Manja Klemenčič is Fellow and Lecturer in Sociology of Higher Education at the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University. Currently she is on sabbatical at Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge.
Manja researches, teaches, advises and consults in the area of international and comparative higher education, with interests in:
- student centred-approach in higher education: self-directed and self-regulated learning, student well being, student sense of belonging, students' university citizenship, student experience, student engagement in governance, quality assurance, and institutional research; student engagement in teaching and learning, student representation/councils/unions/
- higher education politics, polities and policy-making in national and international contexts
- higher education systems and institutions
- reform processes in higher education: internationalization, diversification and institutional profiling, governance, teaching and learning, conditions of academic work
- quality assurance and institutional research, i.e. data collection, analyses and reporting on and within higher education institutions
Manja is working on a book manuscript entitled “Student power” which explores capabilities of students to critically shape their responsiveness to (and interaction with and within) higher education environment (i.e. student agency in higher education) for the purposes of self-formation and well-being. Manja’s methodological work is devoted to developing “digital ethnography” as a method of inquiry into student well-being and self-formation.
Her most recent publications include theoretical contributions on student agency ("What is Student Agency?"), student university citizenship and student belonging (as addressed in the article "Student involvement in university quality enhancement" and the commentary "How to develop a sense of belonging"), conceptualizations of student unionism (student representation/student governments), published in "Student Representation in Western Europe: introduction to the special issue" and in "Student power in a global perspective and contemporary trends in student organizing", and applied in her collaborative work with colleagues from Africa in "Student Power in Africa" (with T. Luescher-Mamashela and J. Jowie Otieno ) and in "Student Organising in African Higher Education: Polity, Politics and Policies" (with T. Luescher-Mamashela and T. Mugume).
From 2010 to 2012 Manja was engaged in a research project “Differentiation, Equity, Productivity: the social and economic consequences of expanded and differentiated higher education systems - internationalisation perspective” (PI Professor Pavel Zgaga), which focused on higher education reforms in the Western Balkans. Through the analytical lens of diffusion theories, she has examined the impact of European policy initiatives and instruments on changes in higher education policies and institutional practices in Central and Eastern Europ and the Western Balkanse. Through this theoretical lens, she has investigated – usually by comparing several countries in the region - questions of institutional differentiation, institutional research, conditions of academic work, internationalisation, private-public higher education and student representation in university governance.
Manja is Editor-in-Chief of European Journal of Higher Education (Routledge/Taylor&Francis), associate editor of the section “Elite and Mass Higher Education in the 21st Century” of the International Encyclopedia of Higher Education Systems and Institutions (Springer), co-editor of book series "Understanding Student Experiences in Higher Education" (Bloomsbury) and serves on the Governing Board of the Consortium of Higher Education Researchers (CHER) and Global Forum on Improving University Teaching (IUT). She is also a member of editorial boards of Tertiary Education and Management, Policy Reviews in Higher Education, Higher Education in Russia and Beyond, Journal of Student Affairs in Africa, IJAEDU- International E-Journal of Advances in Education, IJASOS- International E-journal of Advances in Social Sciences and The Europa World of Learning.
Manja received M. Phil in European Studies and PhD in International Studies (Political Science) from University of Cambridge, BA in Economics from University of Maribor, Slovenia and held research and/or teaching positions at Harvard Graduate School of Education, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University, Center for Education Policy Studies at University of Ljubljana, Center for Business and Government at Harvard University, Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels, Center for Educational Management and Higher Education Development, Danube University Krems, Austria, Center for International Higher Education at Boston College and Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge.
From 1998-2001, Manja served as Secretary General of European Students' Union representing over 11 million students from 37 countries towards European institutions and organisations and in the European intergovernmental processes (the European Higher Education Area). During her mandate, then ESIB-The National Unions of Students in Europe participated in the Bologna Ministerial Summit leading to the signature of the Bologna Ministerial Declaration, which launched the Bologna Process, in the Stability Pact towards higher education reconstruction in the Western Balkans and helped organize the first European Student Convention (in autumn 2000 in Paris).
Manja frequently consults international organisations and associations, government, universities and national quality assurance agencies on reforms, strategies and evaluations of higher education systems and higher education institutions. She also acts as external evaluator for quality assurance agencies and is assessment of project proposals for research funding agencies.
Keynote at HEIR (Birmingham City University, July 2013) as recorded by an artists and institutional researcher Sussi Louise Zimmermann Roskilde University, Denmark: www.livsmalerier.blogspot.com