Doctoral students from six countries presented their research under the theme: “European higher education in times of uncertainty”
Between 30 June and 2 July, PhD candidates came together to participate in a virtual workshop organized by the Hertie School’s Educational Governance Team, in cooperation with the Bamberg Graduate School of Social Science.
The emerging scholars from diverse national and disciplinary backgrounds discussed issues related to the theme of “European higher education in times of uncertainty”. Their studies analysed current challenges to higher education such as digitalisation, student mobility in times of COVID-19, strategic alliance formation, support for doctoral candidates, as well as transnational and pro-/anti-European attitudes among higher education stakeholders.
“These are exciting times for higher education and higher education research,” commented Anna Prisca Lohse, PhD Candidate at the Hertie School. Lohse co-organized the workshop alongside Alina Felder, PhD Candidate at the Bamberg Graduate School of Social Sciences.
Participants were joined by Jeroen Huisman, Professor for Higher Education at the Centre for Higher Education Governance Ghent (CHEGG), Martina Vukasovic, Associate Professor in the Department of Administration and Organization Theory at the University of Bergen, and the Hertie School’s Lukas Graf, Assistant Professor of Educational Governance and Marcelo Marques, Postdoctoral Researcher.
Huisman kicked off the conference with an interactive keynote on the challenges of conducting higher education research. In his talk, he addressed methodological questions previously submitted by the workshop participants, drawing on his experience as a scholar, doctoral advisor, and journal editor.
Vukasovic held a keynote guided by the questions ‘What is cooperation in higher education?’ and ‘How can we measure it?’. Her presentation scrutinized rules, institutions, and societal aspects of education cooperation in Europe.
Besides attending the PhD panels and the keynote presentations, workshop participants had the opportunity to mingle in a virtual social event, a component that was highly appreciated by the doctoral candidates, whose networking opportunities have been severely limited due to the pandemic.
“From the European Universities Initiative, to large-scale digitalisation, we have much to uncover as education researchers,” continued Lohse. “It was fantastic to meet so many like-minded PhD candidates, and I’m looking forward to keeping the discussions going, both virtually and in person.”
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