Staff Spotlight: Rachelle Esterhazy

Rachelle Esterhazy

Rachelle Esterhazy (University of Oslo)

Rachelle Esterhazy is a second year PhD candidate at the Department of Education at the University of Oslo. Her research project is about “Feedback practices in higher education” and focuses on the processes that take place when students engage with feedback. She holds a B.Sc in Psychology from the University of Konstanz, Germany and a M.Phil in Higher Education from the University of Oslo. In 2015-2016, Rachelle taught the methods courses in the M.Phil Higher Education program.

What interests you about the field of higher education?

First and foremost I am interested in learning processes of students and how they unfold during their higher education studies. The higher education context is very complex and students are diverse in their pre-knowledge, learning approaches and motivations. This is what makes the learning processes in higher education so fascinating. While the focus of my project is on a very particular part of this learning process, I find it important to keep in mind the big picture and the institutional and sociocultural environment where the learning takes place. This is where I see one of the strengths of the field of higher education, as its small size facilitates the cooperation of people working on different levels of the phenomenon. It is exciting to work with other people coming from all kinds of disciplines, working with all kinds of theories and having all kinds of practical experience and to see how we are all brought together because we share the same interest in higher education. (more…)




Call for applicants: Post-doctoral position in higher education in South Africa

University_of_the_Free_State_logoThe University of the Free 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.

The fellow will participate in 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 will enable an outstanding doctoral graduate to obtain experience of research and innovation at a higher education institution under the mentorship of established researchers, collaborate with colleagues in other academic units including the UFS Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice (IRSJ) and the School of Higher Education Studies (SHES).

Eligibility Criteria

  • Open to all South African and foreign nationals
  • Graduated with a PhD degree in a relevant discipline within the last five years
  • Successful applicants may not hold full-time salaried employment during the fellowship (but may engage in up to 12 hours approved part-time salaried employment per week)
  • Successful applicants must be able to relocate to the UFS for the duration of the fellowship. This is a residential fellowship: the successful applicant is required to spend 80% of her/his postdoctoral period at the UFS.

Tasks (more…)




IPSA2016: Knowledge Policies and the State of Inequality – Instruments For or Against?

Dr. Jens Jungblut  (INCHER, Kassel)

Dr. Jens Jungblut
(INCHER, Kassel)

In this post, Jens Jungblut writes about the recent 24th IPSA World Congress of Political Science and the panel on higher education at the conference. 

The 24th World Congress of Political Science organized by the International Political Science Association (IPSA) took place from July 23 until July 28 2016 under the title “Politics in a World of Inequality”. The conference was held in cooperation with the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (Poland) and around 3000 participants, mainly from political science, were attending it.

Originally the conference was supposed to take place in Istanbul, but due to the security situation as well as the contentious relationship between the Turkish political scientists and the Turkish government the IPSA and the local Turkish organizers decided earlier this year to move the conference to Poland. In light of this and due to the recent events in Turkey the topic of academic freedom was a reoccurring theme at the conference being addressed both in the opening as well as closing ceremonies and in the context of a special roundtable.

Members of the ECPR Standing Group on Politics of Higher Education, Research, and Innovation organized a panel at the conference under the title “Knowledge Policies and the State of Inequality: Instruments For or Against?”. The panel examined how policy actors instrumentalize knowledge policies to increase and decrease the state of inequality between citizens, between nations, and between the world’s geographical regions. As a point of departure, the panel assumed that policymaking is a complex process, involving multiple actors across governance levels with diverse interests and preferences, and that instrument choice thus reflects the policy actors’ ambitions, compromises made, and the intended effects of implementation. (more…)




Hedda Spotlight: Peter Maassen 60

Professor Peter Maassen

Professor Peter Maassen

Heddas director and the leader of Heddas master programme, professor Peter Maassen is celebrating his 60th jubileum these days. The event was celebrated at the University of Oslo with an academic seminar on universities as knowledge organizations, as well as a Festschrift covering key themes of Peter Maassens research work. The Festschrift included contributions from his longstanding colleagues as well as a numer of Hedda alumni who have proceeded to acadremic careers.

We would like to extend our congratulations, also on behalf of Heddas students and alumni. Many of the alumni contributed to the Festschrift, but in this post, we would also like to extend a few additional greetings from Hedda alumni!  (more…)




Hedda Podcast: Nico Cloete on how education can promote social progress

Professor Nico Cloete (University of Cape Town, South Africa)

Professor Nico Cloete (University of Western Cape and CHET, South Africa)

Episode 49 of our podcast series features Professor Nico Cloete (University of Western Cape, South Africa, Center for Higher Education Transformation, South Africa, and University of Oslo). In the podcast, we feature a lecture he gave at University of Oslo in spring 2016. In the lecture, he shares insights from his work at the Panel on Social Progress (IPSP), with specific focus on the key isue: How can education promote social progress? 

IPSP was established in 2014/2015. IPSP is guided by an Advisory Committee chaired by Nobel prize winner Amartya Sen, and managed by a distinguished Steering Committee which is advised by an international Scientific Council co-chaired by Nancy Fraser, Ravi Kanbur and Helga Nowotny. An important output is an extensive report published in 2017 that involves 250 leading academics across disciplines, discussing key aspects that concern social progress.

Professor Nico Cloete one of the Lead Authors preparing Chapter 19: “How can education promote social progress?”

View the slides accompanying the lecture (pdf)

Listen without the Flashplayer

Professor Nico Cloete Nico is the Director of the Centre for Higher Education Trust (CHET) and Coordinator of the Higher Education Research and Advocacy Network in Africa (HERANA). He is also a Guest Professor at the University of Oslo, an Extraordinary Professor at the Institute for Post-School Studies at the University of the Western Cape, and Extraordinary Professor in the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Scientometrics and Science, Technology and Innovation Policy at Stellenbosch University. His main research interests are in the area of psychology, sociology and higher education policy.