Forum Keynote Speakers

Competition, Collaboration & Complementarity in Higher Education

The Forum will be hosted by the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary

Forum Keynote Speakers

Michael IGNATIEFF – Sunday 26 August – 6pm

Keynote Presentation: Academic Freedom and University Autonomy in Europe

Academic freedom and the autonomy of universities rarely figure in any political theorist’s account of the institutions critical to the upholding of democratic freedom, but the authoritarian regimes of the 21st century clearly understand how important they are because everywhere, these regimes are whittling them back in the name of single party control of the intellectual life of the nation. Publicly funded institutions are relatively easy to bring under control, but pressures are also being applied to privately funded ones too. Specially singled out are privately funded international universities working in single party states but accredited in the UK and the US. These new pressures, coupled with new visa controls on foreign students, suggest that the internationalization of higher education may be coming to an end, and a new age of authoritarian national higher education may be on the horizon.

Short biography:

Michael Ignatieff is President and Rector of Central European University, Budapest. He served as Edward R. Murrow Professor of Practice of the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. An international commentator on contemporary issues of democracy, human rights, and governance and a Canadian citizen, Ignatieff is also an award-winning writer, teacher, former politician, and historian with a deep knowledge of Central and Eastern Europe.

Ignatieff received his doctorate in history from Harvard University and has held academic posts at Kings College, Cambridge, the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia. He served in the Canadian Parliament and was Leader of the Liberal Party. His books include The Needs of Strangers (1984), Scar Tissue (1992), Blood and Belonging (1993), The Warrior’s Honour (1997), Isaiah Berlin (1998), The Rights Revolution (2000), Human Rights as Politics and Idolatry (2001), The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror (2004), and Fire and Ashes: Success and Failure in Politics (2013).

Frank ZIEGELE – Monday 27 August – 9am

Keynote Presentation: Competition, cooperation, complementarity – policy trends in Europe


The “three Cs” – competition, cooperation and complementarity – in the higher education sector are strongly influenced by European and national policies. The keynote identifies policy patterns and trends, leading to questions such as: Do policies balance the three Cs, or is especially complementarity politically neglected because of a one-dimensional understanding of excellence? How are national and European policies related? For instance, is national cooperation being promoted to get prepared for European or global competition? Different policy rationales could lead to a typology of policies.

The keynote also looks into the policy instruments used in Europe to promote the three Cs, particularly instruments such as funding, target agreements and strategic planning play an important role. Next to the descriptive analysis of policies the presentation also tries to identify and assess effects on the system and institutional level. The rise of competitive public funding raises the question of healthy competition vs. financial instability.

Short biography:

Frank Ziegele is Executive Director of the CHE Centre for Higher Education, Gütersloh, a German think tank for higher education policy and management. He is also professor for higher education and research management at the University of Applied Sciences Osnabrück. He was trained as economist and his research and publications focus on higher education finance, governance, policies, strategic management, contract management, ranking and accounting. In these areas he also acts as consultant, trainer and speaker all over the world. He has contributed with more than 150 publications to the field of higher education policy and management and has realised around 100 national and international projects in the same field, for instance as co-leader of the European U-Multirank project. He is or was member in numerous boards, such as the editorial board of the journals “Wissenschaftsmanagement” and “Application-Oriented Higher Education Research” or the executive board of the German Society for Higher Education Research. At UAS Osnabrück he is responsible for the national MBA Programme for Higher Education Management and the international Erasmus Mundus Master Programme for Research and Innovation in Higher Education (MARIHE).

Sheila SLAUGHTER – Tuesday 28 August – 9am

Keynote Presentation: Current constraints on academic freedom: Marketization and nationalism


In Europe and the United States two somewhat contradictory social forces—marketization, which is global, and nationalism, which focuses on a single country– increasingly constrain academic freedom. Although not all nations share the same definitions of academic freedom, most agree that important benefits of academic freedom are creation of curricula, discovery of new knowledge and the production of disinterested knowledge. Slaughter explores how marketization can shift curricula toward workforce development for global corporations, while nationalism, often in the form of right-wing populism, rallies its base against multinationals. She looks at the ways discoveries that lead to products and intellectual property for global markets are increasingly preferred, while those without market potential receive less attention and funding. At the same time, some nationalist governments aggressively seek to regulate universities that promote studies that expand Western-style free market capitalism. She analyses the politics of expertise by looking at current controversies over climate science, holocaust history, mass dismissals of academics, and campuses as protected sites for free speech. She concludes by asking what the university community can do to preserve academic freedom when all knowledge has become political.

Short biography:

Sheila Slaughter holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and currently is the Louise McBee Professor of Higher Education at the Institute for Higher Education, the University of Georgia, Athens, GA. She researches and writes about political economy of higher education with a focus on marketization in the United States and EU. Her latest book is Sheila Slaughter and Barrett J. Taylor (Eds). 2016. Higher education, Stratification, and workforce development: Competitive advantage in Europe, the US, and Canada. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. Her most recent articles are: Kauppinen, I., Cantwell, B., Slaughter, S.  Social mechanisms and strategic action fields: An example of the emergence of the European Research Area. International Sociology, 2018. Her most recent book chapter is Jennifer Olson and Sheila Slaughter. 2016. Nordic higher education internationalization: the new bildung or a prestige economy?  In Nico Cloete, Leo Goedegebuure, Ase Gornitzka, Jens Jungblut, and Bjorn Stensaker (Eds.) Pathways through higher education research—a festschrift in honor of Peter Maasssen. Oslo: Department of Education,  University of Oslo. Her most recent grant is Sheila Slaughter (PI) & Barrett J. Taylor. 2013-2016. The executive science network: University trustees and the organization of university industry exchanges. SMA-Science of Science Policy.

Peter MAASSEN – Wednesday 29 August – 9am

Title Keynote Presentation: Why do university reforms hardly ever produce the intended outcomes? The case of the university governance paradox


The mantra in recent higher education reforms in Europe is that “universities have to become more directly engaged with society’s needs”. For realizing this, many national and EU reform agendas aim e.g. at enlarging institutional autonomy, professionalising institutional leadership and administration, creating more competition, changing the system structure, and strengthening university excellence. This keynote will discuss the intra-university governance paradox that has emerged in the implementation of the reforms: the more university leaders take on and operate in line with the reform agenda’s ideologies, the less effective they appear to be in realising some of the key reform intentions. This paradox can be argued to arise from the neglect in the reforms of the traditional institutional robustness of the university, including the norms and values, logics and appropriate sets of behaviour driving the academic activities of the university staff, and its resilience against changing environments and deliberate reform efforts. The relevance and importance of this neglect will be discussed from the perspective of three general theories of governance, and illustrated with empirical data derived from a research project on flagship universities.

Short biography::

Peter Maassen is professor in Higher Education Studies at the University of Oslo (UiO), extraordinary professor in Science Policy Studies at SciSTIP, a government-funded Center of Excellence at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, and fellow at the Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy, New York University, USA. His main research interests are in the area of the public governance and the organization of higher education and science. Before moving to Norway in 2000 he was between 1996 and 2000 the acting director of the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS), University of Twente, the Netherlands. He has been a member of many national and international expert panels in higher education, including OECD reviews of Finland and Japan, and a national expert committee on higher education in Norway (Stjernø Utvalget), and is currently as external expert participating in the work on application oriented research of the Research Committee of the German Science Council. He has had a number of leadership functions, including membership (2007-2011) of the executive Board of the University College Oslo. He is the editor of the academic book series Higher Education Dynamics (Springer), and has published more than 250 international articles, books, and reports on public governance, policy and organization issues with respect to higher education and science, including University Dynamics and European Integration (with Johan Olsen in 2007), Knowledge Production and Contradictory Functions in Higher Education (with Nico Cloete in 2015), and Reconfiguring Knowledge in Higher Education (with Monica Nerland and Lyn Yates in 2018).