MOOCs After the Gold Rush

2017-2019 (MOOCs After the Gold Rush: Welchen Einfluss haben offene digitale Lehrformate auf Anbieterstruktur und Geschäftsmodelle in der tertiären Bildung?)

On the basis of a theoretical foundation in population ecology and industrial dynamics, an original data collection as well as a combination of quantitative and qualitative social and economic science methods of data analysis, the project investigates the market dynamics of MOOC courses, explores their development potentials and develops future scenarios. This way, it provides knowledge for policy and practices about the success conditions, functioning, and the obstacles to the innovation of digitalization in higher education The project is funded by the Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).


International Comparative Social Science Research – Theory, Methodology, and Practice

2012-ongoing Research and Teaching Collaboration
International comparison is a social science approach that transcends different social science disciplines (e.g. political sciences, education, sociology) and interdisciplinary fields (e.g. higher education, media and communication studies, science and technology studies). A sophisticated guide to this research design not yet available. The empirical research and the methodological and theoretical reflection takes place in the social science fields and disciplines, and not all aspects of comparative research and the research process are reflected equally in this case. The project has, therefore, the object to perform a meta-analysis on the state of reflection in the field of international comparative research designs and to develop a course on the theory and practice of international comparison.The innovative aspect of this is that existing theoretical, methodological, organizational and methodological reflections are brought together from different social science fields.

The project is a collaboration between myself and Dr. Romy Wöhlert, University of Leipzig. Please see our project website for further information.

Research Universities Going Global (RUGG)

August 2012-ongoing
Universities are affected by the global economy, new communication technologies, and fundamental changes in the markets for students, faculty, and graduates. Research universities, in particular, are attempting to be influential global actors, developing new collaborations with other universities, establishing branch campuses, enrolling increased numbers of international students, adopting English in professional and other degree programs. This research collaboration seeks to develop a series of empirical studies of how universities throughout the world are adapting and changing their missions, operations, and institutional culture to accommodate a more complicated and networked world.

The project is a collaboration with the Center for Studies in Higher Education at UC Berkeley. See project website for further information.

Potential and Employment Conditions of Early Career Researchers

June 2015- March 2016 (Potential und Beschäftigungsbedingungen des wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchses)

The study pursued two objectives: It analyzed the existence and potential of young researchers in Germany and in examined in an international comparative perspective the working contexts and employment conditions of German young scientists.

The project has been funded by the Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Indicator Model for the Reporting on Early Career Researchers

September 2013-October 2014 (Indikatoren-Modell zum wissenschaftlichen Nachwuchs in Deutschland)
To improve the reporting on early career researchers, the Ministry of Education and Research has in 2013 established a project group for the development of new reporting standards for early career researchers in Germany at the request of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The result of the project is a comprehensive set of indicators on early career researchers in Germany.

The project has been led and coordinated by the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). Project partners: Deutsches Zentrum für Hochschul- und Wissenschaftsforschung (DZHW), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU), Institut für Forschungsinformation und Qualitätssicherung (iFQ), Institut für Hochschulforschung (HoF) an der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, and INCHER-Kassel. This project has been supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Change in Networks, Higher Education and Knowledge Societies (CINHEKS)

October 2009-December 2012
The CINHEKS project was a collaborative multi-country investigation on how higher education institutions are networked in knowledge societies in Europe, USA and Japan. The study analyzed how the notion of the Knowledge Society implies changes in the traditional ways that universities produce and disseminate knowledge and shape social networks and partnerships. Additionally, the investigation examined whether the linkages between academics, higher education institutions, and other key external actors are similar or distinct in different institutional, national and regional contexts. The research collaboration was designed as a three-year study within the European Science Foundation’s Higher Education and Social Change (EuroHESC) research program.

Project partners: INCHER Kassel, Centre for Innovation, Technology and Policy Research, Technical University of Lisbon, Centre for Higher Education Research and Information, Open University UK, Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Arizona. CINHEKS was led and coordinated by the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). All project partners were funded by their respective national funding agencies and part of EUROCORES / EuroHESC Program, coordinated by the European Science Foundation. The German project part has been supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

Further information is available on the CINHEKS website and in the final project publication.

Research in German Universities and their Relevance for the National Innovation System

November 2010-April 2011 (Forschung an deutschen Hochschulen und deren Bedeutung für den Innovationsstandort Deutschland)

On request of the Expert Commission for Research and Innovation (EFI) we conducted a systematic literature review on the status and differentiation dynamics of university research. The study aimed at systematically documenting research literature, data sources, and developments in science and higher education policy related these dynamics. The study’s main questions were: Do we see an institutional differentiation among German higher education institutions? How has research in Fachhochschulen developed in comparison to research in universities? Do we see a division of work between higher education institutions in Germany? If so, along which lines?

The project has been funded by the Expert Commission on Research and Innovation (EFI).

Mission Statements of German Universities (Ph.D.-Project)

April 2003-July 2010 

In my Ph.D. project, I examined the mission statements of German universities as an empirical focus of my dissertation. Mission statements are a management tool of business organizations, and in that sense, they represent a concept that the world of higher education has adapted to its own purposes. These statements were introduced to strengthen the hierarchy, rationality, and identity of universities as organizations within the framework of New Public Management reforms. I focused on how mission statements were introduced in select universities and I analyzed these statements with quantitative and qualitative methods. My research shows how and why mission statements fail to fulfill their intended purpose in different respects but nevertheless contribute to the transition of universities from organized institutions to organizational actors oriented toward competition. It also shows how the project of transforming the university into an organizational actor is effectuated in concrete management practices. This work is based on neo-institutionalism and systems theory and links the analysis of processes in the organization to an analysis of reform discourses outside universities.

My Ph.D. project has been supported by a doctoral fellowship from the German Research Foundation (DFG).