Keynote speakers

Keynote speakers:

Professor Rebecca Boden; Director of the  New Social Research (NSR) –programme, Tampere University. After a PhD in politics at Manchester University in 1980s, Rebecca could only get temporary research contract work because the government was savagely cutting university funding. In 1985 she left academia and became a tax inspector – a challenging job that gave her a great training in law and accountancy. In 1990 she returned to Manchester as a lecturer in accounting, and since 2000 has been a professor of critical management at a number of universities. She now works a little on taxation, but primarily researches how universities globally are financed and managed. Rebecca is also very experienced doctoral supervisor and has twice been the director of doctoral studies in large business schools. Her research focus gives her particular insights into the challenges faced by doctoral candidates.

The title of the keynote is Changing times?: How university reform impacts what doctoral candidates do, which will address how the current trends/developments in higher education globally (including Finland) are affecting doctoral research agendas, methods and methodologies.

The evening workshop: ”Success and failure in academia, and how to embrace the latter”  – Taina Saarinen and Melina Aarnikoivu

Academia and the early-research career phase in particular is full of moments of big and small successes. However, it also entails numerous failures; rejected grant applications, rejected articles, problems with data collection or analysis, delayed article or thesis submissions, and so forth. But are these really ”failures”, or just minor setbacks? Or could they be an integral part of being a researcher, although not recognised as such? Why do we assume that an academic career is or should be a linear progression – and do those kinds of careers even exist? In this year’s Higher Education Summer School evening workshop, Taina Saarinen and Melina Aarnikoivu discuss and share all their academic ”failures” that they have encountered. They also want to encourage the participants of this hands-on workshop to rethink their own ”failures” as more or less a natural part of being a researcher and be more merciful towards themselves and their work.

Taina Saarinen holds a PhD in applied linguistics, while identifying as a higher education researcher. She has published on higher education assessment, quality policies, internationalization and language policies. She is currently preparing a monograph for Palgrave on the neo-nationalist turn in Finnish higher education. Her current academic survival story is available as a Twitter thread.

Melina Aarnikoivu (MA) is a doctoral student at the Centre for Applied Language Studies (CALS), University of Jyväskylä. Her dissertation is a nexus analysis of becoming a scholar and its purpose is to study and ultimately to understand the path of becoming a professional researcher. The emergent issues include the international mobility and work / life balance of doctoral students and the construction of their academic identity. She is also part of the research group miGroup and the co-lead editor of the ECHER blog.

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