Call for contributions: The Social Dimension in European Higher Education

confeence socialdimensionThe conference The Social Dimension in European Higher Education” will be held in Vienna (Austria), on February 25-27, 2015.

The conference aims at creating a discursive forum for peer learning in the field of the social dimension, fostering interchange between 3 spheres involved with this, including researchers, policymakers and practitioners. The organisers expect 500 participants from various countries within the Bologna area for exchange of practices.

Contributions can either be in the form of research (scientific papers), action (specific measures to foster the social dimension), and policy (papers on national action plans and strategies for the social dimension). The organisers encourage presentations of measures and activities you undertake to improve the social situation of students, to create mutual learning based on various experiences and knowledge.

EUROSTUDENT and PL4SD as two of the main data providers on the socio-economic situation of students, will present their most recent results. EUROSTUDENT will publish the Synopsis of indicators, comprising results from the fifth round of the project with comparisons of student data from 30 EHEA countries. PL4SD will present the enhanced database of measures ( as well as results from 3 PL4SD Country Reviews about how the social dimension in higher education is dealt with in Lithuania, Armenia and Croatia.

More information at the conference website at

Deadline for abstracts – 1st of October 

More information on the themes and submission can be downloaded in this call for papers (pdf).

Education at a Glance – 2014 edition published last week!

EAG2014The newest edition of OECDs annual educational statistics – Education at a Glance – was published last week on 9th of September  2014. The data is organised around some of the key topics in current debates about education – focused on educational attainment, employability, rates of return of education and fee payment.

The key message highlighted is that while access has been widening, socio-economic differences are increasing – as the impact of having high competence and skills on the persons opportunities plays a higher role than before. The general trend is that more and more young people (15-29) are in education, and it has been a growing number between 2000 and 2012.

However, the data also shows that youth unemployment has also had important peaks – in the period 2000 and 2003, and between 2008 and 2012, the latter period closely linked to the financial crisis. As such, despite the increases of those in education, the overall number of those not in education or employment has remained stable between 2000 and 2012.

In general, education provides social mobility as more people attain higher education than their parents (the report highlights results from PIAAC, 32% have higher levels of education, and only 16% have not achieved that level). Of the age cohort 25-34, almost 40% in average now have higher education. Across the countries, the level of adults (25-64) with higher education has been increasing since 2000, but the average higher education attainment for the whole adult population is now around 34% for women and 31% for adult men. (more…)

PhD position at the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS)

CHEPS 25th Anniversary-1CHEPS, one of HEDDA partner institutions, has announced a new PhD position. The successful PhD candidate (4 year terms) would be expected to join a research project on the “Effects of Centers for Excellence in Teaching and Learning on the Teaching Function of Higher Education Institutions” (Project-acronym CETLFUNK).

The project CETLFUNK is part of the funding scheme “Begleitungsforschung zum Qualitätspakt Lehre” funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Reserarch (BMBF).

CETLFUNK will be an international comparative study on the effects of centers for teaching and learning. Teaching and learning have gained more attention of managers and other stakeholders of higher education institutions across Europe. Different strategies and instruments have been implemented to achieve excellence in teaching and learning. In Germany this has led to the establishment of Centers for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. The CETLFUNK project aims to investigate the effects of such centers in terms of: 1) changes in the understanding and definition of quality in teaching and learning; 2) changes in teaching and learning processes; and 3) changes in the organizational structures of higher education institutions. The study will be based on eight in-depth case studies of higher education institutions in Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

The applicant is expected to have:

  • a master’s degree in sociology, public administration, political science or related fields;
  • strong research skills in qualitative research methods;
  • experience in conducting in-depth interviews;
  • affinity with multidisciplinary research;
  • knowledge in the field of higher education and/or quality assurance is an advantage;
  • experience in communicating with project partners, ministries, funding agencies, etc.;
  • fluency in German and English, in particular excellent knowledge of the German language (written and spoken) is required because of the reporting to the BMBF and the contact with German institutions. Dutch language proficiency is very much welcomed.

The position is fully funded, and the candidate will be employed for four years for a full-time position at CHEPS.

Application deadline – 1st of October 2014. 

More information on UTwente website

PhD position at University of Lausanne in Public Policy / Regulatory Governance

lausanneThe University of Lausanne is seeking a new Ph.D. student and teaching assistant (100%). The successful candidate is expected to write a PhD thesis in public policy, regulation, governance and/or public administration, and to assist with teaching and research tasks.

Applicants should be interested in public policy and regulatory governance, and have had some methodological training. They need to be motivated to do empirical research and work in a team. Candidates should hold a MA/MSc degree in political science, public administration or in a related social science discipline. In addition, candidates need to be fluent in English and/or French. The work location is at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland). The appointment is limited to five years. Starting date: January 1st, 2015 (or upon agreement).

Please submit a one-page letter outlining your motivation and research interests as well as a CV, a writing sample (e.g., a published article, a chapter from your MA/MSc thesis, a seminar paper), copies of all academic degrees, the names of at least two persons we can contact for a reference, and a brief research proposal for a PhD thesis (1 page, details will be discussed after appointment).

More information on application procedure can be found here.

Deadline for applications: October 31, 2014.

Hedda podcast: Doctoral education in Africa and the challenges for scientific growth in the Region

moutonEpisode 46 of our podcast series features Johann Mouton (CREST, Stellenbosch University). In the podcast he talks about doctoral production in Africa and the challenges for the scientific growth of the region, including the role of the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology and opportunities for PHD positions in Higher Education in South Africa.


Listen without the Flashplayer

Johann Mouton is Professor in and Director of the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology at Stellenbosch University and the African Doctoral Academy. He is also the Programme Director of five post-graduate programmes in Monitoring and Evaluation Studies and Science and Technology Studies. He is on the editorial board of 6 international journals including the International Journal of Research Methodology, the Journal of Mixed Methods Research, Science and Public Policy, Science, Technology and Society and Minerva. He received two prizes from the Academy for Science and Arts in South Africa including one for his contribution to the promotion of research methodology in South Africa. In 2012 he was elected to the Council of the Academy of Science of South Africa. His main research interests are the philosophy and methodology of the social sciences, higher education knowledge production, sociology of science, scientometrics and science policy studies