About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 6078 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-697-9480-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2018.1434

Conference name: 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2018
Location: Valencia, Spain

BIG, BEAUTIFUL AND MESSY. INTERDISCIPLINARITY IN INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE HIGHER EDUCATION RESEARCH PROJECTS

K.L. Hope

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (NORWAY)
The field of higher education research is an applied field where professionals from different subjects collaborate to enhance the knowledge about higher education systems (Teichler 2009, Altbach 2014). There has been considerable transformation within the HE system in general, where at the same time new ways of doing research in international cross national projects and collaborating among academics has emerged (Musselin 2007). International higher education cooperation projects are often composed of researchers from a variety of social sciences, some from the humanities and perhaps researchers from other scientific disciplines as well. Within the area of higher education (HE) research there has been a development to do research within larger international comparative projects, which is a fruitful and rewarding change and has been a rather steady development the last 20 years (Teichler 2014; Kosmützky and Krücken 2014). In addition, international comparative research is a very good data source, often explorative and could provide unexpected outcomes (Teichler 1996). Nevertheless, several constraints and methodological problems have become visible as well (Bleiklie 2014, Reale 2014). How this influences collaboration between different researchers and research communities is a stimulating question, together with the various implications this has for development within the HE field. Within the social sciences, there is a tendency to opt for more research collaboration and internationalization of research projects. One implication of this development is the methodological challenges this brings, but at the same time the methodological innovations this can generate. This is also a highly relevant question for higher education research projects. Researchers from different disciplines contribute their perspectives to the field thus creating the interdisciplinarity within. Interdisciplinary research is done in a variety of areas conducted at institutes and centres (Klein 1990:47). Weingart (2000:26) observed that interdisciplinarity has been “proclaimed, demanded, hailed, and written into funding programs”. Interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity, and multidisciplinary are buzzwords as well (Klein 2010). A higher education project is not an interdisciplinary project just because researchers from different subjects work together. This chapter will study if and how interdisciplinarity is established in international comparative higher education projects. A good way to study if and how interdisciplinarity is established in HE projects is to study their methodological approaches because researchers from different background who are trained in a range of methodological approaches work together to complete a specific project aim. Is there a middle ground or a method developed for a particular project within international higher education collaboration projects? Or would the different researchers refer back to their specific discipline and the methodological norms within their discipline? The methodological approach within the Transforming Universities in Europe (TRUE) project will be discussed as an example of an interdisciplinary project where mixed methods were adopted. The methodological approach in the TRUE project will be discussed as a single case study where an extended field report will be the starting point to study if and how interdisciplinarity can develop within a higher education international cooperation research project.
@InProceedings{HOPE2018BIG,
author = {Hope, K.L.},
title = {BIG, BEAUTIFUL AND MESSY. INTERDISCIPLINARITY IN INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE HIGHER EDUCATION RESEARCH PROJECTS},
series = {12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-9480-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2018.1434},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2018.1434},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {6078}}
TY - CONF
AU - K.L. Hope
TI - BIG, BEAUTIFUL AND MESSY. INTERDISCIPLINARITY IN INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE HIGHER EDUCATION RESEARCH PROJECTS
SN - 978-84-697-9480-7/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2018.1434
PY - 2018
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2018
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 12th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2018 Proceedings
SP - 6078
EP - 6078
ER -
K.L. Hope (2018) BIG, BEAUTIFUL AND MESSY. INTERDISCIPLINARITY IN INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE HIGHER EDUCATION RESEARCH PROJECTS, INTED2018 Proceedings, p. 6078.
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