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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  [2352 journals]
  • Chinese students’ social integration into the university community:
           hearing the students’ voices
    • Authors: Helen Spencer-Oatey; Daniel Dauber; Jing Jing; Wang Lifei
      Pages: 739 - 756
      Abstract: Abstract According to UNESCO statistics, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) sends far more students to study overseas than any other country in the world. Similarly, from the receiving countries’ point of view, PRC students form by far the highest proportion of international students. In many respects, this is a success story, but it also poses a number of risks to universities. This paper focuses on one of those key risks that of student dissatisfaction (including from PRC students themselves). Using a sequential mixed-method study, it addresses two research questions: (a) Chinese students’ level of satisfaction with their social integration into the university community and (b) the barriers that Chinese students’ perceive in becoming more socially integrated into the university student community. The research finds that many Chinese students are dissatisfied with their range of friendships and that they find it more challenging to socialise with students of other nationalities than other students do. They point out a number of barriers to integration, with cultural distance playing a major role, but also argue for the impact of individual factors. The paper concludes by considering the implications for universities and suggestions for further research.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-016-0074-0
      Issue No: Vol. 74, No. 5 (2017)
  • Relationships between learning approach, procrastination and academic
           achievement amongst first-year university students
    • Authors: Rannveig Grøm Sæle; Tove Irene Dahl; Tore Sørlie; Oddgeir Friborg
      Pages: 757 - 774
      Abstract: Abstract Individual differences in student learning influence academic performance, and two aspects influencing the learning process are the particular learning approach the students use and procrastination behaviour. We examined the relationships between learning approaches, procrastination and academic achievement (measured 1 year later as the grade point average (GPA)) amongst 428 first-year university students. Deep and strategic learning approaches positively predicted GPA, and a mediation analysis showed that the strategic learning approach also partly mediated the effect between deep learning approach and GPA. Less procrastination was associated with a strategic learning approach, but procrastination tendencies did not predict GPA. Recommendations are made for educating new students in cognitive and meta-cognitive strategies, helping reduce their procrastination and facilitating the use of deep and strategic learning approaches.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-016-0075-z
      Issue No: Vol. 74, No. 5 (2017)
  • Effects of the financial crisis on university choice by gender
    • Authors: Mattia Cattaneo; Hugo Horta; Paolo Malighetti; Michele Meoli; Stefano Paleari
      Pages: 775 - 798
      Abstract: Abstract This study analyses the university choices of male and female students in Italy over the 2003–2012 period and for two sub-periods before (2003–2008) and after (2009–2012) the 2008 financial crisis. The analysis is guided by human capital, signalling and preference theories and implemented through a competing destinations model that controls for the socio-economic features of both the region of origin and destination. The findings show that in the post-crisis period, males became more career-oriented in their university choices due to increasingly constrained and competitive labour markets. The constrained post-crisis labour markets led females to focus more on the educational experience than on future employability prospects. Our results suggest that the financial crisis maintained or even widened gendered social roles as they relate to university choices; specifically, males assumed an even greater career-centred family role, whereas females adopted more adaptive lifestyles that potentially place them at a disadvantage in the labour market and in society in years to come.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-016-0076-y
      Issue No: Vol. 74, No. 5 (2017)
  • Mechanisms for promoting the development of cognitive, social and
           affective graduate attributes
    • Authors: David Kember; Celina Hong; Vickie W. K. Yau; Shun Amaly Ho
      Pages: 799 - 814
      Abstract: Abstract The aim of this study was to help universities promote graduate attributes by investigating mechanisms for promoting the development of cognitive, social and affective attributes which could impact upon all undergraduate students. Small group interviews were conducted with 90 final year students at a university in Hong Kong. Interview transcripts were coded for statements relating to 13 attributes. Five categories of mechanism existed: subject-independent teaching and learning activities, which provide practise in the use of the attribute; immersion in a rich campus environment; holding a value; subject-dependent mechanisms; and, participation in an overseas exchange. These five mechanism categories were then cross-tabulated against the 13 attributes, ranked in order of student perceptions of their development. Subject-independent learning activities were the most effective mechanism, followed by exposure to a rich campus environment. For a wide range of attributes to be nurtured effectively, the curriculum and co-curriculum need to be regarded holistically.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-016-0077-x
      Issue No: Vol. 74, No. 5 (2017)
  • Patterns and predictors of academic dishonesty in Romanian university
    • Authors: Bob Ives; Madalina Alama; Liviu Cosmin Mosora; Mihaela Mosora; Lucia Grosu-Radulescu; Aurel Ion Clinciu; Ana-Maria Cazan; Gabriel Badescu; Claudiu Tufis; Mihaela Diaconu; Amalia Dutu
      Pages: 815 - 831
      Abstract: Abstract Academic dishonesty in higher education is an increasingly visible problem throughout the world and in Romania in particular. A total of 1127 university students from six public Romanian universities were surveyed for their experiences and beliefs with 22 behaviors that might be considered academically dishonest. A five-factor solution to the frequencies of these behaviors was interpretable and accounted for more than half of the total variance. How acceptable students believed the behaviors were and how often students witnessed other students engage in these behaviors were consistent predictors of the frequency of the behaviors, with small to medium effect sizes. Demographic predictors of these behaviors, including gender, academic specialty, year in school, institution, grade average, and scholarship status, predicted very little variance in the behaviors. Implications and limitations of the study, as well as limitations of research in the field, are discussed.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-016-0079-8
      Issue No: Vol. 74, No. 5 (2017)
  • Developing pre-professional identity in undergraduates through
           work-integrated learning
    • Authors: Denise Jackson
      Pages: 833 - 853
      Abstract: Abstract Pre-professional identity is a complex phenomenon spanning awareness of and connection with the skills, qualities, behaviours, values and standards of a student’s chosen profession, as well as one’s understanding of professional self in relation to the broader general self. It is an important, yet under-explored, aspect of graduate employability and can influence academic success, well-being and productivity. This study investigates the role of Work-Integrated Learning (WIL), more specifically work placements, in developing pre-professional identity among undergraduates. It uses qualitative data, in the form of structured reflections, gathered over two time periods from 105 business students in a Western Australian university. Findings indicate that work placements can offer a valuable platform for fostering identity construction. Students use the experience to make sense of their intended profession through observing, questioning and interacting with seasoned professionals. Appraising and reflecting on their experience, through learning activities and assessment, are highlighted as important elements of placement design and critical for students to question and make sense of what they observed and learned. Strategies are presented for industry and education practitioners to enhance pre-professional identity development among undergraduates. The study underlines the important role of work placements in preparing students for graduate-level employment, beyond the traditional focus on non-technical skill development and the application of disciplinary knowledge.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-016-0080-2
      Issue No: Vol. 74, No. 5 (2017)
  • Determinants of the job satisfaction of PhD holders: an analysis by
           gender, employment sector, and type of satisfaction in Spain
    • Authors: Josep-Oriol Escardíbul; Sergio Afcha
      Pages: 855 - 875
      Abstract: Abstract We analyze the determinants of job satisfaction of PhD holders in Spain. Specifically, we consider overall job satisfaction as well as basic and motivational satisfaction, following Herzberg’s typology (based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs). Using representative data for Spain’s PhD population—collected from the Spanish Survey on Human Resources in Science and Technology (2009)—we report an analysis by gender and the institutional sector (university and non-university) in which employees work. We employ Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regressions to identify the determinants of basic and motivational satisfaction in the workplace and an ordered logit model for overall job satisfaction. Results do not allow us to confirm Herzberg’s factor differentiation for Spanish PhD holders since the factors of basic motivation (including salary or working conditions—needs of “safety”) have a bearing on all types of job satisfaction (and not solely on the basic satisfaction of PhD holders). Our results do not show any significant differences by gender. However, it seems that meeting these “basic” needs is less important for the job satisfaction of PhD holders working in universities. The results seem reasonable in a Southern European country where the monetary conditions of the labor market are worse than those in other developed countries.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-016-0081-1
      Issue No: Vol. 74, No. 5 (2017)
  • Dynamics of undergraduate student generic problem-solving skills captured
           by a campus-wide study
    • Authors: Andis Klegeris; Stephanie Barclay McKeown; Heather Hurren; Lindsay Joy Spielman; Maegan Stuart; Manpreet Bahniwal
      Pages: 877 - 896
      Abstract: Abstract The ability to effectively problem solve is a highly valued competency expected of university graduates, independent of their area of study. Evaluation of problem-solving skill (PSS) development is hindered by a shortage of available tools for monitoring student progress and by lack of defined instructional strategies for development of these skills. Our research is aimed at addressing these problems. We have developed an evaluation tool, which we applied to study the dynamics of undergraduate student PSS. We tested first- and upper-year students from 26 different courses (total enrollment of 2229 students). Overall improvement of PSS was detected for the first-year students over their first term of study. There were no significant differences between the PSS of first- and upper-year students, and no improvement was detected over a single term by measuring PSS in upper-year students. Only three courses were effective at facilitating PSS. Our data indicate that most of the standard lecture approaches do not develop undergraduate student PSS and that universities and individual instructors must take active steps to advance this critical skill set in university students.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-016-0082-0
      Issue No: Vol. 74, No. 5 (2017)
  • Academic work and performativity
    • Authors: John Kenny
      Pages: 897 - 913
      Abstract: Abstract Neoliberal 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. This paper critically examines these developments in institutions and draws on evidence from universities across the sector and a detailed case study in one university to identify the impacts of these changes on academic work. Given its ubiquity and the link of academic productivity to institutional experience, the paper argues that assumptions underpinning academic performance management need to be rethought to recognise the fundamentally intrinsic motivational nature of academic work. The paper explores the effects of performance management on individual academics as a case study in one institution and proposes a re-design of academic performance management to improve productivity based on the evidence.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-016-0084-y
      Issue No: Vol. 74, No. 5 (2017)
  • Conceptualising knowledge for access in the sciences: academic development
           from a social realist perspective
    • Authors: Karen Ellery
      Pages: 915 - 931
      Abstract: Abstract Whilst arguing from a social realist perspective that knowledge matters in academic development (AD) curricula, this paper addresses the question of what knowledge types and practices are necessary for enabling epistemological access. It presents a single, in-depth, qualitative case study in which the curriculum of a science AD course is characterised using Legitimation Code Theory (LCT). Analysis of the course curriculum reveals legitimation of four main categories of knowledge types along a continuum of stronger to weaker epistemic relations: disciplinary knowledge, scientific literacies knowledge, general academic practices knowledge and everyday knowledge. These categories are ‘mapped’ onto an LCT(Semantics) (how meaning relates to both context and empirical referents) topological plane to reveal a curriculum that operates in three distinct but interrelated spaces by facing towards both the field of science and the practice of academia. It is argued that this empirically derived differentiated curriculum framework offers a conceptual means for considering the notion of access to ‘powerful’ knowledge in a range of AD and mainstream contexts.
      PubDate: 2017-11-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-016-0085-x
      Issue No: Vol. 74, No. 5 (2017)
  • Soft power as a policy rationale for international education in the UK: a
           critical analysis
    • Authors: Sylvie Lomer
      Pages: 581 - 598
      Abstract: Abstract This article presents the results of a textual analysis conducted on policy discourses on international students in the UK between 1999 and 2013. A number of rationales for and against increasing their numbers have been made, which have largely remained consistent over changing political administrations. One key rationale is that international students enhance the UK’s global political influence through its soft power. Critical analysis indicates that a number of unsubstantiated assumptions are made, representing international higher education and students in an outdated power relation predicated on Cold War politics. Key assumptions are that international students change their political attitudes and identify with the host country as a result of positive experiences. Later they are supposed to return home and reach positions of influence, which they exert in favour of the UK. They are represented to feel the same whether on scholarship or self-funded; and behave in predictable, similar ways. These representations of students as social subjects have disciplinary implications, which should be a topic for critical debate and potentially resistance in pedagogical contexts.
      PubDate: 2017-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-016-0060-6
      Issue No: Vol. 74, No. 4 (2017)
  • How student beliefs about knowledge and knowing influence their
           satisfaction with assessment and feedback
    • Authors: Berry O’Donovan
      Pages: 617 - 633
      Abstract: Abstract Students’ beliefs about the nature of knowledge and knowing frame how they interpret their educational experience and their approaches to, and perspectives on, learning, teaching and assessment. This paper draws on previous research identifying the ways of knowing of undergraduates on entry to a UK post-92 university, findings from which confirm the prevalence of absolute beliefs in which knowledge is viewed as certain, uncontested and students are largely authority-dependent. Student perspectives on assessment and feedback are explored based on thematic analysis of student responses within two main categories of beliefs, absolute/dualist versus contextual/pluralist. The paper teases out the implications of these perspectives for students’ satisfaction with their assessment and feedback experience in the context of today’s increasingly market-orientated higher education environment. Findings demonstrate that student perspectives on, and satisfaction with, assessment and feedback are strongly intertwined with their beliefs on knowledge and teaching. Students holding absolute/dualist beliefs considered ‘good’ assessment and feedback practice to entail clear and unambiguous assessment tasks, criteria and standards along with the receipt of unequivocal and corrective feedback. The paper concludes that faced with assessment tasks that move beyond established facts and demonstrable theories it may only be students who view knowledge as relative and mutable that will likely be satisfied with their assessment and feedback experience.
      PubDate: 2017-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-016-0068-y
      Issue No: Vol. 74, No. 4 (2017)
  • Embedding engaged learning in high enrollmentlecture-based classes
    • Authors: Kathy Lund Dean; Sarah Wright
      Pages: 651 - 668
      Abstract: Abstract Engaged learning opportunities have become powerful foundations upon which students build lifelong skills and organizational capacities. Research has empirically validated the long-term positive learning impacts of active and experiential learning opportunities for students. As such, institutional administrators and external stakeholders have encouraged and, in some cases, required that faculty use engaged teaching methods. At the same time, difficult economic circumstances continue to batter higher education, with class sizes increasing to improve efficiencies and reduce instructional costs. The confluence of those two trends has resulted in calls to integrate engaged learning opportunities in large higher education classes, engendering special challenges for educators. It is within this particular gap—practical guidance for transforming passive course designs to active ones—that our article contributes to the international higher education literature. We share our experiences implementing engaged learning practices into large university classes over a 4-year period, guided by an experiential learning theoretical framework. By analyzing text from our individual teaching journals and collaborative post-mortems, we are able to introduce an integrative model highlighting important contextual and logistical issues that must be considered: pre-class planning, in-class facilitation, assessments and feedback, training and renorming student expectations, and institutional context. We end the article with caveats and ethical considerations when introducing engaged learning into large classes.
      PubDate: 2017-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-016-0070-4
      Issue No: Vol. 74, No. 4 (2017)
  • Employability, managerialism, and performativity in higher education: a
           relational perspective
    • Authors: Senia Kalfa; Lucy Taksa
      Pages: 687 - 699
      Abstract: Abstract This article combines Bourdieu’s concepts of field, habitus and cultural capital with Lyotard’s account of performativity to construct a three-tiered framework in order to explore how managerialism has affected the academic habitus. Specifically, this article examines the adoption of group assignments as a means of developing teamwork skills in one Australian case study organisation. On a macrolevel, by viewing the employability imperative as one manifestation of managerialism in the higher education field, we argue that managerialism has created a performative culture in the case study organisation evidenced by an increasing emphasis on performance indicators. On a mesolevel, by examining how academics use group assessments to respond to demands made by governments and employers for ‘employable graduates’, we highlight the continuity of academic habitus. Finally, on a microlevel by drawing on alumni reflections regarding their experiences of group assessments at university, we are able to shed some light on their evaluation of this pedagogical tool.
      PubDate: 2017-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-016-0072-2
      Issue No: Vol. 74, No. 4 (2017)
  • Cost economies in the provision of higher education for international
           students: Australian evidence
    • Authors: Liang-Cheng Zhang; Andrew C. Worthington; Mingyan Hu
      Pages: 717 - 734
      Abstract: Abstract In the past few decades, the additional revenues available via higher education exports (through both relatively higher prices and increased enrolments) have attracted the attention of providers in many developed countries, not least in Anglophone countries like the USA, the UK, Canada and Australia. However, while the revenue case is strong, the institutional cost structures underlying the provision of higher education services for international students remain relatively unknown at the sector level. Accordingly, we offer a comprehensive analysis of the cost economies underlying higher education provision for international students using a sample of 37 Australian public universities over the period from 2003 to 2012. The findings suggest that it is appealing to enrol additional overseas students given their lower average and marginal costs and the significant economies of scale prevailing in higher education generally. Further, while we find evidence of economies of scope for overseas students only in smaller institutions, there is no evidence of diseconomies of scope, implying the current number of overseas students and their joint production with domestic students at the least does not lead to unnecessarily higher overall costs.
      PubDate: 2017-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-016-0078-9
      Issue No: Vol. 74, No. 4 (2017)
  • Marta Peris-Ortiz, Jaime Alonso Gómez, Francisco Vélez-Torres, Carlos
           Rueda-Armengot (eds.): Education tools for entrepreneurship
    • Authors: Yinghua Ye; Rui Hu
      Pages: 735 - 737
      PubDate: 2017-10-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-016-0083-z
      Issue No: Vol. 74, No. 4 (2017)
  • Andrea L. Beach, Mary Deane Sorcinelli, Ann E. Austin, and Jaclyn K.
           Rivard. Faculty Development in the Age of Evidence
    • Authors: Shantell Strickland-Davis
      PubDate: 2017-10-10
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0201-6
  • Theory of planned behavior in the classroom: An examination of the
           instructor confirmation-interaction model
    • Authors: Michael E. Burns; Marian L. Houser; Kristen LeBlanc Farris
      Abstract: Abstract The current study utilizes the theory of planned behavior (Ajzen Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50, 179–211 Ajzen 1991) to examine an instructor confirmation-interaction model in the instructional communication context to discover a means by which instructors might cultivate positive student attitudes and increase beliefs that interactions with instructors would be beneficial in the future. Specifically, the model examines how teacher confirmation (Ellis 2000) influences students’ behavioral intention to communicate with instructors. Surveys were distributed to 343 college students (41.7% male and 58.1% female) in a basic communication course. Results were primarily consistent with the proposed model; teacher confirmation was significantly related to attitudes toward communicating with an instructor, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control. Subjective norms and perceived behavioral control were also positively related to students’ behavioral intention to communicate with the instructor. However, results reveal attitudes toward communicating do not predict students’ behavioral intention to communicate with instructors. It is recommended that future models examine a more contemporary, hi-tech representation of attitude toward student-instructor interactions as it may produce a significant association with students’ behavioral intent to communicate with them. The study concludes with theoretical and practical implications to examine student classroom communication via the confirmation-interaction model and the theory of planned behavior.
      PubDate: 2017-10-06
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0187-0
  • Consumerisation in UK higher education business schools: higher fees,
           greater stress and debatable outcomes
    • Authors: Abdul Jabbar; Bejan Analoui; Kai Kong; Mohammed Mirza
      Abstract: Abstract For many UK higher education business schools, the continued recruitment of UK, EU and international students is crucial for financial stability, viability and independence. Due to increasingly competitive funding models across the sector, many institutional leaders and administrators are making decisions typical of highly marketised consumer environments. Thus, this paper explores academics’ perceptions of the impact of consumerisation in UK higher education business schools. To achieve this, 22 business school academics were interviewed within three UK higher education institutions (HEIs) in the North of England. Participants had a minimum of three years teaching experience. Data was analysed using template analysis taking an interpretive approach. The findings indicate that academics perceived the introduction of tuition fees to have been the catalyst for students increasing demonstration of customer-like behaviour: viewing the education process as transactional, with the HEI providing a ‘paid for’ service. It is argued that these changes in UK higher education have created tensions between university leaders and academics, creating genuine dilemmas for those with decision-making responsibilities who must balance academic integrity and long-term institutional financial viability.
      PubDate: 2017-10-04
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0196-z
  • Determinants of student participation in higher education governance: the
           case of student turnout in academic senate elections in Czechia
    • Authors: Karel Kouba
      Abstract: Abstract Student participation in higher education governance is low in most countries. This is puzzling especially in countries like Czechia that have established radically democratic academic structures open to student involvement. This article therefore seeks to explain the determinants of student turnout (an important form of student participation) in elections to academic senates. It does so by weaving together two strands of literature that hardly ever communicate: the political science research on electoral turnout and the education research on student involvement in academic governance. After developing a theoretical model of student turnout the article provides the first systematic test of the determinants of turnout in elections to non-political offices using unique data from Czech faculties at public universities. Standard rational choice model of turnout developed for elections to political offices was found to be appropriate for explaining student turnout. Institutional prescriptions to increase student participation are discussed.
      PubDate: 2017-10-03
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0194-1
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