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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]
  • Living with internationalization: the changing face of the academic life
           of Chinese social scientists
    • Authors: Meng Xie
      Pages: 381 - 397
      Abstract: Internationalization is an integral part of the strategies of leading Chinese universities to strive for world-class standing. It has left its marks on the academic life of China’s social scientists. This article explores the impact of internationalization on the academic life of Chinese social scientists using Tsinghua University as an example. Emphasis is placed on the transformation of their academic life in the process of internationalization. Employing a qualitative case study method, this research draws on approximately two thirds of the faculty members in the Department of Sociology to present in-depth insights into the dynamics and ecosystems of their academic life. The findings show that internationalization promotes the adoption of internationalized criteria in faculty recruitment and promotion mechanisms, stimulates enthusiasm for international activities, and strengthens internationally oriented (largely North American) norms and practices in research, teaching, and discipline development. In discussing these dimensions, this article argues that Tsinghua social scientists experience both benefits and costs as the university works hard to pursue world-class status, echoing their peers in China’s other top institutions of higher education.
      PubDate: 2018-03-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0145-x
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 3 (2018)
  • Using online peer assessment in an Instructional Technology and Material
           Design course through social media
    • Authors: Mehmet Demir
      Pages: 399 - 414
      Abstract: This study was designed to investigate the student teachers perceptions about and benefits and challenges of using Facebook as an online peer assessment tool for the student teachers’ works. The study group included 24 student teachers in science education department of a state university located in the southeast region of Turkey. A case study approach of the qualitative method was employed in the research. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect the data. The interviews were audio recorded, and records of all the interviews were transcribed into full text in Turkish. Collected data were analyzed using an emergent coding approach. Codes, then, were categorized to constitute themes and subthemes. The findings indicated that the student teachers were able to give objective feedback on their peers’ work and engaged more actively in class after participating in online peer assessment. Additionally, the students found it exciting and productive to use Facebook as a peer assessment tool in their learning.
      PubDate: 2018-03-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0146-9
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 3 (2018)
  • The building of weak expertise: the work of global university rankers
    • Authors: Miguel Antonio Lim
      Pages: 415 - 430
      Abstract: University rankers are the subject of much criticism, and yet they remain influential in the field of higher education. Drawing from a two-year field study of university ranking organizations, interviews with key correspondents in the sector, and an analysis of related documents, I introduce the concept of weak expertise. This kind of expertise is the result of a constantly negotiated balance between the relevance, reliability, and robustness of rankers’ data and their relationships with their key readers and audiences. Building this expertise entails collecting robust data, presenting it in ways that are relevant to audiences, and engaging with critics. I show how one ranking organization, the Times Higher Education (THE), sought to maintain its legitimacy in the face of opposition from important stakeholders and how it sought to introduce a new “Innovation and Impact” ranking. The paper analyzes the strategies, methods, and particular practices that university rankers undertake to legitimate their knowledge—and is the first work to do so using insights gathered alongside the operations of one of the ranking agencies as well as from the rankings’ conference circuit. Rather than assuming that all of these trust-building mechanisms have solidified the hold of the THE over its audience, they can be seen as signs of a constant struggle for influence over a skeptical audience.
      PubDate: 2018-03-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0147-8
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 3 (2018)
  • Universidad de Chile: self-assessment and its effects on
           university’s management
    • Authors: Carolina Busco; Cecilia Dooner; Andrés d’Alencon
      Pages: 431 - 447
      Abstract: This paper presents a brief approach to the results of a case study of a university within the Chilean higher education system, focusing on the effects of self-assessment on the university’s management of undergraduate and postgraduate programs from 2011 to 2014. The research hypothesis is that the university’s management, as a dependent variable, is impacted by self-assessment. The data gathering process was structured in three methodological steps: Step 1 considered the consistency analysis to evaluate the use of managerial language and visualize any consequences of planning documents after self-assessment. Step 2 involved the elaboration of a semi-structured interview that was applied to a sample of 12 key informants with the objective of encouraging qualitative categorization regarding the self-evaluation process and its effects. Step 3 entailed the construction of a questionnaire that would allow for a quantitative description. Several impacts have been reported analyzing the results from three main perspectives: organizational learning, cultural shift, and university and stakeholders.
      PubDate: 2018-03-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0148-7
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 3 (2018)
  • Geographic mobility and social inequality among Peruvian university
    • Authors: Ryan Wells; Ricardo Cuenca; Gerardo Blanco Ramirez; Jorge Aragón
      Pages: 449 - 469
      Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore geographic mobility among university students in Peru and to understand how mobility patterns differ by region and by demographic indicators of inequality. The ways that students may be able to move geographically in order to access quality higher education within the educational system can be a driver of equality or inequality, depending on who is able to take advantage. Using data from a university census, we examine how demographic indicators of inequality are related to geographic mobility for university attendance, how prior geographic mobility predicts later mobility for university attendance, and how these relationships differ based on the number and quality of universities in a region. Results show that sociodemographic variables related to social inequality explain a substantial amount of students' postsecondary mobility. However, some of these relationships do not operate in the same way in all of the regions. Depending on the availability of universities and their quality, patterns of association between inequality and geographic mobility change. Implications for higher education policy as well as further research examining geographic mobility and inequality in education are discussed.
      PubDate: 2018-03-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0149-6
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 3 (2018)
  • Student conceptions of international experience in the study abroad
    • Authors: Bernhard T. Streitwieser; Gregory J. Light
      Pages: 471 - 487
      Abstract: While much of recent study abroad research has focused on identifying and measuring different learning outcomes in terms of specific skills, competencies, perspectives and attributes acquired during study abroad opportunities, less research has considered how students’ deeper conceptions and understandings of international experience may change and develop during such educational encounters. This paper presents a phenomenographical research study that explored how students conceive of and make meaning out of their international education experience in a study abroad context. The data are based on detailed semi-structured interviews conducted with a sample of 28 undergraduate students at an American university who engaged in a variety of different study abroad opportunities. Guided by Variation Theory of Learning, the analysis of the data resulted in a typology of student conceptions of international experience (SCIE) that identified four distinct categories of conceptions of international experience (observing, interacting, participating and embracing) described across three constitutive features (being in the other culture, relating to the other culture and learning in the other culture). Hierarchically related through nine critical aspects of variation, the typology provides a unique and useful framework against which to map the “messiness” of students’ complex, often complicated understandings of their experience. It offers study abroad programmers opportunities to better understand and design student learning experiences and assessment instruments that go beyond competencies, skills and other learning outcomes.
      PubDate: 2018-03-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0150-0
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 3 (2018)
  • Focus on the finish line: does high-impact practice participation
           influence career plans and early job attainment'
    • Authors: Angie L. Miller; Louis M. Rocconi; Amber D. Dumford
      Pages: 489 - 506
      Abstract: High-impact practices (HIPs) are important co-curricular educational experiences in post-secondary education, as they promote learning, development, and persistence among students. The goal of this study was to extend the research on HIPs to explore potential connections with HIP participation and career outcomes. Using data from the National Survey of Student Engagement, this study explores whether HIP participation influences college seniors’ post-graduation plans for career and further education and whether HIP participation has a positive impact on early job attainment for these students. Results suggest that even after controlling for a variety of demographic and institutional factors, HIP participation is a significant predictor of future career plans and early job attainment. HIP participation can give students a career-related advantage through transferable skill development, engaging in learning opportunities, and generating “stories” for potential employers.
      PubDate: 2018-03-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0151-z
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 3 (2018)
  • Student perceptions of their autonomy at University
    • Authors: D. C. Henri; L. J. Morrell; G. W. Scott
      Pages: 507 - 516
      Abstract: Learner autonomy is a primary learning outcome of Higher Education in many countries. However, empirical evaluation of how student autonomy progresses during undergraduate degrees is limited. We surveyed a total of 636 students’ self-perceived autonomy during a period of two academic years using the Autonomous Learning Scale. Our analysis suggests that students do not perceive themselves as being any more autonomous as they progress through University. Given the relativity of self-perception metrics, we suggest that our results evince a “red queen” effect. In essence, as course expectations increase with each year, each student’s self-perceived autonomy relative to their ideal remains constant; we term this the “moving goalpost” hypothesis. This article corroborates pedagogical literature suggesting that providing students with opportunities to act autonomously and develop confidence is key to developing graduates who have the independence that they need in order to be successful in the workplace.
      PubDate: 2018-03-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0152-y
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 3 (2018)
  • Social network analysis of international student mobility: uncovering the
           rise of regional hubs
    • Authors: Yasar Kondakci; Svenja Bedenlier; Olaf Zawacki-Richter
      Pages: 517 - 535
      Abstract: Research on the patterns of international student mobility and the dynamics shaping these patterns has been dominated by studies reflecting a Western orientation, discourse, and understanding. Considering political, economic, cultural, historical, and ecological factors, this study argues that international student mobility is not only an issue of the economically developed, politically stable, and academically advanced Western world but also one that involves countries with different economic, political, and academic characteristics. Taking into account various theoretical orientations, this study argues that political, economic, cultural, and historical factors have led to the emergence of non-traditional destinations for international students; these countries are labeled as emergent regional hubs. In order to empirically test this, a social network analysis was conducted on a worldwide dataset representing 229 countries. The findings evidenced the strong position of traditional destinations for international students. However, the results also suggest the rise of several regional hubs, which are undergoing internationalization processes in different forms and with different rationales. The mobility patterns in emerging regional hubs deviate from those in traditional destinations, which fundamentally change the nature of internationalization in this context.
      PubDate: 2018-03-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0154-9
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 3 (2018)
  • On the constitution of SoTL: its domains and contexts
    • Authors: S. Booth; L. C. Woollacott
      Pages: 537 - 551
      Abstract: In this paper, we present an analysis of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (SoTL) which contributes to SoTL both as a field of research practice and as a background to professional development in higher education. We analyse and describe the constitution of the field, and in so doing address its nature in the face of the dilemma of, on the one hand, its diversity and, on the other hand, its generally agreed set of purposes. Our analysis of SoTL knowledge is conceptualised as relational, connecting SoTL practitioners with the work they disseminate to the community at large. We describe and exemplify the internal horizon of the field in terms of five domains: the didactic and the epistemic, which we refer to as the knowledge building domains, and the interpersonal, the moral/ethical and the societal domains, which we refer to as the axiological domains. The external horizon is described in terms of four aspects of the context that can impact the production and implementation of SoTL knowledge: the disciplinary, the professional, the cultural and the political aspects. Methodological emphasis is equally on the axiological underpinnings of SoTL, its values and attitudes, as the ontological and epistemological underpinnings that are predominant.
      PubDate: 2018-03-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0156-7
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 3 (2018)
  • Martin J. Finkelstein, Valerie Martin Conley and Jack H. Schuster the
           faculty factor: Reassessing the American Academy in a turbulent era
    • Authors: Giulio Marini
      Pages: 553 - 555
      PubDate: 2018-03-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0144-y
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 3 (2018)
  • Ann-Marie Bathmaker, Nicola Ingram, Jessie Abrahams, Anthony Hoare,
           Richard Waller, Harriet Bradley: Higher education, social class and social
           mobility: the degree generation
    • Authors: Jennifer Margaret Case
      Pages: 557 - 559
      PubDate: 2018-03-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0153-x
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 3 (2018)
  • Sendra L. Enos: Service-learning and social entrepreneurship in higher
    • Authors: Hao Ni; Jing Tian
      Pages: 561 - 563
      PubDate: 2018-03-01
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-017-0155-8
      Issue No: Vol. 75, No. 3 (2018)
  • Biology and medicine students’ experiences of the relationship
           between teaching and research
    • Authors: Ruby Olivares-Donoso; Carlos Gonzalez
      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: 2018-02-26
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0241-6
  • What motivates Chinese undergraduates to engage in learning' Insights
           from a psychological approach to student engagement research
    • Authors: Hongbiao Yin
      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: 2018-02-19
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0239-0
  • 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
      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: 2018-02-17
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0237-2
  • 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
      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: 2018-02-16
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0242-5
  • 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
      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: 2018-02-16
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0240-7
  • Institutional logics of Chinese doctoral education system
    • Authors: Gaoming Zheng; Wenqin Shen; Yuzhuo Cai
      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: 2018-02-14
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0236-3
  • Understanding change in higher education: an archetypal approach
    • Authors: Sofia Bruckmann; Teresa Carvalho
      Abstract: During the past three decades, higher education institutions have been changing, moving away from the traditional bureaucratic archetype towards a more managerialist one. Empirical research already demonstrated that organisations tend to be in a hybrid area of archetypal change. Considering the specific case of a government-imposed reform in Portugal, and using a case study approach of six public universities, this study aims to explore archetypal hybridism through the lens of two main dimensions: systems and structures and interpretive scheme. The theoretical background lies on academic literature on organisational change in higher education and specifically on archetype theory. The findings drawn from document analysis and interviews outline the main characteristics of the hybrid archetype that we chose to name efficient-collegiality.
      PubDate: 2018-02-10
      DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0229-2
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Heriot-Watt University
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