EARLI SIG 4 Conference 2018

29-31 August, 2018

Giessen, Germany


Topography of research on higher education: Promoting deep conversations

Following the successful SIG 4 conference in 2014 in Leuven and the “Higher Education Conference” in 2016 in Amsterdam, the 2018 conference in Giessen will focus on deepening and extending collaborations among SIG members and other researchers and administrators in the field of higher education learning and teaching. By using an innovative format, the conference aims at enabling in-depth conversations about research projects, triggering well-founded discourse about research methodologies and theoretical concepts, and starting or deepening collaborations among conference participants.

Europe has a strong higher education research tradition. However, along with the changes in teaching and learning in higher education, the "landscape" of the research on higher education is also changing. Some of the current challenges in the research field may be the following; this is, however, not an exhaustive list of topics relevant to the conference:

● Aims of teaching and learning in Higher Education: What skills are expected of higher education graduates? How to align teachers’ and institutional aims with students’ goals?

● Empirical research: How can we assess the landscape of research on higher education? What aspects of higher education are missed by applying existing research methods?

● Digitization of higher education teaching and learning: How does web-based learning facilitate or impede learning? How will digital teaching change the topography of higher education?

● Teacher characteristics and training: How can teacher training contribute to their development of professional abilities, attitudes and?

● Quality management and development: How can we make use of research on higher education institutions? What can we learn from research on higher education in other national systems?


Researchers of all disciplines and specializations are invited to contribute to the conference.

Through this conference, we strive to map out the topography of research on changing landscape of higher education by building on existing knowledge as well as by identifying unexplored areas and new methodologies.


In the future, you will find the program here.


In the future, you will find information about the keynotes here.


Submission Formats

The conference will include the following conference formats, all of which are designed to trigger deep conversations about participants. 


Paper presentations: Paper sessions are oral presentations of three to four papers (which may be included in a symposium), followed by a discussion with the audience. Each presenter is given 15 minutes to present a clear argument, preferably based on empirical data. Paper presentations may be organized in symposia. We encourage the session chairs to follow up on the main discussion issues and open questions on the digital “insights wall”.


Symposia: Symposia present research on one topic or theme, providing a coherent set of papers for discussion. Symposia sessions consist of three to four oral paper presentations and a discussant. Symposia are directed by a chairperson and in each symposium the participants should come from at least two different countries. Please note that every participant must register individually. We encourage the session chairs to follow up on the main discussion issues and open questions on the digital “insights wall”.


Collaborative space: The 1.5-hour “collaborative space” is a room in which a maximum of ten participants discuss their ongoing or future research projects with the goal of establishing or deepening research collaborations. The session organizers are asked to present their project ideas to (parts of) the audience, and to develop collaborative projects in small-group discussions. The submission for a collaborative space should include the main content area for which collaboration shall be established or deepened. Please explain briefly why this area is new and worthwhile. Also, add possible research questions that can be addressed by the collaborators as well as the (probable) kind and planned outcomes of the collaboration. Only if you know in advance, you may add prospective participants of your collaborative space session; this is, however, not necessary for the submission. We encourage the session chairs to follow up on the main discussion issues and open questions on the digital “insights wall”.


Guided Poster presentations: Poster sessions involve four to six posters, which visually present current research. Each presenter is given five minutes for a short oral presentation to the audience, followed by an in-depth discussion with the audience. We encourage the session chairs to follow up on the main discussion issues and open questions on the digital “insights wall”.


Submission Process

Please submit your summary (200-500 words for each contribution) via the conference system at https://conference.earli.org/

Log in with your existing EARLI credentials, and click the green "new submission" button in your EARLI user dashboard. Select the SIG 04 Conference, and the submission type you wish to submit. All submitters and presenters will need an active EARLI account. Should you not have an EARLI account yet, you can easily create one (free of charge) at https://conference.earli.org/create-account

Please note: All submissions should be done completely anonymously, to ensure a fair review process. Please do not include your name in your submission.


Conference Fee


Early bird (registration until 31 May, 2018)

JURE member: 250 Euro

EARLI member: 300 Euro

Non-member: 350 Euro


Regular (registration after 31 May, 2018)

JURE member: 300 Euro

EARLI member: 350 Euro

Non-member: 400 Euro


Registration Process

Registration for this conference will be open on 1st May, 2018. Please register, using your credentials, via the conference system at https://conference.earli.org/


Dates and Location


Conference Date

29 to 31 August, 2018


Conference Venue

Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany


Time Schedule

27 January, 2018: Submission deadline

30 April, 2018: Notification of acceptance

1 May, 2018: Start of registration (early bird)

31 May, 2018: Early bird registration deadline

10 August, 2018: Final deadline for registration

29 to 31 August, 2018: Conference



Travel and Hotel Recommendations

In the future, you will find information on travel and hotel recommodations here.