University mergers in Austria. Experiences and future scenarios for organisational development in tertiary education
Governance and the Responsible University
Attila Pausits, Danube University Krems, Austria
Single presentation - 30 Minutes
University mergers have been major measures of university development for almost 40 years. There are many reasons and drivers for both system-wide and institutional changes towards mergers. Competition, positioning, economies of scale but also defragmentation, better control or efficiency considerations are often central arguments for such developments. Today, almost all countries in Europe have one or other experiences at system and/or institution level with mergers. Although mergers have been carried out in the higher education sector in Austria, the country is lagging behind in the application and use of such models in international comparison. In return, international trends provide some foundation for a thematic discussion and conceptualization in the context of the Austrian higher education system. At the same time, there is still a lack of comprehensive evaluations of such organizational development measures in higher education in general. The exploratory paper examines possible future scenarios in higher education including a variety of horizontal and vertical mergers and shows possibilities and limitations from governance and institutional management perspectives by refereeing to and reflecting on success factors of mergers.