Barbara is a professor of Leadership and International Strategic Development in Higher Education at the Robert Owen Centre for Educational Change (Glasgow University, UK). She has worked as a lecturer at Sussex University (UK) from 1986 to 1989 and as a post-doc researcher at the University of Kassel (Germany) from 1990 until 1996. From 1996 onwards she was employed as a senior researcher at the Institute of Higher Education Research of the University of Halle-Wittenberg (Germany) and was its research coordinator from 2001 onwards.
In 2003 she became professor at Kassel University and was managing director of its International Centre for Higher Education Research (INCHER) from 2004 until 2011. She also created and coordinated an international research oriented Master Programme “Higher Education Research and Development” which was running from 2004 until 2010 at INCHER.
Her research interests are internationalisation in higher education, new forms of governance in higher education, and changes in doctoral education. In recent times she has also produced several book chapters and journal articles on global university rankings.
She was a member of the EAIR Executive Board, a chairperson of the German Society for Higher Education Research, and the Secretary of the Consortium of Higher Education Researchers (CHER), a European based but global association of researchers in the field of higher education.
In addition she is a member of the editorial board of four international higher education journals. She is also a member of the International Advisory Board of the University of Helsinki (Finland) and a member of the Board of Governors of Siegen University and Dortmund University of Applied Sciences (Germany).
She has carried out several large-scale projects for international organisations such as UNESCO, the OECD, the European Commission, and the Council of Europe. Her publications include more than 25 monographs and about 200 journal articles and book chapters. She has given more than 250 keynote speeches and invited presentations in 45 countries around the world.