The university of applied sciences sector in Austria 1993-2013: analysis of a bargaining and negotiation governance approach
R. Aichinger - The university of applied sciences sector in Austria 1993-2013: analysis of a bargaining and negotiation governance approach - 36th Annual Forum EAIR, Essen, Germany, 2014, pp. 1-17
After a long period of HEI reform processes which were accompanied by mutual criticism and assignments of guilt, currently governance actors tend to rather focus on communication and reciprocal understanding. HE Governance research is therefore predominantly concerned with both bargaining and negotiation constellations (BNC) between public, non-public stakeholders and HEIs. Against this background and on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Austrian University of Applied Sciences (UAS) sector recent analysis indicates scepticism towards governance achievements. Critical voices even consider the concept of the UAS governance as a confused mix of partly conflicting reform plans. Yet on the other hand, proponents of what for them is a “success story narrative” counter that the governance system succeeded in implementing a learning-oriented and innovative BNC. Hence, this paper aims to shed light on the UAS governance developments by applying a framework based on the theory of discursive and systemic learning by Miller (2006) and the effects of functional antagonisms by Schimank (2014). The methodological approach of the study is based on 14 in-depth semi-structured face-to-face interviews, which were conducted with CEOs and rectors from 8 Austrian UAS institutions.