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Reforming Faculties' Careers : The Swiss Labor Market Between Universalism and Particularism
Title of the book
Reforming Higher Education : Public Policy Design and Implementation
Musselin C., Texeira P. N.
Higher Education Dynamics
Over the last few decades, the Swiss higher education system has faced important reforms - both concerning its structure and its governance. As with other European countries, one of the most important changes consists of the strengthening of the higher education institutions' research mission through the reinforcement of the role of the National Science Foundation (NSF), which has become increasingly involved in sustaining academic careers. Meanwhile, traditionally and historically, the definition of a faculty member and his or her financial support has come from the higher education institutions (HEI) themselves. This redefinition of power relationships around the funding of academic temporary positions and research activities by the NSF can be analyzed as an attempt to reform the structure of academic careers and the allocation modes of academic positions. Being able to analyze the issue of allocating academic positions within the normative structure of science (Merton, The sociology of science. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1973) is a constant concern for those involved in Higher Education Studies. This chapter is an attempt to nurture the debate by questioning, though a quantitative and qualitative research, the tension between the uses of universalist and particularist criteria in the allocation of academic positions. It analyses the possible exclusion process as a consequence of the organization of academic markets and their embeddedness in a wider societal organization.
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