Journal Cover
Higher Education
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.782
Citation Impact (citeScore): 2
Number of Followers: 181  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1573-174X - ISSN (Online) 0018-1560
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2573 journals]
  • Enduring hardships in global knowledge asymmetries: a national scenario of
           China’s English-language academic journals in the humanities and social
    • Abstract: Abstract Since the 2000s, China has been fast establishing English-language academic journals to further internationalize research. This article delineates a national scenario of such journals in the humanities and social sciences (HSS) and explores their efforts and predicaments in bringing China’s HSS research to the world. Based on first-hand data collected empirically through interviews and documents, it shows that HSS English-language journals in China attempt to challenge yet are conditioned at the same time by the imbalanced international knowledge structure. While still at a preliminary stage of development in terms of quantity and quality, the journals have already been confronted with major challenges including English language hurdles, unfavorable position in research evaluation systems, unfamiliarity with standards of international academic writing and publishing, and tensions between international ambition and local commitment. This article argues that HSS journals in non-Western societies including China need to strike a balance between their contemporary bid for international visibility and long-term contribution to multiple perspectives in global HSS research.
      PubDate: 2019-11-28
  • How diverse is your reading list' Exploring issues of representation
           and decolonisation in the UK
    • Abstract: Abstract There is a growing impetus, from university students and administrations, to decolonise the curriculum and develop diverse reading lists. Yet, there is limited theoretical or empirical analysis of the authorship of current reading lists to justify this imperative. The present study developed and applied a method for auditing the authorship on reading lists of two modules, one from science and one from social science, in a research-intensive British university. The paper explores whether these reading lists can be considered descriptively representative of the student body or scholarly community. The analysis of reading lists found empirical basis for concerns that university curricula are dominated by white, male and Eurocentric authors, with some exceptions. The reading lists did not represent the diverse local student body but came closer to representing the demographic profile of academic staff. To interpret these findings, the paper argues that reading lists have a role to play in decolonising our universities, and offer opportunities to critique and deconstruct disciplinary boundaries. Further research is required to explore student and staff views of reading lists and the meaning of diversity, to evaluate existing tools, and address barriers to decolonising our curricula on a global scale.
      PubDate: 2019-11-27
  • Louise M. Thomas, Anne B. Reinertsen: Academic writing and identity
    • PubDate: 2019-11-23
  • Strategic planning in higher education institutions: what are the
           stakeholders’ roles in the process'
    • Abstract: Abstract This article classifies and assigns degrees of influence to the stakeholders involved in the implementation of strategic planning at a Brazilian higher education institution. In order to test the stakeholder influence theory, we carried out a case study of a Brazilian university based on qualitative methods. The models of Frooman (Academy of Management Review, 24(2), 191–205, 1999) and Mitchell et al. (Academy of Management Review, 22(4), 853–886, 1997) served as the theoretical basis for assessing the stakeholders’ identification and management. Findings indicate that higher education institutions focus on the internal and external stakeholders that have the power to control them. In practice, this study provides insight into the stakeholder influences that have an effect on the implementation of strategic planning in a university. Based on the findings, university managers will be able to think more strategically about the institution’s objectives, taking into account the degree of influence that stakeholders have on the institution’s objectives.
      PubDate: 2019-11-13
  • Nurturing innovation and creativity in educational practice: principles
           for supporting faculty peer learning through campus design
    • Abstract: Abstract While much work has focused on pedagogical innovation processes within universities, less has been said of the processes and cultures which foster and give rise to creativity within higher education and the ways in which faculty members are encouraged to develop their pedagogy across disciplines and within their departments. This paper examines the ways campus spaces at a UK university are utilised by staff for peer learning and the barriers and affordances for innovation and creativity in educational practice. Utilising an interdisciplinary design, this paper suggests that the various spaces available to university teaching staff are able to be further utilised to support creative practice and peer learning, presented as four design principles: innovation happens in everyday spaces, communal spaces need social functions, forums have different scales, and collaborative spaces require a collective culture. The normalising of a culture of innovation requires both physical and behavioural adjustments to the use of space, suggesting that both faculty and institutions need to work together to reimagine spaces for faculty peer learning.
      PubDate: 2019-11-13
  • “Most important is that they figure out how to solve the problem”: how
           do advisors conceptualize and develop research autonomy in chemistry
           doctoral students'
    • Abstract: Abstract While the paths after graduate school are increasingly varied, the central goal of doctoral programs remains to develop independent researchers. Given the important role of doctoral advisors in the socialization and progress-making of doctoral students, we conducted semi-structured interviews with faculty advisors who regularly advise chemistry doctoral students from three chemistry departments with rotation programs for their first-year students. In contrast to existing studies documenting advisee perspectives of research autonomy, this work focuses particularly on the advisor perspective. After open coding these interviews, we found a breadth of ideas and approaches to developing research autonomy. The faculty advisors conceptualized research autonomy in their first-year doctoral students as enthusiasm or curiosity for their research or research area. The advisor’s approaches to developing and promoting autonomy in doctoral students varied widely, and some went so far as to not develop autonomy in new students but to “screen” for it. Finally, different subdisciplines in chemistry provide unique opportunities as well as constraints for advisors and students. We discuss the implications of these findings for doctoral students, advisors of doctoral students, administrators, and research advisors of undergraduate students.
      PubDate: 2019-11-08
  • Higher education challenges for migrant and refugee students in a
           globalized world
    • PubDate: 2019-11-07
  • Integration of refugees at universities: Austria’s more initiative
    • Abstract: Abstract The so-called refugee wave in the summer of 2015 led to an impressive wave of helpfulness in Austrian society. Universities Austria (uniko)—the umbrella organization of the 22 public universities in Austria—set up and launched an initiative called MORE. MORE provides refugees and asylum seekers with additional opportunities and perspectives that go beyond basic tools for survival. All 22 public universities implemented MORE, albeit in different ways. The article draws on a specific case—the MORE initiative—which aims to integrate refugee students into university life and higher education, as well as on data collected within the scope of evaluating the particular cases at hand. Analysis focuses on whether MORE has contributed to integrate refugee students. Drawing on different integration theories, the findings of this evaluation provide an insight as to how integration is achieved and affected by influencing factors such as personal characteristics, the usage of program elements, etc. Hence, the paper gives insight in the applicability of different integration theories and may be helpful for improving MORE or similar initiatives. The results confirmed the assumptions of modern sociological integration theories. Universities who offer the MORE program can conclude that they should take care of special, vulnerable groups, and that they should offer more than language classes in order to foster integration. Integration depends on the characteristics of the refugee group, the general societal and political climate, and on the specific attitudes towards the group in question.
      PubDate: 2019-11-07
  • Winners and losers in US-China scientific research collaborations
    • Abstract: Abstract This study examined the patterns and nature of science co-publications between the USA and China. Based on a scientometric study of Scopus co-publications over the past 5 years, the results demonstrated a continuous rise of bilateral collaboration between the two countries. Challenging the US political rhetoric and attempts to curb international research engagement with China, the findings demonstrated ways that China plays a leading role in US-China research collaboration, based on first authorship and governmental funding patterns. Findings also showed that over the past 5 years, US research article publications would have declined without co-authorship with China, whereas China’s publication rate would have risen without the USA. Using zero-sum and positive-sum frameworks, this study shows the benefits of US collaboration with China for both the US nation-state and global science.
      PubDate: 2019-11-07
  • What affects PhD student creativity in China' A case study from the
           Joint Training Pilot Project
    • Abstract: Abstract To understand the factors and their influencing mechanisms on PhD students’ creativity, we propose an extended scientific and technical human capital (STHC) model to examine the structural relationships among different sources of social capital, psychological capital, and PhD students’ creativity and to test the moderating role of gender, industry experience, and interdisciplinary experience on the structural model. Data are collected from 201 respondents enrolled in the Joint Training Pilot Project (JTPP) in 2010 and 2011. The results show that (1) university social capital has a significant direct influence on PhD students’ creativity, while industry social capital has no significant direct effect; (2) psychological capital partially mediates the relationship between university social capital and creativity and fully mediates the industry social capital and creativity linkage; and (3) gender, industry experience, and interdisciplinary experience moderate several paths. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed, and recommended directions for future research are suggested.
      PubDate: 2019-11-06
  • Dynamics in higher education choice: weighing one’s multiple interests
           in light of available programmes
    • Abstract: Abstract Recent studies have shown that students’ interests are decisive in making a substantiated higher education choice, yet do not indicate how students decide which interests they aim to pursue. This study aimed to find the considerations students have when weighing interests and higher education programmes. Thematic analysis was applied to uncover considerations based on semi-structured interviews with 20 Dutch high-school seniors. Students weighed their interests from an interest-to-programme perspective (contrasting interests and deciding which is most important for their future) and from a programme-to-interest perspective (evaluating how possible programmes reconcile with one’s interests). By applying both perspectives simultaneously, students dynamically considered which programmes and interests they wished to pursue. These findings imply that higher education choice theory and studies should acknowledge that the programmes and interests students consider are dependent on the feed forward of the considered interests on programmes and the feed back of considered programmes on interests.
      PubDate: 2019-11-04
  • Stories about transnational higher education (TNHE): exploring Indonesian
           teachers’ imagined experiences of Finnish higher education
    • Abstract: Abstract We examined Indonesian school teachers’ perceptions and expectations about their professional learning, and their justifications for these, before they embarked on a transnational master’s programme carried out in both Indonesia and Finland. The data were collected using the method of empathy-based stories. The findings showed that the teachers expected the programme content, execution and internationality to impact positively on their professional learning, while negative professional learning scenarios were framed as stemming from a lack of personal motivation or lack of support from the Indonesian community. Moreover, the teachers expected to become more skilled professionals not only as teachers in their classrooms but also more widely as experts in their communities.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01
  • Emerging empowerment of international students: how international student
           literature has shifted to include the students’ voices
    • Abstract: Abstract Social isolation has been a central focus within international student research, especially with regard to international/host national relations. While a worthy area of study, we argue that the sheer volume of such research stems from the fact that universities’ recruitment of foreign students is often justified by the claim that a more international campus will engender cross-cultural skills. The main argument of this paper is that, from this perspective, the “point” of such sojourns is seen as social, and any lack of interaction becomes problematic. This is an intellectually respectable position, but it is problematic that it has come to dominate the field to such a degree that the students’ own experiences and goals are rarely heard. This paper calls for a de-muting of international students in research, so that more research is oriented by their stated priorities. While there has been a shift in this regard around the turn of the millennium, presumptions as to the purpose of educational sojourns remain and continue to colour research.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01
  • How far has the state ‘stepped back’: an exploratory study of the
           changing governance of higher education in China (1978–2018)
    • Abstract: Abstract Due to the politicisation of universities-within-the-state, the state’s governance of higher education in China differentiates itself from other countries. This study examines how the Chinese central government adjusts its governance over universities between 1978 and 2018. Based on an extensive analysis of policy documents and scholarly research, this study proposes an analytic framework, comprising the state’s governance logics, governance instruments, and institutional demonstrations. The three strategically selected governance instruments, i.e. laws, policies, and finance, are demonstrated through various aspects integral to China’s higher education—the dual-goverance structure, appointment of the principal leadership, access to higher education, university and discipline structures, curriculum and ideology, funding and grants, and tuition fees. Based on an in-depth investigation, the study argues that the underlying governance logics of the state are moving from direct controls to indirect supervision; however, despite the increasing university autonomy and academic freedom in some areas, the state has never abdicated the essential power and authority over higher education institutions. This paper contributes to the theoretical and practical understanding of China’s governance of higher education in recent decades.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01
  • Hidden expectations: scaffolding subject specialists’ genre knowledge of
           the assignments they set
    • Abstract: Abstract Subject specialists’ knowledge of academic and disciplinary literacy is often tacit. We tackle the issue of how to elicit subject specialists’ tacit knowledge in order to develop their pedagogical practices and enable them to communicate this knowledge to students. Drawing on theories of genre and metacognition, a professional development activity was designed and delivered. Our aims were to (1) build participants’ genre knowledge and (2) scaffold metacognitive awareness of how genre knowledge can enhance their pedagogical practices. The findings reveal that participants built a genre-based understanding of academic literacy and that the tasks provided them with an accessible framework to articulate and reflect upon their knowledge of disciplinary literacy. Participants gained metacognitive awareness of misalignments between what they teach and what they expect from students, their assumptions about students’ prior learning and genre-based strategies to adapt their practice to students’ needs. Our approach provides a theoretically grounded professional development tool for the HE sector.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01
  • Stakeholder perception of student employability: does the duration, type
           and location of work experience matter'
    • Abstract: Abstract Student employability is a key aspect of higher education, with multiple strategies utilised by Higher Education Institutions to support the employability of their graduates. However, little work has been done to examine, and compare, different types of work experience. To advise students appropriately, it is important to understand the factors that might influence the perceived value of work experience. The current Scottish study investigated three aspects of work experience within the context of the Social Sciences—type (internship or volunteer role), location (extra- or co-curricular) and duration (six months or two years)—and compared stakeholder (student, academic, employer) perception of work experience. The study utilised an experimental vignette design, presenting 175 participants (62 students, 57 employers, 56 academics) with CV excerpts that varied according to the variables of interest. Quantitative and qualitative items were also presented to explore perceptions of work experience. The results indicate that extracurricular experience was viewed more favourably by all stakeholders. The type of experience was an influence, with internships viewed more positively when the job role was a high-level graduate role. The duration of experience did not produce a main effect. There were no significant differences in stakeholder perception of work experience. The qualitative data indicated that the relevancy of both experience and degree topic was important for employability, along with interpersonal and professional skills. These findings may support educators in providing students with advice regarding their activities outside the classroom, with an emphasis on extracurricular and internship experience, tied to student career aspirations, recommended.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01
  • Integrating research, teaching and practice in the context of new
           institutional policies: a social practice approach
    • Abstract: Abstract Most research on the implementation of research-informed teaching has focused on influencing the individual practices of academics. However, social practice theory has criticised individualist approaches, arguing that attention must be paid to the context of practice, which in the academic context requires a focus on how academics articulate agency in their teaching practices in relation to specific contextual opportunities and constraints. This small-scale qualitative study in a UK university explores how academics across eight disciplines reshaped their understandings and practices of research-informed teaching in the context of a change in institutional mission from teaching and professional practice to incorporate expectations around research, drawing on developments in social practice theory when applied to academic workgroups. Understandings of identity and agency developed in postcolonial literary theory are used to further explore the academic work involved in creating new narratives for research-informed teaching in the context of changing, and often contradictory discourses of research, teaching and practice. This has implications for approaches to implementing research-informed teaching, which should recognise the work of academics in developing new narratives for research-informed teaching in the context of unique configurations of the nexus between research, teaching and practice in different disciplines. Social practice theory provides a lens for considering the contextual elements impacting on academic approaches to research-informed teaching, while approaches to narrative borrowed from postcolonial literary theory foreground the agency of academics in working across contradictions that surfaced with changes to the nexus between research, teaching and practice, to create emergent practices of research-informed teaching.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01
  • Do students make greater achievement gains in some higher education
           institutions’ programs than others' Insights from Brazil
    • Abstract: Abstract How much university students learn in their studies is highly debated and important to understanding the value of higher education. Yet, information on learning gains at this level are scarce. Our paper contributes to the debate by using unique data for Brazil to estimate absolute test score gains across various fields of study in higher education and to assess whether students who attend certain categories of programs (public/private, research/non-research, highly selective/less selective) make greater relative gains than in others. Our results suggest that students in STEM fields tend to have higher absolute achievement gains compared to students in humanities and pedagogical programs, and that in a few fields, such as civil engineering and history, the relative gains for students in highly selective programs in that field of study are significantly higher than if they had attended somewhat less selective programs. However, students attending lowest quintile selective programs in a field of study have consistently lower gains across a range of study fields than similar students attending programs just one quintile higher. The results have important implications for the equity effects of higher education.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01
  • Barriers to organizational learning in a multi-institutional initiative
    • Abstract: Abstract As colleges and universities strive to change and improve, organizational learning has emerged as an important tool to facilitate change. At the same time, foundations and funders are increasingly promoting scaled change through projects that bring multiple institutions together to learn from one another. However, to date, there is little research on organizational learning in multi-institutional change initiatives or the unique challenges of promoting learning in cross-institutional settings. This paper focuses on one such effort, the AAU STEM Initiative, and outlines barriers to organizational learning that can result when national organizations attempt to facilitate learning among sets of college campuses.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01
  • Exploring the factors of pursuing a master’s degree in South Korea
    • Abstract: Abstract The aim of this study is to explore the various factors involved in pursuing a master’s degree for university graduates in South Korea. After reviewing theoretical frameworks, including human and social capital theories, an analytical model was constructed to examine the different academic and economic factors involved in pursuing a master’s degree, considering different institutional backgrounds. The data used were collected from the Graduates Occupational Mobility Survey conducted by the Korean Employment Information Service. We obtained the data from 11,960 respondents who graduated from university in 2013. Descriptive statistics and logistics regression were used in the analysis. The results show that gender, age and family socioeconomic status affected students’ decision to pursue a master’s degree. In addition, academic background factors, such as discipline, satisfaction with undergraduate study and intrinsic motivation for the choice of major, had positive effects on enrolment in master’s degrees. However, active participation in the job search process during undergraduate study had negative effects on the decision. Students in research universities in major cities were more likely to pursue a master’s degree than those in teaching-oriented universities in local provinces. This study has implications for the motivations, demands and career paths of postgraduate students taking master’s degrees.
      PubDate: 2019-11-01
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
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