Call for Papers of the „Journal of Higher Education Research“

Special issue „Rethinking and Innovating Higher Education Governance“

The thematic issue on “Higher Education Governance in transition” focuses on the relationship between societal development dynamics on the one hand and the reforms and shifts in higher education governance on the other. Analyses of causes, characteristics and effects of changes in higher education governance from different disciplines are welcome – with regard to different performance areas (research, teaching, transfer, etc.), different groups of actors (higher education policy, university management, scientific communities, funding institutions, etc.), levels (from local conditions in higher education institutions to international networks) and different governance mechanisms (hierarchy, competition, communities, networks, etc.). 

The main topics of the issue are:

Higher education and society

  • Embeddedness of higher education in society: What structural and operational responses do higher education institutions give to urgent and multiplying societal demands for effective problem-solving (“grand challenges”)? How do universities react to science-critical discourses in the public media? What role does the increasing internationalisation of scientific cooperation, labour markets or educational standards play?
  • Crisis as an opportunity?! Which pandemic-induced shifts to digital formats in teaching, administration, and academic self-governance will remain, and how will they develop? Which characteristics will make universities attractive for students, professors, teaching officials and scientists?
  • Higher education governance after New Public Management?! To what extent has New Public Management passed its zenith? If there is an emerging new governance regime: which value orientations, actor constellations, and governance mechanisms characterise it?
  • “Clash of institutional logics”: How do universities and social actors deal with increasing tensions between the logic of science and the logic of formal (e.g. labour law) or informal (work-life balance) social norms and expectations? 

Governance in universities and science

  • Governance structures in scientific organisations: Which forms of leadership and management facilitate the quantity and quality of research and teaching output?
  • How do different forms of organizing leadership and management impact the increasing (?) quantity and quality of output in research and teaching?
  • The “cooperative turn” in research: Which consequences have the omnipresent trend towards cooperation for the organization, funding and management of research projects in the higher education system?
  • Limits to the competition: How can higher education institutions oppose dysfunctional forms of competition in higher education and science?
  • Governance of good and liberal scientific practice: How can higher education institutions safeguard the functional conditions of science against system-internal misconduct and external pressures in the future?

Various types of manuscripts of different orientation and length in German or English are welcome: Research articles (quantitative or qualitative studies), research notes as well as practical insights. Details on formats can be found in the “Guidelines for Authors” section ( 

If you are interested, please first submit an abstract (max. 600 words) by 25 July 2021, including a note on your intended article format. All submissions will be evaluated by the editors with regard to their suitability for the planned thematic issue. The authors will receive a corresponding message by at the beginning of August 2021.

The Deadline for submission of complete manuscripts is 31 December 2021. The two-stage review process will be carried out from January 2022. Receipt of the final manuscripts is scheduled for 1 July 2022 at the latest. Publication of the articles will take place at the beginning of September 2022 in issue 3/2022 of the “Journal of Higher Education Research”. 

The publishers welcome different types of manuscripts, such as articles providing an overview of a particular topic (systematic reviews), research articles, research notes, and insights into the practice (cp., see “Guidelines for authors”). They have to be written in British English.

Call for Papers special issue "Rethinking and Innovating Higher Education Governance"


Submission of abstracts: July 25, 2021
Submission of manuscripts: 31 December 2021
Submission of revised manuscripts: July 1st, 2022
Please send your submissions to: Beitraege (at)

Submission language: German or English 
If you have any queries, please contact the editors: Beitraege (at)