Forschungskolloquium: Competition in Higher Education: Myth and Reality

Dr. Jelena Brankovic (Fakultät für Soziologie, Universität Bielefeld)

Competition, as a term to refer to a struggle of sorts between higher education institutions, students and staff, as well as countries, has gained in prominence in recent years, while the conception of the environment as increasingly competitive has acquired a status of all but an axiom. So much at home in higher education talk has competition become that even the scholars of higher education rarely pause to ask: What is competition, exactly? The paper takes a closer look at the concept of competition and introduces a number of important distinctions between its different uses and discusses the implications thereof. The aim of the paper is to offer a conceptually clear and theoretically grounded framework for analysing some of the important phenomena in which contemporary universities are implicated and the way they respond to them.


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