22-T9 Masterclass Research into Higher Education

Course coordinators:

Tutors: Renske de Kleijn (r.a.m.deKleijn-3@umcutrecht.nl) and Mayke Vereijken (m.w.c.vereijken@uu.nl)

Course description

Educational research within the area of higher education knows diverse themes and issues and many of them overlap with other areas of educational research (Tight, 2014). The issues in the field of research into higher education are related to topics such as learning environments, retention and dropout of students, professional development of teachers, curriculum development, organisational context, assessment, quality assurance and evaluation. Apart from these more generic topics of educational research we can identify issues specifically related to higher education research, such as the teaching-research nexus, supervision of student research, selection, adaptive learning towards a changing labour market and disciplinarities. Different types of research methods are applied and both quantitative and qualitative data collecting methods are used. The purpose of this ICO-Masterclass is to provide a broad overview of the current state of research into themes that are specific to higher education, in Flanders and the Netherlands as well as internationally. Furthermore, we challenge you to think about the future of higher education research.

This course has two tracks, one focusing on broadening understanding of higher education research and the other on deepening understanding of particular topics of research (see descriptions of meeting 2 and 3). You’re free to change between breadth and depth between meetings. Furthermore, participants can do the course in full gaining 3 ECTS or in part gaining 2 ECTS (see description of assessment).

In case you have any questions in advance of the course, do not hesitate to contact us. We are looking forward to meeting you in the course!

Course objectives

The course objectives are that you:

  • have basic knowledge of theories, models and research designs used by researchers within the domain of research into higher education;
  • are aware that research into higher education covers a wide area of themes and topics;
  • have insight in the types of research questions, theories and methodologies that play a dominant role when investigating topics in higher education;
  • can engage in debates about strengths and weaknesses of theories and methodologies often used in higher education research;
  • can translate research questions, methodologies and findings of research into higher education to the context of your own (PhD) research project;
  • are able to describe connections between the topic(s) of your own (PhD) research project and ways in which research is related to practice on the level of teaching, programmes, institutes or policy in higher education.

Face-to-face meetings

Three face-to-face meetings are organised in which you share and discuss topics in research into higher education with other certificate track participants. The meetings are guided by the coordinators and guest lecturers.



In this course you write a reflective paper which is to be assessed (pass/no pass). When doing the full course (3 ECTS) you are going to read each other’s papers in pairs and interview each other to further explore your perspectives. An alternative is to hand in the separate preparatory assignments, without doing the interview (2 ECTS).

Download the Course Manual for more information: https://ico-education.nl/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Course-Manual-ICO-HE-v2.1.docx