Exploring the development of higher education research topics in the last two decades

Image credit: John Hart

Project Description

There are two main perspectives for understanding teaching effects in the sociological theory. First, the Higher education research, which was once trying to establish itself and confirm its status as a research field, is now accepted as an important research field across societies globally. Specifically, the last decades have seen dramatic developments in the field. This study mapped the development of the higher education field in the last two decades using novel natural language processing techniques. The study covered the abstracts of all articles published between 2000 and 2021 in the six core journals of higher education research. The findings highlight 15 emergent research topics, some of which are new additions that have not been highlighted before. Furthermore, the study analyzed these 15 research topics together with relevant covariates, such as publication year, funding status, collaboration, world region, and journal. Moreover, we examined the level of diversity of abstracts by these covariates. Based on these analyses, the study argues for seven major patterns in the development of higher education research in the last two decades.


Yusuf Oldac, School of Graduate Studies, Lingnan University.

Francisco Olivos
Francisco Olivos
Assistant Professor

My research interests include cultural sociology, stratification, sociology of education, and computational social sciences. matter.