Online seminar broadcast tomorrow: university mergers in Nordic countries

helsinkiInterested in themes related to mergers in the Nordic countries?

University of Helsinki is holding an open seminar on “Higher education and research in the Nordic academy – a beter future through mergers?”. The seminar will also be broadcasted online. There seminar includes two presentations and a panel discussion.

The event takes place Friday 31.10.14 at 10:30-12:00 Finnish time (09:30-11:00 CET). 

Presentation themes:

Dr. Romulo Pinheiro (Agder University, Norway): The last decade alone has seen considerable change in Norwegian higher education. Dr. Pinheiros’ presentation takes stock of the most important developments in the last decade, culminating with the October 2014 government announcement of a long-term strategy for higher education and research, with possible consequences on a number of fronts.

Dr. Lars Geschwind (Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, Sweden): Presentation takes a closer look at the recent years’ policy development and examples of responses by Swedish higher education institutions.

Panel debate

After the presentations Dr. Leena Treuthardt (UNIFI), Dr. Marja Sutela(TAMK) and other speakers will join a panel discussion on Nordic higher education reforms and voluntary mergers. The event is part of a Network of Nordic Higher Education activity.

Please note that the event also marks the launching of the book “Higher Education and Research in Academe – Who should pay?”, edited by Prof. Timo Aarrevaara (University of Helsinki) and Prof Elisabeth Berg (Luleå Tekniska Universitet).

Follow the event through live webcast




Hedda Master Programme in Higher Education: Global admission round!

So, are curious about higher education as a research field? Have you worked in higher education and want to expand your competencies, are you a former student politician who wants to study higher education further, or perhaps you just think higher education a very fascinating field to study? Perhaps it is not you, but you know someone like this? Here is an opportunity!

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. We are delighted to announce that the admission round for applicants all around the world is open and will close 1st of December 2014! 

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:

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

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Call for papers: Transnational Academic Spaces

Uni_BielefeldThis one-day conference will take place at Bielefeld University in Germany on March 27th 2015 and it titled “Transnational Academic Spaces”. The keynote speaker for the conference is Professor Russel King from University of Sussex.

At this one-day conference in Bielefeld, focus is on international student and academic mobility around the world. The aim is to explore how transnational academic spaces are organized, with a focus on processes leading to social inequalities at the macro-, meso-and micro-levels. Theoretical and empirical contributions adopting a transnational focus are welcomed, especially when they take into account opportunity structures of host, home and third countries and explore the relationships between them. Instead of focusing solely on mobile individuals, the organisers also welcome contributions that situate non-mobile students and faculty members who are also an integral part of transnational academic spaces. And finally, the organisers welcome contributions that explore the dynamics of transnational network construction of academic institutions as well as the impact of internationalization processes and the macro-context on transnational academic spaces, transgressing micro-level approaches.

Abstracts may include, but are not limited to, the following topics: (more…)




ECER 2014: The past, present and future of educational research in Europe

Ana Sofia Ribeiro dos Santos (Bielefeld Center for Education and Capability Research)

Ana Sofia Ribeiro dos Santos
(Bielefeld Center for Education and Capability Research)

This review is written by Ana Sofia Ribeiro dos Santos. She is a graduate of the Hedda Master programme, and currently undertaking her PhD dissertation research at the Bielefeld Center for Education and Capability Research and Instituto de Ciências Sociais at the University of Lisboa. Her research is undertaken as a part of EduWel, a Marie Curie Initial Training Network funded by the EU. Her dissertation is titled: Mapping vulnerability through a capabilities approach: a biographical study of first generation students in Portuguese Higher Education. 

The European Conference of Educational Researchers (ECER) is easily the largest conference on education in Europe, both by the high number of participants and its comprehensive approach of the educational field. The Conference is an initiative of the European Educational Research Association (EERA), and its 2014 edition gathered in Oporto around 2500 participants, and I was among them. Although the ECER is not a specialised higher education conference, one of its largest networks is the higher education one, and for that reason the ECER has become a relevant meeting point for the field.

This year’s conference theme was “The past, present and future of educational research in Europe”, a self reflexive call for the need to evaluate the field’s evolution and its challenges, that range from budget cuts to interdisciplinarity demands. The theme also celebrated the 20th anniversary of EERA, and to this effect a specific event was held at Casa da Música, where Prof. Lejf Moos, from Aarhus University, delivered the Presidency of the Association to Prof.Theo Wubbles, from the University of Utrecht.

For those who never been to the ECER, I will explain its organisation. The Conference is divided in 2 sections: the Emerging Researchers conference, where PhD candidates present their on-going research projects, and the Main Conference, where the 31 research networks have their presentations, what generally means that there are over 20 parallel sessions from which to choose from! The variety of the sessions in one of the strongest points of the conference, since there are tracks about vocational training, pedagogies, history of education, assessment, ICT in education, you name it. Having said that, researchers interested in higher education can not only follow its track of expertise, but also take a look at other areas and topics that may match their own research. From my own experience, network sessions from Sociology of Education and Policy Studies and Politics of Education were very inspiring, namely a symposium about Early School Leaving in Europe, whose discussant was Roger Dale, from the University of Bristol. This year, the Higher Education Network (Network 22) presented 121 papers, 9 posters, 8 symposia and 1 workshop. The contributions were divided into 5 topics (more…)




EGOS 2014: Reimagining, Rethinking, Reshaping: Organizational Scholarship in Unsettled Times

Maria Pietilä (University of )

Maria Pietilä
(University of Helsinki)

This report of the EGOS Colloquium is written by Maria Pietilä. Maria works at Higher Education Governance and Management group (HEGOM) at the Department of Political and Economic Studies, University of Helsinki. She is working on her dissertation, which deals with academic leadership and governance in Finnish universities, especially related to research work and academic careers.

The 30th annual EGOS Colloquium gathered some 2100 researchers from 53 countries to the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The conference took place in July 3–5, 2014. The atmosphere in Rotterdam was of course especially lively not just because of the conference, but also because of the ongoing FIFA World Cup.

This year’s conference theme was “Reimagining, Rethinking, Reshaping: Organizational Scholarship in Unsettled Times”. EGOS, which is an abbreviation for European Group for Organizational Studies, is a scholarly association mainly for social scientists and business scholars, who have a mutual interest in organizations as study units. A central common denominator is the journal Organization Studies, which is published in collaboration with EGOS. Due to the diversity behind such a scholarly association, also the conference embraced a diversity of themes, perspectives and people from different disciplinary backgrounds. This made the conference a truly interdisciplinary one.

This year’s conference was the first EGOS I attended. The conference was structured so that the opening ceremony and the first keynote were followed by sub-theme sessions. There was yet another keynote on the second day, more sub-theme sessions, and parallel sub-plenaries. The third day ended after some more sub-theme sessions and lunch. The conference was preceded by workshops on academic reviewing, paper development, and early-career issues, but unfortunately I didn’t attend those.

The first keynote speaker was Jerry Davis, Wilbur K. Pierpont Collegiate Professor of Management at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. He talked about ‘the coming collapse of the corporation’ and succeeded in stirring at least my imagination. As the title suggests, the keynote was about the changes from a corporate-centered society (characterized by tangible products, concentrated corporate control, etc. such as in traditional manufacturing industry) towards more virtual organizations with more dispersed structures (characterized by complex networks of subscribers and producers worldwide) and the (in many cases detrimental) effects of these changes on employment and value creation at the level of national economies. This made me think where the higher education institutions stand within this development. Of course, there might be multiple answers depending on the context. Overall, it seems that higher education institutions may stand in the more traditional end of the spectrum due to their national ties and connections with national cultures. Still, the ‘virtual models’ of universities, especially related to teaching, point to the evolving, more hybrid models. (more…)