Though we may think of universities and colleges as centers of learning and research, they too are subject of teaching and burgeoning research. This course explores contemporary higher education institutions and their students through a number of different perspectives and approaches. We identify major issues and controversies in higher education – how students learn, unequal access, the rise of corporate universities, changing funding models for higher education, politics of higher education, and more. We will read what leading scholars from the interdisciplinary field of higher education studies have written about these and other issues. Through personal reflection and insights from guest speakers from Harvard administration, we will look behind the scenes at Harvard student experiences. We will also seek to understand the workings of different types of higher education institutions, conducting field visits to universities and colleges in the Boston area. The centerpiece of this course is a capstone project that involves original research --theoretical or empirical or applied-- on a chosen higher education topic. The capstone research projects will be showcased on an online platform open to the Harvard community to inform and inspire practice and future research. This is an opportunity to gain perspectives on established and emerging areas of higher education research, insights into today’s changing higher education landscape, and the tools to address higher education issues. As student researchers you will develop agency to voice, critically examine and propose solutions to higher education issues you care about at Harvard and beyond.