Practices and Governance
Sofya will examine universities’ regional engagement in a context of increasing inter-institutional competition and strategic modernization that create pressures for external engagement alongside maintaining research and/or teaching excellence. Drawing on a comparative analytic case study of a set of three universities that have made increasing regional engagement a specific strategic aim (the University of Twente, Linköping University, and Aalborg University), Sofya will explore the non-instrumental antecedents of academics’ regional engagement behaviors in an attempt to understand what drives regional engagement at the individual level, and what implications this may have for academic identity and work. The research is expected to contribute both to academic debates foregrounding the unexpected tensions inherent in regional engagement activities and to university management debates concerning the practicalities of delivering regional engagement that is well connected to and supportive of universities’ other missions.
University of Twente
Sofya is a graduate of the Erasmus Mundus Master course in Research and Innovation in Higher Education (MaRIHE). She holds a MSc degree in Administrative Sciences awarded jointly by the University of Tampere (Finland) and Danube University Krems (Austria). In her Master’s thesis, she utilized the theoretical perspective of institutional logics to explore how academics from social sciences make sense of their societal engagement and of its influence on the more conventional dimensions of academic work. Before entering the Master’s program, Sofya had been employed as lecturer and academic administrator at the Center for Biblical and Jewish Studies of the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow (Russia).