The influence of space on Higher Education Institutions’ policy. A pilot study
Bruno Broucker et al, Institute of Tropical Medicine & KU Leuven, Belgium
Single presentation - 30 Minutes
While many studies investigate the response of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to the needs of society, far fewer take as their starting point the impact of the local setting on the HEIs’ policy. This article wants to contribute to the somewhat neglected, yet crucial debate on the influence of space on policy. The results of a pilot study in the capital of Europe clearly demonstrate that even though HEIs might be sensitive towards their local setting and might proclaim responsibility towards this setting, this does not necessarily mean that there is also a responsiveness to that setting in actual policy. Using an extreme case, it is shown that the presence of an international community and a diverse population in the immediate vicinity of the HEI does not automatically lead to an expanded internationalisation and/or diversity policy of the HEI. With this article it is argued that more attention should be paid by researchers to the specificities of the setting and its influence on policy, the reasons for this possible lack of responsiveness, and the policy connection between HE system and institutions.