More and more Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) aim to improve research in their educational programmes and engage in university-wide curriculum projects to foster the integration of research in their educational programmes. While it seems the easiest change option for educational organisations, top-down HEI change initiatives do often not reach the day-to-day curriculum level (ROBERTS, 2015). With many relevant stakeholders in HEIs a full institutional strategy is needed to result in the requested change in the educational programmes and the specific courses. For this thematic issue we aim to bring together institutional mechanisms that focus on improving the connection between research and education, such as research-based education, connected curricula or the implementation of practice-based education in vocationally oriented curricula in HE.
The European Commission (2017, p. 5) states the importance of research experience for the innovative capacity of talents working in different European countries: “The innovations of tomorrow depend on research undertaken today and on creative talent to exploit the results.” At the same time the European Commission (2017, p. 2) considers that there is some work to be done on how students are trained to become talented innovators: “[…] [R]esearch is not exploited enough as input for teaching, while undergraduates are often not involved in research. This limits students’ opportunities to explore contemporary issues and develop their research skills.”
In line with these aims many European HEIs – as well as institutions outside Europe – strive to further integrate research and education to benefit student learning. The shapes and forms of this integration are many (e.g., research-oriented teaching – “Forschendes Lernen”), while the studies provided are mostly normative (TROWLER & WAREHAM, 2008). Previous work has indicated that such HEI-wide change requests an integrated procedure at all levels (JENKINS & HEALEY, 2005). But at the same time hardly any studies have been done into the procedure of further integrating research and education in HEIs.
This thematic issue aims to bring together a collection of cases of (new) HEIs that work on the further integration of research and education to benefit student learning. Interesting case studies potentially discuss issues such as: how is the HEI change planned, how is it executed and monitored and how is the evaluation of the change done. In all cases it should be clear that an institutional vision is connected to a systematic further integration of research and education related to more than a single educational programme. Also institutional strategies directed to systematically include students in research outside of their educational programme would be of interest to us, as long as the students are from more than a single discipline or programme.
Considering that the Zeitschrift für Hochschulentwicklung is a research-based journal, all case studies are expected to present embeddedness into the relevant international literature body, as well as elements of empirical evidence to underline the description and findings of the case. For instance the article by ANAKIN, SPRONKEN-SMITH, HEALEY, and VAJOCZKI (2017) can provide a framework for the description of cases, but other frameworks are welcome as well.
Editors: Didi Griffioen (Amsterdam UAS) & Jan Elen (KU Leuven)
Date of publication: March 2019
Guidelines and submission information regarding the journal
The ZFHE is a peer-reviewed online journal that publishes scientific contributions of practical relevance concerning current higher education development issues. The focus is on didactical, structural, and cultural developments in teaching and learning. Topics that are innovative and still regarded as open in respect of their design options are preferred.
The ZFHE is published by a consortium of European researchers and funded by the Austrian Ministry for Science, Research and Economics. For more information, see https://www.zfhe.at.