The Academic Home of Turkish Higher Education Research: A Demographic, Thematic and Methodological Examination of Doctoral Dissertations

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RESEARCH IN EDUCATIONAL ADMINISTRATION & LEADERSHIP, vol.7, no.1, pp.81-130, 2022 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 7 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.30828/real.972966
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, ERIC (Education Resources Information Center)
  • Page Numbers: pp.81-130
  • Keywords: Doctoral dissertations, Higher education Research/Studies, Universities, Turkey, FIELD, TURKEY, GRADUATE, ARTICLES, JOURNALS, TRENDS
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


This study elaborates on the epistemological foundations of Turkish higher education research drawing on data from 854 doctoral dissertations with an analytical framework based on the institutional organization of researchers and knowledge, the object of study, and the object of knowledge. The results imply that the long-established state higher education institutions (universities) have been the power engines of Turkish higher education research, which gained momentum with the millennium. Male gendered, full professorship, single supervision, and local PhDs were the salient features of advisors. The primary objects of study were topics related to student experience, institutional management, and teaching and learning. As for the object of knowledge, Turkish higher education research was found to be descriptive, regardless of the adopted research methodology. The doctoral dissertations within a maximum of ten different universities and 600 respondents, based on random sampling, had a commanding lead. Undergraduate students and state universities were also fertile components. The paper concludes by proposing the establishment of a dynamic resource database and the incorporation of certain theories and approaches in Turkish higher education research.