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.

HERO is financed by CIRCUS – Centre for Integrated Research on Culture and Society and the Department of Education.If you would like to receive regular updates from the network, please contact Johan Boberg.


Postponed until November 11–13, 2020.

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.

Venue: The Humanities Theatre.

Due to the Corona virus, the conference has been postponed untill November 11–13, 2020.

For conference program and registration, see conference webpage.

Organized by The Academia Europaea HERCulES group, HERO – Higher Education as Research Object, and SIHE – The Swedish Centre for Studies of the Internationalisation of Higher Education. With the financial support of Åke Wiberg Foundation and Department of Education, Uppsala University.

October 19–20

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 conference 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.