The CHEPS team

The CHEPS team


MSc (Admin.) Sofya Kopelyan

PhD candidate
CHEPS, University of Twente
P.O. Box 217
Enschede, the Netherlands

Office: Ravelijn Ra-5113
Direct tel. +31(0)534891358

Personal information

Born: 06-07-1982, Volgograd (RUS)
Nationality: Russian
Working Languages: Russian (native), English (very good), Hebrew (Sufficient), Spanish (Sufficient), German (basic)

University degrees

Master of Administrative Sciences: Research and Innovation in Higher Education, University of Tampere and Danube University Krems, 2017
Specialist (5-year diploma degree with teacher qualification): Culturology (Major), Jewish Civilization (Minor), Russian State University for the Humanities, 2004 

Main work experience

03/2017 - present: PhD candidate, CHEPS, University of Twente, Netherlands
02-07/2017: Research Assistant, FINNUT project, University of Tampere, Finland
05-06/2015: Intern, Research and Staff Development Unit, Deusto International Tuning Academy, Spain
2007 - 2014: Assistant Executive Director for Academic Affairs, Center for Biblical and Jewish Studies, Russian State University for the    Humanities, Russia
2005 - 2014: Senior Lecturer, Center for Biblical and Jewish Studies, Russian State University for the Humanities, Russia
2004 - 2007: Chief Librarian, Center for Biblical and Jewish Studies, Russian State University for the Humanities, Russia

Areas of expertise

  • third mission policies and management
  • academic profession
  • innovation competences in higher education

Short biography

Sofya Kopelyan joined CHEPS as a PhD Candidate in March 2017. She works on a European H2020 funded research project exploring new modes of university governance for dynamic regional stakeholder engagement. The project is part of the RUNIN Network Program (The Role of Universities in Innovation and Regional Development), a Marie Sklodowska-Curie European Doctoral Training Network. The aim of the program is to enhance the contribution of universities to innovation and economic growth in their regions. Sofya studies universities' strategic priority setting in the context of neoliberal modernization agendas and increasing inter-institutional competition. The project surveys how universities as multi-dimensional and complex organizations adapt to the changing policies and circumstances, and how they implement strategic priorities whilst negotiating between universal values (research excellence, teaching quality) and other missions.

Alongside working towards her PhD, in 2017, Sofya was engaged as Research Assistant surveying the impact of New Public Management reforms on Finnish academics within the framework of the FINNUT-funded project "Effects of changes in leadership and management structures in Nordic higher education", and acted as Program Committee member (reviewer) for the 3rd International Conference on Higher Education Advances in Valencia (Spain).

Sofya is a graduate of the Erasmus Mundus Master course in Research and Innovation in Higher Education (MaRIHE). She holds a MSc degree in Administrative Sciences awarded jointly by the University of Tampere (Finland) and Danube University Krems (Austria). In her Master's thesis, she investigated how academics from social sciences make sense of their societal engagement and of its influence on the more conventional dimensions of academic work. The study utilized the theoretical perspective of institutional logics for the analysis of academic sensemaking and role identities. While pursuing the degree, Sofya was also involved in a mixed methods student project on stakeholder perceptions of innovation-related competences, did a research internship at the Deusto International Tuning Academy in Bilbao (Spain), participated in an international cooperative entrepreneurship coaching program, and volunteered as teaching assistant for Erasmus in Schools Project.

Before entering the Master's program, Sofya had been employed as lecturer and academic administrator at the Center for Biblical and Jewish Studies of the Russian State University for the Humanities in Moscow (RSUH, Russia). She was responsible for coordination of teaching and learning activities, curriculum development, lecturing, student research, international liaisons, grants administration, and event management. In 2013, she was awarded RSUH Best Tutor for excellent mentorship of BA freshmen. The Center had an intensive engagement with local communities and international donors, which sparked Sofya's interest in university-society interaction.

Personal website

 Major recent achievements and publications

Kopelyan, S. (2017). Making sense of the third mission: Academics' perceptions of societal engagement and its implications for research and teaching in social sciences (Master’s thesis). University of Tampere, Finland.

Kopelyan, S. (2016). Osmyslenie tret'ej missii: Vosprijatie akademicheskim soobshhestvom ee posledstvij dlja issledovanij i obuchenija v oblasti social'nyh nauk [Making sense of the third mission: Academics' perceptions of its implications for research and teaching in social sciences]. In D. E. Kozlov & N. G. Maloshonok (Eds.), Proceedings of the 7th International Conference of the Russian Association of Higher Education Researchers "University between Global Challenges and Local Commitments" (pp. 127-132). Moscow: HSE Publishing House.

Chen, R., Clark, D., & Kopelyan, S. (2016). Towards a reformed quality assurance system in the People's Republic of China: Lessons from Russia and the United Kingdom. WPHES - Working Papers in Higher Education Studies, 2(1), 113-139 (co-authored with R. Chen & D. Clark)

Kopelyan, S., Godonoga, A., Güney, I., & Yasmin, N. (2016). Assessing innovation-related competences in the MARIHE program: Teacher and student perceptions. Procedia - Social and Behavioural Sciences, 228, 553-560.

Godonoga, A., Güney, I., Kopelyan, S., & Yasmin, N. (2016).  Innovation pedagogy in the MARIHE program: A case study on faculty perceptions. In O. Holz, M. Aleksandrovich, & H. Zoglowek (Eds.), Current Trends in Higher Education in Europe (pp. 137-146). Berlin: LIT Verlag.

Ha, T. B. & Kopelyan, S. (2015). Performance-related pay for academic staff in higher education institutions. In A. Pausits (Ed.), Human resource management in higher education - Case studies and future scenarios. Edition Donau-Universität Krems.

Best Poster Award. Godonoga, A., Güney, I., Yasmin, N., & Kopelyan, S. (2015, August-September). Innovation-related learning outcomes: A case study of the MARIHE program. Poster presented at the 37th Annual EAIR Forum, Krems, Austria.