Perceptions of state-regulated reform: Desire, dedication, and uncertainty in policy implementation

Document Type


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Leadership and Counseling

Publication Title

Higher Education Policy


Higher education reform efforts in Ecuador during the last decade have been described as a process that has radically shaped local institutions. With the government at the forefront of mandating this reform, we examined the perspectives of stakeholders in the country who have been charged with enacting policies seeking to improve higher education. Findings suggested that stakeholders who engaged with the reform understood the need for policy changes and were committed to improve higher education. However, they viewed the reform as an imposed process and have criticized the lack of opportunities to provide input pertaining to the implementation of policy mandates. Under a highly regulated government reform context, university stakeholders felt lost translating national policy guidelines into plans at the institutional level and felt their roles were undervalued and minimized throughout the policy implementation process. We argue Ecuador must seek to include more voices to enhance reform implementation, reassess current policy goals and timelines, and nurture reform stakeholders as policy implementers to reap the benefits of this reform process.

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