Reflections on the Field of Higher Education:Time, Space and Sub-fields
Keiko Yokoyama examines three analytical dimensions which shape the field of higher education: knowledge, approach and community.
The objective of this study is to define the field of higher education and clarify its identity. It examines three analytical dimensions which, it proposes, shape the field: knowledge, approach and community. It argues that contextual knowledge around the issue of higher education has defined the field but has not determined techniques that are specific to it. The core elements of these three dimensions— contextual knowledge, the diversity in approaches and the multi-disciplinary and loosely coupled community—suggest diversity in the field and in its identity rather than coherence and consolidation. The two dimensions of approach and community partially relate to the development of the field as a product of efforts to solve financial and management problems caused by the expansion of higher education after World War II in the US, and, in terms of experience, in Europe where expansion came much later, increasing public interest in higher education.