• This course analyzes a set of higher education policies that resonate globally. That is, they are being developed and implemented across nation states and within regions—although the nature and reality of implementation varies widely. While the most dramatic regional manifestation is the Bologna Process in Europe, similar policies are apparent in North and South America, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. They include policies to change higher education financing, to create new governance and managerial structures, to modify existing relationships between research, teaching, and learning, to introduce 'borderless' higher education, and to accommodate changing labor market needs through life-long learning and alternative post-secondary school institutions. The course looks at these policies from a global and regional perspective, as well as through developments in individual nation states.
  • Subnational units of government, defined as municipalities and regions/provinces, as long as they have their own sources of revenue and clear responsibilities according to national constitutions, play an increasing role in financing their economic and service-delivery infrastructure.In tight fiscal circumstances, subnational units of government face not only constricted resources, but also increased demands directly from the citizens and taxpayers.For this reason, what and how the subnational level finances is a critical element in any State’s public finance system, and is a determinant of public welfare.

    ·The course will discuss the bank-driven, West European, as well as aspects of the capital market-driven North American or Anglo-Saxon model.

    ·In addition, given the student audience, we will look at infrastructure financing at the subnational level in select transition countries, such as Poland, Hungary, and the Western Balkans (Ex-Yugoslavia).

    ·The course will be grounded in models supported by actual practice, and the participants will be expected to research the subnational financing system of their own countries and base their group assignment on such inquiry.

    ·Some of the specialized sessions may involve guest speakers with legal and financial backgrounds (For example, Public Private Partnerships, or how banks evaluate municipal creditworthiness).

    ·Students will be expected to present the borrowing framework of a country of their choosing (group assignment), as well as independently write a policy brief to a fictional minister in another country, outlining the most critical missing element in the legal framework for municipal borrowing.



  • This course aims to offer a critical overview of the political issues and debates that shape and influence contemporary higher education policies. More specifically, it aims to approach relevant issues in the field of education in relation to broader public policies, and discuss their implications in/for the students’ own experience and research. It asks the following key questions about policies, debates and conflicts in higher education – (1) What is higher education about? (2) Who should it be for? (3) How should it be governed? (4) Who should decide? –– and uses them to understand issues such as access, (in)equalities, (de)regulation, transnationalization, commodification, values, roles and purposes of education, etc. The course aims to move beyond the technical-rational descriptions that sometimes dominate the research on higher education, and focus on the deeply contested, and thus political, nature of the field.