CHEPS bloggers

The CHEPS blog is updated with posts from academics and researchers at the Centre for Higher Education and Policy Studies. This is situated at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. You can find more about our contributors below. Please head to our main About page for more general information on the blog.

Ben Jongbloed 2013Ben Jongbloed

is a senior research associate at CHEPS since 1992. His research is on higher education policy – in particular the funding and governance of higher education institutions, student support and university-industry partnerships. He is also involved in the building of a multi-dimensional ranking system of universities worldwide (U-Multirank). Since 2012 he is a member of the Review Committee secretariat, assisting this government commission in the monitoring of performance contracts in Dutch higher education. Ben is supervising PhD candidates and teaching in a Bachelor course on Development and Sustainability. He can be found on Twitter @BenJongbloed.


Don Westerheijden

is a senior research associate at CHEPS where he co-ordinates research on quality management whilst also co-ordinating and supervising Ph.D. students. Don researches and publishes internationally on quality assurance and accreditation in higher education and its impacts, comparative higher education (e.g., the Bologna Process, employability, and excellence in education), as well as transparency tools (classifications and rankings).



Frans Kaiser

is a senior research associate in the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS) at the University of Twente. His research focuses on transparency of higher education systems and institutions in terms of activities and performance, and the role indicators can play in this. Frans was involved in several international research projects funded by the European Commission. He is currently working on a multidimensional ranking of universities worldwide (U-Multirank) and a classification tool (U-Map). In 2011 he was seconded to the Dutch Inspectorate for Higher Education to develop a risk detection model on study success in higher education programs. Since 2012 he is part of the secretariat that supports the Reviewcommissie Hoger Onderwijs en Onderzoek.

Franziska Eckardt

is a PhD student of Dr. Paul Benneworth at CHEPS since September 2016. She works on the Knowledge Matter@ESRC_KnowMatt  project. Before her PhD trajectory Franziska was providing research assistance for Dr. Paul Benneworth on the research project “Global Science Spaces” as well as for Jos van den Broek on the research topic “Global Pipelines, Cross-border Buzz”. In addition, she participated in a Research Master Honours programme at the University of Twente. She can be found on LinkedIn.


Hans Vossensteyn

is the Director and Senior Research Associate at CHEPS and Professor and Programme Leader of the MBA Hochschul- und Wissenschaftsmanagement at the Hochschule Osnabrück (Germany). His main focus is international comparative research on funding, student financial support, strategic management, internationalisation, quality assurance and study success in higher education. He is also active in various international consultancies, such as in Russia, Mozambique, Uganda, Ethiopia, Lithuania, Latvia, Tunisia and Turkey.


Harry de Boer

has been a senior research associate at CHEPS since 1990. In the field of higher education studies he particularly focuses on public governance, policy analyses and leadership and management. Over the years he has conducted many higher education policy studies for national governments, national agencies and DG EAC. Topics of recent studies are performance funding and performance agreements, structural reforms in European HE, and new modes of service delivery. Harry is supervising PhD candidates, teaches HE courses at the University of Twente as well as in the Leadership Development Programme of the ECIU. On twitter: @hfdeboer.


Jon File

has been Director of Development and Consultancy at CHEPS since 1998. The first chapter of his career was primarily in university planning and management, having held the posts of University Planning Officer and Academic Secretary at the University of Cape Town. He was also a member of the 13-person National Commission on Higher Education (1995/6) appointed by the new South African government. The majority of his work at CHEPS can be can grouped into three categories: educational co-operation projects with developing countries; Europe-wide policy orientated research projects; and tailor-made workshops and contributions to degree programmes, focused on the development of higher education leaders and managers.


Katharina Lemmens-Krug

has been working since December 2014 as a PhD candidate CETLFUNK project (@CETLFunk), studying the effects of Centers for Excellence in Teaching and Learning on the Teaching Function of Higher Education Institutions in Europe. This project matches Katharina’s research interest in the area of organisational sociology, institutional governance and quality of higher education. Furthermore she is interested in governance structures and steering mechanisms on system and European level. Before her PhD journey, Katharina worked as Research Associate at CHEPS on the projects U-Map and U-Multirank. She can be found on Twitter @KLemmensKrug.


Leon Cremonini

has been a researcher at CHEPS since 2006. He graduated in Political Science from the University of Bologna, Italy, in 2000 and has since worked both in Europe and in the United States. His interests concentrate on quality assessment at the institutional and programme level, the internationalisation of higher education, selection and access, and on the study of university and programme rankings. Recently Leon has been involved in research on higher education in emergencies, specifically looking at the consequences of the Syrian crisis on higher education access. He is involved in a number of international projects in Africa, the Middle East and South-East Asia.


Liudvika Leisyte

is Professor of Higher Education at the Centre for Higher Education TU Dortmund, the Chair of Female Faculty Network Twente Board and the Board member of the journals European Journal of Higher Education and Higher Education Policy. Her areas of research interest include academic work, higher education and research governance and management as well as academic entrepreneurship. Prof. Leisyte has published two monographs, a number of chapters in edited books and peer-reviewed articles in Higher Education, Higher Education Policy, Public Administration, Public Management, Science and Public Policy. She can be found on Twitter @liudvikaleisyte.

Nadine Zeeman

is a Research Associate at CHEPS working on the projects U-Map and U-Multirank. She is additionally responsible for coordinating a group of student assistants. Her main research interests in higher education studies are related to policy analysis and instruments such as transparency tools focusing on classifications and rankings in higher education. Moreover, she has a strong interest in the role of higher education in enhancing innovation capacity. She can be found on Twitter @NadineZeeman and U-Map @UMapping.



Paul Benneworth

Paul Benneworth is a Senior Research Associate at the CHEPS. Paul’s research interests relate to the relationships between university and society, particularly focusing on regional engagement, social innovation and policy-making. Paul is an occasional contributor to the LSE Impact blog, and tweets as @heravalue.



Renze Kolster

is a Research Associate at CHEPS. He is a graduate of the Master in Public Administration of the University of Twente and the Erasmus Mundus Master programme – European Master in Higher Education (HEEM). Before joining CHEPS in 2013, Renze worked for the Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education (Nuffic) as a researcher mainly focusing on the international education markets. Renze’s research interests lie in the internationalisation of higher education, student choices & motivation, graduate employability, university rankings, university governance, and higher education system development.