To design study programs, courses and examinations with competencies in mind and based on consistent measurement of students’ learning progress, practitioners require objective, reliable, and valid assessments of the competencies acquired in higher education. To this end, the national research initiative KoKoHs “Modeling and Measuring Competencies in Higher Education” was established by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). In two funding phases from 2011 to 2019, theoretical-conceptual competence models and corresponding test instruments and assessment procedures were developed and comprehensively validated. The result is the KoKoHS Assessment Portfolio, which presents developed test instruments in detail and makes them available for further use in research.
This year's "Summer School in Higher Education Research and Science Studies (HERSS)" will take place from 7 to 11 September 2020 in the Leibnizhaus of the University of Hannover. The event, which is sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is dedicated to scientific theory work. In particular, the event is intended to give doctoral and post-doctoral students at an early stage of their careers the opportunity to reflect on the theoretical work in their own research and to discuss it with experts in science and higher education research.
The areas of research on higher education and research on science have long stayed surprisingly separate from one another, even though their research focuses overlap extensively. The new research group, sited within the Science and technology studies (Wissenschafts- und Technikforschung) section of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie (DGS), focuses on those topics that, from a sociological perspective, come to the forefront in close examination of the overlap between the two research fields.
The research group's first event, devoted to the topic "The interrelationships between the organization and production of scientific knowledge", will take place in connection with the next DGS Congress, which will be held in Göttingen in the period 24-28 September 2018.
New funding announcement in the area of "quality developments in science"
The science system is traditionally seen as having a strong orientation to performance and quality. Over the past few years, most of the discussion on science-sector reform has been focusing on one topic in particular: a systemic view of "quality." In the coming years, critical reflection on this development, and generation of empirically backed findings for designing quality-assurance frameworks, are to make up a priority topic area within the BMBF funding priority "research on higher education and science." A first pertinent funding announcement, focusing on research questions in the area of "quality developments in science," was published on 21 March 2018. The deadline for submission of project summaries is 1 June 2018.