I was recently at a conference in Paris of participants in the programme Institutional Management in Higher Education. One of its themes concerned the governance (yes governance, that strange Wilsonian word) of universities and other institutions of higher education in the 1980s. For the climate in which they exist has changed, and is changing. Financing bodies, notably Governments, want to see greater accountability for the expenditure of the monies they provide than they always demanded in the past. There is in many Western countries an economic squeeze on higher education. Student numbers are still increasing, but are predicted to decline at some point in the 1980s, unless policies change. Above all, since the traumatic events of 1968 nearly every country has sought to devise ‘participatory’ structures for the internal government and management of institutions, with groups previously excluded from any share in policy‐making now intimately involved in it.
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