Professional autonomy in English and Dutch universities: the influence of reforms on the research practices in Public Research Universities
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This paper presents the findings of an international comparative study of higher education policy influence on the basic units of knowledge production in biotechnology and history at public research universities (Leisyte, 2007a). The aim of the paper is to explore how higher education and research reforms in England and the Netherlands have influenced professional autonomy of certain basic research units. The paper uses the interview data collected in 2005, supplemented with the document and secondary literature analysis. In order to understand change in the professional autonomy we look at research practices of basic research units, such as, their freedom to choose lines of research. The paper starts with the overview of the higher education and research reforms in England and the Netherlands since 1980s. After setting the context, the theoretical and methodological underpinnings are presented. The paper proceeds with the exploration 1 PhD (email@example.com) 2 Research Associate, Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS), University of Twente Paper presented in the Prime-Latin America Conference at Mexico City, September 24-26 2008 2 of the professional autonomy of basic research units in biotechnology and medieval history in both countries looking at stability and change in their research practices. The major findings are summarized in the last part followed by a reflection on the comparison between the two fields of research and two countries.