Global Challenges and Trends of University Governance Structures

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


This chapter tries to identify the different trends in university governance and their underlying causes. Although it focuses on university trends in Europe, it makes reference to global trends and causes, such as digitalization, inter-connectivity of our societies, and growing international competition. In sum, the chapter argues that the digital evolution has led both to a changed approach to teaching as well as to growing global competition in the race to obtain the best talent. This, in combination with a generation that has a growing access to higher education and that thrives on “instant knowledge-satisfaction,” has led to university governance changes that better fit current needs. Government-led austerity programs have further accelerated these changes, as universities seek to optimize their financing whilst, at the same time, striving to move up the international rankings. University governance trends include a professionalization of management, the creation of international excellence networks, and the establishment of interdisciplinary but specialized schools.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUniversity Governance and Academic Leadership in the EU and China
EditorsChang Zhu, Merve Zayim-Kurtay
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781522574422
ISBN (Print)9781522574415, 9781522588580
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • university governance
  • Academic leadership
  • academic organisation
  • China-EU


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