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.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.
Romania is an active player in various international higher education areas, while undergoing a series of higher education reforms within its national framework. The Higher Education Evidence Based Policy Making: a necessary premise for progress in Romania project was implemented by the Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding (UEFISCDI) in the timeframe February 2012 - February 2014, being co-financed by the European Social Fund through the Operational Programme "Administrative Capacity Development". The project aimed to increase the capacity of public administration for evidence-based policy making in the field of higher education, while focusing on good practices at international level and impact assessment. With the contribution of the national and international experts, the project has generated a number of analysis and studies on the existing higher education public policies (quality assurance, internationalisation, equity, data collection, the Bologna Process, financing of higher education). Based on the results of the project, the book will reunite a number of policy research articles which would tap into the innovative aspects of the project's activities and provide a concise overview of what good practices can be drawn from the empirical research conducted in this project. The book will therefore aim to improve the information on Romanian higher education reforms, as well as on the concrete evidence-based policy proposals which could be transformed into future policy solutions in the Romanian higher education system.