Report on the 13th International Workshop on Higher Education Reform, Dublin, Ireland

Visiting Place: Dublin, Ireland

Visiting Date: September 7-9, 2016

Overview: Report on the 13th International Workshop on Higher Education Reform

A report contributed by: Tomoe NOMURA, Research Fellow, RIHE


The 13th International Workshop on Higher Education Reform (HER2016) has taken place in Dublin (Ireland) from 7th to 9th September 2016. Four academic staffs from the RIHE have participated and presented at the workshop. This year, the host university was the Higher Education Research Centre (HERC), Dublin City University in association with the Institute of Education, Dublin City University, and the Centre for Academic Values in Education (CAVE), Trinity College Dublin. Since this international workshop is planned to take place at the RIHE of Hiroshima University in 2017, our mission was not only to present work at the workshop but also to discuss about the organisation with the international scientific committee and gather information concerning the next year’s workshop.

The International Workshop on Higher Education Reform (HER) was inaugurated by the Centre for Policy Studies in Higher Education at the University of British Columbia in 2003, with a focus on research investigating various aspects of policy reforms and other major changes in higher education. Every year, this series of international workshops choses a main theme which reflects the latest trend of the higher education research and give opportunities for internationally active researchers to present their up to date work.

This year, the main theme was “Wider access, changing national demographics and international mass migration: implications for higher education reforms and policy”. Despite increasing rates of participation in higher education, significant socio-demographic inequalities remain. Contemporary demographic shifts pose additional challenges for the future development of higher education. Through the keynotes, panel and parallel sessions, current situations and challenges of the drastically changing higher education were presented. The presentations included explanations about the various regional and country contexts, covering Europe, Northern and Southern America, Africa, and Asia. In the broader context of widening access to higher education for underrepresented groups, this workshop particularly focuses on the implications for higher education of ageing populations and global migration.

The presentation by the academic staffs from the RIHE was entitled as “University governance in shrinking higher education systems”. We have discussed about the analysis of an empirical study on the university governance reform conducted this year in Japan, taking into consideration of the aging society context. Discussing with numbers of researchers who gathered at our presentation venue, we have felt the strong interests of the international researchers in university governance reform and empirical studies. 

The last day of the workshop has taken place at Trinity College Dublin. Here we had an opportunity to present about the RIHE and Hiroshima University as next year’s host. The explanation about research and education at the RIHE and Hiroshima University received positive responses from the participants. Moreover, since the city of Hiroshima draws many people’s attention culturally and historically, we could feel the rising expectation among the participants for the 14th HER at the RIHE.

After the conference, a visit to the Trinity college library was organised. The library holds more than 5 million books and “Book of kells”. A library staff who specialises in repairing old books has given a lecture to the group about the university library system and the process of old book reparations. To see more information about the 13th HER, please see the official website ( ).

Further information about the 14th HER taking place at the RIHE, Hiroshima University will be announced on our website soon.


(Sep 26, 2016) Put a link to 14th HER website ( on our website.



Conference venue at Dublin City University


Dublin City University


Presentation at Dublin City University


Presentation at Trinity College Dublin


Presentation at Trinity College Dublin


Trinity College Dublin Library


Campus of Trinity College Dublin