– We contribute towards quality assurance and enhancement in education


Merger as an Instrument to achieve Quality in Higher Education – Rhetoric or Reality?

Paper presented at the EAIR 36th Annual Forum, 27.–30. August 2014 Essen, Germany.


Since autumn 2013 a new government has been in place in Norway. A main message from the new Minister in Education and Research has been that the structure in Higher Education should be governed by Quality. Both excellence and diversity is required, in the sense that excellence requires a solid basis. It is not clear what this statement actually means in practice, but one hypothesis is that mergers again will have a central role in such a reorganization process.

However, one fundamental question to ask is then to what degree merger is the right “medicine” to create a qualitatively improved higher education sector in Norway. The experiences from previous mergers in Norway and in several other countries are quite mixed, and to a large extent dependent on strategy, choice and type of merger.

This paper intends to analyze successful merger strategies with respect to quality and diversity in Higher Education from an authority policy point of view, and to indicate what should possibly be highlighted in the forthcoming Norwegian Higher Education reorganization.

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Author(s): Ole-Jacob Skodvin
Date: 27.08.2014