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Guest talk

Prof. Dr. Peter Maassen

(University of Oslo, Norway)

Convergence in University Reform Agendas, Divergence in University Organization and Governance

Research on higher education in Europe has argued since the 1980s that as a result of converging national reform agendas key aspects of higher education system governance, organisation and funding have become more identical throughout the Continent. This research was inspired by world society theory and also emphasized the homogenizing impact of New Public Management (NPM). References were made to a global trend in higher education in which a 'global reform script' was underlying a gradual homogenization of national higher education systems' structures and cultures. The 'global script' addressed the importance of enlarging university and college autonomy, professionalising institutional leadership and administration, creating more competition, reducing public funding levels, changing the system structure, and strengthening university excellence.  However, more recent research shows that instead of a growing convergence, traditional differences among European higher education systems have remained at best stable and in many cases have even grown. How can this be explained?

In this presentation I will argue that for understanding reform effects, reform instrumentation and implementation are more important than reform agendas. In addition, national, sector and organisational 'filters' affect how policy aims and reform intentions are perceived, framed, assessed and implemented in practice. In this I will focus especially on variations in public governance ideologies which have a major impact on how 'global reform ideas' are translated into national policy and reform trajectories.

Peter Maassen is professor in Higher Education Studies at the University of Oslo (UiO), Norway; extraordinary professor at SciSTIP, a 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 current research interest concerns the public governance of higher education and science, with a special interest in 'the quality of governance'. Before moving to Norway in 2000 he was working for 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, and is currently as external expert participating in the work of the Research Committee of the German Science Council. He is the editor of the academic book series Higher Education Dynamics (Springer), and has (co-)produced over 200 international articles, books, and reports.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019, 4.00–5.30 p.m. | Vogelpothsweg 78 (CDI building), room 114
Center for Higher Education (zhb)
Professorship of Higher Education

Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.


TU Dort­mund University has its own train station ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station ("Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 15 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop "Dort­mund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dort­mund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S".


The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.


The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dort­mund Airport (DTM) to Dort­mund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dort­mund Central Station, you can continue to the uni­ver­si­ty campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of in­ter­na­tio­nal flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the uni­ver­si­ty station.


Interactive map

The facilities of TU Dortmund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the university are located in the adjacent "Technologiepark".

Campus Lageplan Zum Lageplan