International Initiatives

The study of comparative higher education is a logical extension of the multi-disciplinary strengths of the Institute's graduate programs. IHE seeks to ensure that the next generation of scholars, leaders, and policymakers understand the importance of thinking internationally, and have a grasp of the social, cultural, political, and governance issues facing higher education worldwide. 

  • The Institute is a partner in the new Higher Education Initiative for Southeastern Europe (HEISEE). This new regional initiative will operate as an independent entity serving the countries comprising its membership and offering opportunities for networking for regional consultations, communications, conferences and meetings. The IHE will pursue the overarching goal of enhancing postsecondary education throughout the region
  • In 2014 the curriculum for an advanced master’s degree program in management in higher education was developed within the HEISEE project with the assistance from IHE faculty. The program and modules were presented during a workshop at the University of Rijeka on February 10-13, 2015. The workshop was attended by several IHE faculty, fellows, and one PhD student as well as participants representing all Croatian universities – rectors, vice-rectors, deans as well as managers and administrative staff. The accreditation of the program as a life-long learning program is in process at the University of Rijeka. Members of the team representing IHE:Timothy Reese Cain, Associate Professor; Michael K. McLendon, Professor, Southern Methodist University and IHE Fellow; Edward G. Simpson, Jr, IHE Fellow; and Lucia Brajković, PhD doctoral candidate.
  • The IHE executive doctorate in higher education, based in Atlanta, has an international perspective that is embedded in the courses and activities. The program will also include sessions abroad each summer: one in Europe with CHEPS, the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies at the University of Twente; and during the second year the group travels to China, working with our partners at Peking University and Beijing Normal University.
  • The Institute has a relationship with the Higher Education European Masters (HEEM) program based at the University of Oslo. Faculty exchanges between the IHE and University of Oslo have been successful with visiting faculty teaching classes on comparative higher education and completing research.
  • Over the past several years, the Institute has hosted visiting scholars from around the world — including China, South Korea, West Indies, Turkey, and Finland — and continued its training work, including in Croatia with an annual workshop on higher education management funded by the U.S. Department of State.

Visiting Scholars

Recently, IHE welcomed visiting faculty and international scholars from Finland and Turkey.

Sedat Gumus, associate professor of Education at Necmettin Erbakan University, in Konya, Turkey will be in residence for academic year 2015-16. Before arriving at the IHE he worked as the director of international relations at the Council of Higher Education, Turkey’s national higher education planning and coordination body. His research interests include issues such as finance, coordination and governance of higher education. His primary research at UGA will focus on state-level higher education coordination and accreditation bodies in the U.S.

“The Institute is a good fit for me because there are many professors who are nationally known experts in higher education research, specifically in the governance of higher education,” he says. “Also, having graduate programs is very important, as I plan to visit classes to learn more about the U.S. higher education system and to share my knowledge on Turkish and European higher education systems with the students. Later in the year, I have been asked to give a presentation on Turkish higher education, which is a very centralized system compared to the U.S.”

Ilkka Kauppinen, senior lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy at the University of Jyväskylä (Finland), spent summer 2015 at IHE. During his visit. he coauthored and completed a manuscript with Sheila Slaughter and Brendan Cantwell (Michigan State) on the emergence of the European Research Area (ERA). He also prepared a research proposal to the Academy of Finland.

“Visiting the IHE is always a pleasure and a privilege,” said Kauppinen. “During the years my research has benefited significantly from these visits and hopefully I am able to give something back in return.”

Kauppinen is also a fellow at the IHE and began his scholarly visits in 2010 when he spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar.

Thurston Domina, associate professor of education and sociology at the University of California-Irvine, was an IHE visiting scholar for the 2014-2015 academic year. Domina’s research pairs demographic and econometric empirical methods with sociological theory to better understand the relationship between education and social inequality in the contemporary U.S.  “I’m committing more time and energy to researching undergraduate education lately as I take the lead on an NSF-funded project that’s dedicated to documenting instructional practices in large STEM lecture courses and tracing their link to student persistence,” he said. “IHE was an ideal place to work on the data analysis stage of this project.”

While at UGA, Domina collected data related to placement practices and instruction in secondary and postsecondary mathematics and science classes and used these data to investigate the links between institutional practices and student achievement and attainment. Upon completion of his year with IHE, Domina began fall semester at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill as associate professor of educational policy and sociology.