Pre-Announcement of the 17th conference on Higher Education Reform
After the Covid-enforced interruption, the 17th HER Conference, originally scheduled to take place in September 2020 at the University of Glasgow (Scotland, United Kingdom), will now be held on 21 to 23 June 2023.
The conference will focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as defined by the United Nations, the multiple roles Higher Education can play in realizing, and the reforms needed to enable Higher Education Institutions to contribute to them.
How does Higher Education’s mission and work relate to the SDGs? How can Higher Education become a key force in the trans-sectoral and transdisciplinary efforts urgently needed for survival, and for creating healthy and socially just living conditions for all people? What changes are needed in the ways the principal missions of Higher Education Institutions are presently organized, financed and governed?
The 2023 Higher Education Reform Conference will provide a forum for discussing the relationship of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Higher Education Policies and Reform. The goal is to provide a platform for higher education researchers, policy makers, and leaders to assess and explore ways in which higher education can promote progress towards the SDGs, and contribute to sustainable development and social justice in all countries.
The Conference will be held in Glasgow, under the auspices of Centre for Research and Development in Adult and Lifelong Learning (CR&DALL), based in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow. Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English- speaking world and one of the top 100 of the world’s universities.
The Glasgow conference will be the 17th in an international series of conferences (formerly ‘International Workshops’) on Higher Education Reform, which have taken place annually since 2003. The first in this series was held in Vancouver, Canada, organised under the auspices of the (now defunct) Centre for Policy Studies in Higher Education and Training at the University of British Columbia. Subsequent conferences took place in Asia (Tokyo, Shanghai, Tianjin and Hiroshima), Europe (Vienna, Dublin, Berlin and Ljubljana), and North America (Mexico City, St. John’s, Pittsburgh and Baltimore).
For more information about the exact date and logistics of the conference as well as the kind of contributions that will be invited, please check the Call-for-Contributions to be issued in September 2022 and to be published on both the UBC and The U Glasgow web sites.
International Conferences on Higher Education Reform (HER)
Over the last eighteen years, a number of education policy researchers from various countries have organized each year a series of international conferences. Six of these have taken place in North America (Canada , the US  and Mexico ), four in Europe (Austria, Ireland, Germany, and Slovenia), and four in Asia (Japan  and China ).
Themes: Conferences themes have covered various topics, ranging from internationalization and marketization to issues of institutional governance (see table below). The major papers from the conferences have been published, either in the form of monographs, special issues of academic journals, or as individual articles or chapters.
Participation: With one exception (Shanghai 2009) which had over 200 participants, the number is usually between 75 and 100. Participants include mostly post-secondary education researchers, both professors and graduate students, and in some cases policy analysts and representatives of HE ministries or policy bodies.
Financing: The conferences are self-financing, i.e. financed mainly through participants’ fees, but also from external contributions in the form of grants from research councils, governments, or hosting institutions. Because conferences are held on campus, the fees are usually fairly low. There are different fees for various categories of participants, such as for grad students, emeriti or early registrants.
Other support: All of the HER conferences have been co-sponsored by learned societies in various countries (for example the [North American] Comparative and International Education Society [CIES] and the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education [CSSHE]).
Organization: The conferences are organized by local teams at the hosting institution. They are assisted by 3 coordinators and members of the International Advisory Board (IAB).
Venues, Themes and Publications
|Year||Place||Main theme(s)||Publication of proceedings|
|2003||Vancouver (UBC) Canada||(Paired comparison of) Reforms of Higher Education in Six Countries, various themes||Special Issue of Canadian Journal of Higher Education. vol 34 Nr. 3|
|2005||Vienna (U Klagenfurt) Austria||various themes incl. institutional diversity and system coordination, the changing state – HE, collabo-ration with the private sector,||[Major papers on conferences web site (no longer available)]|
|2006||Tokyo (U Tsukuba) Japan||Higher Education reforms in Japan and various other countries||Special Issue of Journal for University Studies Nr 35 (2007)|
|2007||Dublin (Dublin City University) Ireland||Innovations in Teaching and Learning||Special Issue of Journal of Adult and Continuing Education (JACE) vol 2 Nr. 9|
|2008||Shanghai (East China Normal U) China||Internationalization of HE||Special Issue of Journal of Higher Education (Oct, 2008)|
|2009||Mexico City (CINESTAV – DIE) Mexico||The Changing Roles of State and Markets in HE||Schuetze, H. G., & Alvarez Mendiola, G. (Eds.). (2012). State and market in higher education reforms Trends, policies and experiences in comparative perspective. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.|
|2010||Vancouver (UBC) Canada||Reform of University Governance||Schuetze, H. G., Bruneau, W., & G. Grosjean. (Eds.). University governance and reform – Policy, fads, and experience in international perspective. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137040107|
|2011||Berlin (Humboldt U) Germany||Universities and Lifelong Learning||[Publ. together with HER 10 (Ljubljana) publ., 2015, 2nd ed. 2019]|
|2012||Pittsburgh (U Pittsburgh) USA||Community Engagement of Universities||Jacob,J.W., Sutin, S.E., Weidman, J.C. & J. L. Yeager (eds) (2015). Community Engagement in Higher Education – Policy Reforms and Practice Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-6300-007-9|
|2013||Ljubljana (U Ljubljana) Slovenia||HE Reforms: Looking Back – Looking Forward||Zgaga, P., Teichler, U., Schuetze, H.G., & A. Wolter (eds.) (2nd ed. 2019) Higher Education Reform: Looking back – Looking forward. Frankfurt/New York: Peter Lang. Publisher's URL: https://www.peterlang.com/view/title/18178|
|2014||St. John’s, NL,
(Memorial U) Canada
|Student Policies and Higher Education Reforms||Archer, W. & H.G. Schuetze (eds) (2019). Higher Education and its Principal Mission: Preparing Students for Life, Work, and Civic Engagement Rotterdam and Boston: Sense-Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004393073_002|
|2015||Tianjin (Tianjin Normal U) China||Policies and Practice of Quality Assurance and Control in Higher Education||Selected papers published in Frontiers of Education in China (Springer) 2018, vol. 13 no.2: https://link.springer.com/journal/11516/13/2|
|2016||Dublin (Dublin City University) Ireland||Wider Access, Changing Demographics and Migration: Implications for HE Reforms and Policy||Slowey, M. & Schuetze, H.G. & T. Zubrzycki) (eds), (2020), Inequality, Innovation and Reform in Higher Education – Challenges of Migration and Ageing Populations. Cham (CH): Springer. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-28227-1|
|2017||Hiroshima (Research Institute for Higher Education Hiroshima U) Japan||Assessing the missions of Higher Education: Performance, productivity, and pedagogies||Huang, J. & J. Oba (eds) (2019), Higher Education Forum vol.16 (Special Issue). Research Institute for Higher Education, Hiroshima University|
|2018||Baltimore (Johns Hopkins U) USA||Reinventing the public mission of Higher Education: Policies and practice||Papadimitriou, A. & Boboc, M. (eds) (2020). Re-envisioning Higher Education’s Public Mission – Global Perspectives. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.|
|2019||Mexico City ('Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados – DIE)||Digitalization of Higher Education: Impact and Consequences for Policy||Alvarez Mendiola, G., de Vries, W. & Schuetze, H.G. (eds.) (forthcoming) Higher Education Reform in the Digital Age Special Issue, Journal of Comparative and International Higher Education|
|2023||Glasgow (Glasgow U) Scotland, United Kingdom||Higher Education and its contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals|
International Advisory Board Members and Coordinators
|Abebaw Yirga Adamu||Ethiopian Institute for Higher Education, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia|
|Germán Alvarez Mendiola
|Department of Education Research, Centre for Research and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV) Mexico City, Mexico|
|Isak Froumin||Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia
Jacobs University Bremen
|Gaële Goastellec||Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lausanne, Switzerland|
|Futao Huang||Research Institute in Higher Education, Hiroshima University, Japan|
|Anna Kosmützky||Center for Science and Society, Leibniz Universität, Hannover, Germany|
|Mei Li||East China Normal University, Shanghai, China|
|Hans G. Schuetze
|University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada|
|Rob Shea||Memorial University, St. John's, Canada|
|Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland|
|Hilligje Van’t Land||International Association of Universities (IAU), Paris, France|
|Andrä Wolter||Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany|
|Shinichi Yamamoto||Oberlin University, Tokyo, Japan|
|Pavel Zgaga||Ljubljana University, Slovenia|
|Ran Zhang||Peking University, Beijing, China|