Balancing Accountability and Trust: Higher education reforms in the Nordic Countries

Kirsi Helena Pulkkinen, Hanne Foss Hansen, Lars Geschwind, Jussi Kivistö, Romulo Pinheiro

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperScientific


The quest for stronger accountability has been an important aspect of higher
educational (HE) reforms in the last decade. This paper investigate the types of
accountability mechanism introduced in HE in the Nordic countries building on a
typology of accountability types. Further building on survey data it analyzes how
these changes are experienced by academics and how academics describe the
impact of these changes on their performance. The analysis show that especially
democratic/bureaucratic as well as managerial accountability demands have been strengthened although the last type more so in Denmark and Finland than in Norway and Sweden. In addition social accountability demands related to research impact and employability have been put on the agenda. The development have fostered debates on how to measure academic performance and some academics more in Denmark than in the other countries experience the development as a sign of mistrust.
Original languageFinnish
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2016
MoEC publication typeNot Eligible
EventCHER 2016 - Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 5 Sep 20167 Sep 2016
Conference number: 29th


ConferenceCHER 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

Field of science

  • Administrative science

Citation for this output