Structural reform in higher education: Examining policy success and failure (SHERDE)

Through a dozen in-depth case studies of national structural reform projects, each written by teams of national experts and researchers from CHEGG and CHEPS based on a theory-based, common format, SHERDE studied the complex phenomenon of structural reforms in higher education systems. Changes included system-wide merger processes, the introduction of a new sector of higher education or a new type of higher education institution or excellence initiative. For each reform, the different phases of the policy process - policy objectives, design, implementation, policy tools and evaluation - were systematically described and analysed to provide an overview of the factors that contribute to the success or failure of the reforms.

The study was performed in 2015-2016 and was funded by DG EAC of the European Union.

Contact person for SHERDE at CHEPS is Harry de Boer.

The project reports can be found at: 

Major results were also published as: de Boer, Harry, File, Jon, Huisman, Jeroen, Seeber, Marco, Vukasovic, Martina, & Westerheijden, Don F. (2017). Policy Analysis of Structural Reforms in Higher Education: Processes and Outcomes: Palgrave Macmillan.