditionally led to two types of degree, bachelor s and master s, but these were normally longer programmes, leading to up to 6 years. In Finland, the master s degree dominated at the universities and the bachelor s degree was less important. Sweden had probably the most complex system, with a large variety of programme length, which had to be squeezed into the two main types of degrees. The conclusion here is that the homogenisation imposed by the Bologna process on the four studied countries has meant very different things for each of them: a less complex system in Sweden, shorter programmes in Norway, a strengthening of the bachelor s programme in Finland, while Denmark has been rather unaffected since it had already introduced the Bologna structure in Third, we analyse the dispersion of the students over the fields of study on different levels of aggregate. We have seen a developmental trait that the Nordic countries have in common: there has been an enormous growth in Social science, business and law, and this field is the largest in terms of student numbers at the end of the observation period (around 21). This growth seems mainly to be driven by a rapid expansion of Business administration. This development may be understood in terms of three kinds of explanation. There has been an educational inflation, which has led to exceeding educational requirements for the same kind of work. Certain jobs for which completed upper secondary education would suffice in the past, may now require an MBA degree. The development may also be seen as a reflection of changes in the economy. The industry of business services, for example, has grown tremendously and its share of the total labour force has increased in all four countries. Another big and growing field in all the Nordic countries is Health and welfare. This development may also be viewed as a reflection of increasing demand. The industry of Health and social services has grown enormously. The field of Education has increased numerically and decreased relative to other fields in all four Nordic countries. The development in Humanities and arts has been similar to that of Education in Denmark and Norway. The field of Science, mathematics and computing has developed unevenly, with a substantial increase in the subfield of Computing up until the burst of the dotcom bubble in the early 2s, followed by an initial decrease and then a small increase in the last couple of years. In Engineering, manufacturing and construction we have seen a downward trend relative to other fields. One dimension of this development may be the abovementioned reduction of the manufacturing industries in the Nordic countries. One can also notice a difference between fields most closely related to the private industrial sector and fields oriented towards public sector such as Health and Education, where the conjunctures for the former, especially Technology and Science, varies more than for the latter. Fourth and finally, we analyse enrolment in relation to the landscape of higher education institutions, depicted by types of institution as well as specific institutions. In the Nordic countries the institutional structures of higher education have changed considerably during the years of expansion and massification. In addition to the growth in numbers and size of institutions, the general trend has been one of overall diversification. This stands in contrast to the situation before the education explosion after the Second World War, when the basic structures of the university systems were quite similar, with larger universities accompanied by specialised institutions of engineering and business, as well as small institutions of fine and industrial arts. During the post-war expansion new universities and university colleges were established. They usually had a strong regional mission and character. Some of these types of institution have later expanded and gained university status. Despite the differences of the national systems we see possibilities for a common classification including three basic types of institution: universities, university colleges, and specialised institutions. Some specialised institutions have had university status in the national system from early on, and they could be also called mono-faculty universities, as in the Danish case. The specialised institutions include three main types: technical institutions, business schools and art academies. Regarding system expansion, relatively similar overall trends emerge. After the long years of growth in the number of size of higher education institutions, expansion has slowed down or levelled out, and there has been a move towards structural rationalisation and mergers. Examples of relatively 8 aggressive merger policies can be found, for instance, in Denmark and Finland. On the other hand, expansion has been maintained by upgrading new sectors, formerly not part of higher education, to the higher education system. The founding of the AMKs in Finland serves as an example of a reform which more than doubled the number of higher education institutions overnight. If we look at the expansion in relative terms, it is evident that growth has been directed especially to the specialised institutions and the university colleges. This is very clear in the case of Finland, where the new type of institutions, the AMKs, introduced in the 199s, saw their number of students increase steeply at the same time as the enrolment to the universities was staggering. In Sweden, the university colleges tripled their numbers while the universities increased by no more than 5 per cent. For the latter half of the 199s, when there are relevant data in Norway, the university colleges grew continuously, while the universities had stable numbers. The exception here is Denmark, where the university sector has had the most prolific development and a steady increase in absolute and relative numbers. One conclusion from the institutional development is that much evidence suggests that the university sector has become much more exclusive in relative terms over time. While, on the one hand, the whole system of higher education has expanded rapidly in our four countries, and increasing shares of an age cohort have entered higher education, studies at traditional universities and specialised institutions, have on the other hand become more exclusive among higher education students. Whether this also translates into a more socially and meritocratic exclusive recruitment to these institutions will be a central question in future publications from the project. 9 1 Introduction Mikael Börjesson It is often said that there exists a specific Nordic model of higher education. This model is characterised by largely publicly-owned systems, which are relatively closely regulated by the state, include high levels of public funding and no or low student fees, with strong influences from egalitarian traditions. In such a model, higher education has also been seen as an important pillar in the welfare system, not only through the emphasis on broad and equal access, but also by educating the professionals needed for the development of the welfare state (Välimaa 25; Vabø and Aamodt 28; Gornitzka and Maassen 212). However, today there is increasing evidence that the Nordic systems of higher education have moved in new directions and it is now an open question if a unified model still exists. Among the most important transformations we can mention the following. The number of students has increased dramatically and this has also involved the establishment of new institutions. Internationalisation has become a more integrated part of the national systems, and an increased emphasis on efficiency, competition and market orientation has become apparent. The Bologna process has been implemented in itself an indication of the increased importance of the international level although timetables and the degrees of adjustments have varied (Kim 22, Tomusk 26, Kehm, et al. 21). In short, the systems appear to have been transformed from cohesive and standardised entities, administered largely within the nation state, into more diverse and complex national and international higher education landscapes. There is today a large body of literature on these different processes of transformation for individual countries as well as for such larger regions as the EU. Most of this literature focuses on the organisation of higher education, including different aspects of policy change and implementation of reforms. 1 There is also a substantial literature on recruitment to higher education in terms of educational attainment and social mobility (Breen & Jonsson 25). A central tradition is focusing on inequality of access as regards class, gender and ethnicity, which comprises both studies of individual countries (e.g. Hansen 1999; Mare 1979; Gambetta 1987; Mastekaasa 25; Helland 213; Modood 24) and comparative approaches (e.g. Shavit & Blossfeld 1993; Erikson & Jonsson 1996; Heath, Rothon & Kilpi 28). Yet another area of research relates to the expansion of higher education. The work of Martin Trow in the early 197s, on the transition of higher education from an elite system to a mass and consequently a universal system (1972), is canonical. 1 For references, see the complementary project report on the organisation of higher education in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, NIFU report 34 (214). 11 These three mentioned streams of research are related to each other. The sheer size of the higher education system largely determines organisational aspects as well as recruitment patterns. A larger system demands more administrative resources and tends to be more complex. This also implies more diversified recruitment patterns. The expansion of a system often produces new social divisions, where higher education in itself becomes less distinguishing and the seat of learning and the fields of study more important. In our project, Nordic Fields of Higher Education, our ambition is to combine studies of the organisation of higher education with studies of the recruitment patterns. The aim of this report is to give an overall account of the enrolment patterns in the four Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Each country is devoted a separate chapter. Enrolment is analysed from a range of different angles. First, we study the overall numbers of students over the last half century. This implies that we capture the two largest waves of expansion of higher education in modern history, that is, those in the 196s and 199s. In addition to the total number of students enrolled, the number of entrants and degrees taken is considered, and all is set against the demographic development. For these general analyses of the expansion, we also take into account differences between men and women. Second, the enrolment is analysed with regard to different types of education, such as divisions between courses and programmes, types of programme and the length and the level of the educational programmes. Third, the dispersion of the students over the fields of study is analysed on different levels of aggregate. Fourth and finally, enrolment is analysed in relation to the landscape of higher education institutions, depicted by types of institutions as well as specific institutions. The report contains a conclusion, drawing upon the themes analysed for each country and comparing the results cross-nationally. The data and analyses presented in this report are filling an apparent lacuna in the literature on higher education. Studies of enrolment tend to focus on shorter time-spans, often is the last 1 years covered in statistical products from national statistical organisations and national agencies of higher education. If longer periods are covered, the data referred predominantly cover only certain aspects of the enrolment, such as the total enrolment or the share of a cohort that enters higher education, but more seldom more exhaustive analyses. As stated above, most publications refer to individual countries, and comparisons are rare. One exception is of course the OECD reports, especially the annually published Education at a glance (OECD 214), but the data presented on participation in higher education almost exclusively focus on the last available year with data. The level of aggregation is very high. Data on fields of study are only presented on the most aggregated level, the 1 digit level, and no analysis of types of institutions is provided, only a separation of tertiary programmes of type A (ISCED 5A, more theoretical oriented programmes) and type B (ISCED 5B, more vocational oriented programmes) is used. For the Nor
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