Strategic actions and strategy changes in european universities: Clues from institutional evaluation reports of the european university association

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European Journal of Higher Education, vol.8, no.2, pp.215-229, 2018 (Scopus) identifier


This research examined strategic actions in European universities through the institutional evaluation reports of the EUA. EUA reports for 21 universities from seven European countries were included in the data set. Qualitative inquiry was carried out and six sub-sections in the reports were used as established themes. The findings were then integrated into a node map. The analysis reveals that European universities follow similar strategies in organizational management, quality assurance, teaching/learning, societal service, and internationalization. However, environmental factors such as economic conditions, demographical changes, the industrial/business sector, and higher education regulations and institutional characteristics lead to differences in their strategic perspectives. European-wide policies and practices also influence their strategies related to continental integration and international visibility. It is shown that these factors add various requirements to the institutional strategies of the sample universities, which have to adapt them to meet contemporary threats and catch developmental opportunities in their environment.