How can national governance affect education quality in Western Europe?

Ali Gerged, Mohamed Elheddad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: As the international society faces unprecedented challenges associated with resource scarcity, governance scandals, increasing injustice and inequality, new opportunities for higher education institutions are emerging. This paper aims to investigate the association between national governance standards and education quality across nine western European countries, namely, the UK, Germany, France, Finland, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark and Ireland. Design/methodology/approach: Using panel data from 2002 to 2017, this paper uses fixed-effects and random-effects models to examine the relationship between national governance (proxied by voice and accountability (V&A) indicator) and education quality (proxied by human development index: education index). This analysis is supplemented with conducting instrumental variable (IV) estimations to address any concerns regarding the expected occurrence of endogeneity problems. Findings: The findings are suggestive of a significant and positive relationship between national governance and education quality in Europe. This implies that national governance standards, such as V&A, are essential actors in the enhancement of the quality of educational institutions’ outcomes. Research limitations/implications: Policymakers should implement stricter regulations and ensure that accountability indicators are motivated if they wish to increase the spending on education, which is associated with better qualities of educational institutions. A culture of continuous review of education policies needs to be upheld in the Western Europe region to be watchful of any emerging problems while maintaining a sustainable relationship between the rule of law and the education administration. Originality/value: So far, a minimal number of studies focussed on examining the role of country-level governance in advancing education quality. This study, therefore, extends the body of prior literature by investigating the possible effect of national governance structures on education quality across a sample of Western European countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-426
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


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