The Position of Technical Universities Within Changing frameworks of Institutional Organisation and Steering: The Case of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology
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Original versionVabø A, Langfeldt L: The Position of Technical Universities Within Changing frameworks of Institutional Organisation and Steering: The Case of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. In: Geschwind L, Broström A, Larsen K. Technical Universities. Past, present and future. , 2020. Springer p. 45-59 https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-50555-4_4
In Norway, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is regarded as the preeminent technological university. Within the framework of the massification of higher education, the institution’s status and autonomy have been challenged by changing state governance and social conditions. The period from 1980 onwards has also been characterised by high demand in subjects other than the technological. This chapter establishes a sociological-historical perspective and concepts to highlight dimensions that are important for NTNU to reproduce its status under changing governance regimes – for example, in the form of closure mechanisms and close links to specific groups in the social class structure. NTNU is understood as part of an academic field (Bourdieu P, Homo Academicus. Stanford University Press, Stanford, 1988) with unequal strengths and distribution of power between subjects and actors – which has an impact on how state governance and other external issues are interpreted and translated into the NTNU organisation. It is argued that NTNU’s choice of management model, principal and external chair of the university board symbolises dominant positions in the field as well as legitimises institutional strategies both internally and in relation to the significant external relationships.