Oct 3 2018

Educational leadership in Norway

Despite international and domestic reforms in higher education in the past decades, results indicate a gap between macro-level policy-making and its implementation at micro-level.

Nicoline Frølich (NIFU), Per Olaf Aamodt (NIFU) and Bjørn Stensaker (NIFU/UiO) have published a new journal article in Higher Education Policy on educational leadership. As international and domestic policy initiatives continue to sweep over higher education, it is necessary to study how those responsible for the implementation of the many initiatives taken perceive and respond to the many expectations about change and renewal. The article offers insights into how educational leaders responsible for the management of study programmes at micro-level interpret external expectations and how they prioritize between them in their daily work.

The results provide indications of a (continued) gap between macro-level policy-making and its implementation at micro-level. While European policy initiatives and domestic reforms indeed have put their mark on the higher education sector, there is also considerable evidence that structural changes at systems level may not always have the greatest of impact at micro-level.

The article is available here: «Policy, perceptions, and practice: a study of educational leadership and their balancing of expectations and interests at micro-level».

The article is based on data drawn from a unique survey among heads of study programmes at Norwegian higher education institutions. The results from this survey were published as a NIFU working paper in 2016. The paper (in Norwegian) is available here: NIFU Arbeidsnotat 2016:10 – Utdanningsledelse: En analyse av ledere av studieprogrammer i høyere utdanning.

For more information, contact
Nicoline Frølich, Head of research, Higher education
(+47) 960 94 037