Tag Archives: higher education

CHESS Lecture with Barbara Sporn @ University of Zurich

On the 26th of May 2016 Barbara Sporn, professor of higher education management and former vice director of the Vienna University of Economics and Business, will hold a lecture titled «Die Universität zwischen Wirtschaftsrelevanz und Gesellschaftskritik: Erfahrungen aus Theorie und Praxis» at the University of Zurich. In this CHESS lecture she sheds light on the role of universities in nowadays society. Discussant is Prof. Dr. Antonio Loprieno, former director of the University of Basel.

The Lecture takes place  in Room KOL F 101 18.00 – 20.00 Uhr at the University of Zurich central.


We are currently visiting the International Centre for Higher Education Management (ICHEM) at the University of Bath, UK. It was very interesting to learn more about the DBA, a truly international doctoral programme in higher education management, at yesterday’s Founder’s Day presentation. Even more than that, the multi-level research at ICHEM makes us wonder if the various European research centres should work together more closely in a network-like cooperation …

Preliminary Program of the 11th Annual Conference of the German Association for Higher Education Research (GfHf)

The preliminary program of the 11th conference of the German Association for Higher Education Research (GfHf) has been announced.

The conference takes place on 6-8 April 2016 and is organized by the Bavarian State Institute for Higher Education Research and Planning (IHF). Further inormation regarding the conference can be found on the conference homepage. Binding registration is possible until 11 March 2016.

Conference “University Governance: Impeding or Facilitating Creativity”

From 29-30 September 2016 the conference “University Governance: Impeding or Facilitating Creativity” will take place at the Royal Palace of Herrenhausen (Schloss Herrenhausen), Hannover. The conference which is arranged by Academia Europaea, INCHER Kassel and the Volkswagen Foundation deals with the relationship between governance and creativity in higher education and research, two essential requirements of research and higher education.

Researchers will present their findings dealing with issues of governance and creativity in universities and practitioners of the field of higher education leadership will contribute from their practical experiences. In addition the Nobel Prize winner for chemistry in 2014 will present his view on the topic.

The conference promises inspiring presentations and interesting discussions on a topic which is highly relevant for the academic and scientific development! Click here for the Programm and further Information.

CfP: WK HSM Higher Education Management

We’re hosting the upcoming conference of the scientific commission higher education management (Wissenschaftliche Kommission Hochschulmanagement im VHB) on February 25-26 2016 in Hamburg.

Abstracts (max. 1000 words excluding references) of articles dealing with the management of higher education institutions can be submitted until December 14th 2015. Among the areas of interest are:

  • New forms of governance of universities
  • Measurability of research performance
  • Open access, social media, and ctizen science
  • Peer evaluation, performance indicators, and rankings
  • Autonomy of science

For further information see the call for papers (only in German).

Higher Education Journals List

I recently found a blog that provides a list of higher rducation journals. Although its last update seems to be in 2011, the list provides valuable information on journals’ publishers, impact factors, word limits, covered areas, and acceptance rates. Thanks to the Early Career Higher Education Researchers (ECHER) network for compiling the list.

CfP: 18th International Conference on Higher Education

Here’s a call for contributions for the 18th International Conference on Higher Education. The scholarly conference provides an interdisciplinary forum for researchers, practitioners and educators to discuss recent trends and and developments in the field of higher education. All accepted papers are published in conference proceedings and can be submitted for publication in a special issue. The conference takes place on April 19-20, 2016 in Boston. Submission deadline is October 19, 2015. For more information, visite the conference’s website.

CfP: German Association for Higher Education Research (GfHf)

The 11th Annual Conference of the German Association for Higher Education Research (Gesellschaft für Hochschulforschung GfHf) has announced its call for papers. The conference takes place on April 06-08 2016 at the Bavarian State Institute for Higher Education Studies and Planning (IHF).

The main theme is “New forms of governance in universities and research institutes: Current state of research and future perspectives”. Sub themes are (1) Opportunities and limitations of state involvement (2) External governance (3) Academic self-governance (4) Hierarchical self-governance (5) Competition.

Abstracts (500 Words) shall be submitted until December 8th 2015 to gfhf-2016@ihf.bayern.de. Find the full call for papers here (in German).

Impressions from the “Governance, Performance & Leadership of Research and Public Organizations” Symposium in Munich

On the 15th and 16th of July Alfred Kieser, Jetta Frost, Rick Vogel, Fabian Hattke, Jessica Petersen and me attended the “Governance, Performance & Leadership of Research and Public Organizations” symposium at the Bavarian Academy of the Sciences in Munich.

We heard several keynote addresses, inter alia of Margit Osterloh who gave a lecture about the shortcomings of current assessment procedures in academia and initiated a passionate discussion about this topic and John P.A. Ioannidis who illustrated paradoxes and room for improvement of research evaluations.

The parallel tracks concerned the central topics of the symposium (Governance, Performance & Leadership) and contained several interesting contributions. Rick Vogel, Alfred Kieser, Fabian Hattke and Jessica Petersen introduced the audience to the reasons of journals ranking-success. Jetta Frost, Fabian Hattke and me presented the audience how effects of performance measurement in academia can be captured through a multi-dimensional framework of scholars‘ organizational identification.

On the whole it was a really inspiring symposium with a nice composition of lecturers!

Strike against “grant capture targets” at Birmingham University?

As reported by the Times Higher Education, the pressure on academics to raise external funding may cause a labor dispute. In September, scholars of Birmingham University will decide on whether they go on strike to fight against “the imposition of grant capture as a generic duty and disciplinary necessity”. While third party funding becomes more and more important in German universities, the UK is already more involved in actions related to “New Public Management”. Let’s hope Germany and other European countries can seize a “late mover’s advantage” and do not make the same mistake as the UK by putting too much economic pressures on scholars. Stefan Grimm’s tragic fate should remind us that there’s more to science than “bring your own buck”.

CfP: The Higher Education Conference @ Amsterdam

On July 13-15th 2016, several European societies for higher education research (see GfHf for the German pendant) are organizing a conference at Amsterdam. Here’s a short abstract:

“Given the multi-level nature of the issues at stake within higher education, representatives of major EU and US networks of higher education researchers decided to combine their expertise and organize this joint conference in the Summer of 2016 at the Dutch capital of Amsterdam. Also a number of national higher education associations are actively involved. Particular purpose of this conference is to unite the macro, meso and micro levels of higher education research, therefore covering the scholarship of learning, teaching and organizing.”

Submission deadline is January 15th 2016. See the website for more information.

CfP: Working Papers in Higher Education Studies (WPHES)

We would like to inform you about a new call for papers in higher education studies.

WPHES is an international, peer-reviewed, open-access e-journal of working papers, stemming from the Erasmus Mundus Programme Master in Research and Innovation in Higher Education (MaRIHE) and the Master Programme in Higher Education Studies and Development (MHESD). The series intends to stimulate debate and exchange of research ideas that are in an early stage of development.
WPHES focuses on studies in higher education, and publishes research articles that explore the topic from a broad array of academic disciplines, methodologies, and perspectives. They particularly encourage submissions of research that discuss current changes and interactions within the ‘knowledge triangle’ of research, innovation and higher education. Suggestions for special issues on particular topics as well as contributions in the form of book reviews are also welcome.
While authors from any stage of their career are welcome for submission, the series intends to incorporate and develop papers from emerging authors, providing a space for post-graduate students, early-career researchers, academics and young professionals to present their ‘works in progress’ to a broad readership and connect with established experts.
Full papers for the next issue should be submitted by 30 April 2015. Submissions should be made via our website and adhere to the prescribed style guidelines.
Should you have any questions do not hesitate to contact wphes@wphes-journal.eu


CfP: Symposium of Public Administration Review

The topic of the symposium is “Institutional Design Frontiers of Publicness and University Performance”.

Guest Editors are Derrick Anderson from Arizona State University and Andrew Whitford from University of Georgia.

“Issues of organizational theory and institutional design increasingly transcend the boundary between theory and practice in complex social enterprises especially higher education. For example, as the federal government advances a program to create a new college rating system, the stated ambition of making access to public resources contingent upon institutional performance a host of important administrative, policy and design considerations are manifest. Similarly, as new organizational forms emerge in the realm of higher education and new public policies aim to protect public investments therein, questions rise relative to the attributes of organizations that promote and stifle public value.

Symposium topics include: Institutional setting and “Dimensional publicness” in higher education; public, private and for-profit sector differences in higher education, public value assessments of university performance, and the evolution and future of institutional design of in higher education.

Insights from perspectives beyond public administration, including (but not limited to) economics, organizational studies, sociology and higher education are welcomed in as much as they sufficiently integrate consideration of relevant public administration and policy themes. A special emphasis is placed on empirical contributions, both qualitative and quantitative, but conceptual papers will be considered.

Manuscripts are due by June 15,2015 to the coordinating guest editor at derrick.anderson@asu.edu. After initial screening, authors of selected manuscripts will be invited to submit directly to PAR’s Editorial Manager for double-blind review. Final decisions will be made by the journal after full peer review. Authors should follow PAR’s style guidelines.”

The Academy of Sciences and Humanities Hamburg, Academy Readings 2015

The Academy of Sciences and Humanities Hamburg aims to promote interdisciplinary research across universities and non-university research institutions and advocates dialogue between academia, the public, and politics. Members of the Academy are distinct scholars from Germany. For further information take a look at the homepage.

The Academy hosts inter alia academy readings with outstanding scientists. This years program focusses on academic freedom featuring readings from Torsten Wilholt, Paul Kirchhoff, Martin Carrier, and Bettina Schöne-Seifert. Especially for researchers in the field of higher education the readings are worth visting. See the program for further information about the lectures.

Impressions from Duisburg WK HSM

On February 21st Fabian and me attended the 16th Workshop for Higher Education Management at the University Duisburg-Essen, Campus Duisburg.

Sadly we could only join the second part of the workshop. Nevertheless we had a nice Saturday with interesting presentations. The lectures dealt with choice for studies, diversity and learning software and performance measurement in science.

Michaela Schaffhauser-Linzatti introduced us to the reasons for university and academic subject choice at the business faculty of the University of Vienna and reflected about the possible managerial consequences of the results. Winfried Reiß and Helge Krusche from the University of Paderborn gave us an entertaining and interactive impression of the interactive learning system OViSS 3.0. Laura Graf held a presentation about an explorative study concerning performance and performance measurement in science which resulted in an inspiring discussion about qualitative and quantitative measurement of scholarly performance. Omar Adam Ayaita presented a fruitful approach of how to identify productivity patterns of researchers beyond the current methods. Christoph Biester presented us some unexpected insights into scholar’s perception of the performance-related payment in academia. Finally, we presented some first results of our current project about the effects of performance measurement on medical scholars’ organizational identification and gained some positive and constructive feedback.

We are looking forward to next years’ workshop!

The European Higher Education Society invites to the 37th Annual EAIR Forum in Krems

From Sunday 30 August 2015 until Wednesday 2 September 2015 the Danube University of Krems is hosting  the 37th Annual EAIR Forum in Krems, Austria.

The theme of the 2015 EAIR Krems Forum is “From here to there: Positioning Higher Education Institutions”. It will address the importance of positioning higher education institutions for the future and deal inter alia with strategic profiling and new types of institutions in higher education.

Researchers, managers, administrators and policy makers are invited to submit proposals for presentations and posters that should be designed to contribute to one of the seven tracks dealing inter alia with governance and leadership and institutional research.

Informations about how to submit proposals, the focus of the tracks and the programme commitee can be found here and in this PDF.

Paper proposals can be subimtted until Monday 9 February 2015 (23:59 hrs. CET).

Katrin's Study of Mental Models accepted at the Academy of Marketing

Katrin Obermeit’s Paper Digging Deeper: Exploring Mental Models of University Choice has been accepted to be presented at the 2014 Annual Conference of the Academy of Marketing in Bournemouth (UK).

Read the abstract:

Market segmentation is an important topic for higher education marketing managers and researchers. Segmenting the student population for recruitment purposes requires a comprehensive understanding of how students choose their preferred institution. Previous research merely focused on cognitive rational or, rarely, emotional choice factors used by students segmented according to socio-demographic criteria.

However, these criteria do not comprise information about the sense making process of prospective students. The aim of this paper is to suggest an alternative segmentation approach based on mental models. By employing the Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique in interviews with 27 first-year bachelor students in Germany, we identified four ideal types of decision-makers with their respective mental models: the relational, the idler, the adventurer, and the utilitarian.

By means of these models we gain a profound understanding on how relevant rational and emotional issues are engaged in sense making of marketing signals when choosing a university. Moreover, contradictory results of previous research can be explained. On this basis, university marketers are provided with relevant insights to develop sophisticated strategies in order to identify and address the most promising target groups for their universities.

Call for a Resource Perspective in Higher Education Studies

In recent years, European universities have undergone many reorganizing efforts. Although differing from country to country, the dominant pattern is a centralization of activities and responsibilities (de Boer et al., 2005). Hitherto, higher education research mainly adresses this development from a governance perspective. This stream of research primarily analyses the scope of actions and formal responsibilities of different status and stakeholder groups in (de)central governing bodies (Mora, 2001). Although some organization-economic (Antonelli, 2007) and behavioristic (Cohen et al., 1972) studies exist, the governance perspective is primarily rooted in organization-sociology (Krücken, 2011). Centralization tendencies are discussed rather critical as they might endager the social function of universities (Birnbaum, 2004).

However, the governance point of view – with its focus on (formal) behavior control and allocation of decision rights – is only one among many theoretical frameworks to analyze organizations. Another prominent perspective is the resource or competence perspective (Noteboom, 2004; Williamson, 2000). It directs our attention to the generation of organization specific resources (Barney 1991) like organizational knowledge (Eisenhardt & Martin, 2000; Grant, 1996) or core competencies (Dierickx & Cool, 1989; Prahalad  & Hamel, 1990). From a resource perspective, the pooling of activities may support the core activities of teaching and research. In the long run, a centralized creation of common resources might even enhance the institution’s reputation, attracting international students, better scholars, and higher funding. Like governance-focused research, the resource perspective also acknowledges the possible shortcomings of a centralization. They mainly arise from observability and measurement problems of knowledge-based activities (Leitner & Warden, 2004). Thus, there is no such thing as ‘the’ optimal degree of centralization. The pros and cons must be carefully considered and balanced. However, by focussing the development and sharing of organizational knowledge and competencies, resource based studies of universities may provide novel and fruitful insights for the debate on which activities to centralize and which to delegate.

Our current study on University Commons develops a resource perspective for higher education institutions. It might supplement previous arguments made from a governance perspective. We’ll keep you posted..

The Workshop’s Abstracts

Here are the abstracts for this weeks workshop “Organization Turn in Higher Education Research”. Well, not exactly the full 15 pages.. It’s a wordcloud to give you an idea of the presentations at a glance. It’s pretty obvious that measurement issues are of high interest in the current discourse on organizing universities.