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Higher Education
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.782
Citation Impact (citeScore): 2
Number of Followers: 136  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1573-174X - ISSN (Online) 0018-1560
Published by Springer-Verlag Homepage  [2349 journals]
  • Institutional logics of Chinese doctoral education system
    • Authors: Gaoming Zheng; Wenqin Shen; Yuzhuo Cai
      Pages: 753 - 770
      Abstract: As Chinese doctoral education has grown dramatically in the past four decades and developed into one of the largest doctoral education systems in the world, it has become one significant and integral part of the global doctoral education landscape. However, in the literature, there is a lack of both a comprehensive understanding of the Chinese doctoral education system and of generic frameworks for understanding doctoral education in a global context, with an emphasis on the underlying value systems. This may not only hamper the research on doctoral education in China but also affect international comparison and collaboration with Chinese doctoral education. Using the theory of institutional logics, this study tries to bridge the gap by identifying the complex value systems underlying the context of the Chinese doctoral education system, through a qualitative study mainly based on interview data and complemented by documentary data. The interview involves 135 participants, including 45 university academic leaders, 33 doctoral supervisors and 56 doctoral students from 17 research universities, as well as one government policy-maker. We found that the context of Chinese doctoral education system consists of multiple logics of state, profession, family, market and corporation. The special constellation of institutional logics has shaped the current Chinese doctoral education system as a state-led model but meanwhile incorporating family characteristics, market orientation and regulated academic autonomy. The study also showed that Chinese doctoral education has been developing in line with international academic norms and global marketization trends, and has also been shaped by China’s socio-cultural tradition and the strong state regulation. In addition to the institutional logics analysis of the Chinese doctoral education system, this study paves the way for developing a novel framework for analysing doctoral education systems in other contexts and for comparative purposes.
      PubDate: 2018-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0236-3
      Issue No: Vol. 76, No. 5 (2018)
       
  • The efficacy of directed studies courses as a form of undergraduate
           research experience: a comparison of instructor and student perspectives
           on course dynamics
    • Authors: Sean E. Moore; Glen T. Hvenegaard; Janet C. Wesselius
      Pages: 771 - 788
      Abstract: Directed studies (DS) courses are widely touted for their ability to enhance research skills in undergraduate students—yet little is known about the dynamics, motivations, and perceived outcomes connected to these specific types of undergraduate research experiences. Building on earlier qualitative research, in this paper we report the results of a self-report survey designed to directly compare instructor and student perspectives on DS course dynamics at a small, liberal arts university. Samples of students who completed DS courses and instructors who supervised them completed a survey assessing their motives, perceived outcomes, and barriers encountered in their course work. Parallel wording of items in instructor and student surveys permitted comparison of perceptions of DS course dynamics. Results indicated that there were many similarities in how both groups approached DS courses but that there were also several important differences in motives and perceived outcomes pointing to the need for greater communication between instructors and students about their expectations for the course.
      PubDate: 2018-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0240-7
      Issue No: Vol. 76, No. 5 (2018)
       
  • Why extraversion is not enough: the mediating role of initial peer network
           centrality linking personality to long-term academic performance
    • Authors: Lisa Thiele; Nils Christian Sauer; Simone Kauffeld
      Pages: 789 - 805
      Abstract: Academic performance (i.e., grade point average) determines career entry factors as well as career success and is thus crucial for students’ future careers. Besides individual factors such as personality traits, individuals’ social embeddedness has been shown to enhance performance. Regarding academic performance, relationships to fellow students (peers), which bundle into one’s developmental network, are a valuable source of psychosocial and career support because occupying central positions within a social network provides the benefit of being able to access career-enhancing resources. Integrating individual and social-contextual factors for the purpose of examining academic performance is therefore plausible. Research results indicate that personality, especially extraversion, might predict performance through network centrality. In this study, we examined this assumption by focusing on extraversion and centrality in the peer developmental network of recently acquainted German psychology bachelor students (N = 47, 15% male). In a longitudinal design, we analyzed the impact of extraversion and centrality on students’ academic performance at the end of their studies. Results revealed that centrality (i.e., popularity) mediates the relationship of extraversion with academic performance, indicating that extraverted students (regardless of their agreeableness) are more popular among their peers, which, in turn, enhances their academic performance. That is, the likelihood of getting superior final grades depends on whether students manage to attract peers at the very beginning of their university life, which is easier for extraverts. These findings emphasize the importance of the social embeddedness of people, highlight its long-term effects on performance, and yield several implications for research and practice.
      PubDate: 2018-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0242-5
      Issue No: Vol. 76, No. 5 (2018)
       
  • Selecting early-career researchers: the influence of discourses of
           internationalisation and excellence on formal and applied selection
           criteria in academia
    • Authors: Channah Herschberg; Yvonne Benschop; Marieke van den Brink
      Pages: 807 - 825
      Abstract: This article examines how macro-discourses of internationalisation and excellence shape formal and applied selection criteria for early-career researcher positions at the meso-organisational and micro-individual levels, demonstrating how tensions between the various levels produce inequalities in staff evaluation. In this way, this article contributes to the literature on academic staff evaluation by showing that Selection Committee members do not operate in a vacuum, and that their actions are inextricably linked to the meso- and macro-context. This study draws on qualitative multi-level data that comprise institutional-level policies, recruitment and staff protocols, job postings and individual-level interviews and focus groups with Selection Committee members. Findings show that a majority of Selection Committee members consent to university policies and macro-discourses when evaluating early-career researchers, but a smaller group questions and resists these criteria. Furthermore, the analysis revealed four inequalities that emerge in the application of criteria and reflect on disciplinary differences between the Natural and Social Sciences. The article concludes that with only a few Committee members to critically question and resist formal selection criteria, they limit the pool of acceptable candidates to those who fit the narrow definition of the internationally mobile and excellent early-career researcher, which may exclude talented scholars.
      PubDate: 2018-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0237-2
      Issue No: Vol. 76, No. 5 (2018)
       
  • What motivates Chinese undergraduates to engage in learning' Insights
           from a psychological approach to student engagement research
    • Authors: Hongbiao Yin
      Pages: 827 - 847
      Abstract: Student engagement research has been dominated by a behavioral approach. Based on the Motivation and Engagement Wheel, a psychological interpretation of student engagement, this study examined the relationships among student motivation, engagement, and mastery of generic skills as a desired learning outcome. A sample of 2013 Chinese undergraduates from 11 universities in China participated in a survey. Although the results largely confirmed the relationships hypothesized between motivation, engagement, and students’ mastery of generic skills, this study revealed one path that was inconsistent with the hypothesis: maladaptive motivation had a positive or non-significant, rather than negative, effect on adaptive engagement. These findings reinforce the need for a psychological perspective on student engagement in the current international trend of student engagement research and indicate some characteristics of student engagement in the cultural context of China. Some implications for the enhancement of student engagement are discussed.
      PubDate: 2018-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0239-0
      Issue No: Vol. 76, No. 5 (2018)
       
  • Biology and medicine students’ experiences of the relationship
           between teaching and research
    • Authors: Ruby Olivares-Donoso; Carlos Gonzalez
      Pages: 849 - 864
      Abstract: In this study, we aim to deepen our understanding of how biology and medicine undergraduate students experience the relationship between teaching and research. Employing a phenomenographic approach, 34 final-year students of a Bachelor in Biological Sciences and a Bachelor of Medicine, from one research-oriented Chilean university, were interviewed. Four categories of description emerged from interviews analysis. These categories range from experiencing teaching and research as disconnected activities to experiencing the relationship between teaching and research as a space to develop higher order thinking skills. Additionally, three dimensions of variation presented a more detailed picture of their experience: role of students in the research process, teaching focus and learning spaces where research is experienced. Also, when comparing the students’ experiences, we found that medicine students, unlike those of biology, do not experience teaching and research as disconnected activities (category A). Besides, although both biology and medicine students experience the relationship between teaching and research as a space to develop thinking skills (category D), there is a difference between them regarding the type of skills that they can develop: analysis and problem-solving in biology and the ability to make informed decisions and raise scientific questions in medicine. These results provide useful insights on how students experience teaching and research activities and its relationship. This might prove useful to the university community to improve the way in which teaching and research are linked in the curriculum of undergraduate programmes, particularly in the biological sciences.
      PubDate: 2018-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0241-6
      Issue No: Vol. 76, No. 5 (2018)
       
  • The impact of attendance on first-year study success in problem-based
           learning
    • Authors: Patrick Bijsmans; Arjan H. Schakel
      Pages: 865 - 881
      Abstract: The literature on first-year study success has identified a host of factors that may affect a student’s chances of succeeding, ranging from personal circumstances to educational environment. One of the factors that often emerges in this context is (non-)attendance of classes, lectures and tutorials. Intuitively, one would expect this to be all the more important in programmes that employ a student-centred and interactive approach to learning, such as problem-based learning. Interestingly, there is little dedicated research that looks into the importance of (non-)attendance in such a learning environment. This article addresses this gap in the literature by looking at the effect of (non-)attendance on the study success of three cohorts of Maastricht University’s Bachelor in European Studies (annual intake of 325–350 students). Controlling for a range of factors, we find that attendance matters for several measures of study success and also for the committed and participating student.
      PubDate: 2018-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0243-4
      Issue No: Vol. 76, No. 5 (2018)
       
  • An investigation into the academic acculturation experiences of Mainland
           Chinese students in Hong Kong
    • Authors: Lina Vyas; Baohua Yu
      Pages: 883 - 901
      Abstract: Over the past few decades, Mainland China has witnessed a massive outflow of students to higher education institutions in Hong Kong. In the context of an up-surge in Mainland Chinese students in Hong Kong, this research aims to explore (1) why Mainland Chinese students choose to study in Hong Kong over other higher education systems, (2) perceptions about the advantages and disadvantages of studying in Hong Kong, and (3) challenges in the process of acculturation from their homeland to Hong Kong. Five key themes are identified: education, finance, learning culture, language, and discrimination/labelling. While Mainland Chinese students often struggle to blend into the new environment, most gradually become accustomed to the local way of life. What remains a challenge is (perceived) discrimination following political tensions over the “one China, two systems” framework. This paper identifies the expectations and dissatisfactions of the participants with regard to studying in Hong Kong, ultimately offering higher-education administrators an insight into how to better cater for the expanding share of Mainland Chinese students in Hong Kong’s universities. This research is significant because it extends the literature by examining acculturation and cultural adaptation issues in an increasingly globalized context.
      PubDate: 2018-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0248-z
      Issue No: Vol. 76, No. 5 (2018)
       
  • Linking early alert systems and student retention: a survival analysis
           approach
    • Authors: Renato Villano; Scott Harrison; Grace Lynch; George Chen
      Pages: 903 - 920
      Abstract: Higher education institutions are increasingly seeking technological solutions to not only enhance the learning environment but also support students. In this study, we explored the case of an early alert system (EAS) at a regional university engaged in both on-campus and online teaching. Using a total of 16,142 observations captured between 2011 and 2013, we examined the relationship between EAS and the student retention rate. The results indicate that when controlling for demographic, institution, student performance and workload variables, the EAS is able to identify students who have a significantly higher risk of discontinuing from their studies. This implies that early intervention strategies are effective in addressing student retention, and thus an EAS is able to provide actionable information to the student support team.
      PubDate: 2018-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0249-y
      Issue No: Vol. 76, No. 5 (2018)
       
  • Testing the three-way interaction effect of academic stress, academic
           self-efficacy, and task value on persistence in learning among Korean
           college students
    • Authors: Ji Won You
      Pages: 921 - 935
      Abstract: Persistence is an important indicator of academic success in higher education. Academic stress, which influences individuals’ learning motivation and behaviors, is inevitable in college life; however, individuals handle it differently based on their expectancy and value beliefs. In this study, academic stress, academic self-efficacy, and task value were chosen as predictors of persistence in learning, and the joint relationship between them was examined. The sample comprised 483 Korean college students. A multiple regression analysis was performed. The results revealed significant main and interaction effects, including a three-way interaction effect of academic stress, academic self-efficacy, and task value on persistence in learning. Particularly, students with strong motivation were less affected by a stressful and demanding environment. Furthermore, academic stress did not appear to be an exclusively negative factor and could be a catalyst to boost persistence in some conditions. Implications of the findings for promoting persistence in learning are discussed.
      PubDate: 2018-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0255-0
      Issue No: Vol. 76, No. 5 (2018)
       
  • Orr, S., and Shreeve, A. (2017). Art and design pedagogy in higher
           education: knowledge, values and ambiguity in the creative curriculum.
           Routledge
    • Authors: Paul Ashwin
      PubDate: 2018-11-08
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0336-0
       
  • Making higher education markets: trust-building strategies of private
           companies to enter the public sector
    • Authors: Janja Komljenovic
      Abstract: This article examines the growth of the higher education industry and specifically the expansion of private companies in the higher education sector. The higher education industry consists of diverse, multiple and variegated markets. Much of the literature concentrates on markets in which universities are increasingly sellers of products and services. This article contributes new knowledge to the field by focusing on the other side of the industry, namely on how universities are increasingly buyers. It specifically focuses on the market-making processes in the time of market emergence or initial market construction and argues that trust is a key constitutive element of market relations. Empirically, it analyses private companies’ strategies of penetrating the higher education sector to establish a market and network relations with public universities through trust-building activities. Twenty-two interviews with representatives of private companies from eight countries selling products and services in higher education were conducted. The analysis shows companies have developed three groups of sophisticated strategies to produce their trustworthiness: signalling similarity and integrity, exhibiting competence and commitment and forming an emotional connection. Through these, they aim to advance their markets and consequently contribute to the construction and expansion of the global higher education industry.
      PubDate: 2018-11-07
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0330-6
       
  • Teaching-focused social networks among college faculty: exploring
           conditions for the development of social capital
    • Authors: Ross J. Benbow; Changhee Lee
      Abstract: Scholars have long recognized that teachers’ social interactions play an important role in their learning and professional development. Still, while a growing body of research shows that teaching-focused social ties can give precollege educators access to valuable information, knowledge, and advice—or “social capital”—that improves professional practice and student learning, empirical, mixed methods studies on the phenomenon in the higher education sector are rare, and few investigate what conditions are necessary for these social ties to develop among college instructors. Focusing on college faculty in 17 associate- and baccalaureate-level institutions in one U.S. city, this study uses survey and interview data to explore the connections between structural and positional educator characteristics and the “social networks,” or compilations of social ties, in which faculty reported discussing teaching. Regression analyses of survey responses (n = 244) indicate that fewer years of teaching experience, the time faculty take preparing to teach, discipline, and institution type are correlated with social network dimensions linked to improved professional practice. An inductive analysis of interview data from a subset of faculty (n = 22) supplements survey findings with descriptions of how teaching experience, organizational support, and other factors constrain and reinforce the development of teaching-focused social ties. Results confirm and extend prior research indicating that the development of teaching-focused social networks and the accrual of ties linked to social capital demand faculty and organizational investment. Findings also suggest that leaders hoping to foster beneficial ties should tailor instructional initiatives to more closely align with faculty experience and time commitments.
      PubDate: 2018-11-06
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0331-5
       
  • A future in the knowledge economy' Analysing the career strategies of
           doctoral scientists through the principles of game theory
    • Authors: Sally Hancock
      Abstract: In recent decades, increasing participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) has emerged as a globally shared policy objective in higher education. This policy objective is underpinned by a commitment to the economic framework of the knowledge economy and the belief that STEM education, knowledge and innovation are prerequisites for economic growth. This paper is concerned with doctoral scientists, who occupy a position of considerable privilege according to knowledge economy discourse: expertly knowledgeable, highly skilled and sought by elite employers. This paper assesses these policy claims against the experiences of recent doctoral scientists studying in the UK. Data from a 3-year mixed-method study are subjected to a novel, game theory informed analysis of students’ values, decision-making behaviour and career ambitions. While all doctoral scientists engage in career-oriented strategizing, the game strategies employed by students are diverse and reveal conflicted understandings of knowledge economy policy. Implications of these findings and the analytical merits of game theory are discussed.
      PubDate: 2018-11-05
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0329-z
       
  • The uneasy place of equity in higher education: tracing its
           (in)significance in academic promotions
    • Authors: Mark Barrow; Barbara Grant
      Abstract: Throughout the West, efforts to achieve equity for students in higher education have met with mixed success. Much extant literature focuses on the position and perspectives of students in relation to this wicked problem: our research turns the spotlight onto the role of academic staff. In an effort to understand equity’s mixed fortunes more forensically, this article offers a case study from a research-intensive university in Aotearoa New Zealand. The study outlines the current context of ideas about equity in national government and institutional policies, then traces the life of those ideas inside one particular yet ubiquitous institutional process: the promotion of academic staff. Promotion is a potent moment of academic subject formation where, in order to participate, individuals must account for themselves as promotion-worthy through presenting a comprehensive dossier in response to a detailed set of norms. Our research explores the extent to which institutional promotion processes suggest the necessity of an “equity-active academic subject” as well as the kinds of equity-active subjects who emerge. Our analysis of institutional documents and interviews with colleagues involved in promotion decision-making processes suggests that, despite an inevitable institutional rhetoric of commitment to equity, the concept occupies an uneasy, even risky, place in the academic promotion process, and that responsibility for equity remains largely stuck to equity bodies. This small study contributes to a deeper understanding of the obstacles—contradictions even—equity faces within university culture.
      PubDate: 2018-11-05
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0334-2
       
  • State, university, and society: higher educational development and
           university functions in shaping modern Thailand
    • Authors: Kreangchai Rungfamai
      Abstract: The case of higher educational development in Thailand is intriguing in the sense that the country, with the deep religious root of Buddhism, was never colonized; however, the shadow of Westernization in the higher education system is strongly evident. The functions of Thai higher education have played a crucial role in shaping the country’s modern society in political, economic, and social aspects. The five terms of the state, the university, society, changing environments, and higher education functionality are adopted as a conceptual ground of the investigation. The intertwined roles and power relationships of the three actors—the state, the university, and society—surrounding by the changing environments at global, regional, and local levels have largely influenced and determined the functionality of universities in the country’s development. The paper investigates the actions and interactions among these three factors under the changing environments that have shaped the major shifts and incidents of the country’s development. It highlights the universities’ functions in modern Thai society in the different eras. With the conceptual framework, the historical account of Thai higher educational development is analyzed through six phases: (1) Buddhism and Thai higher learning; (2) the threat of colonialism; (3) the Siamese Revolution and the end of absolute monarchy; (4) the Cold War and the military regime; (5) the Student Uprising, democracy, and soaring population; and (6) the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 and the forces of globalization.
      PubDate: 2018-11-05
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0335-1
       
  • Turn up, tune in, don’t drop out: the relationship between lecture
           attendance, use of lecture recordings, and achievement at different levels
           of study
    • Authors: Emily Nordmann; Colin Calder; Paul Bishop; Amy Irwin; Darren Comber
      Abstract: Lecture capture tends to polarise the views of academic staff. Some view it as encouraging non-attendance at lectures. Others view it as a valuable adjunct, allowing students to revisit the lecture experience and providing opportunities for clarification and repetition of key points. However, data supporting either of these stances remains scarce. Irrespective of these views, a more pertinent question pertains to the impact of lecture attendance and the use of recordings on student achievement. Findings remain unclear due to methodological issues, inconsistent findings, and a lack of differentiation of students by year of study. This paper investigated the impact of attendance, lecture recording, and student attainment across four years of an undergraduate programme. For first year students, attendance and recording use were positive predictors of performance. For weaker students, supplementary recording use was beneficial but only better students use of the recordings helped overcome the impact of low attendance. For second year students, attendance and recording use were positively correlated with, but no longer predictive of, achievement. There was no relationship for honours year students. We found no compelling evidence for a negative effect of recording use, or that attendance and recording use were related. We suggest focusing on improving lecture attendance through monitoring whilst also providing recordings for supplementary use, particularly in first year. Finally, our findings highlight the need to consider third variables such as year of study and first language when conducting and comparing lecture capture research.
      PubDate: 2018-11-03
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0320-8
       
  • An analysis of Japan’s English as medium of instruction initiatives
           within higher education: the gap between meso-level policy and micro-level
           practice
    • Authors: Ikuya Aizawa; Heath Rose
      Abstract: In 2014, Japan’s Ministry of Education (MEXT) announced the Top Global University Project (TGUP), a large-investment initiative to internationalise higher education that implicitly signalled increased emphasis on English-medium instruction (EMI) at Japanese universities. Despite substantial funding behind the initiative, little research has evaluated the implications for language planning, including contextualised implementation challenges. This study aims to investigate how the policy is being enacted into practice at a university in Japan at two different policy levels: the meso (institutional) and micro (classroom) level. The study contrasts one university’s TGUP meso-level policy documentation with data from semi-structured interviews with students and teachers to illuminate micro-level challenges. Data were coded according to emergent themes via qualitative text analysis, following similar processes to research into TGUP policy. The findings suggest that the meso-level policy goals of the university do not trickle down to micro-level practice as envisioned, revealing underlying challenges arising from policy diffusion. In comparing our results with data from other TGUP university studies, we conclude that micro-level linguistic challenges for teachers and students has relevance for other universities where English-taught programmes are being expanded via national and university-level policies.
      PubDate: 2018-11-03
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0323-5
       
  • Moving, remaining, and returning: international mobility of doctorate
           holders in the social sciences and humanities
    • Authors: Emanuela Reale; Lucio Morettini; Antonio Zinilli
      Abstract: International mobility of doctorate holders is one important dimension of the general phenomenon of internationalization and globalization of research systems, which is supposed to have positive effects on economy and society. Although issues of international mobility for doctorate holders have been largely investigated, there is still relatively little information about the factors affecting those with degrees specifically in the social sciences and humanities (SSH). Considering this, the aim of the current paper is twofold: first, to investigate whether the propensity of a doctorate holder in SSH to experience a period of international mobility during the career is influenced by mobility during the educational stage; second, to examine whether the mobility after doctoral degree affects the choice of doctorates to return to their country of origin, as opposed to remaining abroad, controlling for peculiar aspects of the higher education sector of employment. The results show that international mobility during graduate education and at the moment of choosing the first job on attaining the PhD are important factors influencing the future mobility of doctorate holders in the SSH areas. These same factors also influence the individual’s propensity to diverge (continue abroad) or converge (remain, return) with respect to their initial country of employment. The results of this investigation improve our knowledge about the effects generated by the early choices of individuals, which could support decision-makers in designing instruments addressing the international mobility of doctorate holders and, when relevant, creating the conditions for their return.
      PubDate: 2018-10-31
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0328-0
       
  • From conceptualisation to measurement of higher education as a common
           good: challenges and possibilities
    • Authors: Pepka Boyadjieva; Petya Ilieva-Trichkova
      Abstract: The article aims to outline a theoretical framework for conceptualising higher education as a common good, as well as to reveal the empirical manifestations of this phenomenon. It argues that the extent to which higher education as a common good is accomplished in a given society/country reflects the accessibility, availability, and affordability of higher education, in addition to the commitment to this goal made by society and all its influential actors. Building on this conceptualisation and using data from various sources for 13 European countries, the authors develop a composite index which measures the extent to which higher education as a common good is implemented in a given country. The results indicate substantial cross-country differences, with Northern Europe scoring most highly. They also demonstrate that higher education as a common good is a complex phenomenon with differences within the country ranks, as well, depending on the varying dimensions considered. Finally, by applying cluster analysis, the article identifies four distinctive clusters of countries with regard to the accomplishment of higher education as a common good, designated as reality, feasible, ambiguous, and problematic. The index developed here can be used to assess the effectiveness of national policies in the sphere of higher education across Europe.
      PubDate: 2018-10-30
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0319-1
       
 
 
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