The Complexity of Policy Mirroring: The Connection between International and Slovenian Higher Education Policy Discourse

  • Janja Komljenovič
Keywords: higher education policy, discursive analysis, supranational policy making, the knowledge economy, Slovenian higher education


The contemporary economic imaginary of the ‘knowledge-based economy’ is changing the perception of higher education in Europe. The goals of higher education are changing and reform of institutions is predicted. The present article examines these reforms and conceptualisations of higher education by presenting the results of discourse analysis of 47  international policy documents at the European level and two comprehensive national strategies of the Republic of Slovenia for higher education, research and innovation. Based on the analysis of the European documents, the article suggests that two main discourses are constructed: a) ‘the research-based society and economy’, and b) ‘reforming the university’. These present the emergence of a new idea of higher education at the international and national levels. The article investigates the extent to which these discourses are present in Slovenian higher education policy. The findings show that Slovenian discourse hesitates to embrace them fully. In particular, the idea of the managerial university is marginal in Slovenian discourse.


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