Epistemic polyphony of research on the students’ experiences: The Latin-American case

Carolina Guzmán-Valenzuela, Andrés Rojas-Murphy Tagle, Carolina Gómez-González


In this article, the production of knowledge about what is known in the international literature as ‘the student experience’ is examined. This construct has been researched in the United Kingdom while, in the United States, the “student engagement” has gained traction. Although in Latin America the production of knowledge in higher education has been increasing in the last decade, studies on student experiences are rather scarce, although there are abundant literatures on higher education in general. By means of a bibliometric analysis and a content analysis of articles published between 2000 and 2017 by Latin American authors in two recognized indexes (Web of Science and SciELO), this article examines the production of knowledge about higher education students' experiences from a geopolitics of knowledge perspective. The results show that, in Latin America, there is a diverse production of knowledge about higher education students, and given this plurality, the concept of “epistemic polyphony” is proposed. On the one hand, there is an epistemic predominance of Anglo-Saxon influences but, on the other hand, it also presents specific features related to higher education systems in the region. The article ends with a reflection on the ways in which knowledge is produced in the Latin American region and how such production has an impact on policies.


student experience; Latin America; bibliographic analysis; content analysis; higher education; geopolitics of knowledge

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.28.4919

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Copyright (c) 2020 Carolina Guzmán-Valenzuela, Carolina Gómez, Andrés Rojas-Murphy

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