European Journal of Higher Education

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN: 21568235 / 21568243
Published by: Informa UK Limited
Total articles ≅ 450

Latest articles in this journal

, Susanna Young Håkansson, Bo Jarneving
Published: 12 November 2022
European Journal of Higher Education pp 1-19; https://doi.org/10.1080/21568235.2022.2138487

Abstract:
Gendered bias in peer-review and other forms of assessments is a well-studied area. But how do researchers actually execute their positions of power in recruitment processes? In Sweden, recruitment for academic tenure and the reviewers’ reports are public and thus open for scrutiny. This study uses both bibliographic coupling and close reading of three cases of reviewers’ reports to map cognitive closeness, distance and particularities as intrinsic aspects of peer review. All these concepts point towards the fact that reviewers are researchers as well. Their own research interests are both what makes their expert assessment possible as well as an aggravation, which calls for ‘situated knowledges’: a reflection of why and how they make the particular recruitment decisions they do. The cases are read against the backdrop of the emerging neoliberalisation of Swedish academia. At the breaking point between traditional academic ideals and neoliberal accounts of concepts like ‘research quality’, different forms of masculinities are struggling for hegemony, while the system’s lack of transparency creates disadvantage for women academics.
Published: 7 November 2022
European Journal of Higher Education pp 1-19; https://doi.org/10.1080/21568235.2022.2142147

Abstract:
The literature on the lived experiences of early-career researchers (ECRs) has not fully leveraged the analytical potential of the concepts of ‘sponsorship’ and ‘gatekeeping’ when examining the importance of senior scholars in their work lives. This article conceptualises the micro-politics of seniors’ sponsorship of ECRs based on 19 semi-structured interviews and two focus groups at a Danish university. Sponsorship can take the forms of co-authoring, creating network contacts, or securing funding. The micro-politics of sponsorship enable seniors to mobilise opportunities for juniors, often at the ‘backstage’ of academia. Sponsorship strengthens the interviewees’ feelings of job-related security, but not all ECRs are sponsored. According to the interviewees, sponsorship relationships develop for academic reasons, such as shared research interests, but are also a matter of luck, personal chemistry, and ‘homophily’, leading to subtle processes of inclusion and exclusion in academia. Regardless, sponsorship is widely considered a taken-for-granted, legitimised practice.
Published: 7 November 2022
European Journal of Higher Education pp 1-22; https://doi.org/10.1080/21568235.2022.2141814

Abstract:
This paper discusses Finnish-Russian relations from the perspective of cooperation in higher education, and particularly Finnish-Russian double degree programmes prior to 2022. It asks how internal stakeholders, in double degree programmes perceived the role of their cooperation from the point of view of interstate relations, and how cooperation had changed (if at all) after the political crisis intensified between the EU and Russia in 2014. The paper draws on research on EU-Russia relations, and on the link between higher education (collaboration) and international politics. The empirical part of the paper is based on a case study of double degree programmes between Finnish and Russian universities. Semi-structured interviews with internal stakeholders such as administrative and academic heads/coordinators of these programmes serve as the main source of primary materials. The study reveals that even though internal stakeholders explicitly wanted to depoliticise higher education cooperation and denied that interstate (or EU-Russia) relations would have had any impact on their collaboration, many of them still hoped that HE cooperation would help in improving the given relations. Accordingly, they argued for education diplomacy in the sense of ‘higher education for diplomacy’, but denied it in the sense of ‘diplomacy for higher education’.
Published: 28 October 2022
European Journal of Higher Education pp 1-17; https://doi.org/10.1080/21568235.2022.2138486

Abstract:
After 2014 student mobility between the EU and Russia has remained high. International academic mobility (IAM) is an important part of the internationalisation of higher education, and the EU and Russia have multiple rationales for it – academic, economic, political and social, among others. This article analyses the rationales of stakeholders at institutional and individual levels. The article focuses on the cross-cultural experiences of European and Russian students, and compares their rationales to stakeholders’ rationales at the (supra)national level. The article applies an interpretive approach to analyse students’ narrations collected with semi-structured interviews. The study confirmed that the EU had succeeded in its political and economic rationales with regard to European and Russian students. The Russia's rationales had been met only partially. The study revealed complex rationales of individual stakeholders that partially corresponded with the rationales of institutional stakeholders. Although the political and economic rationales of stakeholders at the institutional level are ‘driving forces’ for the continuing internationalisation of higher education, including IAM, individual stakeholders succeeded in realising economic, academic and social rationales that were important for their professional and personal development. The later contributed to better understanding at a people-to-people level, which could have a long-lasting effect in terms of improving EU-Russia relations.
Published: 12 October 2022
European Journal of Higher Education pp 1-21; https://doi.org/10.1080/21568235.2022.2118149

Abstract:
Enhancing students’ assessment literacy is essential in enabling all students to manage their learning successfully. Understanding of the assessment standards required and how to meet them impacts students’ learning outcomes within higher education (HE). However, there are many different conceptions of what assessment literacy comprises, making it difficult to provide guidance on the most effective approaches to enhancing student and academic understanding of this complex and multifaceted concept. With this concern in mind, we investigated the psychometric properties of an assessment tool and its suitability for use within the context of implementing and evaluating pedagogical interventions aimed at enhancing students’ and academics’ assessment literacy skills. The validity of the tool was confirmed using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses. Furthermore, the identified relationship between assessment literacy and feedback elements of the tool confirms the importance of an integrated approach to assessment. Drawing on extensive piloting of the tool across disciplines we highlight the importance of pedagogical co-construction approaches that promote shared understandings of assessment literacy between students and academics. Suggestions for further enhancement of this measure are proposed with the aim of supporting academics’ and students’ shared understandings and development of assessment literacy.
, , Geraldine Gorham, Emma Robinson
Published: 8 October 2022
European Journal of Higher Education pp 1-21; https://doi.org/10.1080/21568235.2022.2125422

Abstract:
The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a rapid pivot to online learning across many higher education institutions globally. This paper investigates to what extent assessment strategies changed as a result of this pivot. It explores the case of Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) in Ireland and finds that 95% of respondents altered their assessment practices in some way. Beyond identifying changing practice, the paper also develops a TARC (Typology of Assessment Responses to COVID-19) model which shows four categories of responses. Reactors are those academics who simply moved their assessments online. Adaptive Responders modified assessments slightly for the online environment. While Opportunists are those who used the opportunity of the pandemic to implement strategies they had been considering, the Committed Innovators engage in innovation in teaching and assessment strategies on an ongoing basis and, thus, they continued to do what they always did. The key factors that were considered in the decision-making about how to alter assessment strategies were pedagogical, practical considerations and the availability of support.
, , Attila Pausits
Published: 2 October 2022
European Journal of Higher Education pp 1-18; https://doi.org/10.1080/21568235.2022.2126380

Abstract:
This paper focuses on the interplay of European and national higher education policy in implementing a joint degree Erasmus Mundus programme on institutional level. We utilise the stakeholder approach to highlight and contrast the differing internationalisation rationales. Specifically, we analyse how the impact of external stakeholders (European Commission, national governments) and their policies are affecting higher education institutions at institutional and programme levels. As a particular case, we utilise the Finnish higher education system and the implementation of a joint degree Erasmus Mundus Masters programme ‘Master in Research and Innovation in Higher Education’ (MARIHE). We conclude that in Finland Erasmus Mundus programmes have not triggered significant legislative changes at national level supporting the goals attached to the Erasmus Mundus instrument. However, Erasmus Mundus provides important stimulus to institutions and their programmes to find unique ways to collaborate within the boundaries of existing legislative frameworks. The paper also shows that a detailed analysis of the Erasmus Mundus programme can be used as a concrete illustrative example of the multifaceted picture of the EU higher education policy.
Published: 21 September 2022
European Journal of Higher Education pp 1-19; https://doi.org/10.1080/21568235.2022.2120035

Abstract:
This article studies the salience of internal university stakeholders in collaborative degree programmes from the perspective of the sustainability of such programmes. In terms of academics and administrators involved in Finnish-Russian collaborative degrees, the article explores what contributes to their salience, and their effects on the implementation of internationalisation policies at individual, partnership and programme levels. In order to deepen understanding of collaborative degree sustainability as a particular case of internationalisation activity, the article addresses the attributes of the stakeholders’ salience as revealed during their interplay in Finnish-Russian double degree partnerships. Based on this analysis, the article highlights why the stakeholders in Finnish and Russian universities attribute their respective salience differently, identifies these differences, and assesses their impact on double degree sustainability.
Published: 21 September 2022
European Journal of Higher Education pp 1-24; https://doi.org/10.1080/21568235.2022.2125887

Abstract:
Despite relatively recent, higher education has evolved into a consolidated field of study. This paper examines how this field evolved in Portugal. The goal was to understand when it first appeared, how it evolved over time, which scientific areas was it associated with, and what have been its main objects of study. Tight’s classification of objects of study was used to inspire content analysis, which was used to systematise information on doctoral theses in higher education held or recognised in Portugal between 1970 and 2019. Descriptive statistics completed this analysis in accordance with the study objectives. The study findings reveal that the number of theses on higher education-related themes or subthemes has increased over time, particularly in the last decade. Two major clusters of objects of study were also identified, one more relevant, focusing on Teaching and Learning and Students and the other, less representative, focusing on System Policies, Quality, Institutional Management, and Academics. Moreover, findings suggest that research in higher education in Portugal is focused on the ‘usual’ scientific areas, namely social sciences, and education. Despite some limitations, the study adds significantly to the understanding of higher education as a field of study, opening-up new avenues for future research.
, S. Berndt, A. Felix
Published: 13 September 2022
European Journal of Higher Education pp 1-20; https://doi.org/10.1080/21568235.2022.2118148

Abstract:
Most studies on remedial courses are based on their mandatory attendance. However, changes may have occurred in the attendance policy of developmental math courses since the state of Florida decided to overcome obligatory math remediation for unprepared students. Consequently, researchers have recently started focusing on voluntary math remedial courses. In general, literature that goes back to the 1980s suggests that developmental coursework should be mandatory for unprepared first-year students. Since most universities in the US have always followed these recommendations, hardly any empirical evidence exists for the participation of students in voluntary remediation. Conversely, the remedial education system in Europe and particularly Germany is primarily voluntary. Therefore, this study exploratively examines the participation of students in two optional developmental math courses: a so-called preparatory course and a so-called bridging course. The findings suggest that summer-school-like preparatory courses miss their target group of at-risk students, whereas semester-running bridging courses reach it.
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