manjaklemencic (at)

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Manja Klemenčič researches, teaches, advises and consults in the area of sociology and politics of higher education and international and comparative higher education. She is Lecturer in Sociology offering higher education courses at the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University and Lecturer in General Education at Faculty of Arts and Sciences offering GENED1039 Higher Education: Students, Institutions, and Controversies. She is also local affiliate at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University. Together with Julie Reuben and Luke Menand she co-chairs the Mahindra Center Seminar Series at Harvard University entitled: Universities: Past, Present, and Future.

In her research, Klemenčič investigates student impact on higher education institutions thereby correcting the traditional lens of inquiry within sociology of higher education which focuses solely on the impact of higher education institutions on students. Her analyses of student impact involve three domains. One domain investigates student organising and mechanisms of formal representation of students in higher education governance. Another domain concentrates on student agency in the context of student-centred learning environments. The third domain explores students in service roles at their universities and impact they have on their institutions and communities through volunteering and paid campus employment. Klemenčič has also investigated academic profession, internationalisation, institutional research and quality assurance and democratic citizenship education. In her approach, she conducts mostly international comparative research in European and global context, as well as research on Slovenia.

She serves as Editor-in-Chief of European Journal of Higher Education (Routledge / Taylor & Francis), Co-Editor of book series Understanding Student Experiences of Higher Education (Bloomsbury) and Thematic Co-Editor Springer Encyclopedia of International Higher Education Systems and Institutions (Springer). She serves on Editorial Board of Tertiary Education and Management, Policy Reviews in Higher Education, Higher Education in Russia and Beyond, Journal of Student Affairs in Africa and The Europa World of Learning, and has acted as reviewer for 19 academic journals and publishers.

Manja obtained D.Phil in Politics and International Studies at Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Cambridge, M.Phil in European Studies at Department of History at University of Cambridge, and BA in Economics (International Trade) at University of Maribor, Slovenia. During student years, from 1998 to 2001, Manja served as Secretary General of the European Students’ Union (then ESIB -The National Unions of Students in Europe) based in Vienna, Austria and later in Brussels, Belgium. ESU is the European platform of 45 National Unions of Students (NUS) from 39 countries representing over 15 million students and is the representative body of higher education students in policy making within the European Higher Education Area (EHEA/Bologna Process) and the European Union.

During her graduate studies she was a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at Center for Business and Government, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and UACES Fellow at Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels. Her postdoctoral work was at Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard, Center for International Higher Education at Boston College, Center for Social Science Research in Berlin (WZB) and Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 2010, she joined research project group led by Professor Pavel Zgaga at Centre of Educational Policy Studies (CEPS) working on a project ‘Differentiation, Equity, Productivity: the social and economic consequences of expanded and differentiated higher education systems – internationalization aspects’ (DEP-08-EuroHESC-OP-016), accepted by European Science Foundation and funded by the Slovenian Research Agency. She has been associated with CEPS since 2010. In Slovenia, she also collaborates with researchers at The Centre of the Republic of Slovenia for Mobility and European Educational and Training Programmes (CMEPIUS).

Her professional engagements involve evaluations of funding proposals for national research agencies (National Research Foundation (NRF), Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa; Research and Scoping Awards of the Society of Research into Higher Education, United Kingdom; Irish Research Council Laureate Awards scheme; Research Grants, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council | Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines, Government of Canada; Unitatea Executiva pentru Finantarea Invatamantului Superior, a Cercetarii, Dezvoltarii si Inovarii (UEFISCDI), Ministerului Educatiei si Cercetarii Stiintifice (MECS), Romania; ESCR/NRF Newton, United Kingdom) and for the European Union (Erasmus + The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency of the European Commission). She consults international organisations (UNESCO, World Bank) and national governmental institutions concerning higher education policies and strategies.


Selected monographs and special issues

HOIDN, S. and KLEMENČIČ, M. (ed.) (forthcoming in Spring 2020) Routledge Handbook on Student-Centred Learning and Instruction in Higher Education (Routledge).

KLEMENČIČ, M. (ed.) (2019) Elite and Mass Higher Education in the 21st Century. In Shin, J. C., Teixeira, P. (eds.) International Encyclopedia of Higher Education Systems and Institutions (Springer) 

LUESCHER-MAMASHELA, T., KLEMENČIČ, M., OTIENO JOWIE, J. (eds.) (2016). Student Politics in Africa: Representation and Activism, African Higher Education Dynamics Series, Vol. 2. Capetown, South Africa: African Minds Publisher. Open access:

KLEMENČIČ, M., BERGAN, S., PRIMOŽIČ, R. (eds.) (2015) Student engagement in Europe: society, higher education and student governance. Council of Europe Higher Education Series No. 20. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing.

LUESCHER-MAMASHELA, T., KLEMENČIČ, M., OTIENO JOWIE, J. (eds.) (2015) Student Power in Africa, Journal of Student Affairs in Africa 3(1) 2015.

KLEMENČIČ, M., FLANDER, A. (2015) Pogoji akademskega poklica: Ugotovitve študije EUROAC 2013. Ljubljana: Center RS za mobilnost in evropske programme izobraževanja in usposabljanja (CMEPIUS).

KLEMENČIČ, M., FLANDER, A., ŽAGAR PEČJAK, M. (2015) Conditions of academic work in Slovenia. Findings from the 2013 EUROAC survey. Ljubljana: Centre of the Republic of Slovenia for Mobility and European Educational and Training Programmes (CMEPIUS).

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2014) Student power in a global perspective and contemporary trends in student organising. Studies in Higher Education 39(3) 2014.

BRANKOVIĆ, J., KLEMENČIČ, M., LAZETIĆ, P., ZGAGA, P. (eds.) (2014) Global Challenges, Local Responses in Higher Education. The contemporary issues in national and comparative perspective. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

KLEMENČIČ, M., FLANDER, A. (2013) Evaluation of the impact of the ERASMUS Programme on higher education in Slovenia. Ljubljana: Center RS za mobilnost in evropske programme izobraževanja in usposabljanja (CMEPIUS).

KLEMENČIČ, M., FLANDER. A. (2013) Evalvacija učinkov programa Erasmus na visoko šolstvo v Sloveniji. Ljubljana: Center RS za mobilnost in evropske programme izobraževanja in usposabljanja (CMEPIUS) ISBN 978-961-6628-39-6 (188 pp.).

ZGAGA, P., KLEMENČIČ, M., KOMLJENOVIČ, J., MIKLAVIČ, K., REPAC, I., JAKAČIĆ, V. (2013) Higher education in the Western Balkans: Reforms, developments, trends. Ljubljana: Centre for Educational Policy Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Ljubljana. June 2013.

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2012) Student Representation in Western Europe. European Journal of Higher Education 2(1) 2012.

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2008) A star pupil playing it safe in the EU: An inside view of the first Slovenian EU Council Presidency, January-June 2008, (Studies & Research, 61). Paris: Notre Europe.

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2008) Varna igra odlične učenke v EU: uvod v prvo slovensko predsedovanje Svetu EU, januar – junij 2008, (Študije in raziskave, 61). Paris: Notre Europe.

Selected articles, chapters and encyclopedia entries

KLEMENČIČ, M.  Higher education expansion and students. In Shin, J. C., Teixeira, P. (eds.) International Encyclopedia of Higher Education Systems and Institutions (Springer, 2020)

KLEMENČIČ, M.  Student activism and student organizations. In Miriam E. David and Marilyn J. Amey (eds.) The SAGE Encyclopedia of Higher Education, 5v. (SAGE, 2020) 

KLEMENČIČ, M. Higher Education Institution Governing Boards: Student Board Members. In Miriam E. David and Marilyn J. Amey (eds.) The SAGE Encyclopedia of Higher Education, 5v. (SAGE, 2020) 

KLEMENČIČ, M. and Bo Yun Park (2018) Student Politics: Between Representation and Activism. In Hamish Coates, Brendan Cantwell and Roger King (eds.) Handbook on the Politics of Higher Education, pp. 468 – 486 (Edward Edgar Publishing).

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2018) The student voice in quality assessment and improvement. In Ellen Hazelkorn, Hamish Coates and Alex McCormick (eds.) Research Handbook on Quality, Performance and Accountability in Higher Education, pp. 332-343 (Edward Elgar Publishing).

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2017) From student engagement to student agency: conceptual considerations of European policies on student-centered learning in higher education Higher Education Policy 30(1): 69–85 

KLEMENČIČ, M., Martin Žnidaršič, Anže Vavpetič, and Matej Martinc (Department of Knowledge Technologies, Jožef Stefan Institute) (2017) Erasmus students’ involvement in quality enhancement of Erasmus+ mobility through digital ethnography and ErasmusShouts. Studies in Higher Education 42(5): 925-932

KLEMENČIČ, Manja and Fernando Miguel Galán Palomares (2017).  Transnational student associations in the European multilevel governance of higher education policies. European Educational Research Journal pp. 1-20. 

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2017). Internationalisation of Higher Education in the Peripheries: The ‘gear effect’ of integrated international engagements,  revised reprint from 2015 in The Globalization of Internationalization edited by Elspeth Jones, Jocelyne Gacel-Avila, Hans de Wit and Nico Jooste (Routledge, Series Internationalisation of Higher Education)

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2016). Chapter 1: THE ROLE OF INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH IN POSITIONING UNIVERSITIES: Practices in Central and Eastern European countries. In Prichard, R., Taylor, J. and Pausits, A. (eds.) Positioning universities, pp. 3-18 (Rotterdam: Sense Publishers). (EAIR Keynote)

LUESCHER-MAMASHELA, T., KLEMENČIČ, M. (2016) Student power in twenty-first century Africa: The character and role of student organising.  In R. Brooks (ed.) Student politics and protest: International perspectives pp. 113-128 (Routledge).

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2016). Intergovernmental regional cooperation in European higher education. Higher Education Forum (HEF) Volume 13, March 2016, pp. 75-90 (The Research Institute for Higher Education (RIHE), Hiroshima University, Japan). Open access: 

KLEMENČIČ, M., LUESCHER-MAMASHELA, T., MUGUME, T. (2016) Student Organising in African Higher Education: Polity, Politics and Policies. In Student Politics in Africa: Representation and Activism, edited by LUESCHER-MAMASHELA, T., KLEMENČIČ, M., OTIENO JOWIE, J. (African Minds Publisher).

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2016) Reflections on a New Flagship University. In J. A. Douglas (ed.) A New Flagship University: Changing the Paradigm from Global Rankings to National Relevancy (Palgrave Macmillian)

KLEMENČIČ, M., ŠĆUKANEC, N., KOMLJENOVIČ, J. (2015). Decision Support Issues in Central and Eastern Europe. In Karen Webber and Angel Calderon (eds.) Institutional Research and Planning in Higher Education in a Global Context (pp. 71-85). Routledge Press/Taylor & Francis.

KLEMENČIČ, M., CHIRIKOV, I. (2015). On the use of student surveys. In Remus Pricopie, Peter Scott, Jamil Salmi and Adrian Curaj (eds.) Future of Higher Education. Volume I and Volume II. Dordrecht: Springer.

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2015). Student involvement in quality enhancement. In section “Accountability and Performance Measurements “, The Handbook of Higher Education Policy and Governance, edited by Jeroen Huisman, Harry de Boer, David Dill and Manuel Souto-Otero.

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2015). What is student agency? An ontological exploration in the context of research on student engagement. In KLEMENČIČ, M., BERGAN, S., PRIMOŽIČ, R. (eds.) Student engagement in Europe: society, higher education and student governance. Council of Europe Higher Education Series No. 20. Strasbourg: Council of Europe Publishing.

KLEMENČIČ, M., ZGAGA, P. (2015). Slovenia: The Slow Decline of Academic Inbreeding. In Maria Yudkevich, Philip G. Altbach, and Laura E. Rumbley (eds.) Academic Inbreeding and Mobility in Higher Education. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 156-181.

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2015). Student representation in higher education governance in the Western Balkans. In Higher Education in Russia and Beyond (HERB), pp. 6-7.

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2015). Internationalisation of higher education in peripheries. In Handbook on Internationalisation of Higher Education. Springer.

KLEMENČIČ, M., ZGAGA, P. (2014). Public-private dynamics in higher education in the Western Balkans: are governments levelling the playing field? European Education Volume 46 Number 3 (Fall 2014).

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2014). Student power in a global perspective and contemporary trends in student organising. Studies in Higher Education 39(3) 2014: 396-411.

FLANDER, A., KLEMENČIČ, M. (2014). Will academics drive or obstruct the Slovenian government’s internationalisation agenda for higher education?  C•E•P•S Journal (Center for Educational Policy Studies Journal), 4 (2) 2014: 27-48.

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2013). The effects of Europeanisation on institutional diversification in the Western Balkans. In ZGAGA, P., TEICHLER, U. and BRENNAN, J. (eds). The globalisation challenge for European Higher Education: Convergence and diversity, centres and peripheries (pp. 117-138), Bern: Peter Lang.

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2013). Bildung zur demokratischen Bürgergesellschaftlichkeit im Hochschulstudium. In HEUCHEMER, S., KLAMMER, U. (eds.) Kompendium für Diversity Management in Studium und Lehre (Band 1). Zentrum für Kompetenzentwicklung für Diversity Management in Studium und Lehre (KomDim) (pp.137-165), Fachhochschule Köln, Universitätet Duisburg-Essen.

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2012). Student Representation in Western Europe: introduction to the special issue. European Journal of Higher Education 2(1) 2012: 2-19.

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2012). The changing conceptions of student participation in HE governance in the EHEA. In Adrian Curaj, Sir Peter Scott, Lazăr Vlasceanu, Lesley Wilson (eds.) European Higher Education at the crossroads – Between the Bologna Process and national reforms (pp. 631-653). Heidelberg: Springer.

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2010). Bildung zur demokratischen Bürgergesellschaftlichkeit im Hochschulstudium. In Benz, W., Kohler, J. and Landfried, K. (eds.) Handbuch Qualität in Studium und Lehre (pp. 1-28). Berlin: RAABE Academic Publishers.

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2010). Converging competences: diversity, higher education, and sustainable democracy. In Sjur Bergan and Radu Damian (eds.) Higher education for modern societies: competences and values (pp. 153-167). Strasbourg. Council of Europe Publishing Council of Europe Higher Education Series No. 15.

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2009). Svet EU [Council of the European Union]. In Sabina Kajnč and Damjan Lajh (ur.) Evropska unija od A do Ž. [The European Union from A to Z] Ljubljana: Ljubljana: Uradni list Republike Slovenije [Official Gazette Publishing].

KLEMENČIČ, M. (2009). Izobraževanje in usposabljanje. [Education and Training] In Sabina Kajnč and Damjan Lajh (ur.) Evropska unija od A do Ž. [The European Union from A to Z] Ljubljana: Ljubljana: Uradni list Republike Slovenije [Official Gazette Publishing].

Selected keynotes

Keynote “Successful Design of Student-Centred Learning and Instruction Ecosystems in the European Higher Education Area” at the Twentieth Anniversary of the Bologna Declaration, Bologna University, 24 and 25 June 2019.;

Keynote ”Student power on campus: activism, representation and service” at “Revolt! Student protests from 1968 to today, A Symposium, University of Rhode Island, College of Arts and Sciences, September 14, 2018

Keynote “The role of internationalisation in quality of teaching and learning in higher education institutions in Central and Eastern Europe” at International Conference: Internationalisation – Enhancing Quality of Learning and Teaching, CMEPIUS, 2 March 2018, Brdo pri Kranju, Slovenia

Keynote “Student Politics: between representation and activism”, COSMOS CONFERENCE The Contentious Politics of Higher Education. Student Movements in Late Neoliberalism 15-16 November 2017, Scuola Normale Superiore (SNS), Florence, Italy

Keynote “Building excellence in teaching and learning in higher education in the EU: what works and how to create enabling conditions for it”, Estonian EU Council Presidency – Meeting of Director Generals for Higher Education, 12-13 October 2017, Tallinn, Estonia

Keynote “Shifting authority in transnational governance of higher education policies”, at the European Educational Research Association (EERA) ECER 2017: Reforming Education and the Imperative of Constant Change: Ambivalent roles of policy and educational research, 22 – 25 August 2017 at University College Copenhagen.

Keynote “Reaching for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in European Higher Education”, The Central European Higher Education Cooperation (CEHEC) Conference – WORRY OR NOT – HIGHER EDUCATION IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE: CURRENT TRENDS AND SCENARIOS FOR THE NEAR FUTURE, April 24, 2017 –  April 25, 2017, Budapest, Hungary.

Keynote “Conceptualising and implementing student centred learning environments”, at PASCL Conference – Assuring Student Centred Learning, University Foundation, Brussels, 27 May 2016

Keynote “How students’ university citizenship contributes to self-formation and well-being of students and their universities?”, at  “INTCESS 2016- 3rd International Conference on Education and Social Sciences”, Istanbul, Turkey, 8-10 February, 2015

Keynote “The main challenges of implementing students centred learning in higher education institutions”, at Conference “Implementation of student-centred learning within higher education institutions”, Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (SKVC) (Vilnius, Lithuania, 1 December 2015)

Keynote “Five theoretical propositions concerning research on students”, at the 6th International Conference on Higher Education Research with special topic “Rethinking Students: Ideas and New Research Approaches” (The Russian Association of Higher Education Researchers and Higher School of Economics, Moscow, October 15-17, 2015)

Keynote “The role of institutional research in positioning higher education institutions – practices in CEE countries”, at the 37th Annual Forum of the European Higher Education Society – Linking research, policy and practice (EAIR) (the Danube University of Krems, Austria, August 30th – September 3rd, 2015)

Keynote “Student representation in an international perspective”, at the African Minds and Center for Higher Education Transformations (CHET) Symposium on Student representation in higher education governance in Africa (Capetown, 20-22 August 2014)

Keynote “Internationalisation of higher education in Slovenia”, at the National Higher Education Convention of the Slovenian Rectors’ Conference (Ljubljana, 17 April 2014)

Keynote “Student engagement in time of transformation”, at the 2013 Annual Research Conference of the Society for Research into Higher Education: Experiencing Higher Education: Global Trends and Transformations (Celtic Manor Resort, Wales, 11-13 December 2013)

Keynote “Student engagement in institutional research: desirable, feasible, effective?” at the 2013 Annual Conference of the The UK and Ireland Higher Education Institutional Research (HEIR) Network: Productive Partnerships: Engaging stakeholders in Institutional Research (Birmingham City University, 10-12 July 2013)

Selected invited lectures

 (With Alenka Flander and Sebastjan Kocar) “Conditions of academic profession in Slovenia”. International conference of the global research consortium APIKS (Academic profession in Knowledge Society) “Teaching and Research Activities in the Knowledge Society: Main findings from national surveys”, March 4-5, 2019, Research Institute for Higher Education (RIHE), Hiroshima University, Japan 

“Students in Service to Their Universities: Reframing the Inquiry in Sociology of Higher Education on the Effects of College on Students.” Harvard Culture and Social Analysis Workshop, Department of Sociology, Harvard University, December 4, 2018

“Regional groupings as coalition partners in EU Treaty negotiations – theoretical propositions, empirical evidence from the 2003/204 IGC and contemporary relevance” at The Benelux, Regional Groupings and the Dynamics of European Integration: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives, 8-9 April 2019, University of Luxembourg, Belval Campus, the Robert Schuman Initiative for European Affairs, the Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C2DH), and the Institute of Political Science

“Contribution to CHEA International Quality Group: A Global Quality Forum, Quality and Quality Assurance in a Changing World”, Council for Higher Education Accreditation, CIQG 2017 Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., February 1- 2, 2017

 “Student engagement surveys”, Technical Assistance Mission by World Bank, Abuja, Nigeria, 14-16 June 2016

“Students centred learning”, Technical Assistance Mission in Kazakhstan (in framework of the EU initiative Higher Education Reform Experts), 16-20 May 2016

“Student agency and student engagement – two sides of the same coin?” University of Limerick, 31 May 2016

“Transnational association in EU multilevel governance – the case of European Students’ Union”, University of Oslo, 3 May 2016

“Implementation of student-centred learning approaches in quality assurance”, Higher Education Reforms in Spain – project student centred learning (HERE-ES), University of Alcala, Alcala de Henares, Madrid, 7-8 April 2016

 “Innovating learning and teaching: the next phase of the Bologna Process”, at the annual HERE Conference (‘Centralised Support for Higher Education Reform Experts (HERE)’ in European Neighbourhood countries ( )), Tibilisi, Georgia, 3-4 December 2015

“Student-centred learning – Political construct or Pedagogical Concept”, 10th European Quality Assurance Forum, hosted by Quality Assurance Agency and UCL Institute of Education, London, 19-21 November 2015

“Student-centred teaching and learning”, 30th European Student Convention organised by the European Students’ Union, European Parliament, Brussels, 28-30 September 2015

“Student engagement in educationally purposeful activities”, International Exhibition and Conference on Higher Education (IECHE), Riyadh, April 2015

“The differences in student unionism in Europe and Africa: exploring influences of culture”, Culture and Social Analysis Workshop, Department of Sociology, Harvard University, 26 January 2015

“Student governments and enhancement of higher education quality”, Center for International Higher Education, Boston College, 29 January 2015

“Teaching, learning and student experience – key developments and policy recommendations” (with Paul Ashwin). The Future of Higher Education – Bologna Researchers’ Conference – Second Edition. Bucharest, 24-26 November 2014 (

 “Student power in Europe”. HEIK (Higher Education Institutional Dynamics and Knowledge Cultures) academic seminar series, Department of Educational Research, University of Oslo, 20 March 2012

“Students: politics and culture in global and comparative higher education systems.” Boston College, Lynch School of Education, 4 April 2011

 “The changing conceptions of student participation in higher education governance in the EHEA”. Future of higher education – Bologna researchers’ conference (FOHE-BPRC).  Bucharest, 19 October 2011

General rapporteur – High Level Education Forum on “Education Systems in Europe in the 21st Century”, Kyiv, Ukraine, 22-23 September 2011

 “The politics behind the Bologna Process”. Boston College, Lynch School of Education, 15 November 2010

General rapporteur – Forum on “Converging competences: diversity, higher education and sustainable democracy”. Council of Europe Higher Education Forum, Strasbourg, 3 October 2008