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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]
  • Dealing with plagiarism in the academic community: emotional engagement
           and moral distress
    • Authors: Sanna Vehviläinen; Erika Löfström; Anne Nevgi
      Pages: 1 - 18
      Abstract: Abstract This article deals with the demands that plagiarism places on academic communities, and with the resources staff possess in dealing with these demands. It is suggested that plagiarism ought to be placed in the context of network of intertwining communities (scholarly, pedagogical and administrative), to which participants are engaged to a different extent. The relationship to the ethical issue of plagiarism is related to the subject’s engagement in these communities. The article examines the way teachers deal with plagiarism from the point of view of work engagement and work-related wellbeing. In particular, we analyse job demands created by episodes of dealing with plagiarism as well as job resources teachers possess that aid them in coping with these demands. We used thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews of teachers in two universities. Our results show that the demands fall on five thematic categories: 1. rupture in the personal pedagogical relationship, 2. challenge on the supervisory “gatekeeping” responsibility; 3. a breach of the “everyday normality”; 4. ambivalence in explaining plagiarism and 5. the strain of performing the act of accusation. A key job demand in dealing with plagiarism is that teachers must balance both rule-ethical and care-ethical orientations in their reactions and actions. The resources teachers draw upon when dealing with these demands are: 1) dialogue and reflection in collegial dialogue 2) support from superiors and administration 3) shared protocols, procedures and plagiarism detection software. Our analysis shows that there are various demands that make dealing with plagiarism a strenuous task, but university environments also provide teachers with resources to cope with them.
      PubDate: 2018-01-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0112-6
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 1 (2018)
  • Towards a reframing of student support: a case study approach
    • Authors: Pamela Anne Roberts; Katie Dunworth; Duncan Boldy
      Pages: 19 - 33
      Abstract: Abstract This paper reports on a study that investigated the range of institutional support needs of international students at one Australian university with a view to increasing understanding of their needs and the ways in which support was provided. The study involved a number of data collection methods including focus groups, key informant interviews and a larger scale survey, undertaken in an inductive and sequential process. The results indicated that the levels of awareness about services differed, that lack of knowledge of how to access a service and finding information about it were key reasons for non-use, and that the helpfulness of staff impacted on the perception of services as useful. The paper concludes by recommending a reconsideration of current practices to move towards a model of student support service provision in which the student is at the centre.
      PubDate: 2018-01-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0127-z
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 1 (2018)
  • What shapes the intention to study abroad' An experimental approach
    • Authors: Knut Petzold; Petra Moog
      Pages: 35 - 54
      Abstract: Abstract In contrast to previous studies, this investigation aims to get deeper insights into the causes of the intention to study abroad by using an experimental approach. Although international experience is often considered as important, many students at German universities do not even consider abroad. Referring to the Theory of Rational Choice (RCT) and the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), the intention to study abroad is shaped by student’s evaluation of expected benefits from studying abroad, resources and restrictions regarding its realization, and normative aspects. In a factorial survey experiment, hypothetical study abroad descriptions with varying attributes were presented to students of economics and engineering of a German university. The experimental design allows for more nuanced operationalizations and for diminished endogeneity biases through systematic variation and randomization. Thus, a more direct test of the assumptions about educational decision-making is possible. A comparison of the unbiased predictor weights clearly indicates that students prioritize conditions when considering study abroad. They seem to not ponder about beneficial outcomes of studying abroad, such as own personality development and being in a desired host country, as long as the realization of the stay is not substantially guaranteed by related foreign language skills, sufficient financing, and a supportive host university. Further facilitations through an exchange program and exchange in a group, as well as expectations of family and friends are of secondary importance.
      PubDate: 2018-01-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0119-z
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 1 (2018)
  • Erratum to: What shapes the intention to study abroad' An experimental
    • Authors: Knut Petzold; Petra Moog
      Pages: 55 - 56
      PubDate: 2018-01-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0134-0
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 1 (2018)
  • A phenomenological study of teamwork in online and face-to-face student
    • Authors: Marzieh Saghafian; D. Kevin O’Neill
      Pages: 57 - 73
      Abstract: Abstract Team-based projects are widely used in both traditional face-to-face and online programs in higher education. To date, the teamwork experiences of students in each modality have been documented primarily through evaluative research conducted over short spans of time and limited by a priori frameworks. The literature also reflects a lack of agreement about what constitutes the phenomenon of teamwork in each modality. In order to address these limitations, we conducted a phenomenological study examining the lived experiences of teamwork among students in both face-to-face and online MBA programs in Iran. Our analysis revealed striking commonalities in the experiences of both groups, including a shared desire for effective leadership to alleviate the problem of free riders, as well as substantial time and effort invested in retaining reliable teammates from one team project to another. In other respects, face-to-face and online students’ experience differed strongly. For example, while face-to-face participants pursued teammates with similar beliefs about how teamwork should be accomplished, online participants found themselves pre-occupied with staying connected with their teammates and struggled to establish common communication channels with each and every team member. Overall, our findings suggest that while training and support for student teamwork can partly build on the shared needs among students in both modalities, the nature of the experience in each modality may be so different in vital respects that engaging in one mode of teamwork does not necessarily prepare students to participate well in the other mode. Other implications and limitations of the research are discussed.
      PubDate: 2018-01-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0122-4
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 1 (2018)
  • Leading by example: the influence of ethical supervision on
           students’ prosocial behavior
    • Authors: Mehran Nejati; Azadeh Shafaei
      Pages: 75 - 89
      Abstract: Abstract Universities worldwide strive to nurture socially responsible graduates to create a better society. Since ethical behavior of role models can stimulate followers’ professional standards and ethical values, it is crucial to focus on an appropriate path through which ethical values can be conveyed and learned by individuals. The current study seeks to examine if this objective can be facilitated through the positive role played by academic supervisors at higher education level. Owing to the very close leader-follower relationship, this study empirically investigated if ethical supervisors could stimulate prosocial behavior among students under their supervision. Data was collected from 240 postgraduate university students and analyzed using partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM). The findings of this study revealed that students demonstrated greater anonymous, emotional, and compliant prosocial behavior when they perceived stronger ethical supervision. Study implications and limitations have been discussed.
      PubDate: 2018-01-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0130-4
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 1 (2018)
  • Evaluating research-oriented teaching: a new instrument to assess
           university students’ research competences
    • Authors: Franziska Böttcher; Felicitas Thiel
      Pages: 91 - 110
      Abstract: Abstract Several concepts have been developed to implement research-oriented teaching in higher education in the last 15 years. The definition of research competences, however, has received minor attention so far. Some approaches to modeling research competences describe these competences along the research process but either focus on a specific academic discipline and/or specific facets or offer no empirical verification for cross-disciplinary approaches. We have developed a new approach to model research competences across various academic disciplines in form of a competence model—the RMRC-K-model. This model comprises five dimensions: skills in reviewing the state of research, methodological skills, skills in reflecting on research findings, communication skills, and content knowledge. In this study, we present an instrument (R-Comp) developed on the basis of this cross-disciplinary competence model. The factorial structure of the R-Comp was examined with data from 391 university students in three groups, either enrolled in a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, or a PhD program. The sample represented various academic disciplines. Results from confirmatory factor analyses supported the hypothesized structure of the R-Comp for the five dimensions in accordance with the RMRC-K-model. Additionally, results provided evidence for a more detailed differentiation of all dimensions with sub-dimensions reflecting theorized facets of the model. Both Cronbach’s α and construct reliability H indicated overall good reliability. Despite limitations to this study, there is some first evidence of a valid and reliable assessment of student research competences.
      PubDate: 2018-01-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0128-y
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 1 (2018)
  • Japan’s English-medium instruction initiatives and the globalization
           of higher education
    • Authors: Heath Rose; Jim McKinley
      Pages: 111 - 129
      Abstract: Abstract This article analyzes a recent initiative of Japan’s Ministry of Education, which aims to internationalize higher education in Japan. The large-investment project “Top Global University Project” (TGUP) has emerged to create globally oriented universities, to increase the role of foreign languages in higher education, and to foster global human resources. The TGUP identifies 37 universities: 13 as “top global universities” intended to compete in the top 100 university world rankings and 24 “global traction universities” intended to lead the internationalization of higher education in Japan. Despite the substantial funding behind this initiative, little research has been conducted to evaluate the potential impact of this policy on language planning in higher education in Japan. This paper addresses this gap in its exploration of the TGUP, including key changes from previous internationalization policies. It then presents an analysis of publicly available documents regarding the policy, collected from all 37 of the participant universities. Findings indicate a positive departure from older policy trends and the emergence of flexible, unique forms of English language education in Japan’s universities.
      PubDate: 2018-01-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0125-1
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 1 (2018)
  • Chinese international students’ social connectedness, social and
           academic adaptation: the mediating role of global competence
    • Authors: Qian Meng; Chang Zhu; Chun Cao
      Pages: 131 - 147
      Abstract: Abstract This study examined global competence of Chinese international students sojourning in a non-Anglophone European country as a mediator between foreign language proficiency (i.e., English and local language) and social and academic adaptation, and social connectedness in international community. A sample of 206 Chinese students in Belgium responded to a web-based survey. Results from structural equation modeling analysis indicated both English and local language proficiency were significant predictors of global competence and global competence, in turn, influenced significantly the participants’ social connectedness, social and academic adaptation. Specifically, English and local language proficiency taken together explained 32% of the variance in global competence, and global competence explained 55% of the variance in social adaptation and 38% of the variance in academic adaptation, respectively. In addition, English proficiency and global competence explained 33% of the variance in social connectedness in international community. Bootstrapping methods were employed to examine the mediating roles of global competence. The results revealed that global competence partially mediated the relationship between English proficiency and social connectedness and fully mediated the relationships between foreign language proficiency (i.e., both English and local language) and social and academic adaptation.
      PubDate: 2018-01-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0129-x
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 1 (2018)
  • Overcoming cross-cultural group work tensions: mixed student perspectives
           on the role of social relationships
    • Authors: Jenna Mittelmeier; Bart Rienties; Dirk Tempelaar; Denise Whitelock
      Pages: 149 - 166
      Abstract: Abstract As universities worldwide rapidly internationalise, higher education classrooms have become unique spaces for collaboration between students from different countries. One common way to encourage collaboration between diverse peers is through group work. However, previous research has highlighted that cross-cultural group work can be challenging and has hinted at potential social tensions. To understand this notion better, we have used robust quantitative tools in this study to select 20 participants from a larger classroom of 860 students to take part in an in-depth qualitative interview about cross-cultural group work experiences. Participant views on social tensions in cross-cultural group work were elicited using a unique mediating artefact method to encourage reflection and in-depth discussion. In our analysis of emergent interview themes, we compared student perspectives on the role of social relationships in group work by their academic performance level. Our findings indicated that all students interviewed desired the opportunity to form social relationships with their group work members, but their motivations for doing so varied widely by academic performance level.
      PubDate: 2018-01-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0131-3
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 1 (2018)
  • Why lecturers still matter: the impact of lecturer-student exchange on
           student engagement and intention to leave university prematurely
    • Authors: Ben Farr-Wharton; Michael B. Charles; Robyn Keast; Geoff Woolcott; Daniel Chamberlain
      Pages: 167 - 185
      Abstract: Abstract This research examines the impact of lecturer-student exchange (student-LMX) on engagement, course satisfaction, achievement, and intention to leave university prematurely for 363 students in one Australian university. Survey and grade point average (GPA) data were collected from domestic undergraduate first- and second-year students and analysed using structural equation modelling. The results indicated that student’s levels of engagement and course satisfaction fully mediated the relationship between student-LMX and intention to leave university, when demographic and socio-economic factors were controlled for. In an era when low student engagement and attrition is often attributed to individual demographic factors, and lecturers are under increasing threat of being replaced by technology, this research offers compelling evidence regarding the role of lecturer-student relationships in enhancing tertiary student outcomes.
      PubDate: 2018-01-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0190-5
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 1 (2018)
  • Jon McGee. Breakpoint: The Changing Marketplace for Higher Education.
           Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 2015, 169 pp.
    • Authors: Weihui Mei
      Pages: 187 - 190
      PubDate: 2018-01-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0124-2
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 1 (2018)
  • Dimensions of higher education and the public good in South Africa
    • Authors: Melanie Walker
      Abstract: 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: 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
  • What makes academic careers less insecure' The role of
           individual-level antecedents
    • Authors: Renate Ortlieb; Silvana Weiss
      Abstract: Abstract The early stages of an academic career are fraught with insecurity. By focusing on the individual and his or her background, this article sets out to analyse and develop theories for this insecurity. We see academic career insecurity as a mix of how much someone wants to pursue a job in academia and what they feel is the probability of reaching their goal. The article draws on concepts of boundaryless careers and protean careers to theorise about the antecedents of insecurity. Empirical analysis is based on survey data from early-career researchers at a large Austrian university. The findings indicate that the most important individual factors that reduce academic career insecurity are the willingness to be geographically mobile, self-attribution of previous career success, a high proportion of working time devoted to research and networking, as well as being at an advanced career stage. The article demonstrates the potential and limits of the boundaryless and protean career concepts for studying academic careers. Practical measures are that universities should provide early-career researchers with temporal space for research and networking, facilitate stays at other universities, inform them about career success factors, and tailor faculty development programmes to the distinct stages of academic careers.
      PubDate: 2018-01-05
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0226-x
  • Curriculum, teaching and powerful knowledge
    • Authors: Tony Harland; Navé Wald
      Abstract: Abstract This paper examines the concept of ‘powerful knowledge’ and provides new perspectives on an important emergent theory for education. We claim that the key to attaining powerful knowledge is ‘epistemic access’ to the discipline, which is access of the generative principles of knowledge creation. We draw on 15 years teaching and researching a university science programme in which undergraduate ecology students are trained as researchers during the 3 years they attend university. Hence, there is close alignment between teaching students to do research and powerful knowledge. In addition, it has been suggested that the ‘power’ in powerful knowledge is realised in what is done with that knowledge, that its purpose is social since it allows the holder to make a better contribution to society. We argue that in addition to such an aspirational ‘outcome’, it can be part of the process of education and early acquisition of powerful knowledge can influence all subsequent formal and informal learning experiences as the student progresses though university. A model for powerful knowledge is presented in which there is the possibility of powerful action after graduation, but this remains in the theoretical realm while there is very little empirical evidence supporting such a hypothesis for ecology students. Powerful action also questions the limits of responsibility for a teacher.
      PubDate: 2018-01-03
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0228-8
  • Emergent achievement segregation in freshmen learning community networks
    • Authors: Jasperina Brouwer; Andreas Flache; Ellen Jansen; Adriaan Hofman; Christian Steglich
      Abstract: Abstract A common assumption about Freshmen Learning Communities (FLCs) is that academic relationships contribute to students’ success. This study investigates how students in learning communities connect with fellow students for friendship and academic support. Longitudinal social network data across the first year, collected from 95 Dutch students in eight FLCs, measure both social and academic relational choices within and beyond the FLCs. Using stochastic actor-based models, the study tests two competing hypotheses. The alignment hypothesis states that students connect with their similar-achieving friends for both academic and social support, leading to an alignment of both types of networks over time. In contrast, the duality hypothesis states dissimilarity between academic support networks and friendship networks: students should connect with better-achieving fellow students for academic support and to more similar peers for friendship. The data support the alignment hypothesis but not the duality hypothesis; in addition, they show evidence of achievement segregation in FLCs: the higher the students’ achievement level, the more they connect with other students for both academic support and friendship, relating in particular to peers with a similarly high achievement level. The results suggest that lower-achieving students are excluded from the support provided by higher-achieving students and instead ask similar lower achievers for support. They thus cannot benefit optimally from the academic integration FLC offer. The article concludes with recommendations of how to support students in an FLC so that they can reach optimal achievement potential.
      PubDate: 2017-12-28
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0221-2
  • Less inequality through universal access' Socioeconomic background of
           tertiary entrants in Australia after the expansion of university
    • Authors: Krzysztof Czarnecki
      Abstract: Abstract This article investigates the consequences of an expansion of domestic university places in Australia after 2009 for inequalities in access to tertiary education. I focused on how different individual-level socioeconomic factors were influencing not only the likelihood of continuing education at the tertiary level but also a type of institution one studies at. Thus, I simultaneously analyse vertical and horizontal dimensions of inequalities in access. The expansion has not dramatically changed the differentiated access within different socioeconomic groups. However, the influence of parental education and secondary school context on continuing education has weakened. But those who have benefited the most are young people from upper service class. They not only approach near-universal access faster than other social classes but also improve their relative chances to study at the most prestigious institutions. Controlling for academic ability at the age of 15 showed that socioeconomic background continuous to matter after that age. This means that student-oriented equity policies undertaken closer to the point of transition to tertiary education have a capacity to decrease educational inequalities. Results are discussed against the background of the current higher education policy trends regarding equity in access.
      PubDate: 2017-12-20
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0222-1
  • Reproducing “academic successors” or cultivating “versatile
           experts”: influences of doctoral training on career expectations of
           Chinese PhD students
    • Authors: Jianxiu Gu; John S. Levin; Yingzi Luo
      Abstract: Abstract This investigation focuses on Chinese doctoral students’ career expectations, and examines how the students’ career expectations changed over time under the influence of doctoral training based on survey data of 1467 doctoral students from 8 Chinese universities. Doctoral students’ evaluations of doctoral training were identified. The examination indicates that more than half of doctoral students expect a non-academic profession, and more than 70% of students did not alter their professional expectations radically over time. Logistic regression model results indicate that doctoral students’ career expectations and their changes over time were influenced by doctoral training in their university environment, students’ relationships with supervisors, and students’ experiences of collaboration with non-academic organizations. Doctoral students are dissatisfied with doctoral training that does not encourage and prepare them for diverse career paths. We conclude that in the present environment, the goal of doctoral training should not only be the reproduction of “academic successors” but also be the cultivation of “versatile experts.”
      PubDate: 2017-12-19
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0218-x
  • Effects of higher education expansion on gender parity: a 65-year
           trajectory in Taiwan
    • Authors: Dian-Fu Chang
      Abstract: Abstract This study explores gender parity on the basis of distinctive expansion stages in the higher education system of Taiwan. Gender parity is one of the key components used to determine equal opportunities for accessing higher education. Therefore, this study evaluated gender parity and explored the potential gaps at the undergraduate, master and doctoral levels by using a quantitative longitudinal method to determine the effects of the system expansion. Student enrollment data from 1950 to 2014 were collected from the Ministry of Education in Taiwan and transformed by Becker’s coefficient of discrimination (D) to interpret the significance of the gender parity at various development stages in the system. In addition, this study applied an ARIMA (Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average) model to predict the D for the next decade. Reviewing the D trend from 1950 to 2014, this study found that higher education expansion has played a crucial role in promoting gender parity. The results of the ARIMA model reveal that the numbers of male and female students studying in undergraduate programs will become more equal in the next decade. Although male students are still favored for enrollment at the master and doctoral levels, the disparity is declining according to the results of this study. The findings in this study can be used to justify a higher education expansion policy based on the function of gender parity.
      PubDate: 2017-12-18
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0219-9
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