Tag: academic profession

Podcast: Academic developers and quality management with Ester Fremstad and Tone Solbrekke

excid_logoWe are pleased to share with you some of the recordings that were made during a seminar that was arranged on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Oslo.

The presentations are made by members of the ExCID research group that focuses on studies of higher education and work, with particular emphasis on expert cultures and institutional dynamics.

The seminar recordings were made on 27th of September 2016.

In this presetation, Dr. Ester Fremstad and Prof. Tone Solbrekke present their ongoing study on academic development: Academic developers and quality management: perspectives from institutional leaders

Listen without the Flashplayer

View the powerpoint presentation for this seminar.


View also the presentation by Peter Maassen on quality management in higher education. Stay tuned for even more content from the seminar!

Guest blogger: Academic work and careers in Europe

Tatiana Fumasoli  (ARENA, University of Oslo)

Tatiana Fumasoli
(ARENA, University of Oslo)

Changing working conditions at European universities are studied in a recent book ‘Academic Work and Careers in Europe – Trends, Challenges, Perspectives’, edited by Tatiana Fumasoli, Gaële Goastellec and Barbara Kehm. In this post, Tatiana Fumasoli tells about the main findings presented in the book.

What have been the rationales and origins of this book?

The book explores the impact of changes in governance, work and careers in European higher education. It observes empirically how and to what extent a European higher education profession is emerging through convergence, standardization and formalization of academic careers.  The book is an output of the project EuroAC – The Academic Profession in Europe: Responses to Societal Challenges, funded by the European Science Foundations and national research councils coordinated by University of Kassel (Germany). It originates from the qualitative data gathered in 8 European countries (Austria, Germany, Finland, Croatia, Ireland, Poland, Romania and Switzerland) by the 8 national partners. Around 500 interviews were conducted with university leaders, administrators and academics.

What are the main common trends in academic work and careers in Europe?

Standardization and formalization of recruitment, promotion and evaluation, as well as of PhD supervision is everywhere apparent and an international dimension is nowadays – at least ideally – integrated in European universities, for instance in hiring, conducting research, teaching.

Competition for academic positions, research grants, publications is increasing at all levels and takes place within and across universities and countries. Such competitive pressures shape increasing differences between global players (countries, universities, academics) and regional players. Thus elite universities, research groups and academics are connecting more among themselves and less within their institutional and national settings.

What are the main differences between the eight European countries you analyze in the book?

In general the increasing institutional autonomy of universities across Europe has shaped complex dynamics that are not completely under the control of states. The stagnating or shrinking public funding has created unequal distribution of resources among universities, which hold different adaptive capacities.

Concretely, national and local practices are still important in the organization of academic careers. In this sense, the landscape of a European academic profession is still rather fragmented. The recent financial crisis has affected European countries quite differently.

Are the main policies on academic careers made at national and institutional levels or does the European Union also play a role?

Seminar Recording on the Academic Profession in Chair and Department Systems

We are delighted to share with you another seminar recording from the research group HEIK (Higher Education: Institutional dynamics and Knowledge cultures). HEIK is a research group located at the Faculty of Educational Sciences in University of Oslo, the coordinating institution of Hedda.

Ester Höhle  (INCHER, University of Kassel)

Ester Höhle
(INCHER Kassel)

This time, we are pleased to feature Ester Höhle (INCHER Kassel, Germany) who gave a presentation titled: “The Academic Profession in Chair and Department Systems. An Empirical Analysis in Eleven European Countries

Listen without the Flashplayer

Abstract for the session: 
In Europe, different higher education systems co-exist simultaneously and make Europe an interesting research target. The focus of this paper is on whether chair systems and department systems as described by Clark (1983), Neave and Rhoades (1987) and Kreckel (2008) go hand in hand with specific patterns of the academic career. This question is treated empirically with the use of survey data from the international EUROAC project, where academics employed at universities were asked about their employment conditions, their career path, time use etc. and is supplemented with information from several country reports. The eleven European countries examined are Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Finland and Norway.

First, the main features of the models are described followed by the categorization of the higher education system in each country in relation to the models. Second, the key features of academic career paths as they are realized in each country are discussed in terms of the predictions by the models. The analysis shows that the organizational structure of either chair or department does have a major impact on individual careers, barriers and chances and supports the description in six of the 11 countries precisely. In the other five countries (Italy, Portugal, Poland, Finland and Norway), however, at least two additional career patterns are observed that consist of a mixture of the predicted patterns. These are not well covered by the scholars’ descriptions and might require more detailed characterizations from current researchers.