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  • 51.
    Isling Poromaa, Pär
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Holmlund, Kerstin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Om betydelsen av skolhabitus i högstadiepraktiken2012In: Pedagogisk forskning i Sverige, ISSN 1401-6788, E-ISSN 2001-3345, Vol. 17, no 1-2, p. 45-60Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [sv]

    Artikeln studerar hur grundskolepraktiken framträder för elever och vilken betydelse den har för deras uppfattningar om sin tillvaro i skolan. Den fokuserar skoleffekter relaterade till sociala och pedagogiska aktiviteter. Artikeln bygger på en studie som genomfördes i en åttondeklass på en högstadieskola där en majoritet av eleverna kommer från familjer med hög utbildningsnivå. Empirin består av intervjuer, klassrumsobservationer och policydokument. Studien visar att de ideal skolan grundar sin praktik på, skolhabitus, får olika konsekvenser beroende av hur väl elever kan förkroppsliga dessa ideal. Beroende på framgångar i detta avseende följer ett mer eller mindre positivt bemötande och större eller mindre frihet i klass-rummet.

  • 52.
    Liljeström, Monica
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Collaborative learning as peer review in online and distance education2009In: Readings in Technology and Education: Proceedings of ICICTE 2009 / [ed] Fernstrom Ken, University of the Fraser Valley Press , 2009, p. 505-515Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 53.
    Liljeström, Monica
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Stödberg, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Peer review for learning in online and distance education2008In: Tidskrift för lärarutbildning och forskning, ISSN 1404-7659, Vol. 15, no 3-4, p. 115-132Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article the authors' reports early findings from a project aimed to implement and evaluate peer review in online and distance university education. Data was collected through an online questionnaire with open and closed questions aimed to capture student experiences in a distance course, in which peer review preceded by criteria discussions was implemented. In this article the aim is to learn more about strengths and obstacles with peer review, and participation through ICT and text based communication. A majority of the students found that participating in peer review was valuable, although some found participation a bit taxing and too time consuming. Participation through ICT and text based discussions was found sufficient by the majority although a few students found it restraining. The conclusion is that it can be well worth continuing exploring peer review and how to design this element to support students learning in online and distance university education.

  • 54.
    Lindgren, Joakim
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER).
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Segerholm, Christina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Cultivating the juridified self?: Regulation, socialisation and new forms of work against degrading treatment in schools2019In: NERA 2019 Abstract Book 2019-03-06, 2019, p. 826-827Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A popular contemporary narrative asserts that Sweden has become “the society of easily offended victims” (Eberhard, 2009; see also Berensten, 2014; Dahlstrand, 2012; Heberlein, 2005; Zaremba, 2008). Official statistics show how defamation of character claims have increased dramatically over time (The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, 2018). Such observations relates to developments in the school system where the number of complaints regarding degrading treatment (DT) have also increased (The Swedish Schools Inspectorate, 2018). Overall, schools’ work against DT is framed by increasing awareness of the role of formal obligations, trials, evidence, damages, individual rights and childrens’ subjective experiences of being offended. Plans, preventions, expanding forms of investigations and documentation are enacted in order to provide guarantees that DT do not occur; that is, that students are not exposed to any behaviour that violates their “dignity” (The Swedish Education Act SFS 2010:800, §6).

    The increasing legal framing when it comes to schools’ work with problems of DT has been discussed in terms of juridification (Lindgren, Carlbaum, Hult & Segerholm, in press). The overall aim of this study is to explore how new judicial forms of work against DT in Swedish schools affect young people’s socialisation and identity. In a previous study, based on interviews with students, we could not confirm any radically new patterns of socialisation (Lindgren, Hult, Carlbaum & Segerholm, 2018). The present study then, is an attempt to validate these results by including the perspective of experienced school actors who have a different overview and relation to the issues at hand. We thus analyse interviews with both school actors and students from grade five and grade eight when reasoning about problems of DT and how such problems are understood and acted on in schools.

    Our theoretical framework establishes a direct link between juridification and socialisation through Habermas’ ideas on the colonisation of the lifeworld by the instrumental rationality of bureaucracies and market-forces (Habermas, 1987). Juridification thus describe how intuitive forms of everyday communication, norms and values becomes reified by legal logic (Habermas, 1987). Drawing on these ideas Honneth (2014) has offered examples of social pathologies that significantly impairs the ability to take part in important forms of social cooperation.

    We interviewed students, teachers, head teachers, school staff and responsible officials at the municipality level at five schools in two municipalities. Both students and school staff talk about the juridified significance of DT, that it is decided by the offended person, but have ambiguous ideas ofthe juridified way that the school handle incidents. Both school staff and students claim that the word DT (kränkning) mostly is used by students jokingly, e.g. when reprimanded. Students hesitate in informing teachers of incidents because it sets in motion disproportionate investigations, e.g. informing parents. Thus, students want the teachers to see and know of incidents, but not necessarily to act upon them according to formal standards. Overall, such preliminary results indicate that increasing regulation in school may cultivate juridified selves by stressing subjective feelings and formal investigations while muting dialogue.

  • 55.
    Lindgren, Joakim
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Segerholm, Christina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    To see or not to see: challenges in teachers’ enactment of policies on degrading treatment in Sweden2018In: Abstract book NERA, 8-10 March 2018: Educational Research: Boundaries, Breaches and Bridges: 95, University of Oslo , 2018, p. 94-94Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    One of many challenges that teachers face on a daily basis is related to problems with degrading treatment. Teachers work in order to establish a working environment where children can learn; both knowledge and norms and values, i.e how to live together and to understand, care for and respect each other in line with the “fundamental values” in the curriculum (The Swedish National Agency for Education, 2011). All schools are regulated by a policy of zero tolerance towards degrading treatment (The Child and School Student Representative, 2017). The challenge, however, is immense, if not abysmal: hundreds of children obligated to spend year after year in a cramped facility without ever troubling each other with derogatoriness, rumours, ridicule or shoving. Teachers take on this difficult challenge with a broad repertoire of pedagogical tools based on research, theory, experience and tacit knowledge. They deal with chaos and unpredictability in contexts where no single method, plan or manual apply (Cardell, 2017: 226).In this paper we draw attention to how this challenge has been transformed by recent legal regulation of teachers’ work. The School Act has expanded the regulations on degrading treatment and teachers and school staff are today responsible to report any degrading treatment to the principal who in turn has an obligation to report it further to the governing body. This regulation is added to the obligation to quickly investigate and take necessary measures to counteract such treatment (Prop. 2009/10:165; SFS 2010:800).Based on 35 interviews with municipal officials, school directors, school leaders, teachers and other school staff (n 60) in seven schools in two municipalities we describe and analyse how teachers handle issues related to degrading treatment as the pedagogical challenge has been converted into, or complemented by, a judicial challenge primarily oriented towards objective representation of past events. For instance, teachers have to determine, at every incident occurring during the school day, if it should be reported as degrading treatment or not. Reporting has certain consequences, for example time consuming activities of documentation including administration of evolving digital reporting systems, discussions with colleagues and students and communication with parents demanding careful balance and precision. Not reporting has other consequences, e.g. it involves risk taking in terms of accountability since every incident has the potential to later become part of a complaint on degrading treatment issued to The Swedish Schools Inspectorate or The Child and School Student Representative. Thus, to see or not to see incidents is not only a question of teachers’ attention and immediate subsequential action or mindful awaiting – it is a choice that involves a range of strategic and defensive considerations that in a profound way alters teachers’ professional gaze, understanding and practice.The paper is theoretically informed by ideas on policy enactment (Ball, Maguire & Braun, 2012) that provide an overall understanding of issues of policy implementation in times of juridification. In order to qualify the analysis of teachers’ challenges and conflicts between different logics we draw on theories on teacher professionalism (e.g. Englund & Solbrekke, 2015; Solbrekke & Englund, 2011).

  • 56.
    Lindgren, Joakim
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Rönnberg, Linda
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Segerholm, Christina
    Mittuniversitetet, Härnösand.
    Mediating school inspection: key dimensions and keywords in official Swedish discourse 2003-20102011In: Network 23: Policy Studies and Politics of Education / [ed] European Educational Research Association (EERA), Berlin: ECER , 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper reports on an analysis of texts published by the Swedish school inspection authorities describing the aims, directions and procedures of school inspection.The analysis serves to advance our understanding of the Swedish inspection regime. Inspection, or more precisely the mediation of inspection, is understood as part of contemporary education governing.

    Methodology: The study is a textual analysis of information materials, reports, official annual accounts and plans, and other official texts directed to the government, municipalities, schools and the public, produced by the National Agency for Education (between 2003-2008) and the Swedish Schools Inspectorate (2008-2010). The analysis concentrates on key themes and key words conveying dominant ideas of inspection and education and is structured around five dimensions based on an understanding of inspection as education governance and on characteristics of the Swedish education system.

    Conclusions: Preliminary results suggest that the rhetoric and dominant ideas in/of school inspection changed when the responsibility of inspection was transferred to the Swedish School Inspectorate in autumn 2008. Key concepts before then are more supportive to schools and municipalities, recognising local conditions. Later, a language more directed to detect shortcomings, and to support an ideology of individual rights and ?juridification? is apparent.

  • 57.
    Lindgren, Joakim
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Segerholm, Christina
    Pedagogiska institutionen, Mittuniversitetet.
    Rönnberg, Linda
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Mediating school inspection: Key dimensions and keywords in agency text production 2003-20102012In: Education Inquiry, ISSN 2000-4508, E-ISSN 2000-4508, ISSN 2000-4508, Vol. 3, no 4, p. 569-590Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper reports on an analysis of how school inspection in Sweden – its aims, directions and procedures – is portrayed in texts produced by the responsible national authorities. The study involves a textual analysis of official annual accounts and plans (texts directed to the government,municipalities, schools and the public) produced by the National Agency for Education and the Swedish Schools Inspectorate. The analysis concentrates on key concepts conveying the dominant ideas of inspection and education. The analysis is structured around four dimensions that arebased on an understanding of inspection as education governance and on the characteristics of the Swedish education system. The results suggest that the rhetoric and dominant ideas of school inspection changed when the responsibility for inspection was transferred to the Swedish Schools Inspectorate in the autumn of 2008. Key concepts before that time are more supportive of schools and municipalities, recognising local conditions. Later, a language with the intention of detecting shortcomings and supporting an ideology of individual rights and juridification is apparent.

  • 58.
    Lindgren, Joakim
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Rönnberg, Linda
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Segerholm, Christina
    Mid Sweden university, Härnösand, Sweden.
    In your opinion, what is quality in Swedish compulsory education?: Conflicting conceptions of education quality in times of accountability and assessment?2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 59.
    Olofsson, Anders
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Education.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Education.
    Bilden av läraren i examinationen av lärarkandidater vid utbildningen till 1-7-lärare i Falun/Borlänge1999Report (Other academic)
  • 60.
    Olofsson, Anders
    et al.
    Mittuniversitetet.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    What is quality in higher education?: Vice-chancellors’ notions in times of accountability in Sweden2015In: Abstract Book, NERA 4-6 March 2015: Marketisation and Differentiation in Education, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper is part of a research program that aims to explore and evaluate the Swedish quality evaluation system with respect to how it operates in governing higher education. Both internationally and in Sweden, quality has been the word of honor when discussing and evaluating higher education. However, what quality implies varies among different evaluation systems and purposes of evaluations (Dahler-Larsen 2008). Drawing on this, it is interesting to explore what the front representatives of universities and university colleges emphasize as quality in higher education.

     

    The aim of this paper is to map out and analyze all Swedish vice-chancellors’ notions on quality in higher education (HE).

    What different notions on quality in HE do they express?

    What are the means to accomplish this quality, according to the vice-chancellors?

     

    Evaluative activities are understood as closely linked to the governing of education (Ozga et al. 2011) and as part of education policy transfer through international organizations and networks like the OECD and the EU and ENQA (Grek et al. 2009; Dale & Robertson 2009).

     

    In-depth interviews with more than 90% of all vice-chancellors in Sweden have been performed and analyzed in order to highlight the main qualitative differences. Four categories of notions are identified, varying from quality being expressed by high international ranking to quality being a successful development of individual student talents. The paper will discuss the variations between and within these notions. Furthermore, the four notions will be analyzed in relation to old and new universities as well as universities and university colleges.

  • 61.
    Olofsson, Anders
    et al.
    Mittuniversitetet.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Lindgren, Joakim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    The idea of a University in times of quality assurance: the voices of Swedish vice chancellors2015In: ECER 2015, 7-11 September, Hungary: Education and Transition - Contributions from Educational Research, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The classical debate on the idea of the university goes back to the 19th century, originating in the intellectual and humanistic visions of Cardinal John Henry Newman in England and Wilhelm Von Humboldt in Germany. The history of the modern university, the celebration of triumph of reason over dogma and the notion of academic freedom and self-governance, which is even older, was borne of the 12th century Bologna Charter. During the 20th century, this debate continued and somewhat different idealised models of the university were presented (Wyatt 1990). During the 1960–1970s, intellectuals such as Habermas and Parsons sought to protect principles of the Enlightenment from becoming rigidified in factories of mass-produced technical expertise (Habermas 1987; Parsons & Platt 1973). In the 1990s, similar discussions emerged as new public management and academic capitalism continued to make its entry while turning higher education into what some called the “McUniversity in the postmodern consumer society” (Ritzer 1996).

    In the wake of more recent transformations of the higher education sector, scholars have returned to this debate (O’Byrne & Bond 2014; Rider, Hasselberg Waluszewski 2013). For example, it has been argued that the increasing external (and internal) monitoring, quality assurance and evaluation, together with the continued embracement of NPM, has managed to further erode intellectual ideals and push aside the free pursuit of knowledge. The need for external quality assurance has been questioned: Is not continuous self-evaluation intrinsic to the very discovery of knowledge—to the idea of a university as such? (Jarvis 2014)

    Against this background, the aim of this paper is to investigate the current ideas of a university in Sweden. Overall, the development in higher education in Sweden appears to follow international trends (Segerholm et al. 2014). Swedish higher education has undergone several reforms from 1993 and onwards that have produced governing tensions which reflect moves of simultaneous deregulation/decentralization/self-governing, and re-regulation/centralization including problems of balancing control/accountability and support (Segerholm et al. 2012). In the words of Segerholm et al. (2014: 7), higher education has ‘moved from being an internally managed “ill-defined problem” (evaluated by professionals themselves who needed leeway to define their own practice) to a “well-defined problem” managed and controlled by external (and internal) “expertise” by way of using indicators and standards’. We know what national and local policies say about the role of higher education—the key words—innovation, quality, internationalization, development, competitiveness, etc.—are all familiar. However, the mainstream agenda for universities constructed and maintained in modalities of the knowledge economy have international, as well as national, opponents (Barnett 2011; Gustafsson 2014).

    This paper then, more specifically, aims to investigate what responsible key actors have to say on this critical issue. Vice chancellors are such key actors in their capacity as representatives for their universities in the Association of Swedish Higher Education (SUHF). What kind of ideas, conceptions and visions do the vice chancellors express concerning the role of the university today?

    The study is part of the project ‘Governing by Evaluation in Higher Education in Sweden’, which evaluates the recent reform of quality evaluations in higher education and examines the ways in which it may be understood as governing education. By way of interviewing rectors regarding their ideas of the university, we examine and make sense of these tensions in order to understand ideas, systems and practices within the transformed higher education sector with a particular focus on implications that are related to quality assurance and evaluation.

     

    Method

    In order to highlight different, and possibly even contradictory, views on what a university and a university college is, all vice chancellors in Sweden were interviewed. A total of 35 vice chancellors answered our questions on this topic: ‘What characterises a university (university college)’? and ‘What makes it a university (university college)’? All of the interviews were conducted by telephone, recorded and fully transcribed. The analyses of the transcribed interviews were done by qualitative ideology analysis (Bergström & Boréus, 2005) that focused the content and significance of the vice-chancellors’ views on what characterises a university/university college and sought to identify similarities and variations. The universities and university colleges were classified into four categories, including old established, relatively new, regional and aesthetic/musical, in order to investigate possible links between the vice chancellors’ views and type of university. The results will be discussed in relation to the historically dominating forms of what a university is and the current debate on what it should be (e.g., Englund et al 2008, Shattock 2014, Rider et al. 2013, Rider, Hasselberg Waluszewski 2013).

     

    Expected Outcomes

    The preliminary results indicate four themes by which a university can be characterised. The first theme was based on the so-called knowledge economy with its base in assignments from private companies and the public sector. The focus is on utility. The theme was only represented by a few vice chancellors. In the second theme, rectors from universities and university colleges highlighted their educational mission from the long- and short-term perspective to ensure the general and advanced education and competences. The theme was expressed by vice chancellors from a specialised institution and a younger university. In the third theme, several vice chancellors emphasised that the hallmark of a university is independently commissioned to critically examine and investigate in combination with contributions to innovation and, thus, to society. Some of the rectors from the university and university colleges expressed this view. Vice chancellors representing university colleges often related to their regional mission at the same time as they underlined the university’s more academic standalone tasks. University representatives emphasised the importance of its independent role, combined with the benefits universities can contribute regarding economic and social development. Unlike university colleges, they emphasised the importance of being a world-class university that understands, explains, and improves our world. In the last theme, some of the vice chancellors emphasised the universities’ responsibility for conducting independent research and education, a multi-century-old mission. Representatives of this view were found among some of the rectors from the universities and the aesthetic institutions. One of them put it this way: It would be good if the state didn’t put any obstacles in the way of teaching people to think for themselves. In sum, the pluralism of beliefs regarding the ideals of what a university is, which history and the present have created, are also expressed as realities of the contemporary Swedish University vice chancellors.

  • 62.
    Rönnberg, Linda
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Lindgren, Joakim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Segerholm, Christina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Assuring quality assurance in Swedish higher education: A national try-out evaluation2018In: Abstract book NERA, 8-10 March 2018: Educational Research: Boundaries, Breaches and Bridges: 211, University of Oslo , 2018, p. 210-210Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In the Nordic countries and beyond, evaluation and quality assurance are becoming increasingly insitutionalised as means to govern the welfare state (Dahler-Larsen, 2011). Higher education is no exception (Leiber, Stensaker & Harvey, 2015; Jarvis, 2014). Since the 1990s, different national evaluation systems have been developed and implemented in Swedish Higher Education (HE) (Segerholm, 2016). Over time, these systems have displayed different political purposes and designs. One major component in the most recent system in operation from 2017 and onwards is national evaluation of the higher education institutions’ (HEIs) own internal quality assurance systems, carried out by the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education (SHEA) (Lindgren & Rönnberg, 2017).This paper aims to analyse a SHEA try-out evaluation in which HEIs internal quality assurance were evaluated. The following questions guide our study: What enactments do these try-out exercises entail and what actors are involved? What kind of knowledge is mobilized and used in these enactments? We focus on two cases where the work with and experiences from a) HEI actors, b) officials at the SHEA, and c) external review panels are analysed. We collected data as the national try-out evaluation was implemented. This include near 30 interviews with SHEA staff, HEI actors, and members in external review panels. Extensive documentary materials, such as self-evaluations from the HEIs, schedules, plans and SHEA decisions, were also analysed.This paper is part of a larger research project, “Governing by evaluation in higher education in Sweden”, analyzing how evaluative activities govern Swedish Higher Education policy and practice. We conceptualise governing as activities composed of assemblages of places, people, policies, practices and power (Clarke, 2015). Following this, we analyse the activities and the actual work connected to quality assurance and its policy-making, and how it is enacted and learned (Ball et. al, 2012). Drawing on Freeman and Sturdy (2014), we see knowledge in policy as taking different forms, i.e. as embodied, inscribed and enacted.

  • 63.
    Segerholm, Christina
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Learning from and reacting to school inspection: two Swedish case narratives2018In: Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, ISSN 0031-3831, E-ISSN 1470-1170, Vol. 62, no 1, p. 125-139Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Throughout Europe, school inspection has become a visible means of governing education. This education and inspection policy is mediated, brokered, interpreted, and learned through networked activities where the global/European meet the national/local, giving national and local “uptake” a variety of characteristics. We explore the local features of this “uptake” as processes of learning in the interaction between schools and inspectors in Sweden. Drawing theoretically on Jacobsson’s notion of governing as increasingly done through meditative activities and on Leontiev’s activity theory, we suggest that school actors learn compliance through diverse emotions provoked by inspection processes in different local settings. Based on observations of inspections, interviews with teachers, head teachers and inspectors, documents, reports, and decisions, we portray how governing education is done through inspection processes in two Swedish schools. The case narratives underscore the importance of local context in these governing and learning processes.

  • 64. Segerholm, Christina
    et al.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Manoeuvring the European quality landscape: the significance of ENQA policy in governing Swedish higher education2015In: ECER 2015, 7-11 September, Hungary: education and transition - contributions from educational research, 2015Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Europeanization in higher education has been going on for several years. In the wake of the Bologna process a number of initiatives, programmes and organizations have been launched. One of these, and from 1999 specifically directed at ensuring ‘more comparable, compatible and coherent systems of higher education in Europe’ is the European Higher Education Area, (EHEA n.d.a). One central purpose of the Bologna process, and hence the EHEA, is to ‘encourage European cooperation in quality assurance of higher education with a view to developing comparable criteria and methodologies.’ (EHEA n.d.b). For this reason the European ministers of education agreed to support the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the Higher Education Area in 2005, drafted by the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education, ENQA (Thune 2010).

    Presently 38 quality assurance agencies in 23 nations are full members of ENQA, which means that they have to live up to requirements about quality assurance policy and practice set up by the organization. Since all evaluative activities, including quality assurance, are part of governing work (Ozga, Dahler-Larsen, Simola & Segerholm 2010), our argument is that ENQA membership can be significant in the European context of how certain governing policy and practice is learned, brokered and translated.

    Quality assurance and quality work is increasingly viewed as a necessary activity in public as well as private sectors (Dahler-Larsen 2009), and ‘quality’ has become a semantic magnet. As part of the comprehensive web of evaluative activities that form part of NPM, quality assurance is also implemented and enacted (Ball, McGuire & Brown 2012) in higher education. Our overarching query therefore concerns in what ways quality assurance policy and practice influence higher education. This study is however limited to questions about the significance of ENQA membership and its relation to the governing of higher education. Here, Sweden is an interesting example in that it has been a full member of ENQA, but this status was questioned and changed to ‘under review’ in 2012, and in 2014 Sweden was no longer accepted. This state of affairs fuelled an intense debate about the shortcomings of the evaluation system in existence 2011-2014, and about the design of the new system not yet decided or fully developed. This debate has also touched upon governing issues, but these have seldom been fully explored or studied. Departing from the purpose and aim of ENQA and its requirements for membership, the aim of this study is to describe and analyse the significance of these requirements on the Swedish national quality assessment (evaluation) policy in higher education. Which ENQA requirements can be traced in the model before 2010, in the model 2010-2014 and in the coming model, and by that influence the governing of Swedish higher education?

    Conceptually we draw on previous research on evaluation, quality assessment and inspection in relation to the governing of education (Grek & Lindgren 2014, Hult & Segerholm 2012, Dahler-Larsen 2013, Ozga et al. 2010, Segerholm 2001). This means that we find evaluative activities to be central in contemporary governing work, and that they influence both as policy and as particular (national) practices albeit in different ways. We recognise the different forms of governing work that takes place in processes of transnational/European policy learning, brokering and translation through regulative, inquisitive and medidative ways (Jacobsson 2010a, b). The importance of national and local contexts in these processes (Ozga & Jones 2006, Steiner-Khamsi 2004, Sassen 2007) is also noted. European education policy has to make national sense and be translated to fit the specific national context in order to influence already existing policy and practice.

    Method Departing from stated motives, aims and the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area three successive Swedish models for evaluating higher education will be analysed for compliance with the ENQA requirements. The questions guiding the analysis are: What are the motives for evaluating quality in higher education? What ‘quality’ and how should quality in HE be evaluated? How has the ENQA membership requirements influenced the models? At the centre of the analysis is the relation between the Swedish models and the ENQA membership requirements. An important part of the analysis is also the influence of this relation, e.g. Sweden’s shifting membership status, on the national policy of evaluation of quality in HE, and hence also the governing of HE in Sweden. The material used are: documents describing the ENQA requirements and the Swedish evaluation models, review reports, communication between ENQA and the Swedish national agencies responsible for evaluating quality in HE, Swedish parliamentary minutes, and a selection of public debates. Additionally interviews with central Swedish so called policy brokers are used in order to present a more substantial picture of policy learning and ENQA influence in Sweden.

    Expected Outcomes Tentative results suggest that ENQA is important in strengthening the European Higher Education Area and a vital actor in disseminating policy on quality assessment. As is shown by the Swedish example, the ENQA membership requirements are significant in European policy governing work in that they direct attention to certain ways of conducting quality assessment in higher education and by so doing also promote a more general policy about higher education, e.g. internal governing work in universities and a particular view of learning. ENQA’s denial of granting Sweden full membership status in 2012 fuelled an already existing national debate about how to design a new national system for quality assurance in HE. Here Sweden finds itself manoeuvring between a national political context characterized by different views of what higher education is about manifested in arguments about quality assurance, and a realization of the importance of being part of the European higher education community. Sweden’s desire to regain full membership status may also relate to ENQA offering an attractive platform for policy learning as well as a feeling of having lost face in the European education policy context.

  • 65.
    Segerholm, Christina
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Olofsson, Anders
    Mid Sweden University, Sweden.
    Channels for European Quality Assurance Policy in Higher Education – the Swedish Example2017Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 66.
    Segerholm, Christina
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Lindgren, Joakim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Olofsson, Anders
    Mid Sweden University, Sweden.
    Rönnberg, Linda
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Enacting a National Reform Interval: Policies and practices at universities for a new quality assurance system in Swedish higher education2016Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 67.
    Segerholm, Christina
    et al.
    Mittuniversitet.
    Rönnberg, Linda
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Lindgren, Joakim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Olofsson, Anders
    Mittuniversitet.
    Changing evaluation systems – changing expectations? The case of Swedish higher education2014In: Symposium Governing by Expectations: School Inspection and Evaluation across Europe and Beyond, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    As a part of the ‘audit society’ (Power 1997), the idea of systematic evaluations is strongly promoted in contemporary education policy (Ozga et al. 2011). Higher education is not an exception and European policy like the Bologna declaration and the development of common quality indicators are just a few examples. Looking at the national arena, this paper aims at exploring the relation between evaluation systems in Swedish higher education and governing from 1993 and onwards. Theoretically we recognize the dynamic relationship underling both institutional reproduction and change (Mahoney & Thelen 2010). Evaluation systems may change gradually or more dramatically and these dynamics hold implications for governing and for how we can understand expectations of what is to count as, for instance, as ‘good quality’ Hopmann et al. 2007). Official policy texts are used and a qualitative content analysis (Bergström & Boréus 2005) is performed, guided by questions like: What is evaluated? Why? By whom? How? With what consequences? The results suggest that the governing potential in the evaluation systems in higher education in the Swedish case partly relies on the shifts themselves. By constantly changing the systems, expectations are also changed and form one important part of the work of governing. 

  • 68.
    Söderström, Tor
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Dahlgen, Ethel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Hamilton, David
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Always on duty: the contradictory working conditions of online tutors2006In: University of the Fraser Valley Research Review, ISSN 1715-9849, Vol. 1, no 3, p. 9-Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 69.
    Söderström, Tor
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Education.
    Dahlgren, Ethel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Education.
    Hamilton, David
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Education.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Education.
    Catching communication on the net2002In: The Annual Conference of the European Educational Research Association, Lisbon, 2002Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 70.
    Söderström, Tor
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Dahlgren, Ethel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Hamilton, David
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Online Education - new working conditions for the teacher?2006In: Proceedings of the annual conference of the International Conference of Information Communication Technologies in Education, 2006, p. 264-269Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 71.
    Söderström, Tor
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Education.
    Dahlgren, Ethel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Education.
    Hamilton, David
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Education.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Education.
    Who occupies space on the net?2004In: The NERA´S 32th congress, Reykavik, Island, 2004Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 72.
    Söderström, Tor
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Hamilton, David
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Dahlgren, Ethel
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Hult, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Premises, promises: connection, community, and communion in online education2006In: Discourse. Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, ISSN 0159-6306, E-ISSN 1469-3739, Vol. 27, no 4, p. 533-549Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper is an essay on the discursive politics of education. Data from a small study, combined with a review of the related literature, suggest that the overarching concept “community” lacks coherence when used in online education. At least three contrasting forms of connection can be discerned: communion among participants, exchange between participants, and attachment to an ideal. In turn, we believe that this incoherence is not a trivial semantic problem, but rather a central concern in current efforts to remodel, reform and globalize distance education.

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