Special Issue – May 2021 – COVID-19 and the resilience of HE institutions

Call for papers for the upcoming issue of the

Journal of Research in Higher Education on COVID-19 and the resilience of higher education institutions


The JRHE is calling for the submission of papers related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the world of higher education, in order to publish a thematic issue on the subject in 2021.

Submissions are encouraged from all fields related to the academia, as the pandemic of COVID-19 reshaped important aspects of our life, including how universities deliver and students access tertiary education, how research is undertaken, and how the HEIs engage and support local communities.

One year into this unprecedented pandemic situation, the main issues are mainly concerned with the following:
1. universities’ capabilities to provide a high-quality and safe educational experience for students and a safe and technologically equipped environment to their staff,

2. the pandemic’s impact on HEIs and academics to fulfill their roles, as almost all face to face activities were transferred in online;
3. large scale transformation processes, which are equally challenges and opportunities for HEIs and their stakeholders;
4. high expectations from HEIs to produce new knowledge and develop renewed capabilities.

We think it is high time we reflect on all the above – but also on topics and themes that, though connected to or generated by the pandemic, were somehow left behind the main topics trending on academic discussions nowadays. What else, that is, does this pandemic bring to our attention? What are the secondary themes of the „new pandemic normality” (nonetheless important, as it is) to be considered in our approach of higher education?

We encourage reflections upon the dynamics of education and research funding, upon how HEIs adapt to uncertainty. How could universities draw plans to restore (or adapt) impacted research and educational programs, after such a period of hectic measures, scarce funding and challenges, as higher education institutions are forced to adapt to the new realities? Furthermore, how can contrasts be balanced in the future of our institutions: online learning makes education more accessible for some students, while it is also disadvantaging others; researchers lose their international perspective and encounter difficulties in working and collaborating in their research networks, while others benefit from the opportunity for the development of more environmentally sustainable and inclusive research practices. And, as we go further with this – our call is open to anything else considered important for the field of higher education and relevant to be addressed in an international journal.

We are interested in empiric studies and theoretical reflections on the new challenges and the mechanisms of resilience developed by higher education institutions and the adaptations of educational systems to the new, diverse, yet uncharted pandemic realities.

Submissions can range from theoretical reflections on how systems react, and institutions adjust their practices and models, to empirical approaches about the short-term effects and long-term impact assessed in relation with various stakeholders and different levels of analysis, from faculty departments or programs to national or cross-national higher education systems.

The deadline for submissions is May 3rd. Submission guidelines are available here. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have at journal.rehe[@]ubbcluj.ro.

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