Dr. Jussi Välimaa is Professor in Educational Studies and Director of the Finnish Institute for Educational Research at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Being trained as a historian and a social scientist professor, Välimaa has expertise in social and historical studies on higher education and education. His research profile is shaped by academic interest in the relationship between higher education and society. Dr. Välimaa also has studied the internal dynamics of higher education institutions from cultural, historical and sociological perspectives. Dr. Välimaa’s latest book is ‘A History of Finnish Higher Education from the Middle Ages to the Twenty-first Century’ (Springer, in press).
Dr. Välimaa’s Key note speech discusses theoretical perspectives, methodological choices and the challenges of research design in the field of higher education research.
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.