University-wide, top-down curriculum reform at a Finnish university : Perceptions of the academic staff
Honkimäki, S., Jääskelä, P., Kratochvil, J., & Tynjälä, P. (2021). University-wide, top-down curriculum reform at a Finnish university : Perceptions of the academic staff. European Journal of Higher Education, Early online. https://doi.org/10.1080/21568235.2021.1906727
Published inEuropean Journal of Higher Education
© 2021 the Authors
This study examines academic staff’s perceptions of a university-wide, top-down curriculum reform in terms of the management of the reform, the support provided by the university’s administration, and the utilisation of the university’s guidelines. Differences between faculties are also scrutinised. The study was conducted at a multidisciplinary public research university in Finland using the survey method. The data (n = 394) consisted of academic staff’s responses to multiple-choice and open-ended questions. Correlation coefficients, exploratory factor analyses, and a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were utilised to analyse the quantitative data. Responses to the open-ended questions were analysed using thematic analysis. The academic staff expressed discontent with the management and support provided by the university even though they had proceeded according to the university’s guidelines. Significant differences concerning the perceived management and support and reported utilisation of the university’s guidelines were found between the personnel of different faculties. The results indicate that a top-down curriculum reform creates conflict between the academics’ own ideas regarding curriculum planning and those of the senior management and university administration. ...