Call for Proposals: 32nd Annual CHER Conference


When: August 28-30, 2019
Where: Kassel, Germany
Deadline for abstracts: February 28, 2019

The 32nd annual CHER-Conference will take place from 28 August to 30 August, 2019 at the University of Kassel and will be organized by the International Centre for Higher Education Research Kassel in Germany. The theme of this year’s conference is “Theories and Methods in Higher Education Research”. The field of higher education research is growing and increasingly relying on various disciplinary and interdisciplinary theoretical approaches and advanced methods to explain higher education outcomes and policy issues. In the recent years, there has been an increased tendency towards using more and more theories and advanced methods in higher education research. Application of theory and advanced qualitative and quantitative methods in higher education research is also significant to establish the potential and innovation of higher education research and to address methodological challenges as associated with international comparative research, diversity of student body, policy implementation and evaluation, secondary data usage and analyses.

Taking into account these recent developments and challenges, this year’s CHER conference pursues two aims: First, to critically discuss theories and methods employed in higher education research. Second, to discuss the relevance of recent theoretical and methodological developments in other scientific disciplines and interdisciplinary research areas for higher education research. The abstracts can either focus on theories and methods or the nexus of theories and methods. All three perspectives are equally important for scientific innovation and sustainable progress in the interdisciplinary field of higher education research.

Theoretical perspectives

  • What is the use of specific theories from various disciplines and interdisciplinary fields, such as for example cognitive theory, evolutionary approaches, theories of globalization, decision theory, social constructivism, systems theory, and practice theory, in higher education research? What is their potential for advancing the field of higher education research?
  • How can different theoretical approaches be integrated to answer questions related to social disparities in higher education (e.g., student persistence, labor market consequence)?
  • How can theory help us to study organizational dynamics in the field of higher education?
  • What are the contributions of different theoretical approaches in understanding the role of universities in a changing world, Europe, or in changing national systems?

Methodological perspectives

  • What impact does the rapid progress in information and communication technology have for the methodological development in higher education (e.g., big data in higher education research)?
  • What potential does secondary analysis of existing data sets offer – what methodological challenges arise?
  • What are the methodological challenges associated with international comparative research? How can these challenges be addressed?

Nexus of theories and methods

  • What can be learned from an intensified interaction between theory construction and methodological development in higher education research?
  •  What knowledge can be gained from combining quantitative and qualitative methods in mixed-methods research designs with respect to different theoretical perspectives and what problems arise?
  • How to address the challenges of specific theories and methods within the research process?
  • Does the proximity of higher education research and higher education practice and policy create new methodological and theoretical challenges?

The three perspectives and the adjunct questions are offered only as suggestive guidelines. Other topics suited to the conference theme are explicitly welcome. Open Track: An open track will be organized for those contributions that do not have a specific fit with the three perspectives and are not explicitly connected to the main theme of the conference. This track is equally important and welcomes papers from a wide range of perspectives in the field of higher education research.

Submitting Proposals

Please submit your abstracts by email to by 28th February, 2019. The abstracts should not exceed 500 words. The conference also includes a poster session for preliminary studies, works in progress, or early stage research projects. Abstracts for the poster session are also welcome. All abstracts will be reviewed and applicants will receive a notification of acceptance by 31st March, 2019. The deadline for the Early Bird Registration is 15th May, 2019.

Childcare can be organized on request.

Best Doctoral Paper Award

Current PhD students or recently graduated PhDs (within the last two years) are invited to submit papers based on their doctoral work. Among the submitted papers, one will be selected for the Best Doctoral Paper Award. The deadline for submitting papers for the Best Doctoral Paper Award is 30th June, 2019. To be considered, papers should not be co-authored with a faculty member. Papers should be accompanied by a statement in which the wish to participate in the competition is expressed. The winner[s] will be announced during the conference.

Full Paper/Publication

Interested authors are requested to submit their full papers by 31st July, 2019. It is planned to publish selected papers in an edited volume. Please follow the link Guidelines for Submission!

Important Deadlines

Abstract Submission: 28th February, 2019
Notification of Acceptance: 31st March, 2019
Early Bird Registration: 15th May, 2019
Best Doctoral Paper Award: 30th June, 2019
Full paper for publication: 31st July, 2019

Program Committee and contact information

Georg Krücken (INCHER-Kassel, CHER Board of Directors)
Shweta Mishra (INCHER-Kassel)
Tim Seidenschnur (INCHER-Kassel)
Christian Schneijderberg (INCHER-Kassel)
Isabel Steinhardt (INCHER-Kassel)
Jelena Brankovic (CHER Board of Directors)
Gaële Goastellec (CHER Board of Directors)
Hugo Horta (CHER Board of Directors)
Terhi Nokkala (CHER Board of Directors)
Emanuela Reale (CHER Board of Directors)

Conference website

For any conference related questions please contact: Susanne Höckelmann,

Reminder: The ECHER Academic Writing Clinic will be organised on the day before the start of the CHER conference. For more information, see the call for participants.

This Call for Papers was posted on behalf of the CHER Program Committee. The original call can be found on the conference website (link above).

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