chapter  2
20 Pages

Governance in Higher Education: An Analysis of the Italian Experience


The concept of governance has many meanings and there is no scholarly consensus on a definition. This is partly due to changes in governance, making it, to some extent, a “moving target.” In the context of higher education until the 1980s, governance was more or less synonymous with government, but in subsequent decades governance became associated with the idea of networks (Bevir, Rhodes and Weller, 2003), and the introduction of markets and ideas from the corporate world has led to the focus on New Public Management (NPM) as a mode of governance (Dent, 2007). The change in governance has broadened the focus beyond solely governmental policies: current analyses include policies and different ways of influencing other stakeholders and agencies in higher education, as well as incorporating – with the diffusion of the power of the state – strategy and management at the level of higher education institutions.