Research Interests: International and comparative higher education; sociology of higher education; politics and policies of higher education; student agency; student impact on higher education; student campus employment; student administrators; student representation; academic profession; student-centered learning and teaching in higher education; European higher education; European Union politics.
Klemenčič’s three staple courses at Faculty of Arts and Sciences are: GENED1039 Higher Education: Students, Institutions, and Controversies (trailer) (offered in Spring 2021) explores contemporary higher education from multidisciplinary perspectives; SOCIOL1130 Student Leadership and Service in Higher Education (trailer) (offered in Spring 2021), an Engaged Scholarship action research-intensive seminar specifically designed for students in service and leadership roles at Harvard; and SOCIOL1104 Sociology of Higher Education (trailer) (offered in Fall 2020), a research-intensive undergraduate seminar introducing sociology of higher education. Manja has repeatedly won Harvard's awards for excellence in teaching for her three staple courses, and for the course on student campus activism. Twice, she was voted by the Harvard Yearbook Publications one of the favorite professors by the graduating Classes of 2019 and 2020. In 2020, she won John R. Marquand Award for Excellence in Advising and Support.
Klemenčič’ s current research focuses on the effects that students have on higher education, and student agency in higher education context. It seeks to corrects the one-sided investigations in sociology of higher education that are concerned solely with the effects of higher education on students, but ignore the effects that students have on their colleges and universities - through representation and activism, leadership and service, campus employment and through their consumer preferences. She published on student politics, student governments, and student voice in university quality in international comparative perspective, and in European and African contexts. She is at present working on a monograph Student Impact in Higher Education. Her most recent publications include The Routledge International Handbook of Student Centered Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Routledge, 2020), including a chapter on student agency and actorhood in student centered learning, and The International Encyclopedia of Higher Education Systems and Institutions (Springer, 2020), including entries on student politics, student governments, student campus employees, alternative higher education and the effects of the higher education expansion on students. She is a member of the global research network APIKS – Academic Profession in the Knowledge Society and has recently published a co-authored study The Academic Profession in Knowledge Societies and the Conditions of Academic Work in Slovenia (CMEPIUS, 2020).
Her academic service comprises the roles of Editor-in-Chief of European Journal of Higher Education, Co-Editor of the Bloomsbury book series Understanding Student Experiences of Higher Education, and serving on editorial boards of five academic journals and as reviewer for over 20 journals and publishers. At Harvard, she is a Co-Chair (with Professor Julie Reuben and Professor Louis Menand) of the Mahindra Center Seminar Series entitled: Universities: Past, Present, and Future.
She regularly acts as evaluator and consultant for international organizations, including the European Commission, the World Bank and UNESCO. In 2020, she co-authored an analytical report for the European Commission Mapping and analysis of student centered learning and teaching practices: usable knowledge to support a more inclusive high-quality higher education (Publications Office of the European Union, 2020).