Literature tips: How far do academics live in social bubbles?

Filipa M. Ribeiro  (University of Porto)

Filipa M. Ribeiro
(University of Porto)

In this edition of the literature tips, Filipa M. Ribeiro, PhD researcher and science writer from University of Porto writes about a new paper on academic social networks. 

By now, it is not a surprise that we live in social bubbles, especially when it comes to social media. It is not uncommon that we discuss with our colleagues the fact that, in practice, we live in social bubbles, in the sense that we relate in an homophilous way unless organizations and institutions give us no choice to do otherwise.

If no other, this is an excellent reason to read the paper published in mid February, by Dimitar Nikolov and colleagues: Measuring Online Social Bubbles, which is a nice follow-up of a doctoral thesis that was reviewed in an earlier post on the Hedda blog.

The paper by Nikolov and collegaues points to the fact that the current web-based systems (eg.: recommendation systems and search engines) based on previously declared social relations amplify the effect of a social bubble, which has previously been argued by Figueiredo (2014). The authors studied data from an American University online traffic, looking at applications of social media, email and search engines. The conclusion is that the level of diversity of information, both at individual and collective levels, is low in the first two and higher in the third (search engine for words or texts). The diversity of information is measured by the number of necessary clicks to connect two content.  (more…)




Podcast: The Governance Paradox. Enduring and emerging tensions in the governance of universities

Prof Peter Maassen and Prof Bjørn Stensaker

Prof Peter Maassen and Prof Bjørn Stensaker

We are pleased to share with you a presentation of some of the key messages from a large scale project “European Flagship Universities; balancing academic excellence and socio-economic relevance (FLAGSHIP)The project is undertaken at the University of Oslo with partners at Universities of Twente, Aarhus and Helsinki, as well as LH Martin Institute at University of Melbourne

In the presentation, Prof Peter Maassen and Prof Bjørn Stensaker a share their insights about he project.

The seminar was recorded on 12th of February at the University of Melbourne.

Download the Powerpoint slides for the presentation here

FLAGSHIP project outline: 

FLAGSHIP examines the ways in which European flagship universities have adapted over the last ten years to far-reaching changes in their political and socio-economic environments, and the extent to which these adaptations are initiated and implemented by the institutional leadership or as a consequence of external change drivers.

A ‘FLAGSHIP’ university is defined as a comprehensive research-intensive university, located in one of its country’s largest urban areas. A FLAGSHIP university is in general among the oldest and largest institutions for higher learning of its country.  (more…)



Podcast: Horizontal governance and learning dynamics in higher education

We are pleased to share with you a presentation of some of the key messages from a large scale project “Horizontal governance and learning dynamics in higher education (HORIZON). The project is undertaken at the Faculty of Educational Sciences in University of Oslo.

In the presentation, Prof Peter Maassen, Prof Monika Nerland, dr. Jennifer Olson, dr. Hilde Afdal and dr Crina Damsa share their insights about he project. The seminar was recorded on 11th of February at the University of Melbourne.

Group presentation

Prof. Monika Nerland | Prof. Peter Maassen | Dr. Crina Damsa | Dr. Jennifer Olson | Dr. Hilde Afdal

 

Download the powerpoint slides for the presentation here

HORIZON project outline: 

The HORIZON project is aimed at contributing to an improved understanding of major change dynamics in higher education with respect to higher education governance and learning processes in higher education institutions, as well as the way these two are connected. (more…)




Call for applicants: Oslo summer school!

uio logo nyThe Faculty of Social Sciences at University of Oslo is again arranging a summer school for doctoral students with an interest in comparative and methodological social science. Furthermore, researchers, scholars and MA students who aim at advanced study can apply for the course.

Note that in addition to a variety of other social science courses, the summer school has relevant courses for higher education studies! So, note the following courses:

The Political Economy of Skills and Inequality in Western Welfare States with Prof M.R. Busemeyer (University of Konstanz)

This seminar provides a thorough introduction into the study of education policies and politics from the perspective of comparative welfare state research and comparative political economy. The class provides an overview of the most important debates in the field: the link between education and social inequality, the role of partisan politics, the connection between skill formation and different varieties of capitalism, the study of public opinion on education and the process of internationalization and Europeanization of education policy.

Dates: 20 – 24 July 2015
Course Credits: 10 pts (ECTS)
Limitation: 25 participants

(read more here)

Governing Education in Europe: From Partnership to Privatisation with Professor Jenny Ozga (University of Oxford)

(more…)




Student chronicle: Studying the field you work in

Elisabeth Josefine Lackner (Hedda master programme and

Elisabeth Josefine Lackner
(Hedda master programme and Student Information and Communications Office at the University of Oslo)

Have you ever wondered in what ways knowing more about higher education research adds value to working as a practitioner in higher education administration? This entry is written by Elisabeth Josefine Lackner who is a student in the Hedda master programme and at the same time working as an administrative manager at Student Information and Communications Office at the University of Oslo. 

What is the added value of added theory on your work? I have asked myself that question many times the last six months, after enrolling into the Higher Education Master Programme at University of Oslo last autumn. And although added theoretical knowledge on the field I work in sometimes frankly complicates my daily doings in the work sphere, it does provide insight, thoughts, opinions and methods that add a valuable X-factor to my work.

And vice versa.

Although it is hard to mentally liberate oneself from the rightfully applied and experience based work sphere, the touch with reality that work experience gives, makes the literature we read, the discussions in class and assignments ever so much more richer and many-faceted.

First and foremost I am a higher education professional. But I write this post as a student of higher education. I have worked within or along the borders of the field since I graduated from university, in both the public and private sectors and presently as a communications manager working centrally at the University of Oslo. Yet, last summer I decided – after long-lasting considerations on what to pursue in a long longed for master’s degree – to add academic knowledge to my professional self and additionally study a field which I have learned is so fascinating and nevertheless vital to individuals and society.

Yet, studying the field within which you work and vice-versa enriches and frankly complicates your daily business and perspectives.

Let’s start with enrichment. After attending lectures and seminars I stroll back to my daily business of meetings, emails and phone calls, presentations, contracts and hiring– normal business in many office jobs. If not the academic knowledge I have achieved through the curriculum can guide me in my daily operative tasks, it does provide a richer and more interesting context for the even work-day. For instance, I do perceive that I am more able to read changes in the applied field through other lenses. For instance, after over six months of studying higher education, it is hard for me not to couple the ongoing present expansion of NOKUT (Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education) with the roll out of New Public Management in Norwegian public sector and higher education field. (more…)