Journal of East China Normal University(Educational Sciences) ›› 2020, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (9): 200-227.doi: 10.16382/j.cnki.1000-5560.2020.09.011

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Empirical Research on University Governance 2015—2019: Characteristics, Trends and Prospects

Zhou Guangli1, Guo Hui2   

  1. 1. School of Education, Renmin University of China, Bejing 100872, China;
    2. School of Education, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430047, China
  • Published:2020-09-15

Abstract: In the five years from 2015 to 2019, driven by the movement of empirical research in education, a field full of theoretical and speculative traditions--university governance--began to attempt evidence-based research. This article examined 77 empirical research papers on university governance from 17 domestic CSSCI educational journals as the research object, and 22 empirical research papers on university governance from 5 foreign SSCI educational journals as the reference object. The multi-dimensional statistical analysis found that in terms of the metrological characteristics in literature, empirical research in China’s university governance research is rising steadily. The co-cited literature reflects that the empirical study of university governance has distinct characteristics of knowledge input. The empirical study of university governance has obvious interdisciplinary characteristics. In terms of the characteristics of knowledge production, the research topic turns from macro to micro, with “university (organization) governance” as the main topic. The research methods adopted are diversified, with qualitative “literature analysis” and “case analysis” as the main methods. The empirical study of university governance takes university as the main unit of analysis. The iterative updating of knowledge production has “policy dependence”. The five years of empirical research on university governance have solved some important problems of governance at the system level, university level and grassroots academic organization level. As the researchers have not fully mastered the methods of empirical research in education, the advantages of this research paradigm in knowledge accumulation have not been brought into play. In the future, it is the mission of university governance researchers to vigorously advocate empirical research paradigm, standardize research methods and improve research quality.

Key words: university governance, empirical research, bibliometrics, research methods