This research focused on norm transfer in higher education, examining the influence of the Bologna Process on the New Zealand university sector. New Zealand engagement with the Bologna Process, leading to accession to the Lisbon Recognition Convention, was spurred by industry interest and underpinned by a view that the framework would have a number of international implications for higher education including acceptance of New Zealand tertiary qualifications. This motivation for engagement raised the obvious question as to the normative impact Bologna would have on the New Zealand university sector. In addressing this, the research was framed by a series of overlapping questions:

  • How is the Bologna process to be conceived in normative terms? How is it an expression of Normative Power Europe?

  • Do we see a normative influence on the New Zealand university sector? How is this normative influence expressed?

  • What characteristics of the New Zealand university sector shape its receptiveness or resistance to external normative influences?

  • What does internationalisation mean in the New Zealand context?