Higher Education

, Volume 67, Issue 4, pp 369–380 | Cite as

Challenges and trends in comparative higher education: an editorial

  • Anna Kosmützky
  • Terhi NokkalaEmail author


International comparative higher education research has proliferated since its institutionalization as an interdisciplinary field in the 1960s and 1970s (Jarausch 1985) and has gained special momentum in the 1990s (Teichler 1996). On the one hand, the benefits of comparative research approaches in international higher education have been repeatedly emphasized (Altbach and Kelly 1985; Teichler 1996; Rhoades 2001). These include, for example, increasing the capacity to generalize about a greater number of units under analysis, the capacity of a systematic comparison to illuminate the dynamics of a particular system better than a single-system study as well as highlighting knowledge gaps. On the other hand, methodological debates about comparing higher education internationally and how best to compare them emerged hand-in-hand with the field’s growth in popularity. Although the logic of international comparative research does not differ from research undertaken just within...


High Education Comparative Research High Education System High Education Research Comparative Education 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of KasselKasselGermany
  2. 2.University of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland

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