History of the Centre for Higher Education Research and Evaluation

The Department of Educational Research began life as a centre for research into higher education innovations well over 50 years ago, only later broadening out into a fully-fledged Department. Higher education research has been fundamental to its work ever since, with higher education centres having different names but retaining unflinching attention to rigorous research that makes a difference in the sector.

We have conducted research over the years for all the main higher education bodies in the UK, and beyond. We have evaluated national policy initiatives such as the Centres for Excellence for Teaching and Learning, Scotland’s Quality Enhancement Framework, and reviewed 10 years of enhancement policies in England for the national funding body. We have acted as research consultants to national higher education policy bodies in Norway, Chile, South Africa and many other countries across the world. Policies and practices have been changed in many HE contexts because of our work and the way we communicate it. Research ideas developed and elaborated at CHERE@LU and its predecessors are now part of the discourse of thinking about higher education and researching it.

Meanwhile we have been training cadres of higher education researchers on our doctoral programmes for nearly 30 years. Many of our alumni have become leaders of higher education institutions and several are now among the top researchers into higher education. Building on that tradition, in the last 10 years our more recent fully online higher education doctoral programme has made our offering available to an even wider community of researchers.