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Photo: “Budapest: Hungarian Parliament“, by Jorge Franganillo licensed under CC BY 2.0. Hue modified from the original.

Antonowicz, Dominik, Zoltan Rónay, and Marta Jaworska. “The power of policy translators: New university governing bodies in Hungary and Poland.” European Educational Research Journal (2022): 14749041221095275.


The study investigates the reforms of university governing boards in Hungary and Poland. It seeks to fill that void and advance existing knowledge about the implementation of boards (councils) in CEE countries despite the great interest in HE dynamics in the region. The juxtaposition of the two countries is intentional because both share key characteristics, such as a common historical background (e.g. a communist past), geopolitical location (Central and Eastern Europe), the same institutional foundation for universities (i.e. the Humboldtian tradition) and domestic politics dominated by right-wing populism. With this in mind, it is interesting to note that the two countries, which are inspired by the same hegemonic policy ideas of NPM and had considerable similarities with respect to HE, arrived at different outcomes. This study therefore focuses on the process of policy translation and attempts to identify critical junctures that have led to structural divergence in the university governance model in the two countries. To achieve this, the research examines two parallel reforming processes that led to the introduction of new university governing bodies: consistories (2015) in Hungary and university councils (2018) in Poland.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.