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HSE Hosts Sixth International Summer School on Higher Education Research

HSE Hosts Sixth International Summer School on Higher Education Research

On June 9–15, the town of Pushkin near St. Petersburg, Russia hosted the Sixth International Summer School on Multidisciplinary Higher Education Research organized by the HSE Institute of Education (IOE). Bringing together a premier cohort of accomplished international academics and bright early-career scholars, the 2018 School aimed to explore new and deeper perspectives on how higher education can contribute to positive socio-economic change at all levels.     

Held every year since 2013, the Summer School has been recognized as a leading venue for scholars in higher education to engage in vibrant debate on topics and areas relevant to the modern-day international university research agenda. The Summer School is distinguished by its multidimensional academic focus whereby students learn about the most important conceptual frameworks in social and political studies, economics, history, etc., while also participating in discussions of individual research projects, making it uniquely placed to advance a more cohesive understanding of higher education, encourage cross-border academic partnership, and facilitate the integration of young researchers into the global professional community.

The Economic Contribution of Higher Education

Supported by multiple learning and networking formats, including workshops, project presentations, panel sessions, and informal discussions for expert feedback, this year’s Summer School agenda centred on the social and economic contribution of higher education.

In today’s fast-paced economy of knowledge and multilateral networking, higher education systems are increasingly expected to play a vital role in spurring economic growth and promoting social wellbeing. While recent policies and public discourse have tended to emphasize the economic role of institutions of higher education, these assumptions and heightened expectations have so far largely failed to stand up to scholarly scrutiny. Research has suggested that higher education cannot propel economic growth, cannot operate as a classical (quasi-) market, and cannot ensure good jobs for graduates.

Despite these shortcomings, higher education still largely protects graduates from unemployment, and in many cases still brings some wage premium, fosters mobility, encourages internationalization, and helps make a difference in the lives of individuals and communities. It is therefore an important imperative for scholars to come and re-think how higher education systems can contribute to socio-economic development under modern conditions in order to provide a more conclusive and accurate basis for further public discussion and policymaking.

Top-Tier Students and Faculty

This year brought 20 capable and motivated MA, doctoral and postdoc fellows from Russia, Germany, the UK, Portugal, Italy, Finland, Hong Kong, India, Chile, and Colombia. Instruction in the School was provided by top-tier education professionals with expertise cutting across various areas of international scholarship and practice. The faculty included Steven Brint (Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Public Policy, University of California, Riverside, the USA); Isak Froumin (Head of Institute of Education, Higher School of Economics, Russia); Simon Marginson (Director and Professor, Centre for Global Higher Education, Institute of Education, University College London, the UK); Pedro Teixeira (Director, Research Centre on Higher Education Policy (CIPES) and Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics, University of Porto, Portugal); Po Yang (Associate Professor, Graduate School of Education and Research Fellow, China Institute of Education Finance Research, Peking University, China).

Alice Civera, PhD Candidate in Economics and Management of Technology,
University of Pavia

I enjoyed being part of this year’s Summer School, which is set in a gorgeous location near St. Petersburg. The School has put doctoral students into contact with colleagues from around the world as well as with experts in higher education research. The atmosphere was relaxed, which is perfect for developing networks and collaborations. The high-quality presentations have reaffirmed how broad the subject topic is and have featured a variety of potential contributions everyone can provide.  

Sinead Marian D'Silva, School of Education, University of Leeds

It was a brilliant, very fruitful experience with a truly international group of participants. Not just for networking purposes, but the collegiality and encouragements of established and young researchers alike was great at this Summer School, setting it apart from other academic events I have attended. 



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