The intention of Special Issues is to tackle questions –the thornier the better -arising from the global Higher Education agenda (as defined by both policy-makers and researchers). Priority domains include governance and leadership, R&D and innovation management, the academic profession, the changing demographics of international students, financing, innovative approaches to teaching and learning and the concerns of specific groups such as students, women graduates and the challenges faced by certain regions and national contexts due to socio-economic change or the instance of disruptive social conflict.These areas and topics of interest are then shaped into working titles, which provide the specific orientation of each issue.
We are calling this the Global Agenda because Tertiary/Higher Education has long been a key part of the global economy and all countries are facing similar challenges to ensure that they are performing with optimal competitiveness in this fast-moving environment. When a nation fails to keep pace with this situation, this is extremely detrimental to the social and equitable advancement of its citizens.
The process from the negotiation of a priority topic or area to the actual Special Issue title aims to ensure that the focus is both current and forward-looking in order to generate maximum interest and readership.
Authors are typically recruited via:
- Participation in projects or conference proceedings, which are proposed for SIs
- Open call
- Invitation, or following a search by, the Special Issue co-editors
Special Issue authors have the following profile:
- Sound academic or policy-related credentials
- Relevant expertise in the particular topic
- A contribution to wide geographical and/or disciplinary coverage of the topic
- In certain instances, a new or younger voice on the topic.
These aspects are important since they raise the international profile, both of Studies in Higher Education and of the SRHE itself. Peer review is overseen by members of the Editorial Board, who possess recognized expertise on the topic at hand.
Special Issues to date
Research Universities: networking the global economy
Based on the papers presented at an international meeting at the Higher Education Centre of Boston College (USA), this issue examines how the best research universities ( Super RUs) fulfil their role as key actors as knowledge repositories and brokers in the global economy.
The Purposes of Higher Education: responses from a globalized world
Papers at the 2013 SRHE Conference charted the worldwide debate on rapid changes affecting Tertiary/Higher Education. From new approaches to governance to academic uses of social media, this current dynamic helps track the transformation of this sector in diverse socio-economic contexts.
Student Power in Global Perspective
This issue presents a range of views on the traditional role of student agency in the Higher Education debate and reform process. Whether they associate as movements, representative bodies or clients, students are integral stakeholders in the Higher Education enterprise and their views need to be understood by policy-makers and institutional leaders alike.
Higher Education Researchers and Policy-makers: a strategic alliance
Papers presented at an international seminar in Shanghai, China, explore the specialized world of Tertiary/Higher Education research, which brings together experts from various disciplines such a history, economics and sociology. These academics should forge a critical alliance with policy-makers in order to assure the optimal renovation and reform in this sector.
Assessing competence in higher education
Featuring authors from Germany, Austria, Australia, Denmark, Japan and the USA, this research established a methodology to assess the qualitative and quantitative knowledge of students in various academic disciplines. This subject is currently on the Higher Education policy agenda in multiple OECD countries.
The changing academic profession: Generational change in academic work
This Special Issue is drawn from research originally presented at the 2013 World Congress on Comparative Education in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which focuses on the important transformations in train in this area.
Current challenges for higher education in sub-Saharan Africa
This issue is being developed in cooperation with the International Network for Higher Education in Africa. It is expected to feature country and/or institutional case studies from South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Mozambique.
Women in Higher Education: From the academy to policy-making
A range of international experts will discuss existing and new challenges affecting the opportunities for women students, academics and graduates. A crucial perspective is how academic research and analysis can lead to more effective policies.
The co-editors would be pleased to receive proposals for Special Issues from 2017 onwards to continue the important international conversation on the changing domain of higher education. To date, authors from more than 33 countries have been published in these issues and our intention is to further increase this rich diversity. In this way, Special Issues will help build the broadest possible policy and academic dialogue under the auspices of SRHE.
Mary-Louise Kearney and Daniel Lincoln, Special Issue Co-editors
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