Daisuke Hirouchi is a PhD student at the Research Institute for Higher Education (RIHE), Hiroshima University in Japan. He earned his M.Ed from the same institute in 2006. In 2008-2009. His PhD project, “Student Participation in University Governance”, was supported by the Research Council of Norway (forskningsråd) during a year long visit to the University of OsloPFI. As a visiting researcher in Oslo, he worked under the supervision of Professor Dr. Maassen with strong support from Romulo Pinheiro.
RIHE is the oldest, biggest, and most famous research institute for higher education studies in Japan. RIHE has 11 professors, three research fellows (all 14 specialize in higher education studies) and strong Ph.D. and M.Ed programs.
Prof. Maassen arrived at Hiroshima station by Shinkansen (bullet train), on Aug. 8th and we had a happy reunion after one year.
To my surprise, it was his first visit to the central part of Hiroshima city, though he had visited RIHE several times before (because RIHE is located in the suburbs of Hiroshima city). (more…)
Interview with Hedda staff member Kristi Barcus, Senior Executive Officer at the Department of Education, University of Oslo.
She is the current administrative coordinator of the Master’s of Philosophy in Higher Education Programme, the Erasmus Mundus HEEM Programme, and the Higher Education in Africa Master Programme (NOMA). She earned her bachelor degree in education from the University of Arizona. She is also an alumni of the Master’s of Philosophy in Higher Education. Before moving to Oslo, she worked as an elementary school teacher in Tucson, Arizona.
Daisuke Hirouchi is a graduate student in the Doctoral Program at the Research Institute for Higher Education (RIHE), Hiroshima University in Japan. He arrived at the University of Oslo in August for one year of research.
Why did you decide to study Higher Education? I think I have been asked this question more than 500 times! In Japanese society it is quite rare to change the field of study from the bachelor level to PhD. My interest in Higher Education started developing as an undergraduate student because my college experience was a little bit different to what I had imagined and that got me thinking about universities and their functions. At this time I did not even know that such a field as Higher Education existed as an academic discipline. I was studying mechanical engineering as an undergraduate and after graduating from Nishinippon Institute of Technology in Fukuoka, Japan I started working. Then one day I simply discovered the home page describing the graduate program in Higher Education at Hiroshima University and knew that I would have to apply.
What is the topic of your research for your dissertation at Hiroshima University? To describe it in a broad sense, I’m examining the relationship between students and the university. More specifically I am focused on student participation in quality assurance.
Why did you decide to study in Norway? This question I have been asked many times as well! It was my research interest in student participation in quality assurance that led me to Norway. I began to study this topic around 2005 and looking at the data from that period, I found that Norway was one of the most advanced in terms of having student participation in quality assurance. Because of this, I wanted to learn more about Norway and the conditions here. I was fortunate to receive a scholarship from The Research Council of Norway (Forskningsrådet). Additionally, my main supervisor, Prof. Dr. Shinichi Yamamoto from RIHE at Hiroshima University, has a long friendship with Prof. Dr. Peter Maassen from the University of Oslo.
Dr. Berit Karseth is a Norwegian professor at the University of Oslo. Her research focus is on knowledge development in higher education, and she has held a tenure position at the Institute for Educational Research at the University of Oslo since 1997.
How did you get into the field of higher education?
As a student I was very interested in higher education policy and participated in a lot of debates about the educational, social and financial rights of the students. In fact, I was a full time member of the Executive Committee of the National Union of Students in Norway for one year. These experiences became very important for me in deciding the topic of my master thesis.
What has been your career path so far?
I finished my master degree in education in 1988. Before starting on the PhD programme in 1990, I worked for about one year at the Norwegian Research Council – very interesting!
I finished my PhD in 1995. At that time I applied for a position at NIFU STEP and fortunately I got the job. I really enjoyed working there – interesting research projects, as well as a lot of interesting people. However, I was offered a tenure position at the University of Oslo and the Institute for Educational Research in 1997, which I could not reject, and I have been there ever since. And if you ask me, I guess I will stay.
How did you get into the field of higher education? It was purely by chance. I was invited in 2001 to attend a conference organised by
the Ford Foundation on higher education in Africa in Durban, South Africa. I was
asked to write a paper, actually, to ‘dream’ of the ‘African university of the year
2050′. Since then, higher education has remained my core intellectual project.
Jennifer Olson is a Senior Executive Officer at the Institute for Educational research, University of Oslo(UiO). She oversees the UiO based Master’s of Philosophy in Higher Education Programmeand the Erasmus Mundus HEEM Programme . In this position, she works with a variety of students and university personnel both in Oslo and the HEEM partner universities. There is a also a fair share of traditional study administration tasks: organizing study plans, readings, registration, responding to emails—lots of emails and various routines of UiO. She has also worked on developing the flexible learning features: blog, online readers, reports and presentations related to the project.
Jennifer will be leaving UiO this summer to pursue career opportunities in her home country, the United States. We wish her the best!
What do you enjoy about your position? Working with students and the cross culture aspect. Not only being an American working in a Norwegian HE system, but seeing Tampere and Aveiro, and joint EU ventures coming into their own. Then throw in lots of students from all over the world and you have, as the UA professor said, a mini-UN in the midst of a study programme. What is your educational and career background? BA political science/international studies from Luther College, joined the Peace Corps in a project “Girls Education and Empowerment” during its first year in Togo (and Peace Corps as a whole), back to the US to work with a family literacy programme called Even Start, to UiO to study M.Phil in Comparative and International Education, started working on the Language and Education in Africa conference then moved into this job. The career path is a blending of directed and experiential education as well as hands-on project management/administration in the local and international policy spheres.