Higher Education as Research Object (HERO)

Given the prodigious expansion of higher education during the last haft-century and its heightened strategic importance for society at large, it is quite remarkable that so little research has been devoted to the subject in Sweden. Uppsala University is an exception, where extensive research is currently devoted to the organization of higher education within Business Studies, its social structures within Sociology of Education, the idea of a university within Philosophy and the History of Science and Ideas, the management of the higher education sector within Political Science, etcetera. Higher Education as Research Object (HERO) is a multidisciplinary research network at Uppsala University aiming to further strengthen this multifaceted research through a series of initiatives, including joint seminar series, research workshops, and graduate student colloquia. Through this intensified collaboration between the research environments involved, the ambition is to make Uppsala University a central node internationally for research on higher education.


Ta inte ifrån oss makten över tanken
Shirin Ahlbäck Öberg, Mats Hyvönen, Thomas Karlsohn, et al.

"Kan det vara så att även länder som är befriade från ett uttalat auktoritärt politiskt ledarskap trots detta, medvetet eller omedvetet, gynnar ledningsregimer som tar ifrån professionerna makt och ansvar? Finns det ett släktskap med auktoritära regimers nedmonterande av professionernas makt och ansvar och den styrningsregim som tillämpas inom svensk offentlig sektor?"

Click to read full article

Upsala Nya Tidning, Monday 13 October 2019.

12 November, 14.00–15.30

Seminarium: Universitetets integritet

Seminarium med professor Gudmund Hernes, ordförande i Uppsala universitets konsistorium, om universitetets integritet.


Gudmund Hernes: Universitetet som samhällsinstitution och dess största utmaningar i vår samtid

Kommentator 1


Lokal: K312 Ekonomikum.

Anordnas av HERO i samarbetet med Företagsekonomiska institutionen.

19–20 October 2020

Conference: "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.

For more information, see conferene webpage.

Organized by HERO in cooperation with The Philosophy and Theory of Higher Education Society (PaTHES) and Centre for Integrated Research on Culture and Society.

HERO is financed by the Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences. If you would like to receive regular updates from the network, please contact Johan Boberg.