Diego Sornoza Parrales

PhD Candidate

Profile

I am a fouth-year Ph.D. Candidate in the Critical Policy, Equity, and Leadership Studies program. My professional background includes working as a high school teacher for two years and as a University Professor for five years in Universidad Estatal del Sur de Manabí in Ecuador. I have received a SENESCYT (Secretariat of Higher Education, Science, Technology, and Innovation – Ecuador) Scholarship to support my studies.I have been very fortunate to count on the academic and personal support of Dr. Gus Riveros, who supervises my research.

Memberships and Credentials:

  • SENESCYT Accredited Researcher: Record REG-INV-16-01687
  • Member of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE)
  • Member of the Scholarship Holders Association of Ecuador (ABREC)
  • Western University’s Society of Graduate Students (SOGS) Councilor – In
    representation of the Faculty of Education (2021 – 2022)

Connect with Diego

Research

My study investigates how the administrators in the research and quality assurance offices in the regional universities in Ecuador enact the national research quality assurance policy. The massification and diversification of higher education and the internationalization, as well as globalization of higher education institutions create an increasingly competitive environment. Given this competition, resources are scarce, resulting in more frequent and more aggressive budgetary constraints. Government and national funding agencies are including the notion of “quality” in their policies to measure the performance and efficiency of universities and determine budget allocation, demanding universities to “prove their value” to remain operational. In a qualitative case study, I incorporate Bourdieu's practice theory to investigate how accountability mechanisms (such as quality standards, quality evaluation models, and performance outcomes) influence research practices in Ecuadorian Higher Education. Data sources include several policy documents and semi-structured interviews with administrators (n=9) in charge of the research and quality assurance offices in the four public regional universities in Manabí. My work makes conceptual and theoretical contributions to the existing literature on regional universities and quality assurance in higher education. In terms of the conceptual contribution, it provides one of the first definitions of regional universities applicable to the Ecuadorian higher education context. This study also brings to light the contradictions between the definitions of quality in the policy text and the practical view of the policy actors in charge of its enactment. The theoretical contribution of my research is framed by the use of Bourdieu’s practice theory, which is used to identify the critical components of research practices in Ecuadorian higher education. Since the existing literature about quality assurance in Ecuador is primarily quantitative, this study constitutes the first attempt to map out the capitals of the Ecuadorian higher education field, the predispositions, and strategies of universities to face the rules set by the policy, and some of the existing structural constraints in the field. By identifying these key components, my work provides insights into the often-overlooked mechanisms of policy translation into research practices by the administrators in universities in Manabí Province.

Course Work Completed

  • Ph.D. Seminar
  • Introduction to Quantitative Research Methods
  • Qualitative Research in Education
  • Graduate Seminar in Leadership
  • Critical Policy Studies in Education

Publications

Peer-reviewed Articles

Sornoza Parrales, D. (submitted). Consequences of Quality Assurance Policy in the Academic Production of Manabí Universities: a scientometric analysis. Revista Public service motivation, a literature analysis of China and Ecuador. Revista Científica y Arbitrada de Ciencias Sociales y Trabajo Social: Tejedora.

Sornoza Parrales, D., Sornoza, G., Parrales, M. & Guaranda, V. (2020). Public service motivation, a literature analysis of China and Ecuador. Revista Espacios, Vol. 41 No. 30, 180-188.

Romo, M., Pincay, M., Sornoza-Parrales, D., & Pincay, D. (2017). Purchase behavior: comparative study between working and homemakers mothers, in the middle and lower-middle socioeconomic level (in Spanish). Comportamiento de compra entre madres que trabajan y no trabajan en los estratos medio típico y bajo. Revista Científica Sinapsis.

Book Chapters

Sornoza-Parrales, D. (2021) From leaders to leaders’ creators: A hierarchy of styles to promote leadership sustainability in education. In Docencia, ciencia y humanidades : hacia un enseñanza integral en la Universidad del siglo XXI (pp. 691-709). Editorial Dykinson.

Conference Presentations

Sornoza-Parrales, D. (2022, May). The Adoption of Quality Assurance Systems: Challenges for the Regional Universities in Ecuador. Paper presented at the Congress 2022 of the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education, Online, Canada.

Sornoza-Parrales, D. (2022, April). Agile Methodologies applied to Higher Education. Paper presented at the 1st International Seminar of Scientific and Methodologic Work, Jipijapa, Ecuador.

Sornoza-Parrales, D. (2022, April). Organizational challenges and benefits of Research Quality Assurance Policy in the Ecuadorian Higher Education: a case study. Poster presented at the 13th Robert Macmillan Symposium in Education, London, Canada.

Sornoza Parrales, D. (submitted). From leaders to leaders' creators: A hierarchy of styles to promote leadership sustainability in education. Paper presented at the International Congress Nodes of Knowledge 2020, Spain. 

Sornoza Parrales, D. (2020, June). Practice theory, quality standards and accountability in Ecuadorian higher education. Paper presented at the Congress 2020 of the Humanities and Social Sciences, London, Canada. 

Sornoza Parrales, D. (2020, March). Exploring the consequences of the Quality Assurance Policy in the Academic Production of the Public Universities in the Province of Manabí (Ecuador). Paper presented at the 11th Robert Macmillan Symposium in Education, London, Canada. 

Sornoza Parrales, D. (2019, June). Is Ecuadorian Higher Education moving towards Internationalization?  A qualitative document policy analysis. Poster presented at the Congress 2019 of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Vancouver, Canada.

Book Reviews

Sornoza Parrales, D. (Accepted). [Review of the book University and Society, by Kövér, A. & Franger, G], Canadian Journal of Educational Administration.

Awards

  • (2016) SENESCYT Open Call Scholarship. Ecuador
  • (2013) CONACYT Scholarship. Mexico
  • (2012) SENESCYT Open Call Scholarship. Ecuador