Hedda Master Programme in Higher Education: European and Nordic admission round!

We are delighted to inform you that the application round for European and Nordic countries is now on its way!

Are you interested in knowing more about the role of higher education in modern knowledge society and how it operates? The Faculty of Education at the University of Oslo (Norway) is proud to offer an award winning 2-year Master of Philosophy Programme in Higher Education.

The two year research focused international programme is the first Master’s programme on higher education in Europe and one of the few in the world covering a broad range of disciplinary perspectives on higher education.

Listen to the Director of Hedda, Professor Peter Maassen talk about the Master Programme:

Or, view two of our students sharing their views of the field and the Master Programme after completing the first semester of the programme.

Multidisciplinary programme

The programme is focused on changing functions, policies, and operations of Higher Education using an international and comparative perspective. The students receive a solid basis for analysing and critically assessing change processes at all relevant levels in higher education – from activities inside the classroom to understanding national and global developments.

International focus

The student body and staff are highly international. The programme has had students from more than forty countries in the world, including faraway places such as Maldives and Vanuatu, as well as USA, China, Brazil, UK, Australia and various European countries. 
In addition, the students have an opportunity to spend parts of their studies in partner institutions abroad.

Innovative and high quality learning environment

The programme features lectures from highly renowned researchers from across the world and is based on multi-faceted modes of delivery and supported by a state of the art e-learning platform. 
In 2009, the Master of Philosophy in Higher Education programme was awarded the prize as the best learning environment at the University of Oslo.

Research integration

The programme is research oriented and the students have the opportunity to have their master thesis integrated into larger research projects and learn first-hand skills of conducting research in a team.

Master Programme Brochure (pdf)

Master Programme Brochure (pdf)

Multiple career opportunities

Understanding the key institution of the knowledge economy – higher education – is a highly valued competence in the modern society. About 40% of the graduates continue onto a PhD, and the graduates of the programme are employed within higher education in various international and supranational organisations, such as the European University Association and the EU, ministries of education and national agencies, as well as university administrations around the world.

Comments from our alumni

Here is what our alumni says!


Alumni spotlight: Jelena Branković

Jelena Branković  (Hedda alumni, now CHEGG)

Jelena Branković
(Hedda alumni, now CHEGG)

In this edition of our alumni spotlights, current Hedda master student Enzo Rossi has asked a few questions from Jelena Branković, who is a Hedda HEEM programme graduate from 2010. 

About Jelena

Jelena Branković is currently a PhD student at the Centre for Higher Education Governance Ghent (CHEGG), at Ghent University. She graduated from the Higher Education Master Programme (HEEM) jointly delivered by the University of Oslo, the University of Tampere, and the University of Aveiro in 2010 and holds a Master’s degree in English Language and Literature obtained from the University of Belgrade.

After obtaining Master’s in Higher Education, she was a researcher at the Centre for Education Policy in Belgrade, where she focused on higher education in the Western Balkans. She joined the CHEGG team in November 2013. In the interview Jelena reflects on her Master programme experience and the role it played in her career so far.

What made you choose the Master programme in Higher Education?

I used to be involved in the Student Union while at the University of Belgrade. That is when I became interested in all sorts of issues related to higher education. After graduation I got my first higher education related job, I became the national coordinator of the European Union’s Tempus programme in Serbia, which is a programme supporting higher education reforms through international cooperation. It was at that point I realised that if I wanted to pursue a career in higher education, I needed to deepen and broaden my knowledge. That is how I ended up in HEEM.

How has what you learned within the Higher Education programme helped you in your career?

First, it helped me better understand my prior experience, which I think was crucial, especially in the beginning. It also helped me decide what I wanted to do in higher education, because there are so many things one can do. For instance, you can work as a policy maker or policy adviser, you can work in university management or administration, you can do research on higher education, you can be a consultant in higher education projects, and so on. Perhaps it was because I found research as something closer to my aspirations, or it was the fact that HEEM programme was more geared towards that type of career, I eventually decided to pursue the research path. And I think that the master programme was an excellent starting point for such a career. Upon graduation I was offered a research position at the Centre for Education Policy in Belgrade where I spent three and a half years working in the field of higher education. Doing a PhD was an obvious next step. Today when I look back at what HEEM gave me, I feel very thankful. (more…)

Widespread opposition to cuts in EU research budget

EUEurope has been struggling with financial crisis in recent years. One of the latest initiatives has been the introduction of EFSI – European Fund for Strategic Investments. After being put forward in late November, the principal plan received political backing in the December meeting of the European Council. The funding available would have its aim to target projects that would boost European economy, as outlined in the press release “to get Europe growing again and get more people back to work“.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commissions president stated that “If Europe invests more, Europe will be more prosperous and create more jobs – it’s as simple as that. The Investment Plan we are putting forward today in close partnership with the European Investment Bank is an ambitious and new way of boosting investment without creating new debt.” More investment without new debt sounds like a great idea. However, this means that the funds for this initiative need to be found from another place.

In this proposal, funding for this investment fund would be partially re-channeled from current European research funding. In a speech to the Parliament, Juncker argued that this would not be an issue as money from EFSI could also be used for research and that this would be “maximizing input”. This claim can be taken with some caution, as the secretary general of LERU noted, there are no earmarked funds, so the funding that is drawn from research can go for any kind of projects in EFSI. Initial overviews show that most of the projects would in fact have a different character.

The plan has been faced with considerable opposition in the university/research sector, where one sector representative called described the proposal as Cutting Horizon to improve the competitiveness of Europe equals cutting off your nose to spite your face’. LERU, the League of European Research Universities also quickly reacted on the proposal, arguing that EFSI was a “vague and highly uncertain project”. They also refer to the frequent attempts to squeeze European research funding: “It should be clear for the EU institutions and the member states that Horizon 2020 is not a lemon which can be squeezed according to the flavour of the day!”. Euroscience, an association for researchers and research professionals, has highlighted how the basic idea is unproductive as the very idea of investing in European research is based on the principle of creating growth. However, despite initial opposition, the plan has moved forward.  (more…)

Alumni spotlight: Alicia Betts


Alicia Betts (Hedda Alumni, ACUP)

Time again to continue to follow up our alumni around the world. In this post, Hedda student Enzo Rossi has asked a few question to Alicia Betts who is a graduate from 2009. 

About Alicia

Alicia was brought up in Great Britain, Israel and Spain. She spent her early university years in Barcelona and a year abroad in The Netherlands. She is a graduate of the European Master in Higher Education (Erasmus Mundus – HEEM, University of Oslo, University of Tampere, University of Aveiro) thanks to the James Taylor scholarship. She is currently a project manager at the Association for Public Universities of Catalonia (ACUP) since 2009. Her work at ACUP focuses on joint internationalisation strategy development and implementation, university governance, funding and management policies, university-business collaboration and benchmarking studies. She is also a mother of an inquisitive and energetic three year old who, fortunately, shares her love for traveling, reading and nature.


Alicia with her son

What made you choose the Master programme in Higher Education? 

A long set of coincidences (if you believe in them) led me to the University of Oslo and to the HEEM programme. At the time I applied, I was at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona working with amongst other issues the Erasmus Mundus programmes. It was through my work that I got acquainted with Erasmus Mundus and specifically with the Higher Education programme which was coordinated by the University of Oslo. I found it fitted my interests and current working area. I considered it a great opportunity to further my knowledge on higher education, a field which I could not study in Spain. Unfortunately, at the time Erasmus Mundus did not award scholarships for European students, so I had discarded participating till I found a funding opportunity. Quite to my surprise, one day I received in my inbox an email informing us that there were scholarships for European students for the HEEM programme from the consortium. I applied immediately and was one of the four students awarded a James Taylor scholarship! So I quit my job, packed my bags and began the adventure.

How does what you learned during the programme relate to the projects that you are managing at the moment? (more…)

Job opportunity: Scholars at Risk

scholarsatriskScholars at Risk is a network hosted by New York University that isdedicated to protecting threatened scholars, preventing attacks on higher education communities and promoting academic freedom worldwide.”

Currently, they are looking for a new program associate for external relations. The key functions of the position are described as following: The position provides primary support to the Executive Director and board in all outreach, communications and fundraising activities including coordinating meeting schedules for the board, board committees and Executive Director; preparing letters, emails and other communications; tracking follow-up; drafting and editing outreach materials; researching contacts and cultivation opportunities. The External Relations Associate/Officer will be encouraged to handle increasing responsibility for these and other activities as appropriate.

Tasks include: Outreach; Media and communications; Board development and management; Fundraising; Human Rights; Higher Education; Events; NGOs.

Required qualifications: