Center for Public Policy Studies

Marek Kwiek, a Keynote Speech at the 5th CEHEC Conference at CEU/Corvinus University in Budapest

April, 2019

Marek Kwiek had a Keynote Speech at the 5th CEHEC Conference at CEU/Corvinus University in Budapest: the 5th “Central European Higher Education Cooperation Conference” (April 12, 2019). The conference info is here.

His Keynote Speech was about “The Deeply Divided Academic Profession, or Multi-Level Policy Implications of Social Stratification in Higher Education”.

Summary: The academic profession is heavily internally divided: increasing vertical stratification of institutions and scientists is reshaping national systems. This study views research as a powerful academic game: not inclusive and not democratic. Research is viewed as prestige-driven, internationally competitive, at the heart of academic recognition and reward systems – and as the single most stratifying factor in the higher education enterprise. Therefore the underpinning of the stratification system in higher education is contribution to knowledge through published research. The notion of social stratification in higher education allows for a better understanding of the changing academic profession than a number of competing notions (such as globalization, managerialism, financial austerity, or commodification). A sample of European academic scientists (N = 8,466 individual cases) from 11 countries is used and the characteristics of the three distinct classes of academic scientists are analyzed: highly productive academics (“research top performers”), highly paid academics (“academic top earners”), and highly internationalized academics (”internationalists” in research). Policy implications are explored at individual, institutional and national levels – and specifically for CEEs.