Call for applicants: post-doc position in South Africa

Do you know anyone interested in a post-doc position in South Africa in higher education research? 

The University of the FUniversity_of_the_Free_State_logoree State (UFS) invites applications from suitably qualified candidates for a postdoctoral fellowship in the Directorate for Institutional Research and Academic Planning (DIRAP). Candidates interested in pursuing an academic or professional career in higher education, institutional research, student affairs, or higher education management, are especially encouraged to apply. DIRAP conducts institutional research into higher education in collaboration with other units across the University and partner institutions. Under the leadership of Dr Lis Lange, UFS Vice-Rector: Academic, and Dr Thierry Luescher,Assistant Director: Institutional Research, DIRAP is conceptualising a new research project into the institutional culture and student experience at the UFS.

Ideally, the Postdoctoral Research Fellow will have an interest and expertise in higher education studies or a related discipline such as educational management, diversity studies, historical studies, political science, public management, sociology or social psychology. The fellowship is awarded on a competitive basis, taking into account the applicants’ academic achievements, publication outputs and research potential, as well as the relevance of prior experience and expertise.

Eligibility:  (more…)



News: Report in UK highlights role of universities in public and private sector

UUKUniversities UK (UUK) has published a new report examining the role of UK universities in the economy. Universities UK was established in 1918 and is a network of 133 executive heads (vice-chancellors/principals) of universities in the UK. The organization is funded through its members and works as an advocate for the sector.

The new report is a part of their series regarding “The funding environment for universities”, with emphasis in this issue being on economic development, regional growth and labour market issues.

Examining national data, the report rather explicitly places higher education to a market relevant position, identifying the sector as a “high-growth UK export industry”, aside having a role in skills production and innovation. The report collected data for 2011-2012 year and highlights that the sector generated over 100 billion euros in output, employing over 375 000 people. Together with additional jobs that are dependent on universities, the sector stands fro 2,7% of UK employment in 2011.

The report further highlights the role of universities in innovation and knowledge production (knowledge exchange, commercialization, indirect innovation and network creation, and entrepreneurship support services), as well as producing the necessary skills. The report highlights that: “The UK is seeing a growth in high-wage analytical, non-routine jobs; an expansion ofmanual low-wage roles; and a contraction of middle-wage jobs” (p.4), emphasizing the role of universities in this shift. In the press release of the report, UUK cites Dame Julia Goodfellow, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Kent, who highlights: “The UK must ensure that the higher-level skills required in the labour market are met and our universities have an important role to play in meeting this demand, both through their more traditional model of three-year undergraduate university study, and by developing other routes  to higher skills.” She continues further: “Universities are a globally recognised source of innovation and research and, in turn, attract direct foreign investment. They generate knowledge and discovery that can boost both the private and the public sectors.(more…)




News: Establishing of ESAA met with both enthusiasm and critique

DG EAC formally announced the launch of Erasmus+ Students and Alumni Association (ESAA) this Friday, 12th of June with a kick-off conference. About 250 participants were invited, including founding associations, representatives from the European Comimsion, and stakeholder representatives who have been involved in ESAA.

The new association is supported by DG EAC and represent uniting for existing associations under one umbrella, Erasmus Student Network (ESN), Erasmus Mundus Student and Alumni Association (EMA), the garagErasmus Foundation and Erasmus+ Oceans.

The website highlights ESAA aim to  be a “dynamic platform for networking, professional development and intercultural learning while promoting European Higher Education and worldwide cooperation”. On the press site, it is also highlighted that the foreseen aim is to develop projects and improve quality of education, in addition to providing an alumni network. You can view the presentations from the launch here, where they highlight the aims of the new organization.

The Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport,  Tibor Navracsics, said about ESAA in the press release: “Erasmus+ is one of Europe’s flagship projects, and rightly so. Studying in another country, whether for a short or longer period, is a great experience for young Europeans: It helps them to enhance their skills as well as to understand and accept cultural and other differences. Student and alumni associations offer crucial support to help young people make the most of this opportunity – before, during and after their stay abroad. That is why I am very pleased that ESAA will help to channel this support and know-how even more effectively. I am looking forward to seeing new activities that will further improve the mobility experience, encourage networking and help promote the opportunities Erasmus+ offers to a wider audience.”

It appears that the event was marked with enthusiasm by those attending, and in social media the role of networking amongst members was frequently highlighted. For discussions and photos from the event – follow the #ESAAkickoff hashtag on Twitter.

However, the establishment of ESAA has also been met with considerable critique from ESU – the European Student Union, who has raised concerns about the representative nature of ESAA, Commission involvement in shaping a student organization and the kind of policy agenda that is being pushed. (more…)




Student Chronicle: Study trip to Brussels 2015 – part 2

As a part of their Master studies at University of Oslo, Hedda students made a study trip to Brussels in end of April. In this second post, Kate Belova and Raymond Olufsen write about the second half of their experience, including visit to the European Commission, EURASHE, European Student Union (ESU) and EQAR. 

Second day of meetings, exploring Brussels and departure

We awoke to a colder morning than the day before. However this didn´t put a damper on our company. After a delightful breakfast with scrambled eggs and ham, we headed again towards the western part of Schaerbeek. On our agenda we had a total of four meetings. Our first visit this day was to the European Commission (EC) DG for Education and Culture.

Meeting with the European Commission

After the necessary passport checks by the security guards, Ragnhild-Solvi Berg picked us up by the entrance and guided us to the meeting room through the multiple corridors of the large building. Here we were introduced to her colleague, Dr. Graham Wilkie (both of them work in the international cooperation unit. The two of them informed us on the specifics of the EC. The organization plays an important role when it comes to the European integration of higher education and supports national efforts regarding higher education reforms, as well as inter-governmental processes like the Bologna reform.

From left to right: Kate, Misar, Nirmal, Joshua, Ragnhild, Beatrice, Dr. Graham, Raymond and Tim

From left to right: Kate, Misar, Nirmal, Joshua, Ragnhild, Beatrice, Dr. Graham, Raymond and Tim

Overall, meeting with the EC representatives provided us with a unique opportunity to get a closer look at how the Commission works and what role the EC plays within not only European, but also international higher education. Even more importantly, we gained a valuable insight into the re-design of the student mobility programs that resulted in the creation of the all-inclusive and more internationalized Erasmus + program.  These are some of the bullet points (more…)




Student Chronicle: Study trip to Brussels 2015 – part 1

As a part of their Master studies at University of Oslo, Hedda students made a study trip to Brussels in end of April. In this post, Kate Belova and Raymond Olufsen write about the experience and highlight some of the knowledge they gained during this study trip. 

On Tuesday April 21st, seven representatives, from the masters’ class of higher education at the university of Oslo, went to the bureaucratic capitol of Europe; the city of Brussels for a four-day visit. On the agenda was a tight program consisting of meetings with different organisations and persons working in the area of higher education within the EU. The purpose for the trip was to give the students a better insight into the field they are studying.

studytrip1

From left to right: Misar and Nirmal from Nepal; Beatrice and Joshua from Ghana; and Kate from Ukraine.

Our group consisted of people from Kenya, Ghana, Nepal, Norway and Ukraine. In many ways our little gang reflected the multicultural society that makes up Brussels. None of us had ever been to Belgium and we were excited to see what the city of Brussels would have in store for us.

Arrival and the first day of meetings

After settling into the apartment we rented, using Airbnb; we went out to familiarise ourselves with the neighbourhood. The apartment was located in Schaerbeek, which is one of the nineteen municipalities that make out the Brussels-Capital Region. (more…)