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Drive-by Governing and Policy Rerouting: The Case of Quality Evaluations in Swedish Higher Education
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
2015 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper focuses on political moves and intentions underlying the highly debated quality assurance reform in Swedish Higher Education from 2010 – a system with a result oriented approach mainly directed to assess student outcomes – against the backdrop of current and ongoing policy developments which will reform the system. The aim is to describe and analyse the policy process underlying the quality assurance reform from 2010 and to discuss to what extent shifts and continuities can be observed with regards to the current restructuring of the quality assurance system. Empirically, the official documents produced in the process leading up to the 2010 reform are analysed, such as the Government bill and the subsequent Parliamentary debate, complemented with publications from other stakeholders such as agencies and associations. Theoretically, the paper draws on an approach in policy analysis asking What’s the Problem represented to be? (Bacchi, 2009), emphasizing the constructed nature of policy problems and the power relations at play when some issues are incorporated into policy processes while others are left out, thereby framing and legitimizing certain solutions.  In conclusion, the paper draws attention to how certain modes and processes of policymaking correspondingly permeate the actual policy, as illustrated by the shift from the competitive-oriented (Lewin, 2002) ‘drive-by governing’ to ‘policy rerouting’ via the more consensus-oriented process initiated in April 2014.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Educational Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-100845OAI: diva2:794353
The 43rd Annual Congress of the Nordic Educational Research Association (NERA)
Swedish Research Council, Dnr 721-2012-5424
Available from: 2015-03-11 Created: 2015-03-11 Last updated: 2015-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Rönnberg, LindaLindgren, Joakim
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