This chapter offers a systematic review of research into quality assurance and quality management in higher education. It begins by considering quality as theory and…
This chapter offers a systematic review of research into quality assurance and quality management in higher education. It begins by considering quality as theory and discusses the methodology applied. The origin and meaning of the terms quality assurance and quality management, as they are used in higher education, and their application and practice, are then discussed. The issues and critiques that have been raised concerning quality assurance and management are identified, before some conclusions are reached.
Higher education researchers are often challenged by the difficulty of empirically validating causal links posited by theories or inferred from correlational observations…
Higher education researchers are often challenged by the difficulty of empirically validating causal links posited by theories or inferred from correlational observations. The instrumental variable (IV) estimation strategy is one approach that researchers can use to estimate the causal impact of various higher education–related interventions. In this chapter, we discuss how the body of quantitative research specifically devoted to higher education has made use of the IV estimation strategy: we describe how this estimation strategy was used to address causality concerns and provide examples of the types of IVs that were used in various subfields of higher education research. Our discussion is based on a systematic review of a corpus of econometric studies on higher education–related issues that spans the last 30 years. The chapter concludes with a critical discussion of the use of IVs in quantitative higher education research and a discussion of good practices when using an IV estimation strategy.
Responding to the knowledge needs of stakeholders has been a defining feature of higher education research. However important responsiveness is, it does not automatically assume beneficial change of policy or practice as a result. When research generates impact beyond the academy, little is known about its epistemic, organisational and temporal characteristics and their links. Are these knowledge characteristics a typical reflection of the field or do they have a certain specificity that may account for their reach into the wider spheres of policy and practice and society at large? In this chapter, we look at the knowledge characteristics of higher education research that was submitted for the ‘impact’ element of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) – the United Kingdom's national level assessment of research. We identified 53 impact case studies within a broadly defined and multidisciplinary field of higher education research. We investigate the theories and methodologies used, the researchers and institutions that conducted the research, its sponsors and the timescales of the various research projects. In the United Kingdom, the REF includes assessment of nonacademic impact. The latter has emerged as a key criterion and a metric for evaluating and funding academic research. We contribute a sociological conceptualisation of the knowledge characteristics and their links as an ‘epistemic-organisational-temporal nexus’ at which actors' interests intersect. This conceptual framework advances our understanding of the investigated multidisciplinary research field, with relevance to applied social sciences generally.
Globally, growth in the number of students from diverse backgrounds entering university requires broader understanding of how persistence and success is enacted at an…
Globally, growth in the number of students from diverse backgrounds entering university requires broader understanding of how persistence and success is enacted at an individual lived level. We know very little about how learners draw on ‘internal capabilities’ when persisting in higher education; these capabilities are not innate but instead develop in interaction with an individual's environment (social, cultural, familial and political) and are informed by existing access to forms of capitals. Exploring how internal capabilities and capitals inform the act of persistence contributes much needed alternative perspectives to the issue of educational participation. This chapter outlines how the work of Amartya Sen and Pierre Bourdieu can be usefully combined and utilised within the higher education setting. In presenting this theoretical fusion, this chapter defines one approach to exploring what learners bring to the higher education field (capitals) and how existing capabilities are actioned to support relative success within this environment. Details of how this approach was applied within one study are provided and conclusions are drawn relating to wider applications of this methodological approach.
As students increasingly incur debt to finance their undergraduate education, there is heightened concern about the long-term implications of loans on borrowers…
As students increasingly incur debt to finance their undergraduate education, there is heightened concern about the long-term implications of loans on borrowers, especially borrowers from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Drawing upon the concepts of cultural capital and habitus (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1977), this research explores how student debt and social class intersect and affect individuals’ trajectory into adulthood. Based on 50 interviews with young adults who incurred $30,000–180,000 in undergraduate debt and who were from varying social classes, the findings are presented in terms of a categorization schema (income level by level of cultural capital) and a conceptual model of borrowing. The results illustrate the inequitable payoff that college and debt can have for borrowers with varying levels of cultural resources, with borrowers from low-income, low cultural capital backgrounds more likely to struggle throughout and after college with their loans.
The main objective of this chapter is to explore the potential and applicability of framing, a multidisciplinary and multiparadigmatic ‘metatheory’ of sense-making through communication, or media effects specifically, in guiding higher education research. To reach this objective, the author first synthesized theoretical discussions on framing in different disciplines, collated the core concepts developed around the framing concept and developed a universal framing process model, to be applied with the introduction of a theme and the selection of research paradigms. Following that, the author provided an overview of the application of the framing concept in higher education research and explored the potential application of the model to guide and coordinate framing research in the field.
The basic structure of Korea's formal education system is 6-3-3-4. This school system, which was established soon after its independence from Japan after World War II, has…
The basic structure of Korea's formal education system is 6-3-3-4. This school system, which was established soon after its independence from Japan after World War II, has not been changed very much until recently. Primary education covers grades 1–6. Kindergarten has not been a part of the official school system until now, although making it a part of the pubic school system has been under discussion for some years. In the secondary education sector, there are two levels of schools: middle schools covering grades 7–9, and high schools covering grades 10–12. After 12 years of formal education, students advance to higher education. Typically, undergraduate degree (B.A. or B.S.) takes four years.
Global participation in higher education has expanded greatly since the late twentieth century. The implications for the cultural, social, and economic fabric of societies…
Global participation in higher education has expanded greatly since the late twentieth century. The implications for the cultural, social, and economic fabric of societies have been substantial. To explain transitions from elite to mass higher education systems, theoretical insights from Technical-functionalism, Neo-institutionalism, World Academic System, and Credentialism perspectives have been put forward. It is the contention of this paper that there are emerging and complementary factors driving steadily growing participation in “high-income” universal higher education systems. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
With reference to Ulrich Beck’s concept of the “risk society”, it is discussed how higher education participation is increasingly a response by young people (and their families) seeking to mitigate heightened instability in work and employment under a “risk regime”. Publicly available data from national and supra-national organisations are used to evidence trends and support the arguments put forward by this paper.
Participation is perceived as quasi-compulsory to “survive” amid concern that those without higher education attainment are being “left behind” in modern labour markets. This environment has contributed to more students from more diverse backgrounds viewing higher education as the only viable option to secure a livelihood regardless of rising private costs of participation and rising uncertainty over graduate employment outcomes. The expansion of higher education has therefore potentially developed a self-perpetuating dynamic as the perceived cost of non-participation escalates.
It is shown that to better understand higher education participation in “high-income” countries with universal higher education systems, one needs to consider the conceptual idea of “survivalism”, that underlines risk and the vulnerabilities of modern societies.
Higher education research is replete with discussion of boundaries imagined as structural constraints in need of removal or circumvention. But, while foregrounding…
Higher education research is replete with discussion of boundaries imagined as structural constraints in need of removal or circumvention. But, while foregrounding national–transnational frameworks, leadership strategising and institutional structures, the scholarship is subdued about how boundaries are actually dealt with at ground level. How do practitioners come together, day by day, across higher education boundaries; and what is required for desirable practices to be nurtured? It is on this issue, and in particular the theorisation of this issue, that this chapter will focus.
This chapter presents and develops a relational working framework, based on the work of Anne Edwards. We highlight three core concepts (common knowledge, relational expertise and relational agency), disaggregating each into constituent features. We then apply the framework to reinterpret previously published empirical studies, to demonstrate its broad applicability. We argue that the framework usefully conceptualises how practitioners work with others across boundaries; that it helps us to notice how many boundaries are, in fact, routinely permeated; and that it usefully highlights important aspects of local practices that are easily obscured.
Utilizing work task data drawn from the OECD’s Survey of Adult Skills of 2011–2012 and 2014–2015, we derive a new skills-based indicator of graduate jobs, termed…
Utilizing work task data drawn from the OECD’s Survey of Adult Skills of 2011–2012 and 2014–2015, we derive a new skills-based indicator of graduate jobs, termed ISCO(HE)2008, for 31 countries. The indicator generates a plausible distribution of graduate occupations and explains graduates’ wages and job satisfaction better than hitherto existing indicators. Unlike with the traditional classifier, several jobs in major group 3 “Technicians and Associate Professionals” require higher education in many countries. Altogether, almost a third of labor is deployed in graduate jobs in the 31 countries, but with large cross-national differences. Industry and establishment-size composition can account for some of the variation. In addition, two indicators of the relative quality of the higher education system also contribute to the variation in the prevalence of graduate jobs across countries.