Koulutuksen tutkimuslaitos

Conference Tracks


Conference will focus on multiple and often complex relations and relationships internal and external to higher education institutions. Political in this context refers not only to definitions, uses, and users of power but more broadly to a variety of relationships among different actors and agencies responsible for making, executing or resisting decisions concerning HEIs.


1. Academic work and workers
This track is devoted to changes taking place in academic work and careers and in changing academic profession. It also invites studies on academic workers and their relationships with each other and with higher education institutions (HEIs).

2. Leadership and management  
This track focuses on the internal organisation, decision-making, leadership, and management of HEIs and how these can be defined and examined from different academic perspectives. It also invites studies on the interplay between HEIs and national level governance, regulation, financing, and steering of HEIs.

3. Teaching and learning
Papers in this track are invited to apply critical approaches to teaching and learning aiming to understand the purposes and contents of teaching and learning from both student and teacher perspectives. We also welcome papers related to new forms of learning and teaching; e-learning and new digital environments and how they may challenge traditional forms on learning and teaching in HEIs.

4. Students - experience, admission and outcome
Students and their experiences can be approached both from a commercial perspective defining students as consumers and from pedagogical and sociological perspectives defining students as learners and active members of HEIs. Student outcomes are related to learning objectives students are expected to achieve, and/or the effects education may have in the society through educated students. In addition to these perspectives, this track invites papers which analyse the nature of student admission to HEIs and their transfer to labour markets.

5. HEIs in society
This track invites studies which open up perspectives to HEIs as political institutions, which may consist of a variety of conflicting definitions and practices on how to organise, plan, and implement academic and managerial decisions and processes. The papers may also discuss the relevance of research and HEIs in society and open up perspectives to HEIs as sites of critical scholarship. The papers may focus on internal processes of HEIs and/or external processes taking into account the perspectives of surrounding societies, higher education policies, and policy-making.

6. Other Research topics related to the conference theme
Those whose proposals do not fit the themes above but relate to other core themes in higher education research are invited to submit to this track. However, proposals should be connected closely to the theme of the conference, ‘Universities as political institutions - HEIs in the middle of academic, economic and social pressures’.

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Contact information

Scientific leader
Professor Jussi Välimaa
+358 400 248 112

Project Researcher Taru Siekkinen
+358 40 805 4275

In practical issues please contact: cher2017@jyu.fi