In the globalising world, with increasing economic competition and unifying cultural models, higher education institutions have been under strong pressures for change. Economic values and market metaphors have penetrated throughout the systems into basic units. All these developments have deeply affected academic and institutional cultures.
The theme of the next CHER Annual Conference focuses on the Cultural dimension in higher education. Cultural dimension refers to traditions, norms, values, and shared assumptions of academic communities and organisations. When defining the Cultural Dimension in Higher Education as the theme of the conference we would like to challenge researchers in the field to examine the meanings and uses of the cultural dimension and the specific nature of academic work and the Academia implied by this concept. Empirical studies together with methodological and theoretical perspectives on the subject are welcomed. Cultural dimension may be used like a theoretical frame of reference or it may be the object of the research. After more than thirty years of studies of organisational sagas and cultures supported by studies of disciplinary cultures, it is also time to reflect on the various uses of the cultural approach in higher education studies. Simultaneously, it can also be seen that the traditions of disciplines, organisations and national cultures have influenced our daily practices. What kinds of academic cultures do we have today and how are they changing in the globalising world? In addition, and in relation to globalisation, we should ask how the Bologna Process changes European higher education. Will there be room left for cultural variations in the processes of harmonisation and standardisation of the European higher education?