Researching Higher Education

Researching Higher Education

Researching Higher Education

Researching Higher Education

Synopsis

This book couples an authoritative overview of the principal current areas of research into higher education with a guide to the processes involved in undertaking research into higher education. It offers both a classification and analysis of research on higher education, and suggestions and guidance for further research. Case studies of recently published research are discussed in detail with particular attention drawn to the methods, methodologies and theories used with consideration as to how these might be used in further research. Consideration is given to research design and questions, funding, progressing research projects, publication and dissemination, whilst annotated lists provide details of published sources offering further advice and illumination.

Researching Higher Education is core reading for those interested in research in higher education throughout the English-speaking world. It will be of value to students and academics researching the higher education experience as well as appealing to experienced researchers seeking an overview or insights into new areas and alternative methods.

Excerpt

[T]here has been surprisingly little research and analysis concerning higher
education until the very recent period.

(Altbach 1997: 4)

Whatever it is – a discipline, a field of study, or just an opportunity for
researchers in whatever discipline to earn some reputation and income –
research on higher education in Western Europe is still in search of confirmation
of its role and status. As such it is a strongly externally and events-driven
undertaking.

(Frackmann 1997: 108)

As these two opening quotations – from leading researchers in North America and Europe respectively – indicate, higher education is perceived as a relatively under-researched field, even though dozens of books and hundreds of articles are now published each year on this topic. But this apparent outpouring of research, description and comment is a very recent phenomenon. At the same time, and in part because of this, the field of higher education research may appear as relatively disorganized and little understood or appreciated. the purpose of this book, then, is to help to create some order in this field, by providing an overview of the current state of higher education and a guide to how it is (and may be) researched.

There are a number of related reasons why higher education research is assuming greater importance at the present time, and why, therefore, the appearance of this book should be timely. the underlying reason is undoubtedly that higher education itself is assuming greater importance. in developed countries, the last few decades have witnessed a move from . . .

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