Focus Area Higher Education Research

Higher education is changing rapidly and needs to do so to keep pace with changes in society. Education strives increasingly for interdisciplinarity, societal interaction, and flexibility of programmes.

Call open for small open grants
Participants kick off meeting Higher Education Research

Continuous education is stimulated, but simultaneously education is challenged by fluctuations in student inflow and by changing in formats of delivery and assessment. All these changes make innovation of education a must to increase quality and answer the demands by society.

Utrecht University strives for evidence informed innovation, which is a challenge because of the high context-dependency of education. Context-rich knowledge is therefore needed to inform practice. Utrecht University provides a unique setting to investigate the higher education domain, combining excellent theoretical and experimental educational research groups with a large number of distributed chairs in all faculties with a focus on education yet rooted in the different subject disciplines, thus providing research access to higher education practice.

Enhancing collaboration and improving visibility

In the focus area, researchers at Utrecht University work together to examine implications of the afore mentioned changes for teaching and learning in higher education. They aim to improve quality of education and to provide an evidence-base for academic teachers and higher education institutes to continuously improve education and respond effectively to societal changes. The focus area aims to achieve these goals by enhancing collaboration in the field of higher education research, and by improving the visibility of the field.

To achieve these goals the focus area invests in network events and provides seed money for collaborative research projects. 

Call: Grants focus area Higher Education Research

The focus area Higher Education offers the opportunity to researchers from UU and UMCU to apply for grants. See here for more information.


The research leaders of this focus area are prof. Sanne Akkerman, prof. Susan te Pas and prof. Manon Kluijtmans. If you would like to join the focus area or have any questions, please contact the coordinator Rik Vangangelt MA.