10th International Workshop on Higher Education Reform (HER)

University of Ljubljana,  Faculty of Education,
October 2–4, 2013

Workshop Theme: Higher Education Reforms: Looking Back – Looking Forward

PDF Click here to download the Workshop Flyer

The Centre for Education Policy Studies (CEPS) is pleased to host this year's International Workshop on Higher Education Reform at the University of Ljubljana from October 2-4, 2012. This is the tenth international workshop that brings together researchers and policy analysts and makers. Previous workshops have taken place in Vancouver (University of British Columbia), Vienna (University of Klagenfurt), Tokyo (University of Tsukuba), Dublin (Dublin City University), Shanghai (East China Normal University), Mexico City (Center for Research and Advanced Studies – Department of Educational Research), Berlin (Humboldt University), and Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh University).

The Workshop is co-sponsored by the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) Higher Education Special Interest Group; the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education (CSSHE); the  Centre for Policy Studies in Higher Education and Training, University of British Columbia at Vancouver, Canada; and the  PASCAL International Observatory.


The Workshop Theme

After four or five decades of far-reaching reform, Higher Education (HE) has profoundly changed.  The 2013 Workshop theme gives an opportunity to look at the larger picture of these changes, the drivers of change, and their effects. At the same time, the theme invites contributions about the likely futures of HE over the next generation, suggesting (or speculating on) developments that will further change HE.

Some drivers of future change are already manifest, whereas others might still be obscure. Among those manifest are the massive growth and increasing differentiation of higher education systems and the impact of globalization and international competition. Related to this latter development are the expanding marketization and privatization of higher education, international rankings of “world class universities”, changing forms of university governance, and the changing role of students from ‘learners’ to ‘consumers’, enhanced in many countries by steep increases in tuition fees as the financial crisis and ensuing cuts of public budgets have forced HE institutions, especially universities, to look for additional resources from students and their families.

Meanwhile online learning and individual study will have a massive impact on traditional, campus and classroom based HE. Although still in its infancy, the rise of “massive open online courses” (MOOC) is already attracting much attention. In one possible future, campus-based university education would be reserved for a few students whereas the majority would learn mostly or exclusively on-line, independently or in virtual classrooms (networks). Many of these developments and trends put in question the traditional role of universities as places for independent research and teaching and thus established notions of institutional autonomy and academic freedom.

As an international workshop should do, the 2013 meeting gives an opportunity for comparative analysis and discussion, either by geography (comparing, for example, reform policies within the same region, e.g. former Communist Eastern European or Latin American countries) or by theme (e.g. the growing importance of private HE institutions in various countries and the future of public HE). Contributions should, as far as possible, consider development over time rather than at a particular point in time.

About Slovenia and Ljubljana