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Higher Education
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.782
Citation Impact (citeScore): 2
Number of Followers: 202  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1573-174X - ISSN (Online) 0018-1560
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2626 journals]
  • Higher education expansion, system transformation, and social inequality.
           Social origin effects on tertiary education attainment in Poland for birth
           cohorts 1960 to 1988
    • Abstract: This paper analyzes the development of social inequality in the Polish higher education system during its expansion after 1990 using data from the Polish General Social Survey. Focusing on the special case of a former socialist society, where higher education expansion has been very rapid and achieved mainly through marketization, this paper highlights the micro-level mechanisms that underlie the inequality dynamic. It shows how actor preferences embedded in the specific historical context shape educational behavior, producing moments of equalization and de-equalization. Class inequality regarding access to tertiary education decreased in the early 1990s and then increased again, as participation in the working classes stagnated at a low level in the later phases of the expansion. In contrast, no equalization has been observed between children of different educational origins. The analysis shows a persistent intergenerational reproduction of educational disadvantage in spite of the expansion. Lastly, consistent with the Effectively Maintained Inequality thesis, this paper provides evidence for underprivileged strata being diverted into second-tier, lower-prestige educational opportunities in the private sector.
      PubDate: 2020-07-08
  • When Average Joe met the Inexperienced Superstar—a case study of the
           consequences for a university of a partnership with IKEA
    • Abstract: The aim of this study was to explore how consequences from a university-wide partnership unfolded at various levels within a university and induced intra-organizational dynamics. This was achieved via an in-depth investigation of “The Bridge,” a collaborative partnership between the young mid-range Swedish Linnaeus University (“Average Joe”) and the home furnishing retail giant IKEA, which despite its global reach has only limited research capacity (the “Inexperienced Superstar”). Based on previous research that conceptualizes consequences of collaborations as changes in wide-ranging resource categories over time, this article develops a conceptual framework that advances the understanding of the consequences of collaborative efforts at both the level of faculty individuals and groups, as well as on a university-wide level. The study identified both differences and similarities between the two levels related to material, knowledge, and social resource mobilization, and revealed consequent tensions within the university due to an imbalance in material resource mobilization and social resource mobilization. The resource-based multi-level perspective that this study puts forward enables a more fine-grained and dynamic understanding of the conditions for undertaking and organizing university-wide long-term collaborative efforts.
      PubDate: 2020-07-07
  • Correction to: Chinese adult higher education as a heterotopia
    • Abstract: The article Chinese adult higher education as a heterotopia, written by Shanshan Guan and Erik Blair, was originally published electronically on the publisher’s internet portal (currently SpringerLink) on 05 May 2020 with open access.
      PubDate: 2020-07-06
  • Do grants improve the outcomes of university students in a challenging
           context' Evidence from a matching approach
    • Abstract: In this work, we investigate whether grants improve the academic outcomes of students from socio-economically disadvantaged families and thereby reduce inequalities of educational opportunities. We focus on Italy, which is characterized by high dropout rates, prolonged duration of higher education studies and considerable social inequalities in educational outcomes. To estimate the effect of grants, we follow a counterfactual approach, relying on a reweighting matching procedure. First, we apply coarsened exact matching to identify the region of common support. Second, we weight the observation using the entropy balancing method. We use a nationally representative survey, which collects data on students who graduated from upper secondary school in 2004 and 2007. We find that grants reduce dropout and increase timely graduation, with larger effects among males and students in Central-Southern Italy, who are more at risk of withdrawal from university.
      PubDate: 2020-07-06
  • Instructional leadership structures across five university departments
    • Abstract: In this paper, we investigate leadership related to the instruction of lower division undergraduate courses at five university mathematics departments with strong calculus programs. We use social network analysis to identify patterns of influence on instruction, using the relations: advice seeking, instructional material sharing, discussion of instructional matters, and explicit influence on teaching approach. Data were gathered through social network surveys, which received over 60% response rate at each site. Considering both formal and informal phenomena, we identify variation in vertical and distributed instructional leadership structures within these departments. In these five communities, not all those with hierarchical authority have real influence over instructional practice, but those with the most influence over instruction do hold formally recognized positions. In light of these findings, we discuss implications for future research and practice in higher education.
      PubDate: 2020-07-05
  • Tournament in academia: a comparative analysis of faculty evaluation
           systems in research universities in China and the USA
    • Abstract: Based on content analysis of faculty evaluation policies, this article addresses faculty evaluation policies and notes the links between the ideology of neoliberalism and a tournament system of faculty evaluation in research-intensive universities in China and the USA. The focus is upon the similarities and differences of faculty evaluation systems in China and the USA. Faculty evaluation reflects neoliberal values and the logic of the market, with corresponding diminution of academic logic and the traditional values of the academy, particularly academic quality, through market-oriented competition. Both systems are tournament-like systems that emphasize the management of performance and operations of competitive mechanisms, with the goals of efficiency and effectiveness. Three main differences between the faculty evaluation systems in US research universities and Chinese research universities are evident: a traditional concept of collegiality in the US university but not in China; in the USA, criteria for and procedures of faculty promotion evaluation indicate reasonable flexibility while the faculty evaluation system in Chinese research university lacks flexibility; and, service requirements for faculty promotion evaluation in Chinese research universities are not as stringent as in the USA. Two institutional logics operate in the promotion evaluation process of research university faculty—academic and market, or neoliberal—and further research is needed to determine the effects of these two logics.
      PubDate: 2020-07-04
  • University students’ epistemic profiles, conceptions of learning,
           and academic performance
    • Abstract: University students’ epistemic beliefs may have practical consequences for studying and success in higher education. Such beliefs constitute epistemic theories that may empirically manifest themselves as epistemic profiles. This study examined university students’ epistemic profiles and their relations to conceptions of learning, age, gender, discipline, and academic achievement. The participants were 1515 students from five faculties who completed questionnaires about epistemic beliefs, including a subsample who also completed a questionnaire that included conceptions of learning. We measured epistemic beliefs: reflective learning, collaborative knowledge-building, valuing metacognition, certain knowledge, and practical value. First, we analyzed structural validity by using confirmatory factor analysis. Second, we conducted latent profile analysis that revealed three epistemic profiles: Pragmatic (49%), reflective-collaborative (26%) and fact-oriented (25%). Then, we compared the conceptions of learning across the profiles as well as demographic information, credits, and grades. The profiles’ conceptions of learning varied: The reflective-collaborative group scored high on conception of learning named “construction of knowledge.” Its members were more likely to be females, teachers, and mature students, and they had the highest academic achievement. The fact-oriented group (mostly engineering/science students) scored highest on “intake of knowledge.” The pragmatic group scored highest on “use of knowledge:” During the second year, their academic achievement improved. In sum, the epistemic profiles were closely related to conceptions of learning and also associated with academic achievement.
      PubDate: 2020-07-04
  • It’s more complex than it seems! Employing the concept of prosumption to
           grasp the heterogeneity and complexity of student roles in higher
    • Abstract: Much research has been done on students’ role and position within higher education systems and institutions. Different concepts have been developed and employed to offer a thorough account of students’ (shifting) ontological status. While they contribute to our understanding of the complexity of the students’ experience, existing concepts might limit attempts to articulate an overarching perspective on students’ multifaceted role(s). We contribute to the current debate by proposing the employment of the concept of prosumption—a combination of production and consumption—to develop a broad and nuanced account of the complexity and heterogeneity of students’ role(s) and position(s) within higher education.
      PubDate: 2020-07-03
  • Higher education challenges for migrant and refugee students in a
           globalized world
    • PubDate: 2020-07-01
  • Academic capitalism: distinguishing without disjoining through
           classification schemes
    • Abstract: Academic capitalism (AC) has become one of the most influential lines of research into markets in higher education (HE). However, researchers often use AC only as an umbrella term while key concepts remain superficially explored and intertwined topics treated disjointed. By means of a systematic literature review, our main contribution is the proposal of two classification schemes based on (a) analytical levels (macrostructural, organizational, and individual) and actors, and (b) themes and contributions (Exploration and reflection; Creation of theoretical framework; Research topics and applications; New trends). The idea that underlies both proposals is distinguishing without disjoining. Distinguishing is an operation that researchers can benefit from, while disjoining risks leading to blindness by not capturing the complexity of AC. Distinguishing analytical levels and actors provides a clearer view of how actors position themselves in the field, how they interconnect, and how their actions resonate at other levels. Distinguishing themes and contributions allows categorizing the wealth of research into smaller units for deeper analysis. Both contribute to researchers in positioning their theoretical contributions in the literature. This study may advance research not only on AC, but also in understanding the several ways the neoliberal restructure has been playing out in HE.
      PubDate: 2020-07-01
  • Successful rural students in China’s elite universities: habitus
           transformation and inevitable hidden injuries'
    • Abstract: Current literature suggests two kinds of congruence that come into play when students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds enter elite universities: academic fit and social fit. Yet, in most of the studies on habitus transformation, the differences between the two are seldom mentioned. This may imply that the transformation of one aspect guarantees success in the transformation of the other aspect. In this article, we present the data from an ongoing longitudinal study on a group of academically successful rural students at four Chinese elite universities. We will show how they start with a compartmentalized fit between their original habitus and the elite milieu they enter, and how this pattern tends to produce two different types of outcomes: “habitus transformation” and “habitus hysteresis.” Importantly, with either of these outcomes, these students do not have to experience “hidden injuries of the class,” alienating themselves from families and former peer groups.
      PubDate: 2020-07-01
  • Nurturing innovation and creativity in educational practice: principles
           for supporting faculty peer learning through campus design
    • 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: 2020-07-01
  • What affects PhD student creativity in China' A case study from the
           Joint Training Pilot Project
    • 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: 2020-07-01
  • China ‘goes out’ in a centre–periphery world: Incentivizing
           international publications in the humanities and social sciences
    • Abstract: The current expansion of English language publishing by scholars from China is supported by national and university policies, including monetary and career incentives to publish in English. These incentives, which extend to work in the humanities and social sciences (HSS, the focus of this paper) as well as the sciences and technologies, are situated in evolving strategies of internationalization. China has moved from an internationalization strategy simply based on learning from the West, to a ‘going out’ strategy designed to both lift domestic research capacity and advance China’s influence in the world. However, the ‘going out’ strategy nonetheless embodies ambiguities and dilemmas. The world of academic knowledge is not a level playing field but more closely approximates the centre–periphery dynamic described in world systems theory. This study explores the influence of publication incentives in the context of a centre–periphery world. It draws on analysis of 172 institutional incentive documents and interviews with 75 HSS academics, university senior administrators, and journal editors. The study identifies practices within China’s HSS that reproduce centre–periphery relationships. By focusing on international publications, Chinese universities run the risk of downplaying Chinese-language publications and adopting standards and norms from global centres to assess domestic knowledge production. These could result in creating knowledge from and about China primarily in Western terms without adding a distinctive Chinese strand to the global conversation. Nonetheless, the study also identifies alternative dynamics that challenge the existing power hierarchies in global HSS, highlighting indigenous knowledge and the need to pluralize global knowledge production.
      PubDate: 2020-07-01
  • University teachers’ conceptions of internationalisation of the
           curriculum: a phenomenographic study
    • Abstract: Internationalisation of the curriculum (IoC) is on the agenda of many higher education (HE) institutions worldwide. Typically seen as associated with a top-down strategy, IoC often meets resistance from university teachers, many of whom struggle to understand its relevance to teaching practice. This phenomenographic study investigates university teachers’ conceptions of IoC. Five conceptions ranging in sophistication have been identified. The least sophisticated focuses on making the curriculum content internationally relevant, whereas the most sophisticated centres around developing self-awareness, awareness of others, and a change in mindset in students. The latter is realised by embracing reflexivity and criticality and, more importantly, utilising societal and political issues as learning opportunities for identity development. Situated in the Hong Kong context, the findings not only suggest the need for teachers to shift their focus from curriculum content to value-based development but also for educators to reflect on their role in helping students to reconcile their identity in relation to their counterparts regionally and globally.
      PubDate: 2020-07-01
  • When choice excels obligation: about the effects of mandatory and
           voluntary internships on labour market outcomes for university graduates
    • Abstract: Mandatory and voluntary internships present widespread opportunities for graduates of tertiary education to gain relevant work- and on-the-job experience during their years of study. However, it is questionable if these actually have positive effects on outcomes (income, job mismatch, and overall job satisfaction). By estimating linear and logistic regression models using data from Austria, we demonstrate that voluntary internships are associated with significantly better labour market outcomes across all models and dependent variables, while we find no complementary effects for mandatory internships. Advanced analyses underline that the functional form between all three dependent variables and length of voluntary internships is linear. Furthermore, we find no significant interaction effects between internships and other working episodes during the time of study. Both students, with and without field-related working experience, profit from extra-curricular internships. In summary, voluntary internships are associated with improved outcomes for both graduates, with and without other episodes of labour market experience, and study-related employment episodes cannot substitute the benefits of regular internships.
      PubDate: 2020-07-01
  • Sources of stress and scholarly identity: the case of international
           doctoral students of education in Finland
    • Abstract: Although stressors and coping strategies have been examined in managing stress associated with doctoral education, stress continues to have a permeating and pernicious effect on doctoral students’ experience of their training and, by extension, their future participation in the academic community. International doctoral students have to not only effectively cope with tensions during their training and their socialization in their discipline but also address the values and expectations of higher education institutions in a foreign country. Considering the increase of international doctoral students in Finland, this study focuses on perceived sources of stress in their doctoral training and how their scholarly identity is involved when responding to them. The study draws on thematically analyzed interviews with eleven international doctoral students of educational sciences. The participants, one man and ten women, came from nine countries and conducted research in six Finnish universities. The principal sources of stress identified were intrapersonal regulation, challenges pertaining to doing research, funding and career prospects, and lack of a supportive network. Despite the negative presence of stress, most participants saw stress as a motivating element. However, in order for stress to become a positive and motivational force, participants had to mediate its presence and effects by means of personal resources, ascribing meaning and purpose to their research, and positioning themselves within their academic and social environment. The study argues for stress as a catalyst for scholarly identity negotiation and professional development when perceived positively.
      PubDate: 2020-07-01
  • Developing student competence through peer assessment: the role of
           feedback, self-regulation and evaluative judgement
    • Abstract: How can students’ competence be developed through peer assessment' This paper focuses on how relevant variables such as participation, evaluative judgement and the quality of the assessment interact and influence peer assessment. From an analysis of 4 years of data from undergraduate classes in project management, it develops a model of causal relationships validated using the PLS-SEM method. It demonstrates relationships between these variables and considerers the influence of students’ competence and the mediating nature of feedback and self-regulation on the process. It points to how peer assessment practices can be improved whilst highlighting how evaluative judgement and feedback are two key elements that can be addressed to deliver the effective development of students’ competence.
      PubDate: 2020-07-01
  • Winners and losers in US-China scientific research collaborations
    • 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: 2020-07-01
  • Polarized agents of internationalization: an autoethnography of migrant
           faculty at a Japanese University
    • Abstract: In recent years, government policies that target the rapid internationalization of Japanese higher education have provided new career opportunities especially for scholars with experience of studying and teaching abroad. This autoethnographic paper draws on such “migrant” faculty’s engagement in formal curriculum development to illustrate their active negotiations within the micro-level processes of internationalization of a Japanese University. More specifically, the analysis focuses first on the enactment of agencies to negotiate diverse understandings of “culture” and “discipline” in the process of building a “Japanese Studies” curriculum. The paper then draws on those negotiations to show how those agencies were transformative; namely how they impacted on and challenged the framing and the practice of the official framework of “Japanese Studies” at University X. This study aims, therefore, to shed light on the ways individual migrant faculty members of diverse backgrounds, may constructively contribute to internationalization processes of higher education when such faculty’s active interactions are carefully looked at and sought for, beyond established and often imagined cultural, disciplinary, and institutional boundaries.
      PubDate: 2020-06-29
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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