Eurograd message

Message posted on 19/11/2018

Lecture Catherine Paradise on "In search of academic quality", 7 December 2018

Dear all,

You are cordially invited to the public lecture of Professor Catherine Paradeise (Institute for Research and Innovation in Society, University Paris-Est):

In search of academic quality: Typologies of universities along multiple regimes of worth
CWTS seminar room, 5th floor Willem Einthoven building
Kolffpad 1, 2333 BN Leiden (
Friday 7 December, 15:00h-16:30h

Starting in the 1980-1990s, NPM-style reforms have strongly impacted the European Higher Education and Research systems, by organizing performance-based competition between universities, using mostly research metrics to assess what came to be called "excellence". Such policies aimed at upgrading the world status of national HER institutions by concentrating resources in the top-performing ones, which would help them become "Word Class Universities". Such orientations made it obvious for many social actors, from governments to students, that the metrics they used were THE true expression of quality, rather than one among its several proxies.
Yet, the rise of performance-driven policies introduced tensions between this new "regime of worth" and various socially built reputational judgments, which had prevailed before. The crossing of these two regimes of worth – performance- vs reputation-based – help identify four types of HER institutions. Each of them implements excellence policies in its own way, both as a consequence of how, as a whole and as the complex of its subunits, it deals with each regime of worth, and as a consequence of its strategic capacity as an organization.
The presentation describes the rationale of each type of university. It helps understand the orientation of the various types towards reforms, their ability to face them, and the resulting positive and negative impacts of performance-based policies in a world that invites not only techno-scientific developments, but also service to the local labor markets and education to citizenship.
The presentation develops a theoretical model that has been tested on 17 universities in six countries and claims relevance across all. The discussion will tell how much relevant it also is in the Dutch case.

Catherine Paradeise is professor emeritus at Université Paris Est, member of the research center LATTS (Université Paris Est-Marne la Vallée, Ecole des Ponts - Paris Tech and Centre national de la recherche scientifique). Recently, she has chaired the French Laboratory of Excellence IFRIS (Institut Francilien Recherche Innovation Société).

Bloch, R., Mitterle, A., Paradeise, C. and T. Peter, Universities and the production of Elites, Palgrave, 2018.
Paradeise C. and J.-C. Thoenig , In search of Academic Quality, Palgrave-McMillan, 2015.

Sarah de Rijcke
CWTS, Leiden University | |
Twitter @sarahderijcke | Skype: sarahderijcke
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