Excellence has to be maintained. Entrepreneurial universities should be regulated by few checks and only a limited number of intelligent ex-ante guidance and ex-post control mechanisms. Governance through well-balanced distribution of labour and responsibility will become more necessary.
Thinking in terms of contractual interactions is a valuable style for governors. For jurists it offers an approach that improves their important task of ensuring a maximum level of democratic security, and effective and efficient governance.

Network-process-design will become a main legal instrument of steering, whereas contracts will give direction to the primary processes, the visible output.

The choice between instruments of public and private law is limited without good reason. The borders between private and public law, and management and governance, need to be redefined, if not abandoned. They are artificial, mostly irrelevant, and form unnecessary obstacles for innovation. To achieve this, contracts and regulations need to appear in a new equilibrium. Mixed forms as for example network-process design should be further developed. In search of better checks and balances, higher education and research is under way to a natural position, where public and private, governance and management, regulations and contracts, are not opposite poles. In central and eastern Europe, where communism formed for a long time an obstacle for the study, further development and practice of these concepts, this will be much more difficult than in other parts of the world.


  • The author expresses his gratitude to Dennis Farrington, Ulrike Göke, Roel in 't Veld, and Guy Neave, who commented upon a draft version.
  • Article 7 section b of the Albanian law on education provides: '... The rector or director of the higher school is nominated by the Council of Ministers according to the candidates proposed by the senate, and from this moment on he is the delegate of the government at the higher school. ...'
  • Art. 89 of the Education law of Romania of 25 July 1995 provides in an official translation: 1. University autonomy is the right of the academic community to manage itself, exercise its academic freedoms in the absence of ideological, political or religious constraints, and assume such competencies and obligations as conform with the national strategic options and lines for the development of higher education provided by the law. 2. University autonomy links up with personal and public accountability for the overall quality of the teaching and research activity of a higher education institution.

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