Call for papers: inequalities of access to higher education

sciencespo-lieppSiences Po – LIEPP is organising a conference themed “Inequalities of access to higher education: the role of policies, institutions and markets“. The conference takes place in Paris, October 8-9, 2015. The conference language is English.

The conference is a follow-up to the research project “Transition to higher education in France: the role of networks, institutions and markets” funded by LIEPP (Laboratory for the Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Public Policies) in 2013-2015.

From the call of papers: “While the conference welcomes contributions that describe existing inequalities on the basis of social class, ethnicity, gender and age, and especially how these different factors interact with each other, the focus is, more specifically, on the ways in which policies, institutions and markets influence the shape and extent of access inequalities. Each of these dimensions, which constitute the sub-themes of the conference, can be treated separately or simultaneously. Contributors might focus on a specific level (macro, meso or micro) or on their interrelation, on a single set of actors (policy-makers, secondary or higher education administrators, professors or counsellors, market professionals, students and parents…) or on their interaction and on various types of schemes, devices, processes and practices. Statistical and qualitative as well as mixed-methods studies are equally welcome. Cross-country comparisons are encouraged but proposals can focus on specific countries and localities if they show awareness of global dynamics and/or processes in other national settings.” (more…)



Job opportunity at ENQA

enqaInterested in quality assurance in higher education and have relevant knowledge for the area?

The European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA) is an umbrella organisation for quality assurance agencies in Europe, with 40 members from 23 countries of the European Higher Education Area, and 49 affiliated organisations from 28 countries world wide. ENQA is currently looking for a Reviews Manager for its office in Brussels.

The key responsibilities for the position are to:

  • act as the contact person within the Secretariat for the agencies/organisations applying for membership or affiliate status;
  • coordinate the ENQA external review process and its overall follow-up;
  • coordinate individual ENQA external reviews of QA agencies;
  • coordinate the preparation of the reviewer training sessions and maintain the database of trained experts;
  • coordinate and contribute to the ENQA IQA Group’s work;
  • contribute to ENQA’s projects and reports;
  • undertake such other reasonable duties as the Director may request.

Duration: permanent contract
Start: September/October 2015
Type: Full time
Deadline for applications: 31 July 2015

Download more information about required qualifications and application procedure here (pdf)




News: new edition of ETER launched

eterThe latest edition of ETER was launched earlier this month. ETER stands for the European Tertiary Education Register, and it is a EU-funded project. The main function of the register is to assure comparable data on higher education institutions in Europe. Thematically, the indicators are grouped as institutional descriptors, geographical descriptors, educational activities, research activities, expenditures, staff and various characterization indicators. Some of the available indicators include amongst else an overview of numbers of students, staff, graduates, international doctorates, income and expenditure, legal status, etc.

The project has been two-fold – to identify the relevant indicators where data could be collected, and to collect this data to make them widely and publicly available. So if you are planning to compare higher education institutions in Europe, ETER data might be a useful starting point.

The new dataset includes data from 2012 and the whole list of indicators can be viewed here. In total, the combined 2011/2012 dataset now includes 2293 HEIs in 31 countries in Europe.

View here some of the analysis that has been done on ETER data.

If you wish to use the dataset, it is possible to access it on ETER website.




Calls for applicants: 2 PhD and 1 post-doc position in Netherlands on Open Education

f109df6649dc34e6ee4023e6361cfd2dThe Open University in Netherlands is looking for two fully funded PhD candidates, and one post-doc on themes related to Open Education. The positions are located at the Welten Institue in Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences.

PhD Candidate Long-term Engagement in Open Education

From the announcement text: Learners are joining MOOCs and online communities but are losing motivation and interest as they are not finalising the courses or becoming inactive. This PhD research project is aimed to develop and assess quality indicators and evaluate their significance and usability. For this purpose, an alternative approach to the design and delivery of Open Education solutions is developed in the research that focuses the long-term engagement of learners in Open Education and that takes into account motivation, intentions and strategy of both parties: the open education designers and providers and the learners themselves.
This PhD research project will combine and use different important theories in the fields of open education, constructivism, systems theory, critical pedagogy, competence building, quality and organization development. The research will use learning analytics, questionnaires and structured interviews for gathering the data. Statistical methods will include structural equation modelling and design of experiments techniques.
The PhD candidate will be passionate about open education and will strive for developing the project in a self-organized manner supported by a daily supervisor and a professor. S/he will publish results of the research in high-impact scientific journals and will present intermediate results in international, peer-reviewed conferences. The candidate will actively contribute to the dissemination and application activities in European research projects and s/he will collaborate with other researchers in the research cluster on open education and innovation.

Read more about the required qualifications and application procedure here.

PhD Candidate Quality of Open Education

From the announcement text: Currently there is much attention for Open Education solutions and namely MOOCs as an alternative way to provide education to the mass. However, their quality is often criticized in relation to their design, organization and the high numbers of students (up to 97%) that are not finalising courses. This PhD research project is aimed to develop and assess quality indicators and evaluate their significance and usability. For this purpose, an alternative approach to quality development of Open Education solutions is developed in the research that focuses the quality of Open Education solutions and their delivery and that takes into account motivation, intentions and strategy of both parties: the open education designers and providers and the learners themselves.
This PhD research project will combine and use different important theories in the fields of open education, constructivism, systems theory, critical pedagogy, competence building, quality and organization development. The research will use learning analytics, questionnaires and structured interviews for gathering the data. Statistical methods will include structural equation modelling and design of experiments techniques.The PhD candidate will be passionate about open education and will strive for developing the project in a self-organized manner supported by a daily supervisor and a professor. S/he will publish results of the research in high-impact scientific journals and will present intermediate results in international, peer-reviewed conferences. The candidate will actively contribute to the dissemination and application activities in European research projects and s/he will collaborate with other researchers in the research cluster on open education and innovation.

Read more about the required qualifications and application procedure here.  (more…)




Book review: Higher Education in Africa: Crises, Reforms and Transformation

Sintayehu Kassaye Alemu (University of Ljubljana)

Sintayehu Kassaye Alemu
(University of Ljubljana)

This book review is written by Sintayehu Kassaye Alemu, a Hedda master graduate who is currently undertaking his doctoral studies at the Center for Educational Policy Studies (CEPS) at University of Ljubljana as a part of the UNIKE project. Earlier, he has studied history at Addis Abbaba University, and obtained a MA degree in general education at Umea University in Sweden. His PhD project is titled: ‘’A Comparative Analysis of Practices and Impacts of Internationalization of Higher Education on the Academic life in the Centers and Peripheries’. 

In this review, he reviews the book by N’dri T. Assié-Lumumba, titled “Higher Education in Africa: Crises, Reforms and Transformation” (2005). arton962-9f7bc

Significance and organization of the book

This book is imperative for the fact that it deals with the complexities of higher education in the region of Africa. It convenes and confers the historical background of higher learning, the complex problems, their causes, and possible solutions for the African higher education. Chapter one  discusses the origin and mission of African universities, chapter two deals with cultural colonialism and its cultural effects, chapter three explains the crisis of higher education, the consequences of crisis and the need for change, chapter four clarifies the waves of reforms and recent innovation, chapter five is about new challenges with in the global and local objective conditions, and the last chapter elucidates the need for structural changes, transformation, and localisation of higher education. Methodologically, the book is developed on the review of related literature purposely African related.

This book tries to examine the historical development of indigenous higher education in Africa. N’dri T. Assie-Lumumba  describes how this indigenous academic institution had been interrupted and replaced by the colonial higher education systems and institutions. The author critically explains the complexity, diversity, and multi-dimensionality of the African higher education/university crises and its socio-economic, political, and cultural implications, and the need for a positive and constructive reform towards the indigenization and transformation of the higher education institutions in Africa. (more…)