Aarhus Universitets segl

University Reform, Globalization and Europeanization (URGE)

About URGE

URGE (University Reform, Globalisation and Regionalisation) is a multidisciplinary programme of knowledge exchange, examining how processes of regionalization and globalization are redefining the nature and scope of universities.

The partners are

  • Danish School of Education, Aarhus University, Denmark (Project Coordinator Professor Sue Wright)
  • Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, UK (Coordinator Professor Susan Robertson)
  • European Institute, Auckland University (Coodinator Professor Cris Shore).

A comparison between the regions of Europe and Australasia, especially New Zealand, will ask what is actually going on in apparently similar processes of university reform?  Are processes of creating a European Higher Education Area not only preparing Europe for global competition but also acting as a model and motor for globalisation in other regions? How do academics engage with such processes of university reform? How are these processes affecting their conduct, their work, and their ideas of the very purpose of universities?

Starting in January 2010 and lasting for four years, URGE involves 19 staff from the three universities in a programme of visits designed to combine senior and junior researchers in research training, sharing knowledge and research development.  

URGE is funded by the European Union’s Framework 7 Marie Curie ‘International Research Staff Exchange Scheme’ and Erasmus mobility scheme, and by the New Zealand Ministry of Research, Science and Technology (MORST).


What does URGE work on?

The programme is organised in 6 paired Work Packages aiming to exchange existing knowledge and create enduring partnerships between three established research centres specialising on different aspects of university reform.

Theory and Methodology

Work Package 1 develops a new conceptual and theoretical framework to analyse the globalisation of higher education,

Work Package 2 explores how to combine the strengths of political economy perspectives with ethnographic and interpretive approaches to empirical data. The aim is to develop deeper theoretical and empirical understandings of how university practices interact with processes of globalisation.

Publishable Summary


Period: 04.01.2010 - 31.12.2013 (expected)

Working Papers

With Susan Wright as an editor, URGE has produced the following Working Papers:

Working Paper 24:
Research Assessment Systems and their Impacts on Academic Work in New Zealand, the UK and Denmark - Summative Working Paper for URGE Work Package 5
By Susan Wright, Bruce Curtis, Lisa Lucas and Susan Robertson

Working Paper 23:
Shooting Arrows – Disruptions, Intersections and Tracing Lines in Gender Research
By Kirsten Locke

Working Paper 22:
European Coordination and Globalisation - Summative Working Paper for URGE Work Package 3
By Roger Dale

Working Paper 21:
Methodologies For Studying University Reform and Globalization: Combining Ethnography and Political Economy
By: Cris Shore and Miri Davidson (et al.)

Working Paper 20:
Toward a New Conceptual Framework
By: Susan Robertson et al.

Working Paper 19:
Academic Autonomy and the Bologna Process
By: Stavros Moutsios, February 2012

Working Paper 18:
The European Particularity
By: Stavros Moutsios, February 2012

Working Paper 17:
Researching Academic Agency in the Cultural Production of Indigenous Ideology in New Zealand Universities
By: Elizabeth Rata, April 2011