Evolution of higher education research

Higher education research has now reached a stage in its development where it is time to make overall assessments of what has been achieved, and where future research efforts might best be directed.

We are setting the intellectual agenda of higher education as an academic field. We do that by studying the field, assessing its state and developing new concepts and theories. Such assessments involve both quantitative meta-analyses and qualitative systematic reviews, which focus on topics, theories and/or methodologies in higher education research.

In developing new concepts and theories, we build on interdisciplinary approaches that include education studies, sociology, philosophy, psychology, political economy, political science, and science and technology studies.

Lancaster University Learning Zone exterior

Key research interests within this theme:

  • Paul Ashwin: theories and methods in higher education research.
  • Brett Bligh: theory and methodology in higher education research; activity theory in higher education research; research interventions.
  • John Taylor: history of higher education.
  • Malcolm Tight: methodological approaches; theoretical frameworks; research design; global mapping; systematic reviews; history of higher education.