Tag: work environment

HEIK seminar: Topics and issues in practice-based studies with Prof. Silvia Gherardi

We are pleased to share yet another session from the HEIK academic seminar series in the field of higher education, with both invited international speakers and members of the research group HEIK (Higher Education: Institutional dynamics and Knowledge cultures) at the University of Oslo.

This lecture was recorded in May 2013 and features Professor Silvia Gherardi (University of Trento) and the seminar is titled “Topics and issues in practice-based studies“.

Abstract for the session:

The seminar’s aim is to provide insight into new methodological resources developed to study change process “from below”, with a particular emphasis on resent work done within the field of practice-based studies. The practice-based approach to the study of work has been widely adopted in recent years, yet its theoretical and methodological systematization has only just begun. Drawing on cases presented in her new book on the topic, Silvia Gherardi (2012) provides an overview on the topics and issues addressed by practice-based studies. Further, using core examples both from her own work and that of colleagues she elaborates the critical issues at stake and provides methodological guidance on how to conduct empirical research on practices, and how to interpret them from three central perspectives: practices from outside’, practices ‘from inside’, and the social effects produced by practices.

News: Number of staff members in US higher education stabilizing

NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) ran by the US Department of Education has published a new report on staff conditions (2011) and student financial aid (2010/2011) in the approximately 7400 postsecondary institutions in the US who are part of various federal student financial aid programs.

These institutions employ about 3,9 million people in the US, of whom 1,43 are working on part time basis. Of these 3,9 million, about 1,56 are employed in positions where theyr primary activities are linked to teaching, research and/or public service. According to Inside higher ed who compared the numbers to the stats from 2007, this is a 1.5% increase since 2007, and a smallest yearly increase since 2003.

Public institutions accounted for 2,5 million of the total staff numbers, whereas the whole private for profit sector employs just below 289 000 people, of which 163 thousand are working in academic positions, however, only 40 000 of them have a full time positions. This means that of all the full time staff in these institutions, there is significantly more full time support staff and managerial staff than academic employees. While the overall number of employees has gone down, the number of institutions has increased, and is now almost 3500. At the time when the for profit sector has received major criticisms for their operation earlier this year, this is a worrying tendency. Nevertheless, in the year 2010/2011 these institutions accounted for a relatively small number of all degrees issued: of the 3,55 million degrees on various levels, public institutions issued 2,2 million, and private for profit only approximately 390 000, with the rest coming from private non-profit sector.

The report can be downloaded here.

Hedda podcast: Changes in academic work in Europe and the US with Dr. Ludvika Leisyte

Episode 35 of our podcast series features Dr Ludvika Leisyte who reflects on changes in academic work in Europe and the US, highlighting also important changes on how higher education is organised and the types of challenges it faces.

Listen without the Flashplayer

Dr. Ludvika Leisyte (CHEPS)

Ludvika Leisyte is a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS) in University of Twente in Netherlands. She obtained her PhD from the University of Twente in 2007, with focus on university governance and academic research. After that, she obtained a post-doctoral fellowship at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University.

Her research is mainly focused on research governance and management, internationalization and Europeanisation of higher education, and academic identities and practices. Liudvika has published two monographs, a number of chapters in edited books and peer-reviewed articles in Higher Education, Higher Education Policy, Public Administration, Science and Public Policy.


Free webinar on academic careers – today!

Curt Rice, the Vice President for R&D at Tromsø University in Norway argues that recent research shows that fewer and fewer PhD students aspire to university careers. Is this only the case of few academic career opportunities, or is academia becoming decreasingly attractive place to work for the best graduates?  Curt Rice has conducted research on why young researchers are leaving academia and he will be presenting some of his results at a free webinar today, in addition to answering questions on this and related topics.

The seminar is called: “Skinny dipping with snapping turtles: Careers in academia“. By registering to the event you will be able to listen to the talk, view  the presentation and have the opportunity to ask questions live.

More information on the webinar info page.

The webinar takes place at 19.00 (CET, local time in Norway) today, 23th of May 2012. (Check this time zone converter for calculating this into your local time)

Check out also C. Rice’s personal blog where he shares his ideas about leadership and academia.

(Photo: stock:xchng) 

Guest blogger: Women, choice and promotion – why women are still a minority in the professoriate

 Joanne Pyke

Joanne Pyke, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies at Victoria University in Australia.

This guest entry is written by Joanne Pyke who is now a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Economic Studies at Victoria University in Australia. Her PhD thesis explores why women continue to be a minority in senior academic roles in Australian universities despite more than 25 years of equal opportunity policies and legislation. 

Australian higher education is commonly described as ‘feminised’ with overall numbers of both female students and academic staff outnumbering men. At the same time, women remain a minority as senior academics in Australian higher education. In 2009, the national average of female appointments above Level D (Associate Professor) was 26.5% (QUT Equity Services 2011). This is despite the fact that universities have, by and large, complied with Equal Opportunity legislation and have systematically worked towards gender equity in senior academic leadership (Winchester, Chesterman et al. 2005). This has worked to the extent that the gender balance is approaching equal at Level C yet there is a noted trend that women tend to withdraw from seeking promotion just at the point that they have the qualifications and experience to be eligible for promotion to Level D (Probert 2005).

There are many explanations for why women in leadership remain a minority and the broader literature draws attention to the multiple systemic barriers that affect women’s progress in academe. Doughney and Vu (2007) for example, highlights the gendered outcomes of professorial appointments made through external recruitment process – a process that heavily favours men. Others highlight the power of ‘gender inequality practices’ that operate to cancel out the effect of gender equity strategies and make systemic discrimination invisible (van den Brink and Benschop 2012). An alternative explanation, and one that has been influential, comes from human capital theory that explain women’s under-representation as an outcome of ‘choice’. That is that women choose not to pursue senior academic positions in preference to balancing work and other responsibilities, particularly caring for children and families (Hakim 2000).