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The role of academic developers in transforming Bologna regulations to a national and institutional context

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Abstract:

Academic developers (ADs) often participate in the implementation of programmes or reforms in higher education. Sometimes they agree with these and sometimes they disagree. This paper discusses possible agentic positions during a genuine policy implementation – the National Qualification Framework at a Norwegian university. Through reflexive interpretation, and by applying concepts from ‘discursive institutionalism’ the process of implementation from the national level to university departments is described and analysed. The actions and arguments of the ADs involved in the process are presented and their educational rationale is described. The ADs’ agency is discussed through educational and political science concepts and in light of power and of a tension between two competing world views: professional accountability and professional responsibility.

Keywords: compliance; discursive institutionalism; qualifications framework; reform implementation; resistance

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/1360144X.2013.849254

Affiliations: 1: Academic Development Unit, Department of Education, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway 2: Center for Educational Development, Lund University, Lund, Sweden 3: Academic Development Unit, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Publication date: 2014-01-02

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