Author(s):Anna Kosmützky (presenting), Brigida Blasi, Jussi Välimaa (presenting), Anna Kosmützky (presenting), John Brennan

Conference:ECER 2011, Urban Education

Network:22. Research in Higher Education

Format:Symposium Paper

Session Information

22 SES 14 A, Research Methodologies in Higher Education (Part 2)

Symposium, continues from 22 Ses 13 A

Time:2011-09-16
15:00-16:30

Room:L 201,1 FL., 40

Chair/Discussant:Linda Evans/ Jani Petri Ursin

Contribution

Higher Education Profiles: Methodological Innovation or Blind Ally?


The purpose of this study is to introduce Higher Education Institution Profiles (‘HEI profiles’) as a novel method used by an international research team, seeking to establish descriptive-level grounding, prior to engaging their research topic at a higher level of abstraction. This study addresses two key questions: Firstly, what circumstances warrant the consideration and possible use of HEI profiles? Secondly, what are the advantages, disadvantages of this approach? In conclusion, the methodological implications of this approach are discussed. This approach was developed in the study: Changes in Networks, Higher Education and Knowledge Societies (CINHEKS), an international, comparative, mixed-methods study involving six counties on three continents: Europe, The USA and Japan. As a method, an HEI profile template was developed in terms of the CINHEKS research questions. Following a pilot, 4-6 HEI profiles were carried out by each team. The lead team (Open University), then performed a cross-case analysis. The significance of this study focuses on a critically grounded approach to HEIs in comparative studies. The methodological contribution of this approach is a method that provides systematic and critical challenges to assumptions, while establishing a solid empirical basis for developing interpretive-level case study designs.


Method

Germany, Portugal, Finland, UK



Author Information

Anna Kosmützky (presenting)

University of Kassel

Brigida Blasi

Instituto Superior Técnico

Jussi Välimaa (presenting)

University of Jyväskylä

Anna Kosmützky (presenting)

Inernational Center for Higher Education Research Kassel

Kassel

John Brennan

The Open University

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