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A research agenda for global higher education: Chapter proposals requested

By 1st August 2020

Dear colleague,

We are soliciting contributions to our book A research agenda for global higher education, which will appear in the Edward Elgar Research Agendas series.

In this series, contributing authors are “given the space to explore their subject in provocative ways, and map out the potential directions of travel. They are relevant but also visionary. Forward-looking and innovative”.

More specifically, this book will aim to advance higher education research globally, be relevant for and attract a global readership. We are thus seeking contributions from around the world, which will be thematic and globally relevant rather than country-specific.

“Global Higher Education” will not be limited to its global features, globalization, internationalization, or transnational higher education. The book will rather aim to cover the field of higher education research at large, including work focusing on micro (teaching and learning), meso (organizational), and macro (system) levels, by attracting contributions from a broad range of disciplines, including interdisciplinary approaches.

As a forward looking agenda, the book will have to inspire research for a good number of years, while paying specific attention to the current dramatically changing global context. To offer an obvious example: the Corona / Covid-19 pandemic seems to be having a major but so far mostly unknown impact on societies and economies worldwide. What does this imply for the higher education research agenda in terms of emerging and new research questions?  And to what extent is it challenging our main assumptions?

We encourage authors to seize this opportunity of unprecedented change to rethink existing paradigms, consider retesting existing theories against a completely new set of data from this unexpected “global experiment”. Authors may thus wish to shed a new light on themes like: inequality, post-massification, technology push, flexibility and the effectiveness of online and on-campus teaching and learning, international academic mobility and cooperation, open science, STEM—SSH connection, or the research-teaching nexus. We are open to any other suggestions. 

Contributions – we aim for 10-12 chapters of max 6,000 words, which are invited to address the following template:

•           An argument / rationale for the relevance of the chosen theme (topic / focus) with a particular view to the currently changing global context.

•           An explicit account of the disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspective chosen

•           A comprehensive but compact state of the art overview of research undertaken and critical assessment in terms of its empirical, theoretical and methodological aspects.

•           Resulting in proposals: what does this imply for the research agenda in terms of emerging and new research questions, what needs or can be done, and how (theories and methods, including replication)? 

•           Reflection: to what extent, why and how, are our main assumptions being challenged, are we urged to change paradigms, seek new (inter)disciplinary approaches?

If you are interested, please submit a chapter proposal of 500-1000 words to both editors: Marijk van der Wende ( and Jeroen Huisman ( before 1 August 2020. We will get back to selected authors soon after. Draft chapters are to be submitted in January 2021, these drafts will be reviewed and final chapters should be in by March 2021.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Marijk van der Wende, Utrecht University, the Netherlands

Jeroen Huisman, Ghent University, Belgium

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