Tag: sociology

Hedda podcast: Student engagement with knowledge as a means to define quality

Episode 44 of our podcast series features Dr. Paul Ashwin from Lancaster University in the UK. In the podcast we talk about student engagement with knowledge as a key feature of quality in higher education, and he reflects on some of the key results from a three year long study on pedagogical quality and inequality in the UK.

Listen without the Flashplayer

Click here to download the Policy makers guide (pdf) that the research team has prepared based on the project results. 

View also the publications that the podcast is referring to:

Dr. Paul Ashwin  (Lancaster University)

Dr. Paul Ashwin
(Lancaster University)

Dr. Paul Ashwin is employed as a Senior Lecturer and Head of Department at the Department of Educational Research at Lancaster University in the UK. Earlier he has worked at the Institute for the Advancement of University Learning, University of Oxford and Newham College of Further Education. His key research interests are related to the relations between teaching-learning and knowledge-curriculum practices in higher education, as well as the implications of this for both policy and practice. He has also a keen interest on the methodological development of higher education studies in this area.




Call for papers: Organizing education – Sociological approaches, analyses and findings

conferenceorganizationsThe conference “Organizing Education – Sociological Approaches, Analyses and Findings” will be held 13–14 June 2014 at the University of Teacher Education in Basel, Switzerland. The conference is organized by the Education Sections of the Sociological Associations of Switzerland (SGS), Germany (DGS) & Austria (ÖGS).

The main aim of the conference is to put focus to extend the  organizational perspectives to theoretically and empirically examine themes such as inequality, quality, reforms and so forth, as well as to strengthen educational sociology by using the epistemological and methodological tools from organizational research to focus on the specifics and dynamics of organizations.

Conference contributions are expected on the following themes:

  • Genesis, Functioning, Change and Mortality of Educational Organizations
  • Educational Organizations and their Environments
  • On the Relationship(s) among Educational Organizations
  • Education as an Objective and Activity of Organizations
  • The Production and Distribution of Education: Consequences for Pathways, “Consumers” and Careers
  • Organizational Culture(s)
  • Membership in Educational Organizations
Read more about the conference main theme and subthemes downloading the call of proposal here (pdf) or by visiting the conference website.

The abstract (5000-6500 characters, document max. 2 pages) should be submitted here in Word and pdf by the 30 November 2013.




Thematic week: 2013 CHER conference – traditional themes and new discussions

Mitchell Young (Charles University)

Mitchell Young
(Charles University)

This guest entry is written by Mitchell Young who is currently working at Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic) in the Department of West European Studies where he is conducting his doctoral research on issues related to European Higher Education and Research Area. 

In the guest entry he gives his insights about the recent CHER (Consortium for Higher Education Researchers) conference in Lausanne. And – we would also like to highlight that Mitchell received the best PhD paper award at the CHER conference – well done! 

The 2013 annual conference of the Consortium of Higher Education Researchers (CHER) was held in Lausanne, Switzerland from September 9-11. It was my second time attending the CHER conference, and thus I approached it with a bit less trepidation but a bit more tiredness after having spent the previous four days attending the ECPR conference. Arriving in Lausanne I went directly to a preconference workshop of the Early Career Higher Education Researchers network (ECHER), where Manja Klemenčič, the incoming editor of the European Journal of Higher Education, gave a talk entitled “How to get published in journals and tips on improving your academic writing, from the vantage point of the European Journal of Higher Education.” She provided valuable insights into the process of getting published and encouraged us to make our academic writing more interesting, engaging and concise, recommending a book by Helen Sword, Stylish Academic Writing. There was ample time to discuss our ideas and concerns with her, such as working on collaborative papers, self-citations, how much to use quotations in qualitative articles, getting feedback, recognizing when a paper is ready to be submitted to a journal, reasons for rejection, and the importance of a good title.

The CHER conference began on Monday morning. The theme of this year’s conference was The Roles of Higher Education and Research in the Fabric of Societies. The call for papers noted the “growing if somewhat fragmented body of research on HER systems” and envisions the theme as “umbrella” under which to foster discussions that might cross the usual boundaries. The weather forecast also called for an umbrella of the more physical sort, but as dictated by Murphy’s law, once I had purchased one, the rain held off allowing us to move around the University of Lausanne campus without getting soaked.  The theme of the conference led us to ponder the roles of higher education and research, but also required an answer to the question of what is meant by the “fabric of societies”? That more sociological direction was evidenced by the choice of keynote speakers Michele Lamont and Sheldon Rothblatt. Overall, though, the conference included papers from a broad set of disciplines.