Den högre utbildningen som forskningsobjekt (HERO)

4 MARS, 13.15–15.00

Forskningsetiska samtal: Vetenskapligt utbyte med diktaturer – institutionell etik

Seminariet inleds med en panel med Dan Larhammar, Johan Lagerkvist och Sven Widmalm. Ytterligare en panelist kan tillkomma.

Om seminariet
Seminariet är en uppföljning och utveckling av det samtal som hölls i december. I skuggan av en alltmer totalitär kontroll över det kinesiska samhället diskuterades i december hur detta skall påverka synen på vetenskapligt utbyte, i första hand med Kina, men även med generaliserbarhet gentemot andra totalitära regimer. I detta uppföljande samtal lyfter vi fram frågan om möjliga skillnader mellan samarbeten initierade av enskilda forskare och samarbeten som del i en institutionell struktur. Kan vi lära något av tidigare möten med totalitära regimer? Hur bör universitetet, forskningsfinansiärer och enskilda forskare agera?

För Zoom-länk, kontakta Johan Boberg.


Anordnas av Bengt Gerdin och Kerstin Sahlin i samarbete med HERO.

17 MARS, 16.00–18.00

Webbinarium: The University as a Revolutionary Constitution
Steve Fuller

Yale law professor Bruce Ackerman has recently argued that the US exemplifies a successful ‘revolutionary constitution’. I shall explore the extent to which the modern university as an institution might be understood in a similar light. Three components of a revolutionary constitution are relevant to this reconfiguration of the university: (1) The Constitution reigns supreme, resulting in what John Adams originally called a ‘government of laws, not men’. (2) The Constitution is a social contract across generations, which the parties collectively ‘own’ in the strong sense of its being constitutive of their identities and the source of their sovereignty. (3) The Constitution is elaborated as an all-encompassing exercise in role-playing – as in a game or a drama -- that potentially never ends but nevertheless possesses a clear sense of how one enters and exits a role, and one’s standing within in it at any given time.

The key to regarding the university as a revolutionary constitution is to take seriously Francis Bacon’s early modern attempt to de-centre the medieval universities with an alternative institution of higher learning and knowledge production. The Charter of the Royal Society of London was the realization that succeeded, and it anchored the peer-reviewed, paradigm-driven sense of science that is codified and valorized in, say, Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. However, Bacon’s private secretary Thomas Hobbes envisaged this alternative institution arguably more in Bacon’s own spirit – namely, as one directly embedded in the terms of the social contract. He saw the nascent Royal Society as potentially providing an alternative source of authority to the Crown, very much in the pernicious spirit of the established church that would sow the seeds of revolt in the future. Hobbes’ objections to the Royal Society can be turned into the basis for thinking about the university as a ‘revolutionary constitution’.


Due to the current Covid-19 situation, the 4th annual Philosophy and Theory of Higher Education Conference that was planned in Uppsala on October 19–20, 2020, was postponed until October 2021 (exact dates to be announced).

The organizers invite you to a two-part webinar on March 17 and April 21. The webinars – “The University as a Revolutionary Constitution” and “The Persisting Social Structure of Higher Ed. in the Context of a Radical System Change and Expansion” – touch on the main theme of the conference (read more on https://www.humsam.uu.se/phec2020/about/)

The event is free and open to all interested. However, signing up for the event is mandatory, so if you wish to attend, please send an email, with your name, title and affiliation, and email-address to: phec2020@humsam.uu.se.

Please sign up for the event before March 15, 2021.


Anordnas av HERO i samarbete med PaTHES – Philosophy and Theory of Higher Education Society.

8 APRIL, 13.15–15.00 (PRELIMINÄR TID)

Forskningsetiska samtal: Kollegialitet, konkurrens och vetenskapliga värden: Om normer, arbetssätt och infrastruktur på svenska universitet

Seminariet inleds av Christian Berggren och Solmaz Karabag

Om seminariet

Vetenskaplig oredlighet, från fusk till plagiat och andra tvivelaktiga arbetssätt har fått stor uppmärksamhet efter medicinska och akademiska skandaler i Sverige och internationellt. Ett vanligt svar är att kräva mer reglering och administrativ kontroll, men många studier visar svagheten i sådana ansatser. Christian Berggren och Solmaz Karabag, Linköpings universitet, genomför för närvarande en studie av hur organisatorisk miljö (konkurrens, kollegialitet, motivation, m m) påverkar vilka normer forskare sluter upp bakom, hur klimat och normer samspelar med attityder till tvivelaktiga beteende, och hur verksamhetsföreträdare kan stödja utvecklingen av etiska infrastrukturer- och en mer sann och trovärdig forskning.

För Zoom-länk, kontakta Johan Boberg.


Anordnas av Bengt Gerdin och Kerstin Sahlin i samarbete med HERO.

21 APRIL, 16.00–18.00

Webbinarium: The Persisting Social Structure of Higher Education in the Context of Radical System Change and Expansion: The Swedish Case
Mikael Börjesson

Swedish higher education makes an interesting case for understanding the relationship between a national system-level, an institutional level and a student level. At the national level, the rationales are expansion paired with system building and management. This is the level of grand policy-making, and the ideals have shifted from master-planning and centralization to decentralization, marketization and internationalization, radically altering the conditions for the construction and provision of educational opportunities, the funding of higher education and the steering and control of the system. These developments imply a shift in power from the national system-level to the institutional level. At the same time, the uses of the system are surprisingly stable – despite an array of reforms aiming at changing the recruitment, attainment and enrolment of students in favour of a more diversified student population. Of course, the number of students and the share of a youth cohort that enter higher education have increased dramatically since the mid-twentieth century, but the relative social distances within the system have not decreased over time. The overall social structure of higher education persists. The argument developed here is that this stability is related to the massive expansion of higher education as an increasingly important force in social reproduction – for all groups. In fact, it has become necessary, although not sufficient, for obtaining desirable positions in the labour market and social status in general.


Due to the current Covid-19 situation, the 4th annual Philosophy and Theory of Higher Education Conference that was planned in Uppsala on October 19–20, 2020, was postponed until October 2021 (exact dates to be announced).

The organizers invite you to a two-part webinar on March 17 and April 21. The webinars – “The University as a Revolutionary Constitution” and “The Persisting Social Structure of Higher Ed. in the Context of a Radical System Change and Expansion” – touch on the main theme of the conference (read more on https://www.humsam.uu.se/phec2020/about/)

The event is free and open to all interested. However, signing up for the event is mandatory, so if you wish to attend, please send an email, with your name, title and affiliation, and email-address to: phec2020@humsam.uu.se.


Anordnas av HERO i samarbete med PaTHES – Philosophy and Theory of Higher Education Society.

29 APRIL, 13.15–15.00

Forskningsetiska samtal

Tema fastställs senare.

För Zoom-länk, kontakta Johan Boberg.


Anordnas av Bengt Gerdin och Kerstin Sahlin i samarbete med HERO.

Konferensen har flyttats till maj 2022

Academia Europaea HERCulES Symposium:
The Internationalization of Higher Education Institutions

During the past thirty years or so, the internationalization of higher education institutions has become a very significant issue on the agenda for policy-makers, academic leaders and researchers. Against this backdrop, it is timely to look closer at the conditions for internationalization and its effects. In so doing, the symposium will address questions such as the role of universities in a global world, international rankings, the mobility of ideas and students, costs and returns in internationalization as well as international branch campuses. An expert panel discussion will conclude the symposium, which is an Academia Europaea HERCulES event.

Lokal: Humanistiska teatern.

Konferensen har flyttats till maj, 2022.

För program och registrering, se konferensens hemsida.


Anordnas av The Academia Europaea HERCulES group, HERO – Higher Education as Research Object, och SIHE – The Swedish Centre for Studies of the Internationalisation of Higher Education, med finansiellt stöd från Åke Wiberg Foundation och Institutionen för pedagogik, didaktik och utbildningsstudier.

Oktober, 2021

Konferens: "Universities under Siege?"

”The crisis of the university” is a familiar topos in contemporary discussions about higher education. It is said that the University is facing untold threats from, inter alia, the anti-intellectualism of populist politicians and authoritarian regimes, the commodification of knowledge resulting from neo-liberal ideas about utility and international competition, the politicization of teaching and learning arising out of identity movements, the fragmenting of the university in response to stakeholder demands, and so forth.

This conference poses the question: Is this really the case? And, if so, what exactly is being threatened?

The aim of the meeting is to take a serious look at what is ultimately at stake, among other things, by examining the roots of these developments in terms of our conceptions of what is useful knowledge, why it is desirable and what is required to establish, maintain and develop it through our institutions of higher education.

You are invited to submit an abstract outlining in brief your analysis of the central problems confronting the university today. Examples of topics that may be relevant include the casualization of faculty, the rising costs of higher education, limitations on academic freedom, internationalization, digitalization, and student employability. We welcome contributions from all disciplines.

För mer information, se konferensens hemsida.


Anordnas av HERO i samarbete med The Philosophy and Theory of Higher Education Society (PaTHES) och Centre for Integrated Research on Culture and Society.

Senast uppdaterad: 2021-02-25