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Melissa Laufer, Dr. (on parental leave)

Melissa Laufer works in the research program “Knowledge & Society” and is a senior researcher in the project “Organizational Adaptivity in the German Higher Education Context” (OrA). The project investigates how higher education institutions may successfully adopt and adapt digital innovations in teaching and learning.

Melissa completed her doctorate in sociology at Ghent University (Belgium). In her article-based dissertation, she explored the role university culture plays in the internationalization of higher education. Specifically, her research focused on change communication at the university, academic mobility, and academic careers. Previously, she earned a master’s degree in Intercultural Communication & European Studies at the Hochschule Fulda University of Applied Sciences (Germany). She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Oregon (USA), where she studied International Studies, German and Anthropology.

Prior to joining HIIG, Melissa worked as a research assistant at York University (Canada), in an internationally comparative project that examined the post-study pathways of international students. From 2014 – 2018, Melissa held a research position at the Centre for Higher Education Governance Ghent at Ghent University. During her doctorate, Melissa was awarded several mobility scholarships and was a visiting scholar at the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW), the National Chengchi University (Taiwan), and the Center for International Higher Education (Boston College). She is also a member of Early Career Higher Education Researchers (ECHER), the Gesellschaft für Hochschulforschung, and the ECPR Standing Group – Knowledge Politics & Policies.

Melissa Laufer | HIIG


Researcher: Knowledge & Society (on parental leave)

Journal articles and conference proceedings

Huisman, J., Vlegels, J., Daenekindt, S., Seeber, M. & Laufer, M. (2021). How satisfied are international students? The role of town, gown and motivations. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education. DOI: 10.1080/03057925.2020.1867826 Publication details

Laufer, M. (2019). Spinning stories: Communicating internationalization through organizational storytelling. Journal of Studies in International Education, 1-15. DOI: 10.1177/1028315319893652 Publication details

Laufer, M. & Gorup, M. (2019). The invisible Others: stories of international doctoral student drop-out. Higher Education, 78(1), 165-181. DOI: 10.1007/s10734-018-0337-z Publication details

Book contributions and chapters

Laufer, M. (2017). Learning from Others, not about Others: investigating intercultural learning and intercultural competence in the university classroom. In R. Bettmann, V. Hinnenkamp, A. Satola & N. Schröer (Eds.), Die Hochschule als interkultureller Aushandlungsraum: Eine Bildungs-Exploration am Beispiel eines internationalen Studiengangs (pp. 181-199). Wiesbaden: Springer. Publication details

Bettmann, R., Hinnenkamp, V., Laufer, M. & Schröer, N. (2017). Interkulturelle Gruppenarbeit als Herausforderung. Vermeidungsstrategien und Chancen. In R. Bettmann, V. Hinnenkamp, A. Satola & N. Schröer (Eds.), Die Hochschule als interkultureller Aushandlungsraum: Eine Bildungs-Exploration am Beispiel eines internationalen Studiengangs (pp. 65-87). Wiesbaden: Springer VS. Publication details

Laufer, M. (2017). Breaking the code: exploring how academics secure employment abroad. In A. Woldegiyorgis, L. Rumbley & H. De Wit (Eds.), The Boston College Center for International Higher Education Year in Review, 2016 – 2017, 6 (pp. 25-27). Boston: Boston College Center for International Higher Education. Publication details

Other publications

Laufer, M. (2020). Pathways to practice: Supporting international doctoral students. Pathways to practice. Publication details

Deacon, B. & Laufer, M. (2020). The rapid digital turn: How are universities faring? Digital society blog. Publication details

Laufer, M. & Gorup, M. (2020). Transferring research to practice: Exploring post-publication possibilities. ECHER Blog. Publication details

Laufer, M. & Gorup, M. (2019). The invisible Others: stories of international doctoral student dropout. Supervising PhDs. Publication details

Laufer, M. (2016). Narrative Turn. Thema Hoger Onderwijs, 23 (1), 111-112. Publication details

Huisman, J., Brockerhoff, L. & Laufer, M. (2015). Quality in higher education: A literature review. Scoping Report for the Dutch Education Council. Publication details

Lectures and presentations

ECER 2018 (Session: The Changing Academic Profession: Exploring Hiring Stories of Academics). European Educational Research Association. Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Bolzano, Italy: 04.09.2018 Further information

Melissa Laufer

40th Annual EAIR Forum 2018 (Session: Balancing the global with the local: a study of internationalization at a Taiwanese university). European Higher Education Society (EAIR). Central European University, Budapest, Hungary: 26.08.2018 Further information

Melissa Laufer

42nd Annual ASHE Conference 2017 (Session: The invisible others: stories of international doctoral student drop-out). Association for the Study of Higher Education. Marriott Marquis, Houston, TX, United States: 09.11.2017 Further information

Melissa Laufer & Meta Gorup

Annual Conference: Consortium for Higher Education Researchers (Session: Learning to swim in a new pond : exploring academic job securement abroad). Consortium of Higher Education Researchers (CHER). Jyväskylän Yliopisto, Helsinki, Finland: 28.08.2017 Further information

Melissa Laufer & Julie Birkholz

EAIE 28th Annual Conference 2016 (Session: The power of stories: interpretations of internationalization in university cultures). European Association for International Education. St George’s Hall, Liverpool, United Kingdom: 13.09.2016

Poster Presented

Annual Conference: Consortium for Higher Education Researchers (Session: The stories we tell: exploring how storytelling is used to legitimize internationalization at the university). Consortium for Higher Education Researchers. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom: 05.09.2016 Further information

Melissa Laufer & Jelle Mampaey

32nd EGOS Colloquium (Session: Unravelling the internationalization tale: exploring the legitimizing power of internationalization stories within university cultures). European Group of Organization Studies. University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy: 08.07.2016

Melissa Laufer

Moderation of workshops and panels

Channelling support for institutional internationalisation through storytelling
EAIE 29th Annual Conference 2017. FIBES, Seville, Spain: 12.09.2017 Further information

Melissa Laufer

Media appearances

Why do some international doctoral students decide to drop out? (17.12.2018). ECHER Blog
Further information