Institute of Education

Research & Expertise to Make a Difference in Education & Beyond


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The Institute of Education at National Research University – Higher School of Economics (Moscow) invites early-career researchers, institutional scholars and doctoral students to apply for the upcoming 


 “Theoretical and Conceptual Perspectives in Higher Education Research”

May 31 – June 6, St. Petersburg, Russia


Candidates with backgrounds in all relevant areas (sociology, economics, political science, education, public administration, management, psychology, history, etc.) are encouraged to apply for the International Summer School 2019. We expect to get on board a group of early-career academics with a keen interest in research who aspire to make the most of the School’s intensive theory and hands-on agenda.

Bringing together both young and accomplished scholars of higher education, the International Summer School aims to inspire a more critical discussion and fresh insights in the field by providing an invigorating venue for first-hand learning and multi-prism opinion exchange. This will help advance our understanding of higher education while also fostering the integration of young researchers into the international professional community.

The 7th International Summer School will focus on theoretical and conceptual perspectives in the study of higher education. As a multi-disciplinary field, higher education research draws on numerous scholarly frameworks and traditions, often synthesizing different disciplinary methods in order to address problems of policy and practice in higher education or explain the relationship between higher education and society. During the Summer School, the faculty and participants will discuss the strengths and limitations of various theoretical approaches and concepts developed in economics, sociology, political science, cultural studies, and multi-disciplinary research perspectives in higher education. They will also consider how these theories and concepts can be applied within different national contexts and reflect on the comparative dimension. As part of the program, emphasis will also be accorded to the approaches used within educational policies, and their foundations and rationales, including the concept of effectiveness of higher education, and approaches to understanding and measuring effectiveness.

Specifically, the Summer School's agenda will span such topics as:

  • Major disciplinary developments in theories and concepts that are used in higher education research: how a particular body of ideas accumulated in sociology, economics, political science, cultural studies, etc. helps us understand higher education and what each may fail to cover
  • How higher education research as a distinct field is struggling to build its own body of theories and concepts
  • Why some theories and concepts have become more popular and whether everyone should use them
  • How to design and carry out a cross-disciplinary or multi-disciplinary study in higher education
  • Best strategies for choosing theoretical perspectives for a study
  • How to challenge existing theoretical models and come up with original ideas.

The confirmed faculty of the Summer School includes distinguished international researchers and experts in higher education with different professional backgrounds:

  • Tommaso Agasisti (School of Management, Politecnico di Milano)
  • Isak Froumin (Institute of Education, HSE)
  • Gaële Goastellec (Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lausanne)
  • Simon Marginson (Department of Education, Centre for Global Higher Education, University of Oxford)
  • Pedro Teixeira (Research Centre on Higher Education Policy (CIPES), Faculty of Economics, University of Porto)
  • Jussi Välimaa (Finnish Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyvaskyla).

The format of the Summer School includes seminars, discussions of participants’ research projects, workshops on research methodology and writing academic papers.

The working language of the Summer School is English. Participants must possess a strong command of spoken and written English.

The participation fee is EUR 400 for double accommodation and EUR 500 for single accommodation. It covers lodging for 6 nights, three meals daily, coffee breaks, welcome and farewell dinners, and excursions. Travel to/from St. Petersburg will be covered by the participants. Ten scholarships will be provided to cover participation fee for applicants selected on a competitive basis.

The deadline for application is MARCH 26, 2019.

To apply, please use this online form to submit the following in English: 

  1. A summary of your current research project in higher education (you will be expected to present this at the Summer School), including the objectives of the study, its theoretical/conceptual framework, methodology/design, and significance (500–1,000 words). Please do your best while preparing this document as its quality will be one of the main selection criteria.
  2. A personal statement explaining your interest in the Summer School (300–500 words).
  3. Up-to-date CV detailing your education and work experience, publications, other professional activities, etc.

The Organizing Committee will announce the shortlisted applicants by March 31, 2019. 

Please note that you might need to apply for a Russian visa in order to come to St. Petersburg. You may therefore wish to consider approaching a Russian consulate in your country well in advance to enquire about the documents needed, the expected turnaround time, etc. HSE will stand ready to assist by sending a formal letter of invitation.

Learn about our past Summer Schools

The Organizing Committee: Anna Smolentseva (Senior Researcher, Institute of Education, HSE); Nelly Pavlova (Manager, Institute of Education, HSE), Anna Garmonova (Director of the Doctoral School of Education, Institute of Education, HSE), Isak Froumin (Head, Institute of Education, HSE).

For queries, please contact Nelly Pavlova at +7 495-623-5249,