DIVIDE gathers researchers focused on higher education

By on 06.11.2015 in Workshop

”We’re here to discuss our interests, and how we can work together to create a shared agenda for the research in higher education,” says Ulpukka Isopahkala-Bouret.

She has gathered interested researchers for a breakfast meeting in Helsinki. There’s anticipation in the air and filled coffee cups on the table. Ulpukka continues: “I also want to talk about how we could use DIVIDE research group, and how we can tighten our group.”

Jaakko Kauko, Ulpukka Isopahkala-Bouret, Annukka Jauhiainen, Monica Schatz and Anna Medveva discussed how to collaborate.

Jaakko Kauko, Ulpukka Isopahkala-Bouret, Annukka Jauhiainen, Monica Schatz and Anna Medveva discussed how to collaborate.

The emerging research group DIVIDE (Diversification and inequalities in Nordic higher education) is led by Ulpukka, and focuses on the increasing diversification of higher education and its consequences in the Nordic context. The research group want to gather researchers focused on higher education within JustEd.

Lecturer Annukka Jauhiainen from the University of Turku, and University of Helsinki PhD students Anna Medveva, Monica Schatz and Saija Volmari, and Jaakko Kauko, leader of team 1, have joined the meeting to discuss their ongoing research and find ways to collaborate.

All Nordic countries have experienced a similar trend in the form of an increasing number of higher education degrees. Nordic higher education sector has become more complex, the differences between institutions, study programmes, and degrees have widened. As a consequence, not all graduate degrees have the same credibility and status in the labour market.

During the breakfast meeting the discussion undulates from the rational of social justice to the deployment of neoliberal education reforms, and on to the new discourses of positional competition, employability and learning outcomes.

“We will put together concrete things to do together,” says Ulpukka, and mentions the upcoming NERA Congress in Helsinki in March 2016. “There we will arrange a roundtable where we’ll discuss what’s going on in the Nordic higher Education.”

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About the Author

About the Author: Journalist currently working as Communications Specialist at the Nordic Centre of Excellence "Justice through Education in the Nordic countries" and in NordForsk's programme "Education for Tomorrow". .

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