Higher Education Organization Studies (HEOS)

Higher Education Organization Studies is an interdisciplinary group studying the preconditions for education and learning as well as other academic activities. The topics include but are not limited to higher education and research policy development and implementation; institutional governance; organizational change, identity and culture; academic leadership, management and work; higher education institutions’ relations to state, society and external stakeholders.

Ongoing research projects

StARS , Strategic Action and Response Strategies in a Changing Swedish Higher Education Landscape (Riksbankens jubileumsfond)

Effects of changes in leadership and management structures in Nordic higher education  (Norwegian Research Council) 

PERFA , Performance-based governance in academia: professional practices and identities in transformation (Riksbankens jubileumsfond, Vetenskapsrådet, Forte and Formas)

APIKS, the Academic Profession in the Knowledge Based Society

Towards the Responsible University  (Vetenskapsrådet NOS-HS)

CHEPIS , together with University of Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique and University of Western Cape, South Africa (SIDA)

INGDIVS , Increasing Gender Diversity in STEM (EU Erasmus mundus)

HEOS research group

The group started its work in 2012 and has since developed and concluded a large number of research projects, including both empirical and theoretical studies. The group has strong national and international networks and several ongoing projects together with colleagues from other higher education institutions. We also have ongoing collaborations with scholars from other parts of KTH. Our goal is to be internationally recognized and locally embedded.

Interdisciplinary competence

We are interdisciplinary also in the sense that our disciplinary backgrounds differ. Whereas some hold engineering degrees, others have a background in social science disciplines such as political science, education, behavioral sciences and history. Another feature of the group is that many of the members have a professional background in the higher education and research sector. Theories and concepts from a large array of traditions are employed, including organizational theory, sociology, education, and political science.[1] Methods often include interviews, documentary/archival studies, surveys and observations. Another common feature is a comparative approach: internationally, over time, across scientific fields and institutional types, educational levels and sectors.

Accessible knowledge

The research is typically published in international journals and books. We also disseminate our research in periodicals, blogs, newspapers and magazines. We participate in and organize national and international conferences and other scientific meetings. Many of our findings have been presented to and influenced stakeholders, policy makers and academic leaders internationally, nationally and at KTH.

[1] Geschwind, L. & Forsberg, E. (2015) Forskning om högre utbildning – aktörer, miljöer och teman. Stockholm: Vetenskapsrådets rapportserie.

Examples of journals

  • European Journal of Engineering Education,
  • European Journal of Higher Education
  • Studies in Higher Education
  • Higher Education Policy
  • Tertiary Education and Management
  • Higher Education
  • Higher Education Research and Development
  • Nordic Studies in Educational Policy

Examples of conferences

  • Consortium of Higher Education Researchers (CHER)
  • European Association of Higher Education (EAIR)
  • Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE)
  • European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI)
  • European Group for Organization Studies (EGOS)

Research group members

Affilierade forskare

Professor Eva Forsberg, Uppsala universitet

Similar research environments

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Belongs to: The Department of Learning in Engineering Sciences
Last changed: Jan 17, 2019