The 13th annual conference of the German Society for Research in Higher Education (Gesellschaft für Hochschulforschung – GfHf) is taking place at the German University of Administrative Sciences in Speyer, Germany, from 12th-13th April 2018.
Conference theme: The place and space of higher education: past, present and future visions of physical and virtual realities
Our conference is dedicated to promoting academic discourse on the space which higher education occupies in the world. On the one hand we address the manner in which universities and colleges reveal their missions through their physical structures and the spaces in between them. We also consider the massive expansion of higher education in the 1960s and 70s, with the foundation of numerous new universities, but we also explore the expansion of existing sites to cater for growing student numbers or changing scientific needs. Here we wish to draw upon theoretical and empirical models, which help us to understand recent developments and the present status quo, how HE institutions have been built in cities or on green sites outside.
However, we also wish to address the possible development of the place higher education might in the future go on to occupy with regard to utopias (non-places), giving these ideas a platform for debate. In this context a number of questions arise: What should the university of the future look like? Do architect’s ideas correspond with the wishes and needs of students and lecturers? Where will students, lecturers and researchers of the future gather together to exchange with one another?