xx-T9 E-Lectures on Research into Higher Education

Educational research within the area of higher education knows diverse themes and issues and many of them overlap with other areas of educational research (Tight, 2003). The issues in the field of research into higher education are related to topics such as learning arrangements, Retention and dropout of students, professional development of teachers, domain-specific issues, curriculum development, organisational context, assessment, quality assurance and evaluation. Apart from these more generic topics of educational research we can identify specific issues related to higher education research, such as the study success, teaching-research nexus, supervision of student research, and Bologna reform. Different types of research methods are applied and both quantitative and qualitative data collecting methods are used. The purpose of these series of e-lecturers is to providing an overview of the current state of research into higher education international, and specifically in Flanders and the Netherlands. 

In this series of e-lectures participants will acquire knowledge about topics and methodologies in research into higher education on four general themes, namely students & learning, faculty & teaching, organization & policy, and quality & evaluation.

To give you an idea of the e-lectures we have opened the link to first e-lecture by Jos Beishuizen.


The e-lectures on research into higher education are open online available to any interested individual. The lectures are recorded every month on an announced date and time. This makes it possible for any interested individual to attend the lectures in person. Face-to-face discussion with professors is facilitated.

For all those participants who want to earn an ICO certificate of attendance need to follow the certificate track, in which assignments and additional face-to-face meetings are mandatory.

Certificate track objectives

The course objectives of the certificate track are that the participants:

  • have acquired basic knowledge of theories, models and research designs that are used by researchers within the domain of research into higher education;
  • become aware that research into higher education covers a wide area of themes and topics;
  • acquire insight in the types of research questions and theories that play a dominant role when investigating topics in higher education;
  • acquire insight in research methodologies used within diverse types of higher education research;
  • become acquainted with the work of researchers and staff members within this area;
  • can engage in debate about strengths and weaknesses of typical theories and methodologies used in higher education research;
  • learn to translate research questions, methodologies and findings of research into higher education to the context of their own research project.

The mandatory elements of the certificate track are:

  • Acquaintance with at least eight e-lectures (16 hours)
  • Reading the assigned literature for these eight e-lectures (16 hours)
  • Lecture-based assessment for eight e-lectures (16 hours)
  • Two face-to-face meetings with preparation (12 hours)
  • Two generic assignments (24 hours)
  • In total about 84 hours.


The programme includes a series of e-lectures about research on four themes in higher education. These e-lectures will be held by national established academics in a particular theme in higher education research. Each meeting will be concluded with an lecture-based assignment about issues discussed in the e-lecture. Certificate track participants need to show their acquaintance with at least eight e-lectures and the related assigned literature by completing the lecture-based assessment at a sufficient level. 

Online learning environment

All materials, such as course manual, literature, assignments, will be available in an online learning environment. In this environment a online communication tool will be installed in order to make communication between participants possible. The coordinators will coordinate and participate in the online forums.


Face-to-face meetings

Each year at least two face-to-face meetings will be organised in which certificate track participants can share and discuss topics in research into higher education. During these face-to-face meetings issues described in participants first generic assignment will be discussed in peer-to-peer discussion groups coordinated by an ICO staff member.


Generic assignments

Certificate track participants are required to complete two assignments which are not directly related to a single e-lecture, generic assignments. The first generic assignment is aimed at preparing the participant for the series of e-lectures. Certificate track participants are requested to prepare this assignment at the start of their attendance. The second generic assignment is aimed at reflecting on what has been learned during the series of e-lectures in relation to the participants own research. Certificate track participants are asked to prepare this assignment before the second face-to-face meeting, in order to make discussion about the assignments possible during the face-to-face meetings.


1) As a preparation for the series of e-lectures participants will be asked to describe in a short essay (approx. 500 words) about an actual problem, issue or question about research into higher education preferably related to their own research projects. During face-to-face meeting issues will be discussed with other certificate track participants.

2) Certificate track participants are requested to write a brief research proposal (approx. 1,000 words) on an issue within one of the four themes discussed during the series of e-lectures. The topic of this proposal is preferably related to their own research project. The instructors will provide you with a preliminary research question if necessary. Participants who submit their proposal to the instructors will receive feedback. Assessment criteria for this paper will be discussed during face-to-face meetings.

Face-to-face meetings

The lectures will be recorded once a month. These lectures are open to any interested individual.

All interested individuals can assign to a mailing list. This mailing list is used to announce the place and time of the (recording of the) lectures. The participants are provided with literature in advance in order to make face-to-face discussion possible during the lectures.

Additional face-to-face meeting for certificate track participants will be planned in close consultation with the participants.


  • Assessment of at least eight e-lectures should be completed at a sufficient level;
  • Active participation during at least two face-to-face meetings;
  • Active participation in the online learning environment and at the online forums about the e-lectures.
  • Both generic assignments should be completed at a sufficient level.


An online course manual will be available in which a list of papers will be specified for each e-lecture.


Free for ICO members. For all others € 1000.


  • Dr. Roeland van der Rijst
    Leiden University
    ICLON –Dept. of Higher Education
    PO Box 905
    The Netherlands
    071 527 64 96
  • Prof. dr. Jos Beishuizen
    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
    Dept. of Theory and Research in Education
    Faculty of Psychology and Education
    De Boelelaan 1105
    1081 HV Amsterdam


Participants may register for the certificate track by completing the registration form. Participants who want to register for the certificate track after the deadline is due, are recommended to contact one of the coordinators. Participants who want to register for attending the lectures can send an email to the coordinators. You will be added to a mailing list and will receive all information about the lectures.

Appendix: List of potential invited lecturers from Flanders and the Netherlands


Students & learning

Prof. dr. Jos Beishuizen (VU Amsterdam):  Fostering self-regulated learning in higher education
Prof.dr. Albert Pilot (Utrecht University): Diversity and excellence in higher education
Prof.dr. Sabine Severiens (Erasmus University Rotterdam/UvA): The achievement gap in Higher Education
Prof . dr. Vincent Donche (Antwerp University) 
Prof. dr. Henk Smidt (Erasmus University) 

Faculty & teaching

Prof. dr. Jan Elen (Leuven University)
Prof. dr. Jan van Tartwijk (Utrecht University) 
Prof. dr. Peter Van Petegem (Antwerp University) 

Organizations & policy

Prof. dr. Jurgen Enders (Twente University)
Prof. dr. Jeroen Huisman (Ghent University) 
Prof. dr. Marijk van der Wende (UvA)


Quality & evaluation

Prof. dr. David Gijbels (Antwerp university)

Prof. dr. Cees van Vleuten (Maastricht University)

Prof. dr. Janke Cohen-Schotanus (Groningen University)