The change in higher education, its epistemologies and their consequences

Joan Rué

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This paper addresses a reflection on the nature of the change process in Higher Education (HE) in Spain, in its confluence with the European Higher Education Space. Along this period, it has been a surprise the absence of a genuine social debate about such change. On the contrary, what has been predominant was the low level of information about it and the news that it raised tend to be anecdotal. And the debate within universities has tended to be polarized, either on the complexity of the technical (technicalities) or essentialist positions. However, such social debate is necessary because the both, the embeded political nature of change and the role that Higher Education should play in the emerging Knowledge Society. In this sense, the text tries to reflect on two issues. The first concern is about how far it is possible to keep on the dilemma that arises from the nature of the proposed changes. How the university can be sensible to the demands of its environment in a relevant way, raising their quality standards and keeping on its own agency's capacity. The second one is about the epistemology of change in HE. What kind of conflict arises between the "creative autonomy" and the "destructive frictions".This reflection has been conducted through the analysis of relevant documentation and data collected from a series of cases, according to a methodology of action research, along the period from 2003 to 2008.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-317
JournalRevista Complutense de Educacion
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009


  • Change
  • Discourse
  • Epistemologies
  • European higher education space
  • Higher education
  • Narratives
  • Process
  • Teaching

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