EUA interactive tool for university mergers

EUA mergers tool printscreen  (Source:

EUA mergers tool printscreen

Earlier this year, EUA produced a report outlining the variety of merger processes in Europe. The report highlighted horizontal and vertical mergers, and emphasized their spread as a policy solution in Europe since the year 2000. The report examined over 100 merger processes in 47 European countries.

Now, EUA has also produced an interactive map that visualises the various merger processes in Europe. The main aim is to provide an interactive map of instituional mergers in Europe. The data was collected through the DEFINE project, and builds on the report published earlier.

The definition of mergers on the website is following: “when at least one institution has ceased to exist as a legal entity, having been incorporated into either a new or existent institution”. For each of the processes, they collect a number of rather broad key data.

It is possible to view the map according to the various countries, or in a chronolocial manner according to year the merger took place (see the scale in the bottom of the map). While the tool is indeed primarily descriptive and the categorisations are rather broad, it provides a useful visualisation and mapping tool. So, if you looking for interesting cases of mergers to compare, perhaps this can be a starting point!

You can find the tool here

Call for participants: Winter school “Mapping knowledge economies” in Oslo

unikeIn the framework of the UNIKE project, a winter school is arranged at the University of Oslo, Mon 30 Nov — Fri 04 Dec. The main theme for the winter school is “Mapping knowledge economies”. Target group for the winter school is PhD students and early career researchers. The winter school composes of three main pillars:

  • Scientific Training Package: Mapping knowledge economies
  • Complementary Training Package: Genres of research writing
  • Aspects of Doctoral Education: Training the mobile, modern knowledge worker

The main idea is to combine UNIKE’s specific contribution to the study of higher education – that is, the mix of political economy and ethnography – with the focus of the host institution, in this case, The University of Oslo. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about different ways of theorising knowledge economies – focusing on governance, financialisation and new relations between universities and different industrial sectors and changing perspectives on knowledge work. In the part that focuses on complementary skills, the focus will be on learning to translate one’s own research into policy advice through the writing of policy briefs; in this, the fellows will be helped by academics from The Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU). Last, but not least, the part of the winter school that focuses on aspects of doctoral education will comprise a policy analysis and a writing workshop in which participants will be able to use their own experiences of mobility in doctoral education to reflect on broader processes of producing flexible and mobile workers for knowledge economies.

Confirmed speakers: (more…)

Kiron University – A Crowdfunding campaign to provide refugees access to a free academic education and degrees

Ronny Roewert

Ronny Röwert

In this guest entry, Ronny Röwert puts the spotlight on a recent crowdfunding-based non-profit initiative to provide education for refugees. Ronny Röwert is an analyst at CHE Consult, a German consultancy and research company on higher education, based in Berlin. He holds a Diploma-Degree in Economics from the University of Freiburg and has also studied at the University of Kiel and University of Auckland, New Zealand. His research interests relate to internationalisation, change management, digitisation and economic impact analysis in the higher education system.

Worldwide, 59.5 million people are on the move as refugees or displaced people within their home countries according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR . That population would be equivalent to the population of Great Britain or enough to make them citizens of the world’s 24th biggest country. Although the current reception of these high numbers of displaced people in the world in the media and political arena is mainly limited to the notion of a temporary crisis, the international community as well as national states will inevitably have to deal with not only short but also medium and long term remedies for this permanent humanitarian global challenge. The major causes of migration – poverty, conflicts, economic crises and negative consequences of climate change – will not disappear and so does not the flux of refugees and internally displaced people.

The majority of refugees are young and often well qualified and talented people. Refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people in regions of crisis face particular obstacles to access education in general and higher education in particular both in their home as well as in their host countries. In the 2013 Global Trends Report, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees identified as main challenges: lack of legal documentation and school certificates, high international student fees, lack of capacity of educational institutions as well as language barriers. All these factors prevent people to live up to their potential and therefore cause despair, unstable societies and high integration costs for host countries. (more…)

Introducing the new Hedda students!

In this post, we introduce you some of the new Hedda master students at the University of Oslo. Welcome to Oslo! 

The start of the new semester has brought us as well a new beginning in the Hedda program. As an international Master’s program, the origin of the new student cohort is as varied as Higher Education systems around the world, being the new group an excellent example of how the field of Higher Education is diverse and complex, and on how the different contexts of each country interacts with their development. We have students from Africa, Asia, Europe and America, what makes us very proud, reason why we decided to ask some of them to tell us a little bit more about their motivations, their lives and, also, their first impressions of the life is Oslo.


Hedda master student Nayer

We started with Nayer Shahedifar. She’s from Iran, the cradle of the Persian Empire and one of the biggest countries in Middle East. She has been living in Oslo already for three years. “I’m not a fan of the weather –she argues- but I really like that here, in Norway, rules are followed and are explicit, nothing is hidden behind curtains”, she added. She admires the vision Norway has on education and how that is reflected on the opportunities the country offers in that matter and also on how they support their citizens in failure scenarios. “The concept of poverty is different here”, she says. Regarding her motivations for entering the Master’s program in Higher Education, her background as a literature teacher, both English and French, and as a Journalist, has a lot to do, but her real motives comes from her time at university in Iran. “I was part of a talent program in which they allow certain students to take two degrees at the same time. Only one out of ten succeed. That can’t be right. How can that kind of policies help the country and the students explode their potential? I was the only one who succeeded”, she told us. She would like to go back and help Iran in their path towards development, but the when is not clear, and the where is not clear either. When ask about her expectations on the degree, she explained that she looks forward to obtain a better understanding of the education system as a whole and to gain the ability to detect problems and deliver solutions regarding this matter.

Hedda master student Celio

Hedda master student Celio

Célio Mindo, from Mozambique, was our next interviewed. He arrived one month ago, more or less, and his background is very different from Nayers’. He is a Bachelor in Finances and has work as an assistant manager for ECOBOM, a water company back in his country. About his motivations to enter the Master’s program in Higher Education, he is very clear. “I looking for a different learning environment, a different society from which I can learn. Besides, I intend to mix my academic background and experience with education, because that way I can help Mozambique become a better country in my own way”, he declared. He seeks to contribute to create a better educational system form Mozambique with new perspectives, and he knows that studying in Norway is a challenge, but an even bigger one because “I’m not in my field”, he argued, “but if I can manage, everything is possible”, he added. He expects the program to help him learn new technics, to gain new experiences and to access to more information. “I expect to learn how to apply the new concepts, to that way face the reality of my own country from there, with new basic and complex tools with the challenge of applying them”, he said. Regarding his new life in the city of Oslo, he has a very positive opinion. “Besides the weather, it is very nice. People is kind and helpful, it is a good surprise for me, I didn’t really knew what to expect”, he said. The city itself has also been a surprise for him. “It is an interesting city, lot to see and to explore, I expect to see more. The best of it is how it is divided in different atmospheres. You have fun, calm, everything, like a lot of cities in mixed into one.


Hedda master student Andrés

Andrés Araos, from Chile, was our third interviewed student. (more…)

Call for participants: ECPR standing group for higher education and research

ecprThere is currently a process of establishing a Standing group with ECPR (European Consortium for Political Research) on the ‘Politics of Higher Education, Research and Innovation’.

The Standing Group will facilitate research and debates on the politics of higher education, research and innovation around the world. It will do so by bringing together scholars at all stages of their careers from a variety of disciplines, including political science, international relations, European and area studies, research policy, higher education studies, law, and sociology of science and technology.

The intended academic activities include, for instance, engaging with the critical debates on the politics of higher education, research and innovation in practice, discussing all aspects of research (methodologies, theories, data collection, processing, and analysis), joint publishing, hosting workshops and applying for joint projects.

If your find the topics of relevance for your research and if you wish to be a member of the standing group, you can provide your endorsement here

eracrnThis initiative builds on the highly successful UACES collaborative research network on the European Research Area (ERA CRN). Since 2013, members of the ERA CRN have published several special issues and edited volumes on the politics of knowledge policies, organised a range of workshops and conference panels, as well as initiated several joint research projects. You can find more information about the ERA-CRN here.