The aim of the seminar is to expand our understanding of the institutions in which we work and in which most of the intellectual labor of the world is conducted or supported. This seminar will host talks and events that present research and foster discussion about universities and other institutions of higher education. Our scope is large, encompassing explorations of the past, examinations of current issues, and informed speculation about the future. Visit our seminar's website to learn more.

Upcoming Events

Howard Gardner, Harvard Graduate School of Education
A National Study of Higher Education: Challenges and Rays of Hope
Tuesday, January 8, 2019 - 5:30pm
Thursday, January 10, 2019 - 5:30pm
Monday, January 14, 2019 - 5:30pm
Askwith Hall in Longfellow Hall, 13 Appian Way

A Three-Part Lecture Series with The John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education Howard Gardner


In this special, community-wide lecture series, psychologist and educator Howard Gardner will share findings from a six year national study of higher education. How do the chief constituencies in higher education (i.e., incoming students, graduating students, faculty, senior administrators, parents, alumni/ae, trustees, and job recruiters) on ten disparate campuses understand the opportunities and challenges in the U.S.? In a rapidly altering terrain, what is the future of the liberal arts and sciences—indeed, of quality, non-professional higher education in the 21st century? Join us for this special lecture series and a unique opportunity to hear one of Harvard's premier scholars share findings from this comprehensive study for the first time with the public.

All are welcome to attend.


January 8, 5:30-7pm, Askwith Hall, Background and Issues

January 10, 5:30-7pm, Askwith Hall, Findings

January 14, 5:30-7pm, Askwith Hall, Conclusions and Recommendations

Menglin (Maria) Guo, NYU-Shanghai, Harvard University
The College to Work Transition for Liberal Arts Students: Graduate Thesis Excerpt on American Liberal Education
Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 4:00pm
Room 133, Barker Center


Menglin (Maria) Guo
Academic Advisor, NYU-Shanghai, Shanghai, China
Research Fellow, Hutchins Center, Harvard University, USA

Meng-Hsuan Chou, NTU Singapore, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies
Pauline Ravinet, Université de Lille, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
What Does Comparative Regionalism Offer to Higher Education Research?
Thursday, March 7, 2019 - 4:00pm
Location TBA


Meng-Hsuan Chou
Nanyang Assistant Professor in the Public Policy and Global Affairs Program, NTU Singapore
Fung Global Fellow, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, USA

Pauline Ravinet
Senior Lecturer in Political Science, Center for Studies in Administrative, Political, and Social Research (CERAPS), Université de Lille
Scientific Collaborator, Center for the Study of Political Life (CEVIPOL), Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

Marek Kwiek, University of Poznan, Poland
Changing European Academics: A Comparative Study of Social Stratification, Work Patterns, and Research Productivity
Thursday, April 4, 2019 - 4:00pm
Location TBA


Marek Kwiek
Director of the Center for Public Policy Studies and UNESCO Chair in Institutional Research and Higher Education Policy, University of Poznan, Poland

Ulrike Felt, University of Vienna, Austria
Re-timing Contemporary Universities: Governance, Power, and Identity
Thursday, April 18, 2019 - 4:00pm
Location TBA


Ulrike Felt
Head of the Department of Science and Technology Studies, Head of the Research Platform Responsible Research and Innovation in Academic Practice, University of Vienna, Austria

Hans de Wit, Boston College
Betty Leask, Boston College
Internationalization in Higher Education, Pushing the Boundaries!
Thursday, May 2, 2019 - 4:00pm
Room 133, Barker Center


Hans de Wit
Professor of Higher Education and Director, Center for International Higher Education, Lynch School of Education, Boston College, USA

Betty Leask
Visiting Scholar, Center for International Higher Education, Lynch School of Education, Boston College, USA

Past Events 2017 - 18

Panel on "Universities’ Responsibility to Truth"
Doctoral Research on Political Participation, Elite Status, and Race and Merit
Mario Small, Harvard University
On Power and Ambiguity in the Student-Adviser Relation
Anthony Jack, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard Society of Fellows
(No) Harm in Asking
Scott Gelber, Wheaton College
Erin Driver-Linn, Harvard University
Grading the College: A History of Evaluating American Higher Education
Janine de Novais, Harvard Graduate School of Education
"These Classes Equip Me": The Development of Complex Understandings of Race in College Classrooms
William Kirby, Harvard University
From Berlin to Berkeley to Beijing: The World of Universities in the 21st Century
Nicholas Boucher, Harvard Undergraduate Council
Fernando Miguel Galan Palomares, European Association of Institutions in Higher Education
Caroline Sundberg, European Students' Union
Catherine Zhang, Harvard Undergraduate Council
Students as Partners: Opportunities and Challenges of Student Representation in Higher Education Governance
Gaële Goastellec, University of Lausanne, University of Toronto
Access to Higher Education and Degrees in Europe, From Tool of the Government to Inequality Regimes
Eddie R. Cole, College of William and Mary
College Presidents and Racial Unrest: A Civil Rights History
John Carey, Dartmouth College
Katherine P. Clayton, Dartmouth College
Yusaku Horiuchi, Dartmouth College
The Hidden Consensus on Campus Diversity
Christopher Avery, Harvard Kennedy School
Philip Lee, University of the District of Columbia
Mitchell Stevens, Stanford Graduate School of Education
Natasha Warikoo, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Perspectives on Selective Admissions
Margaret Morganroth Gullette, Brandeis University
The Monument and the Wrecking Crew: Ageism in the Academy
Stefan Beljean, Harvard University
Laura Nelson, Harvard University
Graduate Student Talks