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The role of student services in enhancing the student experience: cases of transformation in Central and Eastern Europe

Bateson, Rositsa (2008) The role of student services in enhancing the student experience: cases of transformation in Central and Eastern Europe University of Southampton, School of Management, Doctoral Thesis , 398pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)


This research project examines the role of student services in universities in
Central and Eastern Europe at a time of rapid transformation of the higher education
sector, following from the collapse of the socialist period in 1989 and the
implementation of the Bologna process after 1999. Conducted in the period 2004-
2006, the research process aimed to identify the major factors of institutional change,
and to what extent are students, and services for students, considered a driving force
for organisational restructuring.

Based upon a comparative qualitative study of four public universities in
Hungary, Romania, Croatia and Serbia, this project found ample evidence of
institutional change and introspection, innovation, achievement, as well as awareness
and critical analysis of weaknesses. However, the main expectation to find students as
active agents in institutional change and in the improvement of the old and the
provision of new services for students was not supported by the findings in this study.
Although the four universities in this project share the characteristics of an allencompassing
change process, students, and services for students, still play a marginal
part in determining institutional priorities and in influencing the service provision and

Having anticipated the lack of awareness of the role of student services in
organisational management, this project examines the reasons for this from a
historical perspective, using a comparative approach to development trends in the
United States, continental Europe, and Central and Eastern Europe. It further suggests
a model of integrated student services, based upon the actual experience of the Central
European University, but defined and analysed against the context of the region.

This research project coincides with a growing awareness in public policy
debates in continental Europe of the importance of institutional student support
services. As the first study of institutional practices with regard to student services in
Central and Eastern Europe, it anticipates the reform in this area and the integration of
student services as part of the university core.

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Published date: November 2008
Organisations: University of Southampton


Local EPrints ID: 66747
PURE UUID: 8fc8e68a-2f29-478c-8555-70e269e8ef4f

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Date deposited: 16 Jul 2009
Last modified: 19 Jul 2017 00:22

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Author: Rositsa Bateson
Thesis advisor: JOHN TAYLOR

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