Xie Ailei, PhD

Dr. Xie is Associate Professor at Guangzhou University. His main area of research is on education and social justice, and higher education development in China. His publications examine how guanxi structures rural parents’ choices of school participation (British Journal of Sociology of Education, 2015); access to China’s higher education (Chinese Education & Society, 2015) and university experiences of rural students in China’s higher education institutions. The research project that he is leading is on the social and academic experience of rural students in China’s elite universities (Chinese Education & Society, 2015). He has also been involved in studies on access to higher education institutions by the rural and ethnical minorities in Gansu. He was an Assistant Professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University from the year 2012 to 2013, and was selected as a visiting fellow to Cambridge University in 2016.

Mattia Cattaneo, PhD

Mattia Cattaneo is Associate Professor at the Department of Management, Information and Production Engineering of the University of Bergamo; Senior Research Fellow of the Center for Innovation, Technology and Policy Research (IN+) – Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon (PT); Associate Editor of the journal Higher Education Research & Development (HERD) and Vice-Director of the Transport and Sustainable Mobility Center of the University of Bergamo (ITSM).

His main research interests have included the evaluation of individuals’ and institutions’ research performance (productivity and networking) and the analysis of scientific journals’ and publishers’ metrics and co-evolution. His main interest is the development of mathematical models in the social sciences with a focus on dynamic social networks.

In the last years, he has been active in numerous projects within the higher education sector in collaboration with the Conference of Italian Rectors (CRUI) and the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research.


Sebastian Birolini, PhD  

Sebastian Birolini is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Bergamo and an external member of the Research Center for Territory, Transports, and the Environment (CITTA) at the University of Coimbra.

Sebastian’s main expertise lies in the development of integrated decision-support systems, combining predictive and prescriptive analytics to provide data-informed decision support to organizations and policymakers. Sebastian’s research interests are the modeling of complex transportation and social networks, and encompass higher education and research network analytics, focusing on the dynamics of temporal formation of research collaborations and the modeling of citation flows from a complex network theory perspective.

In this domain, he has recently devoted to the study of PhD students’ mobility patterns and associated research network development, and to the investigation of inter-journals citation patterns toward characterizing potential distensions and opportunistic use of self-citations to boost and support the journal’s growth and establishment over time.