Call for Papers - SRHE International Conference on Research into Higher Education 2018

The changing shape of higher education: Can excellence and inclusion cohabit?

Higher education is increasingly subject to competing demands, often appearing to come from very different, seemingly incompatible world views.  The idea of the “knowledge economy” has emerged as a dominant way of framing the work of universities, represented in global league tables that privilege a particular view of excellence and its purpose. In many parts of the world, governments are reorganising their higher education systems to support the growth of “elite” institutions, whilst a growing number of private providers widen further the type of teaching provision available. There is thus a clear trend towards increasing stratification in many university systems whilst privileging economic ends over social ones.   

Those of us engaged in higher education research are challenged by such developments, and may wish to ask difficult questions in observing the changing shape of higher education: Are these changes inevitable? Are they happening everywhere and in the same way? Is higher education becoming increasingly a means of social reproduction? We ask how we can avoid the disbenefits of current trends. What role can other beliefs and values play in challenging what are fast becoming unquestioned norms?  Is it acceptable to let markets decide who gets access to what educational opportunity?  Is there space for diversity and inclusion in an increasingly stratified system? To what extent can institutions develop and maintain a distinctive mission? How can higher education research contribute to understanding and managing stratification?

In a post-truth and post-Brexit world where economic and social norms are being tested to breaking point, this conference will seek to champion the breadth and depth of knowledge of which higher education research is so rightly proud. It will celebrate the diversity of theories, methods and approaches that characterise it, bringing them to bear on current higher education and future trends. The conference will take a comparative approach both at national and international level, seeking to show through comparison that there are choices that can be made.  

This year’s conference provides an excellent opportunity to share our understandings of where we are today, to build for the future. The Newer and Early Career Researchers conference will follow a similar theme with a particular focus on how these issues impact on newer and early career researchers, their study, their research opportunities and their careers.

The SRHE Annual Research Conference attracts wide participation from researchers globally. It provides a stimulating international forum for papers of an empirical or scholarly nature relating to research into higher education, in the broadest sense, and from a breadth of different disciplinary perspectives. The conference is highly participative, promoting the dissemination and exchange of ideas in a variety of formats, across a range of research domains.

Submission Guidelines

Please note these guidelines are applicable to the SRHE International Conference on Research into Higher Education only. Please visit for information on how to submit to SRHE Newer and Early Career Researchers Conference.

Submissions are invited on any research topic concerned with higher education. Each year the SRHE Research Conference has an overarching theme which it aims to address in the keynote speeches and associated discussions. Researchers are also invited to submit papers and symposia addressing aspects of the conference theme and, where relevant, to address aspects of the theme in individual papers but no preference is given in the peer review process in relation to topic. The selection of papers for presentation is based solely on quality.

Assessment Criteria

All submissions will be judged by the following criteria:

  • Originality of questions addressed
  • Effective use and clear explanation of research methodology
  • Clarity of the research aims and objectives and outcomes
  • The extent to which the work is rooted in the relevant literature
  • Significance of the research and the contribution added to what is known about the area researched
  • The quality of the data (where applicable) and the reliability and significance of the conclusions

Empirical and scholarly research from a wide range of perspectives is welcome. All research work invited for presentation in any format is subject to rigorous peer review.

The deadline for submission of all proposals to the SRHE International Annual Research Conference is Friday 22 June 2018 12 midnight GMT. Visit to submit.

Presentation Formats

You are invited to contribute to this conference in a variety of ways:

  • Presenting an Individual Paper
  • Participating in a Panel Discussion
  • Contributing to a Symposium
  • Presenting a Poster
  • Submitting a Lightning Video Presentation 

For full information on submission requires for different conference contributions and conference details, visit the full conference Call for Papers.