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Higher Education
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.782
Citation Impact (citeScore): 2
Number of Followers: 143  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1573-174X - ISSN (Online) 0018-1560
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2352 journals]
  • Correction to: Between a rock and a hard place: dilemmas regarding the
           purpose of public universities in South Africa
    • Abstract: The article “Between a rock and a hard place: dilemmas regarding the purpose of public universities in South Africa” written by Rebecca Swartz, Mariya Ivancheva, Laura Czerniewicz, and Neil P. Morris, was originally published electronically on the publisher’s internet portal.
      PubDate: 2019-04-01
       
  • Joseph E. Aoun: Robot-proof: higher education in the age of artificial
           intelligence
    • PubDate: 2019-04-01
       
  • Prestige or education: college teaching and rigor of courses in
           prestigious and non-prestigious institutions in the U.S.
    • Abstract: It is often assumed that higher prestige colleges and universities, via the rankings, have a better quality of education. Yet, the prestige structure in U.S. higher education favors resources, research, and student selectivity over teaching and undergraduate educational practices. Using quantitative observational data from 587 courses across 9 institutions of higher education in the U.S., this study examines whether courses in high prestige institutions have stronger teaching and academic rigor than courses in lower prestige institutions. Using a broad scale observational protocol, the study provides a closer look at course practices as they unfold, while also examining trends across contexts. Findings show initial evidence that the assumption that higher prestige institutions in the U.S. have better in-class educational experiences could be re-examined.
      PubDate: 2019-04-01
       
  • The Italian brain drain: cream and milk
    • Abstract: This study analyzes the scientific profiles of doctorate holders who migrate in search of better job opportunities as a response to the increased temporariness and uncertainty of employment in their native country. Analyzing the career trajectories of the population of research-active Italian doctorate holders in economics, finance, and business management who graduated in the years 2008–2010, we find that those who are more likely to move abroad are those with the relatively best and worst research performances before migrating. Instead, those remaining in Italy are found to be on average of good scientific quality. Further, we find that the best performers target cross-border reputable universities for more prestigious careers, while the relatively lower performers generally move internationally to non-research-oriented institutions simply to look for an occupation. Migrant doctorate holders with average research performances do not differ from those staying in their native country. Our results have important policy implications as they contradict the popular belief that only the cream of the talented brains flee Italy.
      PubDate: 2019-04-01
       
  • Rethinking higher education in China as a common good
    • Abstract: Tendencies to marketization and privatization in higher education, along with other factors, have challenged the idea of higher education as a public good in many countries over the years. China has experienced this situation to some extent. During the last 20 years, this has triggered various discussions on higher education and public good(s) in China. Drawing on qualitative data from 24 semi-structured interviews in both government departments and universities, this study defines and explores public and common good(s) in relation to higher education in China. As the first empirical study on this theme in the country, it is argued that this study makes a significant and original contribution to knowledge with international relevance. This paper identifies the complex nature of higher education in China and proposes that it may be better described in relation to common good(s). Also, as a common good, higher education in China contributes to the (global) common good and generates (global) common goods in many aspects.
      PubDate: 2019-04-01
       
  • Development and validation of a scale to measure first year students’
           transitional challenges, wellbeing, help-seeking, and adjustments in an
           Australian university
    • Abstract: To date, there is no research or instrument that can collectively measure beginning students’ transitional challenges, wellbeing, help-seeking, and adjustments to university. This paper addresses this research gap by theorising and describing the relationship between these constructs and by developing and assessing the psychometric properties of a scale to measure those, labelled as Transition, Wellbeing, Help-seeking, and Adjustments Scale (TWHAS). Data was collected from 306 first year students studying in an Australian university, using a self-reporting questionnaire. The analysis shows that the TWHAS is a sound and psychometrically valid instrument. This questionnaire makes a unique contribution to the students’ transition literature in Higher Education. Its implications for universities, along with recommendations for further research, are also briefly discussed.
      PubDate: 2019-04-01
       
  • Universities’ pursuit of inclusion and its effects on professional
           staff: the case of the United Kingdom
    • Abstract: This paper explores the proliferation of non-academic professionals as a cultural response to universities’ mission of inclusion. Departing from a neo-institutionalist perspective, the author argues that the diffusion of highly rationalised models of institutional action shapes universities as formal organisations who engage with new levels of professional expertise in the pursuit of goals and missions. The United Kingdom (UK) offers an illustrative example, the emergence of statutory equality duties on public institutions (race equality duty 2001, disability equality duty 2006 and gender equality duty 2007) nurturing an image of universities as strategic for the pursuit of demographic inclusion. Using yearly longitudinal data on 109 UK universities from 2003 to 2011, the author shows that universities increase their professional staff in catering for demographic inclusion in terms of ethnicity and disability, revealing highly rationalised institutional responses to the aforementioned equality duties. The findings contribute to the neo-institutionalist literature drawing attention to the transformation of universities into organisational actors (i.e. highly integrated entities, strategically oriented towards the pursuit of formally articulated goals and targets), which contrasts with traditional conceptions of the university as an institution with a taken-for-granted societal role and loosely defined organisational backbone. The findings provide the impetuous for further empirical research into the role of professional staff as universities assimilate new goals and missions.
      PubDate: 2019-04-01
       
  • Information-seeking behaviour and academic success in higher education:
           Which search strategies matter for grade differences among university
           students and how does this relevance differ by field of study'
    • Abstract: Today, most college students use the Internet when preparing for exams or homework. Yet, research has shown that undergraduates’ information literacy skills are often insufficient. In this paper, we empirically test the relation between information-seeking strategies and grades in university. We synthesise arguments from the literature on information-seeking behaviour and approaches to learning in tertiary education. Building on the distinction between deep- and surface-level learning, we develop a classification of online search strategies and contrast it with traditional information behaviour. Multivariate analyses using a two-wave online survey among undergraduate students at a German university indicate that using advanced online information-seeking strategies is a significant and robust predictor of better grades. However, there are notable differences between subject groups: Traditional information behaviour is still crucial in the humanities. Advanced search strategies are beneficial in all settings, but only one in four students uses these early on, while this share increases to around 50% over the course of studies.
      PubDate: 2019-04-01
       
  • Between a rock and a hard place: dilemmas regarding the purpose of public
           universities in South Africa
    • Abstract: This paper examines the idea of ‘core business’ in contemporary South African public universities. South Africa’s public higher education system has global ambitions, but is also highly internally stratified. Drawing on new data from interviews with higher education leaders and government policymakers across a number of South African institutions, we show that while the rhetoric of ‘core business’ of the university has been adopted by higher education leaders, the question of what constitutes the purpose of the university, in South Africa and arguably beyond, is subject to ongoing debate and negotiation. The multiplicity of conflicting but coexisting narratives about what universities should do in South African society—producing excellent research, preparing a labour force, or addressing societal inequalities—exposes a persisting tension surrounding the purpose of a public university. And while this tension has historical origins, we show that responses to addressing these various roles of the institution are not developed organically and in a neutral context. They emerge under conflicts over limited state funding and attendant and opportune market pressure put on public universities in times of crisis, that shape profoundly their framing and outcomes, and the future of the universities.
      PubDate: 2019-04-01
       
  • Leadership and management in quality assurance: insights from the context
           of Khulna University, Bangladesh
    • Abstract: This article examines the challenges in quality assurance in higher education in the context of Bangladesh through the lens of “managerial leadership.” It focuses on unveiling the issues in management and leadership that affect quality performance at program level. The public universities of Bangladesh have remained outside any internal/external assessment or accreditation process until the government initiated a nationwide quality assurance program in 2015. This is attributed largely to the culture of ignorance of accountability among the academics that has created a landscape of mutually indemnified systems of inefficient management at all levels: university, school, and discipline. To this end, this study investigates the role of concerned authorities in realizing the fullest potential of existing constitutional responsibilities, developing necessary policies and regulations accordingly, and ensuring proper implementation and monitoring of the policies. Underpinned by a context-bound theoretical framework, this article reports the research outcomes through triangulation of findings from reflections of former vice-chancellors, deans, and heads on their own managerial-leadership experiences. Based on empirical findings, this paper unveils how lack of effective leadership has led to “lack of accountability,” that in turn, has created “inefficient management” in public universities in Bangladesh.
      PubDate: 2019-04-01
       
  • Doctoral students’ writing profiles and their relations to well-being
           and perceptions of the academic environment
    • Abstract: We explored doctoral students’ writing profiles using a person-centred approach. We also studied differences between profiles in terms of experienced well-being and perceptions of the learning environment. The participants of our study (n = 664) were PhD students from three faculties at the University of Helsinki, Finland. The Writing Process Questionnaire (Lonka et al. Journal of Writing Research, 5(3), 245-269 2014) was used to measure writing conceptions and problematic writing. Well-being was measured by MED NORD, adapted to the doctoral context (Lonka et al. Medical Teacher, 30, 72-79 2008; Stubb et al. Studies in Continuing Education, 33(1), 33–50 2011), and Perceptions of the learning environment, using specific items from Dahlin et al. Medical Education, 39, 594–604 (2005). PhD students with similar patterns of writing variables were identified through latent profile analysis (LPA). We conducted one-way ANOVAs to examine group differences with respect to well-being and perceptions of learning environment. We identified three writing profiles: Growth-Transforming (51%), Ambivalent (40%), and Fixed-Blocking (9%) groups. The Fixed-Blocking group reported a lack of interest the most often and also reported receiving the least feedback. The Growth-Transforming group was the most and the Fixed-Blocking group the least satisfied with their studies. It appeared that epistemic beliefs related to research writing were most decisive in differentiation among PhD students. Blocks were related to beliefs in innate ability. We concluded that although problems in writing are quite common, epistemic beliefs may be even more decisive in terms of successful research writing.
      PubDate: 2019-04-01
       
  • From a diversifying workforce to the rise of the itinerant academic
    • Abstract: The literature on the diversification of the higher education workforce has tended to focus on broad brush changes to patterns of employment and working conditions. What has been less remarked is ways in which individuals are negotiating the structures and stretching the parameters within which they work, including experience outside higher education. Thus, academic work is also seen in the context of broader opportunities, for instance extended networks that enable individuals to construct new forms of professional capital. Arising from these conditions, two empirical studies, on which this paper draws, demonstrate the emergence of what might be termed itinerant identities. The triggers for these are seen as arising, on the one hand, from a spirit of exploration, that is an intrinsic interest in entering new areas of activity, and, on the other, from a desire for a greater sense of security by keeping a range of options open. The two motivations are not mutually exclusive and are likely to depend on individual circumstances and career stages. It would also appear that, in space outside higher education, individuals may find some of the freedom and autonomy they may feel that they have lost as a result of increased structural requirements including, for instance, workload models and performance assessment.
      PubDate: 2019-04-01
       
  • How far has the state ‘stepped back’: an exploratory study of the
           changing governance of higher education in China (1978–2018)
    • 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: 2019-03-22
       
  • Entwistle, N.: Student learning and academic understanding: a research
           perspective with implications for teaching
    • PubDate: 2019-03-16
       
  • Exploring the factors of pursuing a master’s degree in South Korea
    • 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: 2019-03-13
       
  • Emerging empowerment of international students: how international student
           literature has shifted to include the students’ voices
    • 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: 2019-03-08
       
  • Integrating research, teaching and practice in the context of new
           institutional policies: a social practice approach
    • 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: 2019-03-08
       
  • Developing global partnerships in higher education for peacebuilding: a
           strategy for pathways to impact
    • Abstract: Higher education faces attack, erosion, underfunding and loss of capacity in contexts of armed conflict and state fragility. Losses in university capacities through casualties, injuries and internal displacement or forced migration are difficult to compensate for due to the degree of investment required to restore or lay new foundations for quality teaching and research, while attacks on universities may also discourage learners from attending tertiary education. Drawing upon a research and capacity development project in Somaliland, we propose a global strategy for higher education partnerships in teaching, research and development with practical outcomes in the area of education, conflict and peacebuilding. This strategy would address research and pedagogical training needs for higher education teachers; develop educational partnerships between higher education institutions in conflict-affected regions to facilitate collaborative teaching exchange; and enhance collaboration between higher education institutions, civil society and I/NGOs to promote peacebuilding in conflict-affected societies.
      PubDate: 2019-03-08
       
  • Redesigning flipped classrooms: a learning model and its effects on
           student perceptions
    • Abstract: To maximize learners’ performance promotion in flipped classroom, this research redesigns a flipped classroom with four integrated practices: speed response questions, teacher face-to-face counselling, independent practices and team projects. Using questionnaire (N = 66) and interview (N = 20) data, the model is tested in two undergraduate introductory computer science courses in China, where students are typically reticent to engage in active learning in class. Data from a bipolar scale revealed that the majority of students regarded the new model as more student-centred. Using a learning capability matrix, this research deeply explored the benefits by learning dimension. The interviews provided details on the students’ positive attitudes to the model and one area of concern. This research may be helpful for the scholars who are redesigning their flipped classrooms or developing new in-class activities.
      PubDate: 2019-03-05
       
  • Stories about transnational higher education (TNHE): exploring Indonesian
           teachers’ imagined experiences of Finnish higher education
    • 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: 2019-03-04
       
 
 
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