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Special Interest Group

Higher Education

The transition from elite to mass higher education systems is a significant global development that forms the broader context for educational research that seeks to understand the experiences of Higher Education students, academics, teaching teams, change agents, leaders, departments, subject disciplines, professional fields, and institutions. There is a need for perspectives and analyses that not only critique but also challenge current policy frameworks and evolving practices within and across Higher Education. Within the universalising tendencies of the neoliberal regime, contradictions exist within – and between – the increasing dominance of managerialist principles, the standardisation of learning and practice (under the banner of ‘quality assurance’), consumer-based practices and expectations. The aim of the Higher Education special interest group is to contribute towards and enhance critical debates and perspectives on higher education policy, pedagogy and practice. This is a broad remit that embraces interdisciplinary research with critical research methodologies, theories and philosophies. 

Recent research papers and symposia presented by SIG members have included the following themes:

  • Teaching and learning approaches and issues
  • Assessment in higher education
  • Higher Education in Further Education (HE in FE)
  • Pedagogies for transformation / transformative pedagogies
  • Being an academic
  • Being a student
  • Policy trajectories
  • Academic development and capacity building strategies

The SIG aims to create a supportive network of educational researchers through building symposia for the main conference, through smaller scale activity during the year, by supporting new and early career researchers, and by building links with other higher education research networks.

Twitter: @BERAHighEd

SIG Convenors

Profile picture of Julia Everitt
Julia Everitt, Dr

Research Fellow at Birmingham City University

Dr Julia Everitt is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at Birmingham City University (BCU) and has worked in higher education as a researcher since 2014. Julia was awarded her doctorate in 2018 and as a researcher has been involved in over 30 research...

Profile picture of Kate Mawson
Kate Mawson, Dr

Principal Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University

Dr Kate Mawson has significant teaching experience across a range of institutions and has worked in Secondary and higher Education institutions since 2002. Kate is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Founding Fellow of the...

Content associated with this SIG

Spring 2024

Research Intelligence issue 158: Unheard voices: Language education outside the mainstream

Research Intelligence23 Feb 2024

Expert Panel on Educational Research Funding

BERA Council has agreed to establish an expert panel to investigate the situation regarding funding for educational research in the UK. David James (Cardiff University, and chair of the REF 2021...

Ongoing project