Higher Education

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Proportion of permanent contracts by wave and labour market sector
Conditional effect plot (predictive margins) of the interaction effect of contract type and labour market sector based on M3
Conditional effect plot (contrasts of predictive margins) based on M2 with additional control for waves since obtaining permanent employment
Previous research has shown that temporary employment is negatively associated with many psychological and job-related outcomes, such as well-being, health, wages, organisational commitment, and job satisfaction. Among recent doctoral graduates, the proportion of temporary contracts is particularly high. However, research on the association between contract type and job satisfaction specifically among doctoral graduates is scarce. Therefore, whether and how obtaining permanent employment affects doctoral graduates’ job satisfaction remains a notable research gap that we intend to narrow by using panel data from a recent doctoral graduation cohort and by adopting a panel research design. We examine what effect obtaining permanent employment has on doctoral graduates’ job satisfaction and whether this effect differs by labour market sector. We use panel data that are representative of the 2014 doctoral graduation cohort in Germany and their career trajectories up to five years after graduation. We apply fixed-effects regression to approximate the within-effect of obtaining a permanent employment contract on job satisfaction. The analyses indicate that obtaining permanent employment increases doctoral graduates’ job satisfaction and that this increase is not driven by time-varying confounders. We also find that doctoral graduates’ labour market sector moderates the effect: the increase in job satisfaction is highest in the academic sector and statistically significantly different from that in the private sector. Overall, this paper offers new insights into the effect of obtaining a permanent contract on the job satisfaction of recent doctoral graduates throughout their first years after graduation, when they are often employed on temporary contracts.
  • Tebeje MollaTebeje Molla
  • Denise CuthbertDenise Cuthbert
Crisis makes bold policy actions possible. In responding to socioeconomic and technological ruptures, policymakers create new imaginaries or revitalise existing ones. With the Australian Government’s Job-Ready Graduates (JRG) reform during the COVID-19 pandemic as an empirical case, this paper shows how crisis instrumentalism and policy imaginaries intersect to effect swift policy changes. Drawing on a thematic analysis of key documents that constitute the JRG reform, we highlight three findings. First, the reformers used a new crisis context to repackage pre-existing policy agendas. Second, in justifying the timeliness of the reform, rather than constructing new imaginaries, the Government reactivated old neoliberal visions of society and the economy. Finally, the reform agendas are characterised by reductionist accounts of the value of university education, a nativist view of the future workforce, and the omissions of key issues: research training, social justice, and the urgency of decarbonising the economy. We close the paper by arguing that crisis makes swift reform possible to the extent that key actors can mobilise new or pre-existing policy imaginaries .
This article seeks to decenter the Global North knowledge production about ‘work–life balance’ (WLB) in academia by applying a temporal gaze to illuminate WLB possibilities in Bangladeshi academia where institutional WLB policies are absent. Drawing on Adam’s (2008) timescapes and Flaherty’s (2002) time work concepts, we focus on Bangladeshi women faculty’s experiences as an example of how a temporal gaze can help illuminate the interrelationships between time, gender, and life transitions underlying women faculty accounts of WLB in a Global South context. Drawing on the narratives of three Bangladeshi women faculty in different career stages and family statuses, we probe how women faculty manipulate, control, or customize their temporal experience (i.e. temporal agency) in response to local gendered norms and life transitional episodes (e.g. separation, academic mobility, illness, and/or retirement). We demonstrate how WLB is not a static outcome, but a work-in-progress, and that a temporal lens helps illuminate multiple time work strategies that emerge during life transitional episodes. We argue that a temporal lens troubles the outcome (quantitative, clock-oriented) and spatial orientation of WLB practices, as our participants constantly blurred work/home boundaries refracted across social positionality, gendered norms, and relationships. By examining the temporal dimensions underlying WLB, we contribute a comprehensive understanding of the interrelationships between academic/personal life, various roles, and temporality in a South Asian context.
Indirect effect of procedural and distributive fairness on academic engagement by academic identification and university legitimacy (Study 2). Note. Entries are standardized coefficients. ***p < 0.001
Indirect effect of procedural and distributive fairness on academic burnout by academic identification and university legitimacy (Study 2). Note. Entries are standardized coefficients. ***p < 0.001
Means, standard deviations, and bootstrapped zero-order correlations with 95% standardized confi- dence intervals (Study 1)
Bootstrapped regression models with perceived university legitimacy as the dependent variable (Study 1)
Means, standard deviations, and bootstrapped zero-order correlations (Study 2)
A considerable body of literature has documented the significance of fair treatment in terms of generating trust towards decision-makers across different institutional contexts. It has also been demonstrated that even young children are sensitive to procedural justice, and that experiences of both fairness and unfairness help shape young people’s wider attitudes towards authority. In this paper, we seek to extend these findings into the academic context. We use data from two separate studies of university students in Poland. In study 1 ( N = 315), using a survey to capture students’ actual experiences, we find that fair treatment was a stronger predictor of perceived legitimacy of university authorities than were fair outcomes. In study 2 ( N = 751), also using a survey of a nationally representative sample of university students, we demonstrate that this procedural effect is mediated by students’ identification with their university, and that trust in academic authorities translates into higher levels of engagement and lower levels of burnout. Academic identification fully mediated the relationship between both procedural and distributive fairness and engagement and partly mediated the relationship between the two dimensions of fairness and burnout. We conclude that the experience of procedural fairness leads students to more strongly identify with their university and thereby enhances their trust in university authorities.
In past decades, economists have focused on human capital and its effect on economic growth and development. In recent decades, attention has been on gender human capital inequality and its role on economic growth. The purpose of this research was to illustrate the effects of human capital inequality in male and female on economic growth in different areas of the world. Utilizing statistic models and econometric, a descriptive- analytic research method was chosen for this study. Statistical population consisted of persons over 15 and 25 years old. Data were analyzed by using human capital Gini coefficient. Result showed that in developing and advanced countries to the extent that human capital inequality in male and female decreases, economic growth increases significantly. An important finding of this study is that decreasing human capital inequality for females has more positive effect on economic growth than males. Keywords: Human Capital, Gini Coefficient, Gender Human Capital Inequality, Economic Growth.
A flowchart of article search and selection procedure
Academic identity refers to the experiences, ideas, beliefs and values of academics regarding the core values and principles of academic work. It is significant in defining the professional judgments, attitudes and behaviours of academics, and is fundamentally (re)constituted in the social, economic, cultural and political context of the academy. Hence, how the recent changes in the academy resulting from neoliberal mode of government is reflected on academic identity has attracted the attention of scholars globally. Although numerous studies have been conducted investigating academic identity in the face of these changes, the current understanding remains to be enriched through identifying transcendental features and patterns across studies conducted in diverse contexts. With this purpose, we conducted a meta-synthesis of 24 studies addressing academic identity in the neoliberalized academy. Three identity trajectories (i.e. the enterprising academic, the ambivalent academic and the authentic academic) emerged from the juxtaposition of neoliberal norms and the agentic endeavours of academics. The results were discussed from the perspective of Archer’s dualism. Implications were made for future studies and for practice.
Sibling correlations in the attainment of (a) PhDs and academic careers, (b) lower levels of education, and (c) master’s degrees by fields of study. N = 722611. ML estimates derived from random-effects probit models with 95% confidence intervals
Family background has been shown to be a strong determinant of educational attainment, yet relatively little is known about the role that family background plays in PhD attainment or in the selection into academic careers. In this study, we estimate sibling correlations from Finnish full population register data to comprehensively assess the importance of family background in selection into academia. Our results show that family background accounts for over a third of the overall variation in becoming a PhD and subsequently an academic — a share which is up to four times as large as implied by conventional comparisons by parental education. However, we did not find evidence that family background would be an exceptionally strong determinant of doctoral outcomes when compared to other educational outcomes. Our findings further suggest that sibling similarities in PhD attainment and academic careers may largely be attributed to sibling similarities in prior educational achievement rather than to other family background characteristics.
Odds ratio for higher education in each value model, main sample. Estimated odds ratios and the upper and lower limits of the 0.95 confidence interval for the higher education variable in a model of each value. Darker shading indicates that the estimate of the odds ratio is statistically different from 1.000 at the 0.05 level, lighter shading that it is not
Odds ratio for higher education in each value model, gender sub-samples. Estimated odds ratios and the upper and lower limits of the 0.95 confidence interval for the higher education variable in a model of each value, estimated using the gender sub-samples. Darker shading indicates that the estimate of the odds ratio is statistically different from 1.000 at the 0.05 level, lighter shading that it is not
Odds ratio for higher education in the value models, generation sub-samples. Estimated odds ratios and the upper and lower limits of the 0.95 confidence interval for the higher education variable in a model of each value, estimated using the generation sub-samples. Darker shading indicates that the estimate of the odds ratio is statistically different from 1.000 at the 0.05 level, lighter shading that it is not. * In the family model using the Post-War sub-sample, the upper and lower limits of the 0.95 confidence interval for the higher education variable were 25.043 to 0.274
Odds ratio for higher education in four value models, GDP per capita sub-samples. Estimated odds ratios and the upper and lower limits of the 0.95 confidence interval for the higher education variable across four values, estimated using the per capita GDP sub-samples. Darker shading indicates that the estimate of the odds ratio is statistically different from 1.000 at the 0.05 level, lighter shading that it is not
Odds ratio for higher education in four value models, by Inglehart-Welzel category, sub-samples. Estimated odds ratios for the higher education variable across four values, estimated using the Inglehart-Welzel category sub-samples. Darker shading indicates that the estimate of the odds ratio is statistically different from 1.000 at the 0.01 level; lighter shading, at the 0.05 level; and no shading, that the estimate is not statistically different from 1.000 at the 0.05 level
The collection of data on values through instruments such as the World Values Survey has focused attention on two opposing but inter-related trends, namely the combination of substantial cultural change in many countries and the persistence of distinctive traditional values. This reflects the interplay between social changes associated with modernisation and globalisation—including increased global trade and the rise of global popular culture—with traditional values country-specific systems. In this paper, we introduce a focus on another potentially important source of change, that of widening higher education participation and attainment, and the extent to which self-reported values differ between university graduates and non-graduates. We investigated this question using data from the most recent collection of the World Values Survey (2017–2020) for six core values—family, friends, leisure, work, politics, and religion—and tested for the influence of higher education attainment on the perceived “importance” of each value and the extent to which this influence differs across values and in gender, generation and country grouping sub-samples. We find evidence for consistent effects in most contexts, with no statistical differences between graduates on non-graduates in relation to the propensity to view family and work as important, statistically significant positive effects on the propensity of graduates to view friends, leisure, and politics as important, and a significant negative effect in relation to religion.
Average annual rates of growth of UK offshore enrolments 2002–2021
This article examines enrolment trends in UK transnational higher education since the early 2000s. During the first phase, which lasted until the mid-2010s, TNE enrolments grew rapidly but thereafter, during the second phase, levelled off very significantly. A third phase of high enrolment growth coincides with the departure of the UK from the European Union and the start of the Covid pandemic. The article focuses on medium-longer-term supply and demand factors which, collectively, are resulting in a marked slowdown in TNE enrolments at British universities.
Two interacting activity systems: minimal model for third generation activity theory (Center for Activity Theory and Developmental Work Research, 2003–2004)
Third generation activity theory: joint-activity system of team teaching
(adapted from Dang, 2013, p. 54; Engeström, 2001, p. 136; Tsui & Law, 2007, p. 1293)
Joint-activity system of team teaching — contradictions and resolutions/strategies
of the coding scheme
In the higher education (HE) landscape worldwide, team teaching has become increasingly common. The growing prevalence of team teaching in HE has mainly been driven by the necessity to cope with larger classes, workload requirements, and the complexity of delivering multi-disciplinary courses or to provide a more stable quality of course portfolio over time. Whilst there are advantages of this teaching model, team teaching is not without challenges to team teachers. Managing individual differences within teams has been identified in the extant literature as one of the most significant challenges in team teaching. This study maps the contours of practice that surround individual differences in team teaching, focusing on the contradictions arising from individual differences and their resolutions. Adopting a sociocultural activity theory perspective, this research explores contradictions arising from team members’ individual differences and how team teachers resolve these contradictions. Data include in-depth interviews with 16 academics who have team taught successfully in multiple disciplines at two Australian universities. Three main types of contradictions arising from individual differences were found. Contradictions may relate to academics’ content knowledge expertise, academic autonomy, role ambiguity, and power hierarchy within a teaching team. Findings reveal these team teachers adopted multiple strategies to resolve contradictions and work together on their shared object of student learning. Findings challenge the common view in the existing literature that values homogeneity in teaching teams and sees contradictions as detrimental to team teaching. The study has multiple implications for research on team teaching and for academics and institutions embarking on this teaching model.
Four organizational cultures of universities adapted from the McNay’s model
Conceptual framework of the present study
Dominant forms of organizational culture components among private universities
Prevalent organizational culture components among private universities based on the period of establishment
This paper seeks to categorize and analyze the organizational culture and organizational culture components – leadership style, decision-making modes, standards of performance, evaluation strategies, perception of students, organizational unit, goal definition, and source of authority – in a predominantly private higher education sector. By examining the perceptions of faculty and senior academic administrators of the organizational culture of their respective universities, using a model that identifies cultures by dimensions of policy definition and operational control to produce the quadrants of collegium, bureaucracy, corporation, and enterprise, it provides insights on what organizational culture characteristics result in an effective institution able to respond to the ever-changing demands of the higher education landscape. It also seeks to explore whether the historical period of establishment of the institution influences its organizational culture and the features it comprises. Findings suggested that multiple organizational cultures co-exist at a time while some are predominant. The corporate culture was mostly prevailing within all universities established at any time period. It was permanently overlaid on bureaucracy so that many institutions operated in highly regulated environments with a mixture of both modes of governance. Emerging universities were found to be more entrepreneurial as per the loose-tight coupling defined in the model and the perceptions of participants. Despite the wealth of organizational culture literature on the benefits of less control-oriented cultures, private universities in Lebanon have not transformed significantly. Rather, they tend to adhere more to organizational cultures that emphasize stability amid turbulence, thus acting as a kind of security blanket or risk mitigate.
Japanese college students’ akogare (meaning “longing”) for an idealized West has conventionally been researched and discussed under the assumption that the West is synonymous with Anglophone countries and that an encounter with the West is categorically an international experience. The present study provides new insights by exploring Japanese college students’ longing for an idealized France through a content analysis of blogs and reflective entries written by students during or after participating in a French study abroad program. The analysis reveals that Japanese students from prestigious universities display a high level of satisfaction irrespective of how well they are able to use French. This finding, which is intertwined with the nature of fun-oriented study abroad programs, is also related to the widespread use of English in Europe. The linguistic discovery reminds students of the overriding global status of English vis-à-vis French as a regional language. The study provides future research directions and pedagogical implication in light of (1) increasingly fierce competition for the securement of language course takers, which drives the institutional reproduction of language ideologies and the implementation of fun study abroad programs, and (2) the long-term effectiveness of such ideology-driven survival strategies amid the changing popularity of foreign languages in Japan and elsewhere.
Although scholars have noted the detrimental nature of the various changes in higher education prompted by neoliberalism, its impact on the experiences of international Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students has yet to be adequately studied. Informed by Bourdieu’s concepts of doxa, field, habitus, and capital, this paper examines the ways in which neoliberalism as doxa in the Australian higher education field has colonised the perception and practice of Chinese international HDR students whilst some students were able to demonstrate resilience to the pervasive neoliberal practices. The paper draws on a larger qualitative research project including interviews with 18 Chinese HDR students from four Australian universities. Data suggest that Chinese HDR research students gradually developed intensified dispositions of self-reliance and self-exploitation in response to neoliberal academic practices whilst others were enculturated into a floating habitus (or vulnerable position) in relation to academic publishing as they attempted to negotiate the tensions across fields and over time. Data further reveal that some participants demonstrated resilience to neoliberalism when empowered by their supervisors with less utilitarian and more critically reflexive supervisory practices. The paper argues that the embrace of neoliberalism in the Australian higher education field has become widespread yet controversial, and that thinking and enacting resilience sociologically may de-neoliberalise the higher education field in Australia and beyond.
of treatment effects (IV estimation)
Treatment effect on considering a non-beaten path, depending on the starting level of CDMSE
Despite an almost endless list of possible study programs and occupational opportunities, high school students frequently focus on pursuing a small number of well-known study programs. Students also often follow gender-typical paths and restrict their attention to study programs in which the majority of students consists of same-gendered people. This choice pattern has far-reaching consequences, including persistent gender segregation and an undersupply of graduates in emerging sectors of the industry. Building on rational choice and social psychological theory, we argue that this pattern partly occurs due to information deficits that may be altered by counseling interventions. To assess this claim empirically, we evaluated the impact of a counseling intervention on the intended choice of major among high school students in Germany by means of a randomized controlled trial (RCT). We estimate the effect by instrumental variable estimation to account for two-sided non-compliance. Our results show that the intervention has increased the likelihood that participants will consider less well-known or gender-atypical study programs, particularly for high school students with lower starting levels of information. Supplementary analyses confirm that a positive impact on information seems to be one of the relevant causal mechanisms. These results suggest that counseling services have the potential to guide high school students to less gender-typical and well-known majors, possibly reducing gender segregation and smoothing labor market transitions after graduation.
Predicted probabilities from random-effect logistic regression models of studying towards an Australian qualification and studying towards a degree. BNLA, waves 1–5 (2013–2017). Based on results from the model presented in columns (1) and (2) in Table 2. For discrete variables (e.g. marital status), we present predicted probabilities for each of the variable’s categories. For continuous variables (e.g., age), we selected representative values of the variable’s distribution and presented predicted probabilities for those values. Orange and green colouring is used to visually separate results for different, adjacent variables. Bars without filling denote discrete variables in which none of the categories was statistically significant relative to the reference category or continuous variables that were not statistically significant
Predicted probabilities from random-effect logistic regression models of the odds of being a student, by gender and time in Australia, employment status and marital status. BNLA, waves 1–5 (2013–2017). Based on results from the model presented in Table 7
Sample means for outcome variables, by survey wave
Humanitarian migrants are amongst the most marginalised population groups in countries within the Global North, including Australia. An important channel for these migrants to successfully settle into the host society and improve their socio-economic outcomes is participation in the local education system, particularly in higher-education options. However, we know surprisingly little about the socio-demographic factors that structure inequalities in humanitarian migrants’ access to (higher) education, with evidence from robust quantitative studies being particularly scarce. The present study fills this important gap in knowledge by analysing Australian longitudinal survey data (Building a New Life in Australia; n = 2109 migrants and 8668 person-year observations) by means of random-effect panel regression models. Key results indicated that higher English-language proficiency and pre-arrival education levels are core factors fostering greater engagement with the Australian higher-education system amongst humanitarian migrants. Humanitarian-migrant women in our sample exhibited a greater adjusted likelihood of being a student than humanitarian-migrant men. Altogether, our findings confirmed inequalities in accessing the Australian higher-education system amongst humanitarian migrants, and that policy attention is required to redress this situation. However, they also stress that a ‘one size fits all’ policy strategy may be neither sufficient nor appropriate to boost their education prospects.
In this paper, I study management and business education in Pakistan to evaluate their suitability for the local context and their compatibility with Islamic philosophy of education. I use decolonial theory and Iqbalian poetry to craft an evaluative lens for management education and to generate an alternative critical discourse grounded in theology. I found that utilitarianism and managerialism taught in the business schools is creating “captive minds” and is not compatible with traditional Pakistani norms and values. I use decolonial theorists’ idea of pluriversality to offer an alternative. In this manner, I contribute to the critical educational philosophy by showing its parochial character. I argue that addressing the legacy of colonialism is important to develop an emancipatory and new way of thinking about education.
Number of switches to additional in-person instruction per day in July 2020
Drawing from resource dependence theory, this study explores the extent to which international student enrollment related to institutional decisions to shift to in-person instructional strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. We focus our study particularly on July 2020, a time during which tensions around international students' legal status in the US were especially high. Our results suggest that leaders at private not-for-profit institutions were significantly more likely to shift instructional strategies to include more in-person instruction, thus allowing more international students to enroll but also placing at risk the health of individuals on their campuses and in their local communities. A similar result was not found for public institutions. These results speak to the extent to which private institutions in the US have become financially dependent on international students' tuition and have clear implications for the financial futures of US higher education institutions. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10734-021-00768-7.
Professional identity of academics
Emotional resilience and the continuum of professional identity negotiation. Note: T stands for teacher identity; R stands for researcher identity; E stands for emotion
In the global competition of higher education, an increasing emphasis has been placed on university research excellence. Accordingly, academics have to engage in both research and teaching activities. The multiple and fragmented identities of academics can sometimes be contested, leading to identity tensions, and impeding their professional development. This raises the issue of how, and whether at all, academics integrate their professional identities in a culture of performativity. Against this backdrop, this qualitative study explored how a specific group of Chinese academics negotiate identity tensions as teachers and researchers through an emotional resilience lens. The narrative frames and interviews with 10 college English teachers yielded four types of identity negotiation in the continuum from identity conflicts to identity integration mediated by emotional resilience, including the disheartened performer, the miserable follower, the strenuous accommodator, and the fulfilled integrator. Emotional resilience as a mediator in professional identity tensions is discussed. Our findings offer a nuanced understanding of the complexity of academics developing an integrated professional identity. Policymakers should recognize the potential of emotional resilience in integrating academic professional identities and jointly support academics to cope with their identity tensions. However, if identity tensions are too complex for academics to solve, the policymakers should consider tensions as signals that the existing institutional policies may be counterproduc-tive and need to be revised, rather than merely calling on academics' resilience.
Conceptual framework
Learning communities are often associated with higher student engagement and academic achievement. Few studies to date, however, have examined the impacts of these practices among international students. To address this gap, the following questions led the current study: “To what degree is participation in learning communities associated with international students’ (1) engagement in educationally beneficial activities, (2) learning outcomes (e.g., general, practical, and professional development), and (3) overall satisfaction with their institutional environment and educational experience?” Drawing on student development theory, we designed a path analysis using a structural equation modelling to assess both the direct and the indirect effects. The results suggest that while students’ participation in learning communities positively correlates to student learning gains and satisfaction, the student engagement indicators are the significant mediating predictors for both outcomes, thus recommending that institutions interested in assessing the impacts of learning communities should determine not only the direct effects but also the indirect effects of these practices. Our results also show differences in participation patterns among international student subgroups. Institutions should be aware of such differences and make efforts to scale high impact practices like learning communities to provide opportunities for more students to become involved in these educationally purposeful activities. The findings call for future research aimed at identifying the environmental and individual conditions that are most conducive to the cultivation of these practices for international students.
Network of approaches to teaching. Note: Network representation using the EBICgLasso algorithm
Standardized centrality indices for the EBIC graphical LASSO network, for all items of the R-ATI
Bootstrapped confidence intervals of estimated edge weights. Note: The black line indicates the bootstrapped mean values of the confidence interval, the red line indicates the sample values, and the gray area the 95% confidence intervals
Centrality stability of the network
Sample characteristics
Over time, the academics’ approaches to teaching (i.e., content- or learning-focused approach) were intensively studied. Traditionally, studies estimated the shared variance between the items that describe a behavioral pattern (i.e., the psychometric approach), defined as a learning- or content-focused approach to teaching. In this study, we used a different perspective (i.e., network analysis) to investigate academics’ approaches to teaching. We aimed to bring in new insights regarding the interactions between the elements that define academics' approaches to teaching. We used the Revised Approaches to Teaching Inventory to collect responses from 705 academics (63.97% female) from six Romanian universities. The main results indicated that academics’ conceptions about the subject matter are central to their preferences concerning the adoption of a content-focused or a learning-focused approach to teaching. The estimated network is stable across different sub-samples defined by the academic disciplines, class size, academics' gender, and teaching experience. We highlighted the implications of these findings for research and teaching practice in higher education. Also, several recommendations for developing pedagogical training programs for academics were suggested. In particular, this study brings valuable insights for addressing academics’ conception about the subject matter and suggests that this could be a new topic for pedagogical training programs dedicated to university teachers.
Teaching experience and teaching qualification status predicting MSP use. Respondents’ use of MSPs (i.e. MSP score), tended to increase with teaching experience only for individuals who did not declare a teaching qualification (hollow triangles, dashed trend line). Conversely, respondents with, or working towards, a teaching qualification (filled squares, solid trend line) largely reported high use of metacognitive devices. The multiple regression was statistically significant
MSPs differed in their extent of use. Note: A, analysis of discipline content; D, declarative knowledge and understanding of the discipline; E, metacognitive evaluation; M, metacognitive monitoring; S, strategic knowledge
Possession of a teaching qualification affected which type MSPs were used. Note: Error bars represent the standard error of the mean
Metacognition is the knowledge and regulation of one’s cognition and has been associated with academic performance across all levels of education, including higher education (HE). Previously, a gap has been reported between extensive metacognition research and elaboration of theory versus minimal inclusion of metacognition in teaching practice in primary and secondary education. The present study investigated whether this theory-practice gap extends to HE. Furthermore, we took a novel approach to evaluating academics’ broad and implicit inclusion of metacognitive supportive practices (MSPs) in their teaching practice. A questionnaire and semi-structured interviews were used to evaluate awareness of metacognition and inclusion of 16 MSPs in undergraduate teaching among 72 academics in scientific disciplines at a UK research-intensive university. We found that a minority of academics (27/72, 37.5%) were familiar with metacognition and, of those who were, they typically emphasised knowledge of cognition, rather than regulation of cognition. Nonetheless, all respondents incorporated at least two MSPs in their teaching, although typically in a limited fashion, emphasising knowledge and understanding of discipline content rather than cognitive regulation. Compared to academics without a teaching qualification, respondents holding or working towards a teaching qualification used significantly more MSPs, earlier in their career, and used significantly more MSPs aligned with regulation of cognition. This study demonstrates that the metacognition theory-practice gap extends to HE and highlights the scope for staff development programmes to better support students’ metacognitive development relevant for their studies and post-graduation careers.
Feeling part of a community of learners has been shown to foster students’ engagement and sense of belonging, leading to higher retention and achievement of learning outcomes. The pivot to online teaching caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a reappraisal of all aspects of the student experience, including students’ capacity and opportunity to engage in meaningful learning communities online. There has been some emergent literature which considers how to facilitate online learning communities in the emergency remote teaching context prompted by COVID-19. However, there is a notable lack of literature which considers how learning communities are defined, understood, and negotiated by students in this unique teaching context. Given how students’ perceptions of learning communities contributes to Higher Education policy (e.g. through the National Student Survey), this is important to understand. In the present study (N = 309), we qualitatively investigated students’ understanding and definition of the term “learning community” during a time of emergency pivot to online teaching and learning. A reflexive thematic analysis of students’ first-hand responses generated three dominant themes: “Feeling connected: Bridging the gap whilst physically distanced”, “Feeling included: Visible and valued”, and “Feeling together: Mutuality and the shared experience”. We discuss the implications for these conceptualisations of an online learning community and suggest ways forward for Higher Education pedagogy.
This article examines international student mobility (ISM) as a process of “aspiration on the go” for African students in China—a burgeoning yet under-researched international student flow. Drawing on 15 months of fieldwork at a Chinese university, we present ethnographic case studies of African students that unveil their varied aspirations for travelling to study in China and, more importantly, reflect the diversity and dynamics of their aspirations on the go in confrontation with the realities they have encountered during their stay. We demonstrate that students’ aspirations might be preserved, transformed, reconfigured, placed on hold or go well to realisation, each of which impacts their ISM navigation, such as decisions to leave, to stay or to move to another university/country. We argue that adopting a dynamic and processual approach is important for rethinking international student aspirations and mobilities, in that it not only identifies nuances that diversify our understanding of what international education may mean for different individuals—especially for those from less-privileged backgrounds in an ISM flow within the Global South—but also bridges such binaries as imagination and reality, promise and precarity and structural force and agency that are usually treated separately in the literature of ISM.
This essay will look at the key challenges public Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) faced in Brazil during the COVID-19 lockdown. The pandemic led universities to close their campuses and adopt an online interface for academic activities. However, many of these institutions do not have the technological infrastructure for such, nor did the staff and students who suffered further social exclusions. The president of Brazil referred to the pandemic as a “little flue” and later on responded to measures adopting the lockdown as a “hysteric” act that “will lead to an economic crash”. Considering the lack of support from the government and the process of dismantling resources for public HE since the beginning of the new presidency elected in 2018, the COVID-19 lockdown quickly revealed the institutional racism, elitism and ableism evident in this administration’s agenda. The consequence of the agenda is the cuts on research funds and lack of infrastructure to provide online classes, as examples of the severe policies that promote the erasure of marginalised groups. Such policies follow Sylvia Wynter’s “Argument”, revealing a code of symbolic life and death of how human order organises itself through the coloniality of power/being. In order to show how such symbolic code is engraved in the Brazilian educational system, this study explores narratives of staff and students from three universities per region of Brazil to identify how the colonial legacies are correlated with postulates of power in the Brazilian HEIs setting during the pandemic. The paper discusses the challenges experienced while keeping the HE sector active during a pandemic that the government has belittled. The conclusions advocate for organised strategies at the union and social movements level to dismantle the colonial occupation put in place in the foundation of the HEIs and reinforced by the current necropolitical administration.
In educational research, there has been much stricture of neoliberalism as a scourge. In the higher education sector, the neoliberal turn has been observed as eroding academic freedom and deprofessionalising academics. Early career academics are often described as victims of neoliberalism. In this paper, we take a positive perspective through a deep dive into resilience that enables self-transformation and, potentially, system change. Our paper is situated in the Chinese higher education context where the “up-or-out” system has been put in place, mirroring the neoliberal university at a global range. We — a mid-career researcher and an early career academic — analyse our collective narratives generated through WeChat text and voice message. Drawing insight from Bourdieu’s reflexive sociology, our narratives lead to four themes: capital accumulation and self-transformation, shaping the publication habitus, emancipation from symbolic violence, and resilience to symbolic domination. We conclude the paper with a call for sociology of resilience and recommendations for deneoliberalising higher education.
Two constitutive and two regulative principles organising four basic concepts as related to theory of education and theory of Bildung (
modified from Benner, 2015, p. 130)
HEL as a multilevel and multi-actor phenomenon (developed from Uljens & Elo, 2020)
Today, multilevel analytics on educational governance, management, and leadership are common in educational leadership research, drawing on a variety of approaches and academic disciplines. This article develops a threefold critique of the state of the art. First, this article argues that research on higher education leadership often represents an unreflected position regarding the societal role of higher education—decontextualising leadership from external practices and disregarding its internal object. Second, the approaches applied in leadership as a multilevel phenomenon can be problematic. On one end of the spectrum, we find particularist approaches focusing on individual levels representing disparate and often incompatible theoretical perspectives. As these positions rarely communicate, they have difficulties producing a coherent representation of higher education leadership. Universalist approaches, in turn, study leadership on several levels but offer identical conceptual tools for any societal practice, thereby losing the sensibility of the societal, cultural, and economic tasks of higher-education institutions, and for their specific character as institutions for research and teaching. Thirdly, research on educational leadership mostly fail to provide adequate theory of pedagogical interaction and influence. This is a twofold challenge. On the one hand, research lacks a theory of the object of educational leadership, namely teaching and studying. On the other, although research often defines leadership as a process of influence aimed at supporting learning, it lacks a theory able to explain what constitutes this influence. This article elaborates the possibilities for non-affirmative theory of education to provide a theory and language to overcome these challenges.
Systemic challenges for feedback practice are widely discussed in the research literature. The expanding mass higher education systems, for instance, seem to inhibit regular and sustained teacher-student interactions. The concept of feedback literacy, representing students’ and teachers’ capacities to optimize the benefits of feedback opportunities, has gained widespread attention by offering new ways of tackling these challenges. This study involves a critical review of the first 49 published articles on feedback literacy. Drawing on science and technology studies, and in particular on Popkewitz’s concept of fabrication, we explore how research has invented feedback literacy as a way of reframing feedback processes through the idea of individual skill development. First, we analyze how research has fabricated students and teachers through their feedback literacies that can be tracked, measured, and developed. Here, there exists a conceptual shift from analyzing feedback as external input to feedback literacy as a psychological construct residing within individuals. This interpretation carries positive implications of student and teacher empowerment, whilst downplaying policy-level challenges facing feedback interactions. The second contrasting fabrication positions feedback literate students and teachers as socio-culturally situated, communal agents. We conclude that feedback literacy is a powerful idea that, if used carefully, carries potential for reimagining feedback in higher education. It also, however, risks psychologizing students’ and teachers’ feedback behaviors amidst prevalent assessment and grading policies. We call for further reflexivity in considering whether feedback literacy research aims to challenge or complement the broader socio-political landscapes of higher education.
Continuum of understandings of the teaching of academic literacies (Jacobs, 2015, p. 136)
Analytical strategy (a, b, and c refer to the three “understandings” in Fig. 1)
In this study, an undergraduate teacher education course is used to explore whether and how academic reading seminars reflect the theoretical notion of academic literacies and provide a learning environment for developing academic and professional learning and engagement . The data analyzed in this article are transcribed recordings of small group activities where students discuss scientific articles based on a template. First, our empirical analysis shows that the use of the template facilitated dialogical discussions and the development of a cognitive skillset and disciplinary categories when used in a social setting . Second, we found that the most challenging part of designing a reading practice related to the academic literacies tradition was fostering a dialogical environment for discussing the validity of findings across different contexts and provide for discussions encompassing complexity, nuances, and meaning making. We found traces of such discussions in all the transcripts; however, many examples were in a premature stage. The paper concludes with a discussion on, and some suggestions for, further development of the template used in the reading seminars.
Continuum of curricular integration
In Germany, dual learning programmes are increasingly offered by higher education institutions. These programmes' main characteristic and greatest challenge is their integration of academic and vocational learning. So far, this challenge has frequently been stated without specifying its exact nature and consequences for learners. The present study addresses this pedagogical research gap and examines the extent of variation in the degree of integration among dual study programmes. With reference to curriculum theory, the study develops an empirical typology of curricular integration in dual programmes. The data sample consists of 152 programmes at (dual) universities and universities of applied sciences. Data is analysed using hierarchical cluster analysis. Results indicate that the currently prevailing forms of curricular integration should best be differentiated according to five types. The five overlapping types of integration are located on a continuum ranging from parallelism through organisational linking to full curricular integration targeted immediately at stu-dents' personal integration. The analysis confirms that there are problems with complying with integration standards set on the policy level. Above all, the study offers new insights on what marks the diverse integration landscape of dual study programmes. It proves that approaches to integration are more differentiated than previous research has shown.
This article systematically reviews the literature (313 articles) on language and communication in international students’ cross-cultural adaptation in institutions of higher education for 1994–2021. We used bibliometric analysis to identify the most impactful journals and articles, and the intellectual structure of the field. We used content analysis to synthesize the results within each research stream and suggest future research directions. We established two major research streams: second-language proficiency and interactions in the host country. We found inconclusive results about the role of communication with co-nationals in students’ adaptation, which contradicts the major adaptation theories. New contextualized research and the use of other theories could help explain the contradictory results and develop the existing theories. Our review suggests the need to theoretically refine the interrelationships between the interactional variables and different adaptation domains. Moreover, to create a better fit between the empirical data and the adaptation models, research should test the mediating effects of second-language proficiency and the willingness to communicate with locals. Finally, research should focus on students in non-Anglophone countries and explore the effects of remote communication in online learning on students’ adaptation. We document the intellectual structure of the research on the role of language and communication in international students’ adaptation and suggest a future research agenda.
Distributive rules in defining curriculum knowledge
The aim of this study was to explore knowledge in the context of creating a shared curriculum between research-intensive and vocationally oriented universities of applied sciences. Curriculum knowledge was explored from the accounts of 26 teachers from four institutions in Finland. Shared curriculum initiatives created an environment in which teachers were obliged to negotiate and make explicit their approaches to curriculum knowledge and knowledge practices. The phenomenon of blurring boundaries is approached with Bernstein’s sociology of education. The present findings show that institutions have a distinct foundation for curriculum knowledge, but cross-curricular initiatives brought pressure to change towards the knowledge practices of the other institution. Discrepancies were found between knowledge and learning outcomes, and between knowledge as a negotiated artefact and knowledge as enacted in curriculum implementation. Curriculum knowledge emerged with symbolic boundaries and an invisible pedagogic order. This resulted in practices where the official discourse appears to have similar learning outcomes, which are not similar from the perspective of knowledge. Focus on a harmonised degree, as stated in the European qualification framework, obscures the question of knowledge and requires more attention. This is especially the case if the boundaries between degrees and institutions are purposely weakened. If the rationale to weaken the boundaries is on the streamlined educational processes and their efficacy, there is a risk of gaps in knowledge provided for students in the higher education. -- this is an open access article, found from doi:10.1007/s10734-022-00891-z
The COVID-19 pandemic has been the source of large-scale disruption to the work practices of university staff, across the UK and globally. This article reports the experiences of n = 4731 professional services staff (PSS) working in UK universities and their experiences of pandemic-related work disruption. It specifically focuses on a transition to remote-working as a consequence of social restrictions and campus closures, presenting both quantitative and qualitative findings that speak to the various spatio-relational impacts of PSS working at distance from university campuses. These survey findings contribute to a new narrative of work organisation in higher education which addresses the potential of remote-working as a means for boundary crossing, social connectedness and trust relationships in universities in the immediate context and strongly anticipated post-pandemic future.
Comparing languages: proportion of meaning clusters in mission statements of Israeli HEOs, over time. Data include average ratio of thematic cluster (all words associated with the theme) to total number words in the statement, across statements of all HEOs in the specific year, by language
Comparing languages: proportion of meaning clusters in mission statements of Israeli HEOs, per HEO category , over time. Data (also in Appendix 2) include average ratio of thematic cluster (all words associated with the theme) to total number words in the statement, across statements of HEOs in the category of higher education organizations, in the specific year and by language. See Appendix 2 for additional specifications regarding data
Higher education organizations in countries where English is not the native tongue must function in a multilingual mode, using English as their primary language for scientific exchange and academic publication and relying on the native language for instruction and administration. When operating in a multilingual mode of communication and identity expression, a higher education organization runs the risk of becoming a “tower of Babel”; however, by operating solely in single-language mode, it may become an “ivory tower.” Investigating Israeli higher education organizations and focusing specifically on their mission statements, we analyzed the built-in tension of this multilingual self-identification through how they introduce themselves in the lingua franca of global academe, namely English, and in the local language, Hebrew. In our analysis, we found: (a) differences between the English- and Hebrew-language mission statements in length, style, and context; (b) differences in thematic emphases and thus in the narration of organizational identity; and (c) that such thematic differences patterned according to the three categories of state-mandated higher education organizations and, to some degree, time. We conclude that multilingualism serves both as an arena for the negotiation of organizational identity and as a state of being for higher education organizations in non-English-speaking countries.
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been repeatedly associated with a wide range of physical and mental health issues. Research has indicated high levels of anxiety and depression among university students, and a few studies have documented the relationship between ACEs and anxiety in the university student population. This study surveyed first year students at a university located in the most ethnically diverse district in England, with the second highest poverty rate. Eight hundred and fifty-eight responded; a response rate of 12%. The survey included questions about adverse childhood events, recent life stressors, current deprivation, quality of life, positive physical health and positive mental health, and used the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale, a standardised measure. Thirty-seven percent of the responding students met the diagnosis for generalised anxiety disorder. In a multivariate multiple regression model, life stressors and childhood adversities were significantly associated with higher levels of anxiety and lower levels of physical and mental health. Only childhood adversities significantly predicted lower levels of quality of life. The findings highlight the importance of considering adverse childhood experiences in enhancing the wellbeing of the student population. Given the demographics of the student population at the University of East London, the high rates of ACEs and anxiety are likely to partially reflect poverty and racism. The implications of the findings for trauma-informed policies and practices in universities are discussed. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10734-021-00774-9.
The construction of sense of citizenship among university students
This study, adopting the Foucauldian lenses of citizenship, investigates how a group of students understand the prevailing social discourses and how such understanding and perceptions influence students’ sense of citizenship and coping strategies. Drawing on in-depth individual interviews with 28 participants from six universities in Hong Kong, the findings suggest that multiple factors have impacts on the university students’ sense of citizenship, including the media as technologies to shape citizenship, the essentialized ideological differences as an apparatus of intervention to shape and act upon individuals, and the legitimacy and discordance of opinions among individuals within both physical and virtual communities. The participants were found to gradually develop an awareness of the discursive construction of the social. They were found to search for their sense of citizenship through (a) opting for one ideological stance and/or keeping silent to avoid being othered within the social discourses existing at the social, community, and family levels; (b) adopting different coping strategies when dealing with their confusion towards conflicting comments; or (c) developing news reading literacy and coming to the realization of the role media plays in discursively constructing new citizens and exercising influence over existing and potential members of communities. The implications of the findings for curriculum design and policy making to develop support measures to facilitate students’ positive learning and whole-person development are discussed.
The potential and actual impact of traumatic research work on researchers has been of focus in academic literature for at least the past 30 years (Alexander et al.,). This period of time-over 30 years ago-is approximately same age I was when I commenced writing this paper as a result of my direct experience with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a consequence of academic research. For the entirety of my life, researchers have been writing their accounts of trauma, and yet it is an experience that I, and many others, still endure. In this piece, an autoethnographic account is used to explore my diagnosis of PTSD as a consequence of involvement on an academic project examining particular aspects of sexual abuse. In doing so, I examine how PTSD is approached and addressed within the academy, the serious impact that working with traumatic material can have, and suggest a number of approaches that can be considered to address this. These include outlining how we can plan for trauma in research, how considerations of trauma should be built into institutional review boards and ethics applications, and how we can best understand and address the unfair impact that trauma has on fixed-term and casual staff members.
The number of international students in the UK has risen considerably in recent years. These students, now constituting around one-fifth of the student body in the UK universities, are viewed primarily in terms of the economic benefits they bring to the host country, and there has been little explicit discussion around equity principles that might inform international student recruitment. Responding to calls for further consideration of the ethics of this situation, this article offers a novel perspective by drawing on a ‘pluralist internationalist’ theory of global justice. This theory grants unique normative relevance to the state whilst at the same time embedding the state within multiple other grounds of justice that are global in scope, thereby contributing to the disentanglement of some of the normative disagreements that characterise debates about global justice. The suggestions that result from applying this theory offer a substantive alternative both to the nationally oriented assumptions of current policy and to other contributions to the debate within academia which have drawn on the cosmopolitan tradition of global justice.
Drawing boundaries in federal systems is often a practical and constitutional challenge for public finance and the delivery of higher education. This paper studies arrangements between national and provincial governments as they affect post-secondary performance in Canada. The study investigates several categories of interaction between levels of government: transfer payments, student financial aid, research infrastructure, tax credits and policy, and philanthropy, accountability, and student accessibility. The study concludes that the interface between federal and provincial policy, although messy and improvable, divides mainly along lines between fiscal practice and programme delivery. The scale of public investment in higher education usually divides equally between federal contributions, which, except for research, are in most respects indirect, and provincial contributions, which are direct. Because provinces control tuition fees, the balance of total spending falls to them. Policies about quality, accessibility, affordability, and programme delivery reside with the provinces and their political priorities. Both levels of government are concerned about human capital formation and the role of higher education in economic growth but take different approaches. It is in this area that the federal-provincial interface is most problematic, and points to a problem endemic to the Canadian model of fiscal federalism.
Historical cases
Classifications of higher education institutions into categories that are more or less clearly differentiated through prestige and status are legion in the world of higher education. The notion of parallel categories with comparable statuses, such as those of different types of universities, is however much less well understood. This paper investigates how universities navigate between such alternative categories. We examine boundary work and institutional change involving Swedish higher education institutions with significant activity in engineering sciences in order to analyse how actors relate to ideas regarding the category ‘technical university’ as an ideal potentially distinct from that of the broad, comprehensive university. Analysis of two cases in the second half of the twentieth century shows that for engineering faculty, a focused technical university was an attractive alternative to the institutional model of the broad university. In contrast, analysis of two twenty-first-century cases suggests that aspirations to be recognised as a technical university were largely driven by adaption to external stakeholders’ interests. We discuss these findings in light of the emergence of the global hegemonic category ‘research university’. We also suggest that the organisational identity of a HEI may be tied to ideas about an organisational category through imprinting and path dependency. Moreover, we propose that changes over time in how categories are perceived may serve as an impetus to organisational change.
The higher education regulator for England has set challenging new widening access targets requiring universities to rethink how merit is judged in admissions. Universities are being encouraged to move away from the traditional meritocratic equality of opportunity model of fair access, which holds that university places should go to the most highly qualified candidates irrespective of social background, in accordance with the principles of procedural fairness. Instead, they are being asked to move towards what we term the meritocratic equity of opportunity model, which holds that prospective students’ qualifications should be judged in light of the socioeconomic circumstances in which these were obtained to enhance distributive fairness, a practice known in the UK as contextualised admissions. In this paper, we critically discuss the theoretical underpinnings of these two competing perspectives on fair access and review the existing empirical evidence base, drawing together for the first time insights from our ESRC and Nuffield Foundation funded studies of fair access to highly academically selective universities in England. We argue that reconceptualising fair access in terms of distributive fairness rather than procedural fairness offers a more socially just set of principles on which to allocate valuable but scarce places at the most academically selective universities in England, unless or until such time as the vertical stratification of higher education institutions is reduced or eliminated entirely.
Complex and rapidly evolving work contexts augment industry calls for future-capable graduates that can demonstrate enterprise capabilities such as critical thinking, problem-solving, collaboration, and value creation. Gaps between employers’ expectations and evaluations of higher education (HE) graduates’ enterprise capabilities continue to drive university curriculum renewal. There is a particular focus on work-integrated learning (WIL), a spectrum of industry-student engagement activities which provide valuable opportunities for developing and applying skills and knowledge, including enterprise capabilities. Despite small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) offering fertile ground for enterprise learning, challenges limit their engagement in workplace-based WIL (internships/placements) due to resource and supervisory constraints. This study explores how co-working spaces may support SME engagement in WIL to develop enterprise capabilities, better preparing HE students for future work. It piloted two rounds of business student internships in the largest co-working space in Western Australia, surveying and interviewing both students and workplace supervisors to gauge development and understand enablers and challenges during WIL. Findings affirmed the synergistic value of SMEs and co-working spaces for fostering students’ enterprise capabilities, particularly communication and critical thinking skills, innovative behaviour, and building confidence. While some of the challenges which impact on SMEs engagement and outcomes in WIL remained, the co-working environment offered unique exposure to entrepreneurial mindsets and rich opportunities for collaboration, networking, and formal training. This study offers important insights on WIL design that increases participation among SMEs, a targeted objective of Australia’s national WIL strategy, and leverages co-working space environments to produce future-capable graduates.
This is a reflexive account of carrying out ‘dirty research’ on cis women’s experiences of working as erotic dancers while at university in the UK. Focusing on the recruitment process, I discuss how universities avoided becoming ‘subjects’ of research by blocking the study and labelling it ‘extremely sensitive’ or ‘inappropriate’. By scrutinising the fieldwork, this revealed the prevalence of whorephobia within Higher Education and the general, rather than idiosyncratic, prioritisation of institutional reputation management at the expense of silencing marginalised voices and experiences. This article adds to scholarship problematising the taken-for-granted, subjective power wielded by research ethics committees which has the potential to curtail academic freedom and the advancement of knowledge and debate within specific fields. By restricting access to potential participants and through delay tactics, this hindered my ability to carry out the initial research design, shaping the type of data gathered and the knowledge I was able to contribute to this already under-researched area of study.
Literature offers a theoretical framework exemplifying the inherent tensions between “becoming Chinese” and “remaining global” in the evolution of the international status of Hong Kong. Adopting this framework, this paper examines the global position of Hong Kong’s higher education through an investigation of universities’ participation in China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Greater Bay Area development plan. Specifically, drawing on data from interviews about universities’ engagement with the two Chinese grand strategies, the paper discusses university leaders and academics’ experience and perception of Hong Kong’s global status against a policy context that foregrounds a deeper integration with the Chinese national development. This discussion offers a theoretical dialogue that reveals different but overlapping scenarios for the future of Hong Kong’s higher education and sheds light on the link between the changing geopolitical contexts and international higher education.
Index of changes in composition of non-academic staff, 1997 to 2017, by category
Composition of non-academic workforce at Australian universities, 1997 and 2017
One fundamental aspect of organizational transformation in higher education is the change to the profile of universities’ non-academic workforce. Key staffing trends identified in recent studies conducted in a variety of national settings include an increase in the proportion of non-academic staff at universities and a shift toward more highly qualified and remunerated non-academic roles. This paper examines the extent to which these trends have played out at Australian universities over the period 1997 to 2017. Drawing on unpublished sets of staffing data, the analyses show that while the proportion of non-academic positions at Australian universities has remained largely stable, there has been a striking and uniform growth in management-rank positions, concurrent with a substantial decline in lower level and less expensive support roles. This has some significant implications, in particular, the growth in more complex “corporate” structures, the relatively fewer staff to support academic work, and the increase in the relative costs associated with maintaining the non-academic workforce at Australian universities.
Authenticity work was found to (1) establish a different order of discourse in the learning environment, (2) encompass three discursive strategies—deficitization, naturalization, and polarization—enacted in renegotiating the orientation of both professional and educational discourse, and (3) increase the legitimacy of the learning environment while simultaneously closing down opportunities for critical thinking
Educational authenticity occupies a strong position in higher education research and reform, building on the assumption that correspondence between higher education learning environments and professional settings is a driver of student engagement and transfer of knowledge beyond academia. In this paper, we draw attention to an overlooked aspect of authenticity, namely the rhetorical work teachers engage in to establish their learning environments as authentic and pedagogically appropriate. We use the term “authenticity work” to denote such rhetorical work. Drawing on ethnography and critical discourse analysis, we describe how two teachers engaged in authenticity work through renegotiating professional and educational discourse in their project-based engineering course. This ideological project was facilitated by three discursive strategies: (1) deficitization of students and academia, (2) naturalization of industry practices, and (3) polarization of the state of affairs in academia and in industry. Our findings suggest that authenticity work is a double-edged sword: While authenticity work may serve to bolster the legitimacy that is ascribed to learning environments, it may also close down opportunities for students to develop critical thinking about their profession and their education. Based on these findings, we discuss implications for teaching and propose a nascent research agenda for authenticity work in higher education learning environments.
Core critical thinking skills (drawing on Facione, 1990, p. 12)
Phases of discourse analysis
Types of “heterodox” and “conventional” didactic principles
Following on from the already wide-ranging academic discussion about fostering critical thinking in students as an important component of a university’s educational mission, this paper takes a particular look at didactic principles for fostering this critical thinking. We begin with a reception of Abrami et al.’s (2015) comprehensive meta-study of higher education interventions that are successful in promoting critical thinking. It becomes apparent that an understanding of criticism, which we refer to as “conventional” has been used throughout. However, there are alternative designs of an understanding of critique and critical thinking. We therefore subsequently explain an understanding of critique that is oriented toward poststructuralist thought and is referred to as “deconstructive”. Didactic principles that can be called “heterodox” are presented, which are suitable to promote a critical thinking ability in the light of the poststructuralist-inspired concept of critique. These principles are not only theoretically negotiated, but also vividly explained by means of a concrete intervention in university teaching. The article concludes with reflections on the connection of “conventional” and “heterodox” didactic principles for the promotion of critical thinking and gives impulses for the further development of university teaching-learning arrangements.
The early phase of doctoral education is a critical yet under-researched period in PhD programs, when doctoral researchers must solidify their thesis projects prior to embarking on data collection. What makes this time particularly challenging is that new doctoral researchers synthesize their research thinking while they are still learning the expectations and nature of PhD research. This study draws on Emirbayer and Mische’s (1998) chordal triad of agency to explore how PhD researchers’ goals and experiences (individual contexts) influence how they approach doctoral research and develop their thesis projects during the first year of the PhD. The results of this small-scale longitudinal multiple case study of five first-year UK PhD social science researchers suggest that there are at least three approaches PhD researchers may adopt in developing their research projects, influenced by personal histories and post-PhD goals—pragmatic/strategic, idealistic, and realistic. In turn, these approaches may change over time as PhD researchers acquire experience and encounter critical events. Implications include the need for attention to a diversity of PhD researchers’ needs and goals, which may necessitate additional support or training in tailored areas, and a call for questioning the capacity of PhD researchers to contribute to/stretch the structures surrounding thesis writing.
Conceptual framework for explaining final doctoral grades
Predictive margins in high and low probability groups. Predictive margins based on model 4 in Table 2; academic performance: school and study GPAs (high 80th percentile, low 20th percentile); learning environment: secure supervision, discourse participation, network integration (good 80th percentile, poor 20th percentile), rigidity of time constraints (good 20th percentile, poor 80th percentile); unlisted covariates were set to mean values. DZHW PhD Panel Study, n = 3,899; weighted data
In Germany, the final grade of a doctorate is significant for careers inside and outside the academic labor market. Particularly important is the highest grade—summa cum laude. At the same time, doctoral grades are constantly subject to criticism. Thus far, however, neither German nor international studies have examined the determinants of doctoral grades. Drawing on Hu’s model of college grades, this study develops a conceptual framework for explaining doctoral grades and investigates the impact of doctorate holders’, reviewers’, and environmental context characteristics on the probability of doctoral candidates graduating with the highest grade, summa cum laude. Using logistic regression analyses on data from the German PhD Panel Study, the study confirms that high-performing individuals are more likely to achieve the highest doctoral grade. A learning environment that is characterized by supervision security, high expectations to participate in scientific discourse, and strong support in network integration also increases the chances of graduating with a summa cum laude degree. In contrast, being female, having a highly respected reviewer, studying natural sciences, medical studies or engineering, completing an external doctorate, and studying within a learning environment characterized by rigid time constraints are negatively related to the probability of receiving a summa cum laude grade. This study is the first to lend empirical evidence to the critical discussion of doctoral grades and offers insights to ensure the validity of doctoral grades.
This article explores the issue of workplace visibility and signs and symbols of LGBTQ + identity in a UK university. A poststructuralist Butlerian theoretical framework underpins this article. Sexual and gender identities are understood as multiple and fragmented, and constructed in relation to others and within the systems of power and knowledge that exist in universities and society more widely. An anonymous survey and focus group discussions were conducted with LGBTQ + staff in a higher education institution in England awarded university status in 1992. Results showed that staff felt relatively comfortable coming out to their peer-groups in the workplace but were less confident in coming out to students. Signs and symbols of LGBTQ + identities were fundamentally important to LGBTQ + staff members in helping them feel safe in the workplace and indicating to LGBTQ + students that they were potentially a source of support. The visibility of LGBTQ + senior leaders was important in empowering staff to believe that they too might progress within the university.
Top-cited authors
David Boud
  • Deakin University
Simon Marginson
  • University College London
Denise Jackson
  • Edith Cowan University
Joanna Hong-Meng Tai
  • Deakin University
Phillip Dawson
  • Deakin University