In my doctoral thesis I explore the ways Finnish universities use strategic steering as a performance management tool to accommodate the criteria of the funding model. The main objective of my research is to analyse academic resistance and a formation of neoliberal academic subjectivity in a relation to strategic steering, performance management and research funding. Through this research, I aim to create a novel understanding on the complex web of power dynamics in higher education that are shaping academic subjectivity and scientific research. Although the main focus of my thesis is to analyse these phenomena in Finnish context, my work is highly influenced by the themes of global HE policy, the changing landscape of HE and how transnational organisations shape and influence on HE policymaking.
I currently work in the Academy of Finland funded research project: Transnational knowledge Networks in Higher Education Policymaking. The project is led by Professor Jaakko Kauko, and in addition to myself the other members of the projects are Katri Eeva (Postdoctoral Research Fellow) and Jarmo Kallunki (Doctoral Researcher). Our research analyses the concrete operation of transnational knowledge networks in higher education in the context of Finland and the EU. Through network analysis, interviews, and observation we are exploring the relationality of knowledge in Finnish–EU higher education networks, normative selection of knowledge in the policy process and soft power used in transnational networks.