Category: Resources and Info

New open access book: Simon Marginson on the crisis of the California master plan

The California master plan has been an inspiration in the world of higher education. Introduced in the 1960s it market an important milestone in thinking about system coordination in higher education. However – what has happened to the plan since?

clipboard02In a new book, professor Simon Marginson looks into the development of the plan and its spread across the world. Simon Marginson is the Director of the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) Centre for Global Higher Education, and leads CGHE’s global higher education engagement research programme.

Marginson explains his main rationale for the book: “In this book I start from the legacy of Clark Kerr and the 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education in California, noting the strengths and weaknesses of that framework, and then reflect on the spread of the Californian ‘Multiversity’, and the influence of the system model, throughout the world, especially in East Asia“.

In the book, he also takes a more critical stance towards the recent developments in American higher education, as Marginson argues: “The final 40 per cent of the book then attempts to explain the gathering and growing difficulties faced by public higher education in America, in the context of an increasingly unequal economy and society. The conclusion suggests ways forward for the future.

The book is available open access, which is arguably still (too) rare in the field of higher education for books. Marginson explains his rationale for choosing open access: “I am very impressed by the scholarly virtues of open access publishing of a scholarly book, which University of California Press (in line with their own public values which can be traced back to the 1960s) are increasingly using. It’s good to be able to spread the work more widely than with solely purchased books.

Download the book

Marginson, S. (2016) – The Dream is Over: The crisis of Clark Kerr’s California Idea of higher education. Published by University of California Press, download free at doi:

List of conferences relevant for higher education in 2016

2015-08-29 12.39.34

ECPR 2015

So, the new year is approaching in full speed. Have you made your plans for 2016 yet?

Calls for papers have been distributed and dates are confirmed. So time to start planning which conferences to attend in 2016. To make this easier, we are now compiling a list of relevant conferences for the third year in a row!

Remember, always double check with the conference websites for changes in deadlines, extensions and so forth. We still hope this can be a useful resource to plan your calendar for next year.

We have listed the conferences first as specific higher education conferences and then other disciplinary conferences that would likely be relevant for higher education researchers. The conferences are listed alphabetically in their respective sections.

Where we have such reviews, we have also added a link to Hedda reviews from these conferences, to give some insight for how these conferences are like – just to make your selection process a little easier!

Again, if you have some to add – leave a comment and we add it to the list! 


Tips and Tricks: How to get started as a new master student? 16 top tips from a second year student!

Enzo Rossi  (Hedda master student)

Enzo Rossi
(Hedda master student)

Have you recently been admitted to the Hedda master programme in higher education? Wonder what to do next? Well, second year student Enzo Rossi shares his 16 top tips for a new student! While targeting new students at the Hedda master programme, these tips are of relevance also for others who might be starting their studies as international students. 

So, you got accepted to the Mphil in Higher Education at the University of Oslo! If you are a bit like I was when accepted, you are probably freaking out right now. So to help you freak out a little bit less, I thought about some things you might find helpful to know before you start.

1) Congratulations! You should pat yourself in the back (or get someone else to do it for you) Around 300 people applied to this programme, and less than 30 typically get accepted, so you should be very happy to be counted amongst the chosen ones.

2) You are going to look at the syllabus and think “I have no idea what any of these things mean”. The first course is an introduction, so all will be clear and it would build up a good base for the rest of the course. Second year students will be assigned to have “colloquiums” with you, where they will go over what you have learned and answer questions you may have and help you link concepts.

3) PANIC, the first semester is very intensive, and even though there are gaps in between lessons, you will use that as valuable study time. The following semester is not as heavy.

4) Yes, you will find a job after you graduate. Coming from business, I was a bit worried about my career opportunities after graduation, but turns out that there are many opportunities for Higher Education graduates. Look at the alumni profiles on the Hedda blog for some examples.

5) Prepare to be challenged. You know all those things you knew about how Universities worked? That amazing knowledge you had from being a student representative? Prepare to see it crushed. It’s all gonna be super useful, but you will find yourself re-thinking a lot of conceptions you had. You will hear from your classmates about how things work in their countries and academics that will challenge what you thought was written in stone with hard evidence. But that’s all part of the charm.

Podcast: The Governance Paradox. Enduring and emerging tensions in the governance of universities

Prof Peter Maassen and Prof Bjørn Stensaker

Prof Peter Maassen and Prof Bjørn Stensaker

We are pleased to share with you a presentation of some of the key messages from a large scale project “European Flagship Universities; balancing academic excellence and socio-economic relevance (FLAGSHIP)The project is undertaken at the University of Oslo with partners at Universities of Twente, Aarhus and Helsinki, as well as LH Martin Institute at University of Melbourne

In the presentation, Prof Peter Maassen and Prof Bjørn Stensaker a share their insights about he project.

The seminar was recorded on 12th of February at the University of Melbourne.

Download the Powerpoint slides for the presentation here

FLAGSHIP project outline: 

FLAGSHIP examines the ways in which European flagship universities have adapted over the last ten years to far-reaching changes in their political and socio-economic environments, and the extent to which these adaptations are initiated and implemented by the institutional leadership or as a consequence of external change drivers.

A ‘FLAGSHIP’ university is defined as a comprehensive research-intensive university, located in one of its country’s largest urban areas. A FLAGSHIP university is in general among the oldest and largest institutions for higher learning of its country. 

Podcast: Horizontal governance and learning dynamics in higher education

We are pleased to share with you a presentation of some of the key messages from a large scale project “Horizontal governance and learning dynamics in higher education (HORIZON). The project is undertaken at the Faculty of Educational Sciences in University of Oslo.

In the presentation, Prof Peter Maassen, Prof Monika Nerland, dr. Jennifer Olson, dr. Hilde Afdal and dr Crina Damsa share their insights about he project. The seminar was recorded on 11th of February at the University of Melbourne.

Group presentation

Prof. Monika Nerland | Prof. Peter Maassen | Dr. Crina Damsa | Dr. Jennifer Olson | Dr. Hilde Afdal


Download the powerpoint slides for the presentation here

HORIZON project outline: 

The HORIZON project is aimed at contributing to an improved understanding of major change dynamics in higher education with respect to higher education governance and learning processes in higher education institutions, as well as the way these two are connected.