Journal Cover Higher Education
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   Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
   ISSN (Print) 1573-174X - ISSN (Online) 0018-1560
   Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2355 journals]
  • Leadership for team learning: the case of university teacher teams
    • Authors: Mieke G.M. Koeslag-Kreunen; Marcel R. Van der Klink; Piet Van den Bossche; Wim H. Gijselaers
      Pages: 191 - 207
      Abstract: Teacher team involvement is considered a key factor in achieving sustainable innovation in higher education. This requires engaging in team learning behaviors that should result in new knowledge and solutions. However, university teachers are not used to discussing their work practices with one another and tend to neglect any innovation in their tasks. Team leadership behavior is often considered essential for stimulating team learning behavior, but it is unclear how this transpires. Therefore, the present study explores university teacher team members’ perceptions of team learning behavior, their assigned task, and leadership behaviors in their team. Interviews were conducted with 16 members of different teacher teams at a university of applied sciences. Findings included that the vast majority of the team learning behaviors only involved sharing ideas; engaging in constructive conflicts and co-constructions was not observed. Only a few teams combined all three team learning behaviors. In these teams, members observed that existing methods and solutions were no longer adequate, with leaders appearing to combine transformational and transactional behaviors, but operating from a distance without actively interfering in the process. Furthermore, these team members shared leadership behaviors while focusing on the team as a whole, instead of solving problems at individual level. This strongly indicates that task perception and specific vertical and shared team leadership behaviors play a role in stimulating teachers in seeking controversy and co-constructing new knowledge.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0126-0
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 2 (2018)
       
  • Higher education and its contribution to a diverse regional supply of
           human capital: does the binary/unitary divide matters'
    • Authors: Artur Santoalha; Ricardo Biscaia; Pedro Teixeira
      Pages: 209 - 230
      Abstract: Diversity has been an important topic of research for some time in higher education, though the purposes underlying this attention have varied across national and regional contexts. In many parts of the world, the term diversity has been emphasized with regard to variety among the programs or services provided by academic institutions, and differences among the types of institutions themselves. It is particularly important to discuss whether different dimensions of diversity may influence the degree of effectiveness of higher education (HE) in fulfilling its contribution and relevance to economic and social development. We are particularly interested in analyzing whether unitary or binary systems present significant differences in different dimensions of diversity that may be relevant to enhance higher education institutions’ (HEIs) contribution to territorial cohesion, notably by enhancing the local stock of human capital and contributing to the social and cultural development of their regions. Therefore, we propose the following research questions: *Are there relevant patterns regarding different dimensions of diversity between unitary and binary HE systems' *In the case of binary systems, is it possible to find relevant differences in different dimensions of diversity between universities and more vocational HEIs' By looking at these questions, we aim at contributing both to the literature on HE institutional diversity and to the study of the role played by HEIs on regional development.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0132-2
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 2 (2018)
       
  • The politics of the great brain race: public policy and international
           student recruitment in Australia, Canada, England and the USA
    • Authors: Creso M. Sá; Emma Sabzalieva
      Pages: 231 - 253
      Abstract: As the number of globally mobile students has expanded, governments are assumed to be consistently and intentionally competing for talent, in what has been called a “great brain race”. While the notion of competition has become dominant, there is little evidence on long-term policy dynamics in this field, not only across jurisdictions but also over time. We seek to address this gap in this paper through a longitudinal analysis of the politics and public policies impacting international students in four major recruiting countries—Australia, Canada, England and the USA. Through this comparative analysis of the period 2000 to 2016, we demonstrate that international student numbers across the jurisdictions have grown steadily but that this appears to be decoupled from political and policy changes. We also discuss how “internationalization” initiatives provide an insufficient policy umbrella for policy action on the recruitment and retention of international students. Public policy impacting international students spans multiple government agencies or ministries, encompassing different policy fields. This requires greater policy coordination, which remains elusive for the most part.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0133-1
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 2 (2018)
       
  • Exploring learning goals and assessment approaches for Indigenous health
           education: a qualitative study in Australia and New Zealand
    • Authors: Clare Delany; Lachlan Doughney; Lilon Bandler; Louise Harms; Shawana Andrews; Patricia Nicholson; Louisa Remedios; Wendy Edmondson; Lauren Kosta; Shaun Ewen
      Pages: 255 - 270
      Abstract: In higher education, assessment is key to student learning. Assessments which promote critical thinking necessary for sustained learning beyond university are highly valued. However, the design of assessment tasks to achieve these types of thinking skills and dispositions to act in professional practice has received little attention. This research examines how academics design assessment to achieve these learning goals in Indigenous health education. Indigenous health education is an important area of learning for health practitioners to help address worldwide patterns of health inequities that exist for Indigenous people. We used a constructivist qualitative methodology to (i) explore learning goals and assessment strategies used in Indigenous health tertiary education and (ii) examine how they relate to higher education assessment ideals. Forty-one academics (from nine health disciplines) involved in teaching Indigenous health content participated in a semi-structured interview. Thematic analysis revealed learning goals to transform students’ perspectives and capacities to think critically and creatively about their role in Indigenous health. In contrast, assessment tasks encouraged more narrowly bounded thinking to analyse information about historical and socio-cultural factors contributing to Indigenous health. To transform students to be critical health practitioners capable of working and collaborating with Indigenous people to advance their health and well-being, the findings suggest that assessment may need to be nested across many aspects of the curriculum using a programmatic approach, and with a focus on learning to think and act for future practice. These findings accord with more recent calls for transformation of learning and assessment in health education.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0137-x
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 2 (2018)
       
  • What is required to develop career pathways for teaching academics'
    • Authors: Dawn Bennett; Lynne Roberts; Subramaniam Ananthram; Michelle Broughton
      Pages: 271 - 286
      Abstract: Despite the rise of teaching academic (teaching only) roles in Australia, the UK, the USA, and Canada, the experiences of teaching academics are not well documented in the literature. This article reports from a university-wide study that responded to the introduction of teaching academic roles during a major restructure of academic staff. Thirteen focus groups involving 115 academic staff employed in a range of roles were held approximately 12 months after teaching academic roles were introduced. In conveying the results, we first report on the teaching academic experience, highlighting the perceived low value of the teaching academic (TA) role and confusion about what the role entails. We then focus on teaching academic career pathways. The findings highlight the uncertainty surrounding career paths for teaching academics, who noted the absence of career or promotion scripts. Respondents noted also an absence of role models within the professoriate. They expressed widespread concerns about developing the traditional academic skill set required to transition between roles and institutions, with many TAs finding themselves in boundaried careers with an uncertain future. The construct of career or promotion scripts is used to examine multiple perceptions of career pathways for teaching academics. The findings highlight the importance of systematic change management processes when new academic roles are introduced within the context of university-wide academic restructure, and the critical role of human resources in designing and implementing the same.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0138-9
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 2 (2018)
       
  • MSIs across the globe: laying the foundation for future research
    • Authors: Tyler Hallmark; Marybeth Gasman
      Pages: 287 - 298
      Abstract: In this paper, we explore the role that Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) play in democratizing education in the USA and around the world, examining both the institutions and their larger context. We also put forth recommendations for reaching and empowering students attending MSIs and “students at the margins” across the globe.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0139-8
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 2 (2018)
       
  • Universities need leadership, academics need management: discursive
           tensions and voids in the deregulation of Swedish higher education
           legislation
    • Authors: Marianne Ekman; Monica Lindgren; Johann Packendorff
      Pages: 299 - 321
      Abstract: In this article, we discuss how ‘managerialist’ and ‘leaderist’ discourses (O’Reilly and Reed Public Administration 88:960–978, 2010; Organization Studies 32:1079–1101, 2011) are drawn upon in the context of the deregulation of Swedish higher education. As of 2011, there has been new legislation that frames Swedish universities as ‘autonomous’ and transfers most of the regulative responsibilities from the government level to university vice-chancellors. The aim of this article is to inquire into how tensions within and between managerialist and leaderist discourse are handled in the promotion of New Public Management reforms and the consequences thereof in terms of how leadership in the higher education sector is constructed. We analyse how these discourses are employed in the core documents leading up to the 2010 Riksdag decision to enact most of the proposed deregulations, and the subsequent evaluation undertaken by the social democratic government that took over in 2014. Based in this analysis, we suggest that the texts indeed draw upon notions of leadership and leaders as necessary for Swedish universities to survive and thrive in the future, but that the envisaged practise of this ‘strong leadership’ can either be characterised as a discursive void or described in terms of de-personalised, instrumental managerial surveillance and control.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0140-2
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 2 (2018)
       
  • Institutional governance and management systems in Sub-Saharan Africa
           higher education: developments and challenges in a Ghanaian Research
           University
    • Authors: James B. Abugre
      Pages: 323 - 339
      Abstract: This article examines the developments and challenges of higher education in developing countries. Using a thorough qualitative interview of deans, directors and heads of Department of the University of Ghana, this paper draws on their analysis to discover unexplored issues that affect the universities in developing countries. The study identifies weakness in institutional policies and infrastructure deficiency of higher education in Ghana as key challenging factors. Findings also show congestion of students in academic facilities of learning, teaching overloads and lack of research facilities as key factors hampering academic development in higher education. Therefore, the work advocates for the development of policies that take into account the institutional realities in the field of higher education. Governmental policies aimed at enhancing higher education in developing economies must first improve the existing institutional set up for their chance of success.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0141-1
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 2 (2018)
       
  • Persistent factors facilitating excellence in research environments
    • Authors: Evanthia Kalpazidou Schmidt; Ebbe Krogh Graversen
      Pages: 341 - 363
      Abstract: The study presented here identifies robust and time-invariant features that characterise dynamic and innovative research environments. It takes as its point of departure the results of an empirical study conducted in 2002 which identified the common characteristics of 15 dynamic and innovative public research environments, and focusses on their development by revisiting the environments after more than a decade, hence mapping them in the current research landscape. Using a model for studies of research environments that was constructed and used in the Nordic countries, the study maps both internal elements and those in the framework of the environments that influence research performance and identifies persistent factors in dynamic and innovative research environments. The findings add to our understanding of how to improve the overall ecology of knowledge production and create optimal conditions that support research environments in pursuing and ensuring excellence. Implications for further research and policy are discussed.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0142-0
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 2 (2018)
       
  • Re-empowering academics in a corporate culture: an exploration of workload
           and performativity in a university
    • Authors: John Kenny
      Pages: 365 - 380
      Abstract: Neo-liberal reforms in higher education have resulted in corporate managerial practices in universities and a drive for efficiency and productivity in teaching and research. As a result, there has been an intensification of academic work, increased stress for academics and an emphasis on accountability and performativity in universities. The paper proposes that while managerialism in modern universities is now the norm, corporate approaches have disempowered academics in their institutions and reduced productivity because they ignore the nature of academic work. Using Foucault’s conception of power relations in institutions, policies that directly affect academic work such as workload allocation and performance management are identified as key ways in which power is exercised in universities. The paper reports on a case study in one university which explored the relationship between the academic workload allocation and performance management policies and concludes that a more balanced power relationship is needed in which academics can have more influence over these key processes which control their work so they preserve the self-managed aspects of academic work and the intrinsic motivations driving their careers.
      PubDate: 2018-02-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0143-z
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 2 (2018)
       
  • Public university governance in China and Australia: a comparative study
    • Authors: Min Hong
      Abstract: There are several common trends and challenges in the higher education (HE) system around the world, like expansion and diversification of HE, fiscal pressure and orientation to markets, demand for greater accountability and great quality and efficiency (e.g. The financing and management of higher education: a status report on worldwide reforms, 1998; Internationalisation of higher education and global mobility 43-58, 2014; Global policy and policy-making in education, 2014; Higher Education Policy 21:5-27, 2008). These trends and changes have reshaped university governance as well. Public universities are the main institutions to carry out HE in Australia and China. The engagement between Australia and China in HE sector has become closer and closer in recent years. To conduct better and further cooperation and collaboration between Australian and Chinese universities, it is critical to understand and acknowledge the differences in two nations’ university governance. Moreover, by conducting this comparative study of two nations, it also helps us to figure out the changes in university governance over times under the global trends and the interactions between global and local factors. This comparative study focuses on the university level and attempts to identify the differences of university governance in Australian and Chinese public universities in three dimensions, state-university relation, university internal governance and university finance. This paper sketches the university governance in Australia and China and finds that the relationship between government and university is looser in Australia than that in China and Australian universities enjoy more autonomy and power than Chinese universities; as to university internal governance, Australian universities use a more business-oriented management mechanism; funding associated with full-fee paying international students has become very important for Australian HE while Chinese government funding has been decreasing as well but funds from international students play a minimal financial role.
      PubDate: 2018-02-05
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0234-5
       
  • International student education in China: characteristics, challenges, and
           future trends
    • Authors: Jiani Ma; Kai Zhao
      Abstract: International student education in China has been continuously changing in response to the rapid social transition since the People’s Republic of China was established in 1949. Adopting a historical perspective, this scholarly paper begins with an analysis of characteristics of international student education in China in terms of rationales, role of government, and international students. Several challenges are then identified and this paper concludes with observations on future trends of international student education development, with a special focus on the implications of “the Belt and Road”. This paper contributes to a better understanding of China’s role as an emerging host nation of international students.
      PubDate: 2018-02-03
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0235-4
       
  • Global private higher education: an empirical profile of its size and
           geographical shape
    • Authors: Daniel C. Levy
      Abstract: Societies’ relative use of private and public services is an abiding and significant issue of scholarly and policy interest. For higher education, however, there has hitherto been no comprehensive dataset and, accordingly, no extensive, reliable analysis of the private-public distribution. As this article provides both the dataset and the analysis, it allows us to discover both the size and geographical shape of global private higher education. Having grown greatly for decades, the private sector now holds a third (32.9%) of the world’s total higher education enrollment. We find striking patterns of concentration and dispersion. The several largest country systems account for much of the private enrollment but, simultaneously, private sectors now exist in all but a few systems; a stunning 97.6% of the world’s present enrollment is in systems with dual-sector provision. Societies no longer rely exclusively on public provision. We discover too that private enrollment concentrates mostly in developing regions, though it is noteworthy in developed regions as well. Asia and Latin America are the twin giants but in all regions, at least 10% of students are in the private sector.
      PubDate: 2018-01-30
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0233-6
       
  • An investigation into the role played by research assessment in the
           socio-geographic fragmentation of undergraduate economics education in the
           UK
    • Authors: James Johnston; Alan Reeves
      Abstract: This study charts the socio-geographic fragmentation of the economics discipline in the UK. It is revealed that the marriage of economics teaching and research is now limited to elite institutions located mainly in the south of the UK. None of the UK’s new (post-1992) universities submitted to the Economics and Econometrics (E&E) unit of assessment (UOA) in 2014, the UK’s most recent research evaluation exercise (REE). Lower REE scores are shown to be associated with higher withdrawal rates from the next E&E UOA and subsequent undergraduate economics programme closure. Universities that exit the E&E UOA moving to the Business and Management (B&M) UOA appear to benefit in the form of higher REE scores. Though restricted to the experience of one academic discipline in one country, the lessons from this study yield important insights into how the results of REEs can be a principal driver of change in higher education.
      PubDate: 2018-01-27
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0227-9
       
  • Internationalisation and migrant academics: the hidden narratives of
           mobility
    • Authors: Louise Morley; Nafsika Alexiadou; Stela Garaz; José González-Monteagudo; Marius Taba
      Abstract: Internationalisation is a dominant policy discourse in the field of higher education today, driven by an assemblage of economic, social and educational concerns. It is often presented as an ideologically neutral, coherent, disembodied, knowledge-driven policy intervention—an unconditional good. Mobility is one of the key mechanisms through which internationalisation occurs, and is perceived as a major form of professional and identity capital in the academic labour market. Yet, questions remain about whether opportunity structures for mobility are unevenly distributed among different social groups and geopolitical spaces. While research studies and statistical data are freely available about the flows of international students, there is far less critical attention paid to the mobility of academics. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with 14 migrant academics from diverse ethnic backgrounds, including Roma and Latin American communities, and the theoretical framings of the new mobility paradigm and cognitive and epistemic justice, this article explores some of the hidden narratives of migrant academics’ engagements with mobility in the global knowledge economy. It concludes that there is a complex coagulation of opportunities and constraints. While there are many gains including transcultural learning, enhanced employability and inter-cultural competencies, there are also less romantic aspects to mobility including ‘otherness’, affective considerations such as isolation, and epistemic exclusions, raising questions about whose knowledge is circulating in the global academy.
      PubDate: 2018-01-25
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0224-z
       
  • The research agenda setting of higher education researchers
    • Authors: João M. Santos; Hugo Horta
      Abstract: Research agenda setting is a critical dimension in the creation of knowledge since it represents the starting point of a process that embeds individual researchers’ (and the communities that they identify themselves with) interest for shedding light on topical unknowns, intrinsic and extrinsic factors underpinning that motivation, and the ambition and scope of what a research endeavor can bring. This article aims to better understand the setting of individual research agendas in the field of higher education. It does so by means of a recently developed framework on research agenda setting that uses cluster analysis and linear modeling. The findings identify two main clusters defining individual research agenda setting—cohesive and trailblazing—each with a different set of determining characteristics. Further analysis by cross-validation through means of sub-sampling shows that these clusters are consistent for both new and established researchers, and for frequent and “part-time” contributors to the field of higher education. Implications for the field of higher education research are discussed, including the relevance that each research agendas cluster has for the advancement of knowledge in the field.
      PubDate: 2018-01-25
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0230-9
       
  • Arab graduate students in a teachers college in Israel: leaving their
           identity at the gate
    • Authors: Rabah Halabi
      Abstract: This article examines the experience of Palestinian-Arab graduate students in an Israeli teachers college that describes itself as multicultural. By listening to the voices of the Arab students the article identifies the limitations of a liberal multiculturalism. The Arab students interviewed feel that they are treated fairly by their teachers, and they also note that they are treated well by the administration. While they acknowledge the progress made by the college when comparing the campus environment to that of other sites in the Israeli public sphere, their experience also teaches them to "leave their national identity at the gate" when they enter the college campus. They learn that giving expression to their national identity may jeopardize the social comfort zone that they manage to attain at the college—a comfort zone that is unlike anything they experience outside in the “real world.” While not quite feeling at home, the Arab students are left feeling like welcome guests. The research population included 52 male and female Arab students who studied in the college in 2015–2016. The data were gathered through semi-structured, in-depth interviews and analyzed using an open inductive coding method.
      PubDate: 2018-01-24
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0232-7
       
  • Global inequality in the academic system: effects of national and
           university symbolic capital on international academic mobility
    • Authors: Jürgen Gerhards; Silke Hans; Daniel Drewski
      Abstract: The global academic system is hierarchically structured between a center, a semi-periphery and a periphery. We analyze to what extent the position of a country and a university within this hierarchy of scientific reputation shapes doctoral students’ chances of international mobility. We conducted an exploratory experimental study using fake applications of international doctoral students sent to German sociology professors, who were asked to serve as supervisors during a planned research visit. Our fake applicants come from the core and periphery of the global academic system: Yale, Pennsylvania State University, National University Singapore, and Vietnam National University Hanoi. The results show that applicants from both US institutions get more positive and more personal feedback than the other applicants. This points to the importance of national scientific reputation. Moreover, we can show that universities’ symbolic capital seems to be more important than the quality of a department.
      PubDate: 2018-01-24
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0231-8
       
  • Dimensions of higher education and the public good in South Africa
    • Authors: Melanie Walker
      Abstract: The focus is on the micro-possibilities of student capabilities formation as the end of public-good higher education, rather than on a systems or organizations approach more commonly found in discussions of the public good and higher education. This does not discount other valuable public-good ends. Using South Africa as a global South context, a capability-based approach to the public good of higher education is proposed for its humanizing ethic, attention to fair opportunities, and participation in terms of what students are able to do and to be in and through higher education. A capability frame is complemented by thinking about decoloniality and epistemic justice to help identify central higher education capabilities. The three proposed intersecting capability dimensions are as follows: personhood self-formation, epistemic contribution, and sufficiency of economic resources, intended to guide university practices and policy interventions in the direction of the public good. By populating the space of the public good with capabilities, a shift is made away from micro-economics which see the public good as a reductionist space of commodities and human capital development. Higher education is rather understood as having both instrumental and intrinsic value, generating an alternative logic to that of neo-liberalism, and an individualist ontology of competition and untrammeled markets. The pressures of the global context are acknowledged so that the public good is understood as both “ideal-aspirational” but also “practical-feasible” in the light of local South African conditions. An expanded capability-based framing would contribute to reducing higher education inequalities as a public-good and public-accountable contribution by universities.
      PubDate: 2018-01-06
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0225-y
       
  • A case study of faculty perceptions of teaching support and teaching
           efficacy in China: characteristics and relationships
    • Authors: Jiying Han; Hongbiao Yin; Junju Wang
      Abstract: This study investigated the characteristics of faculty perceptions of teaching support and teaching efficacy and the relationships between them in Shandong, a province in East China. The results from a sample of 2758 faculty members from 25 public institutions of higher education showed high levels of reported teaching support and teaching efficacy. Faculty members from key institutions scored higher on teaching resources and efficacy for course design but lower on administrative and peer support. Male faculty members scored higher on efficacy for course design, technology usage and classroom management. Teaching assistants scored higher on administrative and peer support but lower on efficacy for course design, instructional strategy, technology usage and classroom management. In addition to the positive relationship between teaching resources, peer support and all teaching efficacy factors, administrative support was negatively related to course design, technology usage, classroom management and learning assessment among faculty of provincial institutions but positively related to course design and technology usage among faculty of vocational institutions. No significant relationship was found between administrative support and teaching efficacy factors among faculty members from key institutions.
      PubDate: 2018-01-06
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0223-0
       
 
 
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