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Floris van Berckel Smit, MA MSc.

PhD Candidate, Faculty of Humanities, Art and Culture, History, Antiquity

PhD Candidate, CLUE+

Personal information

Floris van Berckel Smit is a PhD Candidate at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU). He holds a MSc degree in Public Governance (Utrecht University, 2017) and a MA degree in Political History (VU, 2018). Floris incorporates social science insights into historical research. His research focuses on:

- the history and governance of higher education;

- the rise and impact of (new public) management;

- organizational change;

- applied history and the learning histories method;

- oral history.


His research is embedded in the research group of Political History of the VU and the Centre for Higher Education Governance Ghent of Ghent University. He was a visiting scholar at Ghent University (2019-2020). Floris has participated in various projects in which he collaborated with historians, political scientists, educational scientists, public administration scholars, and management and organization scholars. In 2020 he received a NWO-grant to conduct research on the rise of New Public Management in Dutch and Flemish university governance (for more information about the project, see:


His work on the varieties of New Public Management at the organizational level has been recognized and won the European Higher Education Society Outstanding Paper Award 2023. 

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Floris van Berckel Smit, MA MSc.