Research Clusters

Research Clusters are intended to be opportunities for interested researchers to pursue activities of a more detailed nature on subjects pursued in previous Senior Seminars.  As one of its early signature projects the Asia Pacific Higher Education Research Partnership (APHERP) is creating research clusters. These will be relatively small research groups, organized around a few key researchers, whose work focuses on a particular aspect of Asia Pacific higher education.  These have further been thought of as probably examining projects that were smaller in scope than those addressed by APHERP’s senior research seminars and/or dealing with research that was focused on a few sites, more than likely cross-national in character.

The role of APHERP in assisting in the development and pursuit of these clusters will include:

  • Acting as a broker and clearing-house for the identification of researcher qualifications and interests among member institutions. As staff become more familiar with member institutions, they will reach out in a facilitation mode to “suggest matches” of expressed interest and capabilities.
  • Identifying issues of moment and importance to members.  Again, in a quasi-clearing house form of activity, staff will continue to survey the higher education environment from a variety of perspectives and post these issues/ideas on the website along with suggestive publications or resources that would assist in addressing them. One example of this was the output from the 2011 Honolulu APEC Quality Conference that served as one of the experiential bases for the formation of APHERP itself.  By way of reminder, the issues identified in this process are appended to this document. In future communications staff will highlight additional issues that impact higher education and which might very well serve as the basis for a research cluster.
  • APHERP can facilitate the hosting of meetings of research clusters.  The 2014 budget set aside a modest amount of funding for the purpose of bringing together members of a potential or forming research cluster. In addition, within the Research Partnership itself, various member organizations are contributing by making funding and facilities available for some combination of hosting research clusters, senior seminars or leadership institutes.  It is the staff’s responsibility to work with interested members to explore various means for promoting such face-to-face meetings.
  • While central APHERP resources may be employed to initiate and facilitate the formation and operation of research clusters, their overall contribution to the organization is meant to come from obtaining additional external funding.  APHERP staff will assist where possible in the identification of additional funding, the preparation of proposals, and within limits, the operation and execution of grants. In exchange for these secretariat functions, APHERP would charge a small administrative overhead fee (to be negotiated in specific instances).
  • APHERP already has and intends to continue to develop a network of international book and journal publishers.  It is a staff responsibility to assist research cluster participants in the publication of their research.   In addition at some point in 2014, it is within the overall APHERP plan to develop an on-line journal, which can be one possible outlet for such research.


Prior to the formation of APHERP, the University of Hawaii and the East-West Center hosted an APEC meeting in Honolulu, August 406, 2011 with funding provided by the APEC Secretariat on the subject “Quality in Higher Education: Identifying, Developing, and Sustaining Best Practices in the APEC Region.”  Revised papers resulting from this meeting can be accessed here.  One aspect of this meeting was the exploration of possible useful subjects for further research.


Research Clusters

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