Research in Higher Education

, Volume 56, Issue 8, pp 861–882 | Cite as

Mapping Global Research on International Higher Education

  • Aliya KuzhabekovaEmail author
  • Darwin D. Hendel
  • David W. Chapman


The purpose of the study is to map global research in international higher education. Specifically, the study uses bibliometric and social network analysis methods to identify key individuals, institutions, countries, and disciplines contributing to research in international higher education and to investigate patterns of connectivity among authors, journals, disciplines, and topics. The dataset representing research covers 2302 publications from the Web of Science for the period 2002–2011. Unlike prior attempts to draw a representative sample of articles capturing key research in international higher education by choosing articles from key journals, this study sampled articles more broadly by applying a keywords search to all journals included in the bibliographic database. To address the ambiguity in defining the boundaries of the field, the keywords used in constructing the dataset were generated from an explicit definition of “research in international higher education” with the definition being U.S.-centric, i.e. defining the field from the perspective of a U.S.-based researcher. Results indicated that although the number of research studies on international higher education has grown from 68 in 2002 to 472 in 2012, networks among researchers of higher education continue to operate largely within national borders and are still dominated by a few Western countries. While the 3362 researchers in international higher education came from 1164 different institutions/organizations around the world, only 11.3 % of articles were authored by researchers from at least two countries.


International higher education International research collaboration Bibliometric Social network analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of EducationNazarbayev UniversityAstanaRepublic of Kazakhstan
  2. 2.Department of Organizational Leadership Policy, and DevelopmentUniversity of Minnesota-Twin CitiesMinneapolisUSA

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