The role of academic inbreeding in developing higher education systems: Challenges and possible solutions

Hugo Horta, Maria Yudkevich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article contributes to the literature on academic inbreeding by analyzing its rational, origins, resilience, and options to limit it in two higher education systems (Russia and Portugal) chosen purposively for having more differences than similarities, while sharing high levels of academic inbreeding. Findings show more homogeneity than heterogeneity with regard to the understanding of academic inbreeding as a social phenomenon, its roots, dynamics and role in developing higher education systems. Academic inbreeding is not defined as completely negative but rather fulfills a developmental role, particularly in the early development of these higher education systems, assuming a more detrimental effect later on. Positive and negative impacts of academic inbreeding are discussed, including factors and motivations that contribute for this practice to persist. Finally, three suggestions to curtail academic inbreeding are forwarded: not ending it by decree, fostering internationalization (especially mobility) and implementing transparent recruitment practices.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)363-372
Number of pages10
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic inbreeding
  • Development of higher education systems
  • Institutional inbreeding
  • Portugal
  • Russia

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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