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    Register now

    Register now for the 36th Annual EAIR Forum, which will be hosted by the University of Duisburg-Essen in Essen, Germany. More

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    Meet colleagues from the field during the 36th Annual EAIR Forum. More

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    Become a member today and be part of a network of colleagues in your professional field. More

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    EC election

    Cast your vote for the four vacant positions in the EAIR Executive Committee 2014-2017. More

Who we are

EAIR, The European Association for Institutional Research, is a unique international association for higher education researchers, practitioners, managers and policy-makers. Read more

Forum Registration Is Open Till 24 August

You can only register electronically. To register online please go to: the registration form.
The early bird deadline is now closed

The website registration form should also be used to register for the EAIR social events that you will be interested to attend; Welcome Reception, Forum Social Dinner, Forum Banquet, Special Interest Group (workshop) sessions, etc. If you will be bringing along an accompanying person (AP) you are also required to register his/her name on the same form so that a Forum AP badge will be arranged.

Upon receipt of the completed registration forms the EAIR Secretariat will send you an invoice with an itemised list of all the events for which you have registered with the payment details. You will be requested to arrange the payment within two weeks after the invoice date. The invoice amount must be paid in Euro €. Please contact the EAIR Secretariat in Amsterdam in case of doubt.

The invoice is the confirmation of your Forum participation. Upon your registration, your name will be added to an electronic list of participants on the Forum website. We will advise you to check this list regularly to see if you name is included.

At the Forum venue, you (and your accompanying person if registered) will be given the Forum badge(s). Please visibly wear your badge in all Forum sessions and in all social and academic events that you have registered for.

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Markets and Managerialism in Higher Education: enhancing diversity or promoting conformity?

Are markets and ‘managerialism’ inevitable – and also desirable, especially if we want more diversity and excellence in higher education? This is the question I plan to address in my talk to the EAIR conference in Essen in August.

Across Europe the direction of travel seems to be towards a stronger managerial culture in universities as Governments grant institutions greater operational autonomy. There are several reasons for this shift:

  • One is certainly the pressure that State budgets have come under in post-2008 ‘austerity Europe’. The hope is that by devolving management (and budgetary) responsibilities from Ministries to universities costs can be cut;
  • A second reason is the emphasis on universities as entrepreneurial organisations in the wider context of the knowledge society – especially in a competitive global economy in which Europe fears it may losing ground to more vigorous competitors (notably in east Asia);
  • A third reason is the concern that state bureaucracies, and perhaps public systems of higher education more generally, produce too much uniformity. If we want more diversity, institutions must be free to determine their own destinies. The language of the ‘market’ has invaded higher education – niche products, brands, business strategies and the rest.

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Linking research, practice and policy

It comes as no surprise to anyone familiar with recent Euro events that the challenges affecting Irish higher education are tied up with the country’s slow emergence from a financial and economic collapse that saw core expenditure per student decline by 15% since 2008 and a reduction of almost 2,000 in staff numbers. At the same time, total number of learners, including full-time and part-time, undergraduate and postgraduate, have increased, and will continue to rise between now and 2020. This is in line with a projected demographic expansion and labour market demand. Remarkably, despite having experienced over 15% unemployment a few years ago, the requirement for graduates may now exceed the current 69% participation rate.

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