Exploring Student Perceptions of University Mergers
A recent study by IOE expert Ksenia Romanenko looks at how students perceive changes that take place across the academic and organizational domains as a result of university mergers. The paper has been published in the latest issue of Higher Education in Russia and Beyond, a joint project between HSE and Boston College Center of International Higher Education.
Mergers are common practice in higher education systems around the world, and merger-related aspects, such as the transformation of organizational and administrative structures, the impact on internal funding allocation mechanisms or changes in academic strategies and profiles, are well researched. Besides the issues of funding after a merger or organizational structure transformation, one of the most common problems is the “human factor.” It includes differences of university cultures in merging universities, protests before the mergers and conflicts afterwards ignited by university staff and especially students. But the role of students in university mergers and their understanding of these processes are hardly investigated at all. So, research is necessary to find better managerial decisions during merger processes and to understand actual students’ interests in contemporary universities overall. The first step is to clarify the most sensitive changes for students during university mergers.