The Rise of New Public Management in Higher Education: Conflicting Values and the Inholland Diploma Scandal

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This paper discusses the impact of New Public Management (NPM) on the governance of Dutch higher education since the 1980s, with an empirical focus on the diploma scandal at the Hogeschool InHolland in 2010. During the last decades higher education institutions have been subjected to many reforms. New managerialist ideas, business concepts, techniques and values became increasingly important in higher education institutions. Both public debates and studies on higher education suggest that too much emphasis on NPM-driven policy causes perverse incentives and even corruption risks. NPM and neoliberalism in the public sector are extensively public and academic debated, yet its emergence and impact in higher education has received little attention from historians.

Within that administrative NPM-context, in July 2010, diploma fraud at the Hogeschool InHolland resulted in a major scandal in the Netherlands. My research shows that NPM played an important role in the emergence of risks, which led to a debate about integrity, fraud and corruption in the case of the InHolland diploma scandal. But what is NPM precisely about? Which value conflicts existed in the regard of the InHolland scandal? And what elements of NPM led to corruption risks? By combining insights and concepts from different disciplines – history, management studies, educational sciences, and public governance – changes in higher education can be better understood. Additionally, a historical perspective, which is concerned with change, detail, and contextualization of NPM, fills the gap that public governance and other management studies have left open.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
Publication statusUnpublished - 21 Jun 2019
EventGewina Conference History of Science and Universities: Towards a History of Knowledge - Woudschoten conference centre, Zeist, Netherlands
Duration: 21 Jun 201922 Jun 2019
Conference number: 8


ConferenceGewina Conference History of Science and Universities
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