This volume contains a comprehensive international discussion of the state of the art of implementation analysis in higher education and an extensive review of relevant recent literature. Starting from the now classical 1986 book of Ladislav Cerych and Paul Sabatier (1986), "Great Expectations and Mixed Performance: the implementation of higher education reforms in Europe", Paul Sabatier, Ase Gornitzka with Svein Kyvik and Bjorn Stensaker, and Maurice Kogan present a critical appreciation of that initial work and a review and critical appraisal of current empirical policy research in higher education.
In the second part, a set of chapters analyses the effective and specific complexities of the implementation of higher education policies in several countries, offering a wide variety of situations both in terms of duration of implementation, legal objectives, adequacy of causal theories underlying the reforms, adequacy of financial resources and degree of commitment of the main actors of the process. Some of these chapters use alternative theoretical frameworks developed since the 1986 Cerych and Sabatier theorization, to interpret the empirical results and some national cases do not fall into the scope of Cerych and Sabatier’s analysis.
The national case studies are the following: Australia (2), Austria, Finland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This variety of national cases, drawn from the world of higher education, represents an updated collection of empirical material analysed from the perspective of new theoretical approaches to policy implementation.