Policymakers have called on higher education institutions to respond more directly to the new demands of competitiveness of knowledge economies. This includes instilling competitive logics in higher education policy and management of universities. The knowledge economy paradigm is reflected in higher education reforms, such as university mergers in Finland. Competitive logics are filtered down from the level of national higher education policy to the institutional level through policy-based reforms, leading to university mergers seeking economies of scale. This logic is then finally filtered down to academics, who try to make sense of their own attitude toward it. Applying critical discourse analysis to interview data from the merger of two Finnish universities – the Tampere University of Technology (TUT) and the University of Tampere (UTA) into Tampere University (2019) – academics offer legitimizing and delegitimizing responses to competitiveness claims.
Poutanen, Mikko. 2022. “Competitive knowledge-economies driving new logics in higher education – reflections from a Finnish university merger.” Critical Policy Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/19460171.2022.2124429