Manja Klemenčič researches, teaches, advises and consults in the area of sociology and politics of higher education and international and comparative higher education. She is Lecturer on Sociology offering higher education courses at the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University and Lecturer in General Education at Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Manja is also local affiliate at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University. In Slovenia, she is associate researcher at the Centre for Educational Policy Studies, Faculty of Education at University of Ljubljana and collaborates also with research group at CMEPIUS, Centre of the Republic of Slovenia for Mobility and European Educational and Training Programmes, in particular as a member of the global academic network APIKS - Academic Profession in Knowledge Societies.
Manja has repeatedly won Harvard's awards for excellence in teaching for her three staple courses: general education course GENED1039 Higher Education: Students, Institutions, and Controversies, engaged scholarship course SOCIOL1130 Student Leadership and Service in Higher Education, and Sociology research seminar SOCIOL1104 Sociology of Higher Education. Twice, she was voted by the Harvard Yearbook Publications one of the favourite professors by the graduating class (’19 and ’20), and, in 2020, she won John R. Marquand Award for Excellence in Advising and Support to Students.
Klemenčič’ s current research focuses on the effects that students have on higher education, and student agency in higher education context. Her research corrects the one-sided research in sociology of higher education that is primarily concerned with the effects of higher education on students, but ignores the effects that students have on their colleges and universities - through representation and activism, leadership and service, campus employment and through their consumer preferences. She published on student politics, student governments and student representation, and student voice in university quality; in international comparative perspective, and in European and African contexts. She has also researched academic profession and conditions of academic work, student centred learning and teaching in higher education, higher education internationalization, differentiation processes in higher education systems and reform processes within the European Higher Education Area. Among her latest publications are the The Routledge Handbook of Student Centered Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Routledge, 2020, co-edited with Sabine Hoidn), in which she also contributed chapters on student agency and actorhood in student centred learning and teaching and on designing and evaluating the student centered ecosystems in higher education. As thematic editos of section on Elite and Mass Higher Education, she co-edited The International Encyclopedia of Higher Education Systems and Institutions (Springer, 2020), in which she also contributed entries on student politics, student governments, student campus employees, alternative higher education and the effects of the higher education expansion on students.
Since 2014, Manja has served as Editor-in-Chief of European Journal of Higher Education, and since 2015 as Co-Editor of the Bloomsbury book series Understanding Student Experiences of Higher Education. She serves on editorial boards of Tertiary Education and Management, Policy Reviews in Higher Education, Higher Education in Russia and Beyond, Journal of Student Affairs in Africa and The Europa World of Learning, and as reviewer for over 20 academic journals and publishers. At Harvard, she co-chairs the Mahindra Center Seminar Series entitled: Universities: Past, Present, and Future. She has served as external consultant or evaluator to national research foundations (National Research Foundation (NRF), Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa; Research and Scoping Awards of the Society of Research into Higher Education, United Kingdom; Irish Research Council Laureate Awards scheme; Research Grants, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council | Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines, Government of Canada; Unitatea Executiva pentru Finantarea Invatamantului Superior, a Cercetarii, Dezvoltarii si Inovarii (UEFISCDI), Ministerului Educatiei si Cercetarii Stiintifice (MECS), Romania; ESCR/NRF Newton, United Kingdom) as well as to international organizations (The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission, UNESCO, World Bank) and governments (Slovenia, Finland, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Lithuania, Spain).
Manja obtained D.Phil in International Studies (Politics/Political Sociology) at Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge, M.Phil in European Studies at Department of History at University of Cambridge, and BA in Economics (International Trade) at University of Maribor, Slovenia. As doctoral researcher, she was a visiting fellow at Harvard Kennedy School of Government (Fulbright Fellowship) and at Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels. As postdoctoral researcher she had visiting fellowships at Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University; Center for International Higher Education, Boston College; Center for Social Science Research in Berlin (WZB) and Harvard Graduate School of Education.
As undergraduate student, from 1998 to 2001, Manja served as Secretary General of the European Students' Union (then ESIB -The National Unions of Students in Europe) based in Vienna, Austria and later in Brussels, Belgium. ESU is the European platform of 45 National Unions of Students (NUS) from 39 countries representing over 15 million students and is the representative body of higher education students in policy making within the European Higher Education Area (EHEA/Bologna Process) and the European Union. prior to her service in ESU, she was a national coordinator, regional trainer and competitive debater in the Karl Popper Debate program of the Open Society Institute (later Pro et Contra, Institute for Culture of Dialogue, Slovenia) of which she was also a co-founder.
Native of Slovenia, Manja resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband Khaled El Rouayheb and two children.
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