Articles published in three leading North American higher education journals during the year 2000 are compared with those published in three leading, English language, non-North American higher education journals (and with a larger sample of fourteen such journals). The comparison focuses on the location of their authors, the themes researched, the levels at which the analyses are pitched, the methods and methodologies employed, and the explicitness of both methodological and theoretical engagement. Compared to the non-North American sample, the North American articles evidence a dominance of North American-based authors, a greater focus on the student experience, and on institutional and national level studies, and a much stronger emphasis on multivariate analysis as a method. Articles in the North American sample were also more likely to be both methodologically and theoretically explicit. Possible reasons for the divergent patterns observed are identified and discussed.
This paper extends the analysis of Researching Higher Education by comparing those findings with North American publication patterns. 79 articles published in the three leading North American higher education journals are analysed alongside the 406 journal articles examined in Researching Higher Education. The paper argues that the North American and non-North American higher education research communities are essentially separate worlds, focusing inwards on their own systems and issues, favouring different method/ological approaches, and paying little regard to each others' work and findings. The possibilities for change in these patterns in the foreseeable future are then explored. Indications of the value of this work are positive feedback from international researchers in Higher Education at the Oxford Conference in HE in Autumn 2006 and European Association of Institutional Research Netherlands 2005. RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Education