Manja Klemenčič

Manja Klemenčič

Lecturer on Sociology

Research Interests: Sociology and politics of higher education; international and comparative higher education; European higher education; student agency; student impact on higher education; student representation; academic profession; student-centered learning and teaching in higher education; European Union politics


Klemenčič’s three staple courses at Sociology Department are:

  1. SOCIOL1104 Sociology of Higher Education (trailer) (offered in Fall 2021), a research-intensive undergraduate seminar introducing sociology of higher education;
  2. SOCIOL1130 Student Leadership and Service in Higher Education (trailer) (offered in Spring 2022), an Engaged Scholarship action research-intensive seminar specifically designed for students in service and leadership roles at Harvard; and
  3. GENED1039 Higher Education: Students, Institutions, and Controversies (trailer) (offered again in 2022/2023) which explores contemporary higher education from multidisciplinary perspectives.

All three courses have repeatedly won Harvard’s awards for teaching excellence. Thrice, Manja was voted by the Harvard Yearbook Publications one of the favorite professors by the graduating class (’19, ’20, ‘21).  In 2020, Manja received the John R. Marquand Award for Excellence in Advising and Support to Students, and in 2021, she is the recipient of the Phi Beta Kappa Alpha-Iota Prize for Excellence in Teaching at Harvard College, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.

Klemenčič has over 120 publications and over 80 keynotes and invited lectures on a broad array of higher education topics, including student-centered learning and teaching, quality assurance and institutional research, civic role of higher education, academic profession, internationalization, and different aspects of higher education reforms. Her most recent publications include The Routledge International Handbook of Student Centered Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (Routledge, 2020), and The International Encyclopedia of Higher Education Systems and Institutions (Springer, 2020). She is a member of the global research network APIKS – Academic Profession in the Knowledge Society.
Her current research focuses on the student agency and the effects students have on higher education. She is the principal investigator of the SIHEG project - Student Impact on Higher Education Globally which theoretically advances the concepts of student agency and student impact, and conducts empirical research in over 40 countries in all world regions. In the first phase, the project explores student politics – representation and activism – in 40 countries through partnership with the Global Student Forum. The project consolidates student agency in higher education as a new domain of inquiry within sociology of higher education and higher education studies; supported by a newly established global research network. More than 70 student representatives and student activists from 40 countries have been trained by Manja to conduct rigorous social science research into student politics, author chapters and co-edit the volume “Student politics globally”.
Klemenčič’s academic service includes the roles of Editor-in-Chief of European Journal of Higher Education (since 2014), Co-Editor of the Bloomsbury book series Understanding Student Experiences of Higher Education (since 2015), 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. She has served as evaluator of proposals for both rounds of the prestigious European Universities initiative. 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).

Contact Information

427 William James Hall

Research Clusters