The Role of Agencies in Creating Network Approach in Higher Education
The possibilities of applying the network approach within the higher education system are analysed in the paper. A significant part of the paper is devoted to the analysis of public services, their development trends and classification. The situation in the higher education system is analysed through the inclusion of networking principles and through the establishment of new relevant subjects whose role is to increase the efficiency of public administration. After initial considerations, an overview of the concept of public services now and before is presented along with the classifications of public services and their development through history. Furthermore, particular conceptual issues regarding the network approach in public administration are analysed. Emphasis is placed on the network of the higher education system in Croatia and on different actors as members of such a network: agencies and other subjects relevant for the area of higher education in Croatia (Agency for Science and Higher Education, Agency for Mobility and EU Programs, National Council for Science, Higher Education and Technological Development, Council for Financing Scientific Activity and Higher Education, Ethics Committee in Science and Higher Education). To examine the starting hypothesis that the neo-managerial approach leads to networking within the higher education system, an empirical study was conducted at the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University in Osijek, Croatia among teaching staff and students. The final chapters of the paper present, summarise and discuss the research results which principally support the initial assumptions.