About the Journal

Focus and Scope

Tuning Journal for Higher Education (TJHE) is a biannual peer-reviewed and Open Access journal that publishes in English original research studies and reviews of student-centred learning and outcome-oriented education reforms at university level, with reference to the national, regional, and international environments. Its main objectives are:

  • To provide a platform whereby excellence in teaching, learning and assessment in higher education is promoted through research publications.

  • To serve as a platform for students, teachers, policy makers, administrators, and academics across societies, cultures, professions, and academic disciplines in order to engage in constructive debate on new approaches, methods and tools on teaching, learning and assessment in competence-based and student centred curricula in higher education.

  • To promote research and to subject the tools developed in different higher education projects – including but not limited to Tuning projects – to full academic scrutiny and debate with a view to fostering continuous innovation in higher education and the professional development of teachers and researchers.


Peer Review Process

Currently, Tuning Journal for Higher Education uses a double-blind peer review system: mandatory anonymity for both the reviewer and reviewed author throughout the review process.

Advisory Editors and Reviewers

Advisory Editors and Reviewers are scholars with demonstrable expertise in the fields and areas covered by the Tuning Journal for Higher Education (TJHE).  

Advisory Editors are appointed by the Editorial Board of TJHE.

Advisory Editors and Reviewers are expected to carry out their editorial duties for TJHE on a voluntary basis and in accordance with the Journal editorial and ethical guidelines. The Tuning Academy and Editorial Board of TJHE gratefully acknowledge their respective contributions. For further recognition, they may consider registering with PUBLONS or any other online platform or database that integrates peer reviewer profiles. However, they are kindly reminded that reviews carried out for Tuning Journal for Higher Education are confidential and cannot be disclosed or published in any way whatsoever and at any time without prior express authorisation of the copyright owner of the Journal. Only the following data can be disclosed without prior authorisation: the name of the Journal and the year of review.

Check of conformity of submissions

The Editor, with the assistance of the Managing Editor and or any other member of the editorial team, makes a first check of conformity of submitted manuscripts with the Journal policy and submission guidelines.

In line with the TJHE Ethical Guidelines for Publication (<<3.4. Fabrication of data, results, selective reporting of data, theft of intellectual property of others, and plagiarism are unethical practices and unacceptable.>>), the editorial staff uses the TURNITIN software to verify the originality of manuscripts submitted to the Journal.

Manuscripts not conforming to the Journal guidelines are returned to authors without evaluation.

Advisory Editor’s task 1: Assigning reviewers

The Editor hands each manuscript accepted for review to a member of the Panel of Advisory Editors, who will control the review and revision process of that manuscript.

On her/his turn, the Advisory Editor, who is registered as Section Editor into the Open Journal Systems (OJS) platform of Tuning Journal, assigns the received manuscript to two external reviewers. In some cases, the advice of a third reviewer may be sought.

The Advisory Editor can choose from the database of the OJS users who have registered as “reviewers” and have duly completed the corresponding form (Registration Form for Reviewers).

Moreover, she/he can identify new reviewers for TJHE. They must have a demonstrable expertise in the disciplines and areas covered by the Journal. In order to start and carry out their review task, they need to register as “reviewers” into the OJS platform, duly completing the above mentioned form (Registration Form for Reviewers).

Throughout the review process of the assigned manuscript, the Advisory Editor shall keep informed the Editor of any unexpected difficulties and setbacks.

Reviewer’s task

The Reviewer shall confirm acceptance of the task within 7 days of receipt of the invitation from the Advisory Editor. If she/he does not, the Advisory Editor will assume that she/he cannot perform the assigned task and will contact another reviewer.

For the evaluation of the assigned manuscript, the Reviewer is required to use the standard Review Form designed for that purpose. Once logged onto the system, the Reviewer will have two options. She/he can complete the online version of the Review Form and submit it online. Alternatively, the Reviewer can download any of the three versions of the Form (PDF: around 650 kB for the empty form; WORD: around 900 kB; or XLSX: around 150 kB), complete it, and upload it to the OJS platform for the attention of the Advisory Editor responsible for the review process of the assigned manuscript.

The possible recommendations that the Reviewer can make (to the Advisory Editor and to the Editor of TJHE) are the following:

I) “Accept Submission”: the manuscript is acceptable as submitted.

II) “Revisions Required”: the manuscript requires minor changes before it can be published.

III) “Resubmit for Review”: the manuscript needs major changes and the revised version will undergo a second and final round of review.

IV) “Decline Submission": the manuscript should not be published in the Journal.

These recommendation options are offered twice for the completion of the review report; first on the Review Form and, second, as part of the OJS default list of recommendation options.  Hence, the Reviewer should be consistent in her/his choices. On the OJS default list of recommendation options, two additional choices are available for the Reviewer: “Submit Elsewhere” and “See Comments”. These comments may be written on the Review Form (there is specific space for confidential comments for the Editor) or on a separate attachment file. In case of a “Submit Elsewhere” recommendation, the Reviewer shall suggest alternative publication venues for the manuscript.

For technical guidance, Advisory Editors and Reviewers are advised to follow the OJS step-by-step manual that has been specifically prepared for helping them to smoothly perform their role and which they will be allowed to access online upon their acceptance of the task. For further assistance, Reviewers should contact the management team of the Journal (tuningjournal@deusto.es).

Reviewers shall submit their reports to the Advisory Editor and the Editor, normally through the OJS platform, within 21 days of receipt of the manuscript for review. The OJS will be sending automatic reminders upon the expiration of the deadline.  

Before submission, Reviewers should ensure that all marked fields of the standard Review Form are duly completed.

Reviewers can upload files such as (offline) completed Review Forms, annotated copies of the reviewed manuscript or any other documents that they deem relevant for the Editor and Author. Technically, the Reviewer can upload any files ONLY before recording her/his recommendation to the Editor (which is the final step).

Reviewers shall ensure that their identity details are concealed from the author(s).

Advisory Editor’s task 2: Recommendation to the Editor

On the basis of the final review reports, the Advisory Editor communicates to the Editor, in writing and preferably through the Journal OJS platform, one of the following recommendations:

I) “Accept Submission

II) “Revisions Required

III) “Resubmit for Review

IV) “Decline Submission

This should be done within 7 days of receipt of the review reports. The Advisory Editor can attach any additional files (other than the Reviewers’ reports) to her/his recommendation to the Editor.

The Editor will contact the authors, again within 7 days of receipt of the recommendation from the Advisory Editor, with her/ his decision and send them copies of the review documents. The Editor will put in copy the Advisory Editor.

Final decision and revision work follow-up

The Editor is responsible for taking the final editorial decision. She/he will prepare a decision letter based on the comments of the reviewers and the recommendation of the Advisory Editor, which will be sent by email to the corresponding author with copy to the Advisory Editor, again within 7 days of receipt of the Advisory Editor’s recommendation.

The four possible Editor’s decisions, as foreseen in the OJS platform, are the following:

I) “Accept Submission": acceptance of the manuscript as it stands;

II) "Revisions Required": acceptance of the manuscript after minor revision;

III) "Resubmit for Review": the manuscript needs major changes and a second and final round of review will be required for the revised version.

IV) "Decline Submission": rejection of the manuscript as it stands.

The Editor's decision is final. Decision II) and Decision III) require revision work. In both cases, the Editor will send to the authors comments/suggestions for the author(s) from the reviewers and any annotated copies of the original manuscript. The Editor can add her/his own comments/suggestions. The Editor will ask the author(s) that they make the requested revision or give their reasons for not accepting to do so.

Authors should complete the requested revision and submit a revised version of their manuscript within 14 days (in case of “Revisions Required”) and 21 days (in case of “Resubmit for Review”) of being asked to do so; or they risk their article being rejected or assigned to a later Issue.

The revised version should be sent to the Editor, who will ask the Advisory Editor for a new recommendation. The two external reviewers may also be involved if deemed appropriate, particularly in the case of a “Resubmit for Review” decision.

Within 7 days, the Advisory Editor should decide whether to recommend “Acceptance” or “Rejection” and then she/he should send her/his recommendation to the Editor.


It is our intention to notify authors of non-reviewed manuscripts within 21 days of submission acknowledgement. For manuscripts accepted for review, the process shall last 2-3 months. However, due to reasons beyond our control, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, it can take longer to complete. Our editors and reviewers are indeed very busy people and they carry out their review tasks voluntarily. We therefore invite authors to be patient. If you have not heard from the Editor after 3 months, then please send an inquiry to the Editor (Professor Mary Gobbi, mary.gobbi@deusto.es) and or Managing Editor (Ladislas Bizimana, PhD, ladislas.bizimana@deusto.estuningjournal@deusto.es).


Publication Frequency

Tuning Journal for Higher Education (TJHE) is a joint academic publication of the University of Deusto (Spain) and the University of Groningen (Netherlands).

It is published by the University of Deusto on behalf of the two institutions. It appears twice a year, in May and November.

Currently, Journal items are published collectively in both digital and print formats.

The Journal publishes both thematic and unsolicited contributions on competence-based (higher) education.

The first issue of the Journal was published in November 2013. It discussed whether building new profiles and new generations of graduates is the right solution for some of the pressing educational needs of contemporary societies.

The second issue appeared in May 2014 and addressed the theme of competence-based learning from a global perspective.

Subsequent issues have covered various apsects of competence-based education such as curriculum reform for modernising higher education in an increasingly interdependent world, challenges and opportunities for curriculum development, and implementation and impact of Tuning competence-based approach in different parts of the world.

The Editorial Board welcomes contributions, research articles and case studies, on these and other themes related to values, needs, and prosepcts for building appropriate student profiles for a better world.


Open Access Policy

This journal provides full and immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

 Its content can be lawfully distributed and reused in any medium only for non-commercial purposes, without prior permission from the Publisher or the author; provided the original publication source is properly acknowledged and any changes to the original work are indicated clearly and in a manner that does not suggest the author’s and or Publisher’s endorsement whatsoever.


Production, Publication, and Distribution

Under the coordination of the Managing Editor (ME), accepted manuscripts are copyedited for publication. For each copyediting round, authors normally have up to three (3) working days to act upon suggested changes. Once copyediting is completed, the ME assigns a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) to each paper before moving it to the typesetting and proofreading stage. By email attachment, authors receive PDF proofs for final check (of basically typographical and formatting errors), altogether with the copyright transfer form (to be completed, dated, signed, and returned to the ME). They are expected to give their feedback within three (3) working days of receipt. Exceptionally, more than one round of proofreading by authors may take place. Substantive changes to the content and or structure of the manuscript at this stage require the approval of the Journal editor.

The responsibility to check the proofs rests primarily with the author(s). Neither the Journal editorial staff nor the Publisher can be held responsible for errors that remain in the published version and which the author(s) should have amended.

Final proofs (as checked by the author(s)) are published as a journal issue, first online (in PDF and HTML formats) and then in print format. Upon online publication of each issue, automatic notifications are sent from the Journal platform to authors, editors, reviewers, and registered users who have chosen to be notified. New issue content metadata are subsequently submitted to various indexing and cataloguing services providers.

Only a limited number of print copies are made available for internal distribution (to authorities, libraries, records and archives services, and visiting researchers) within the two Tuning Academy institutions. Depending on availability, free print copies are also provided to authors, reviewers, section editors (of each issue), editorial board members, and key strategic partners of Tuning Academy.


Registration Form for Reviewers

Users of the OJS of Tuning Journal who register or have already registered themselves as “reviewers” are kindly requested to complete and submit online the corresponding form in order to help the editorial team in selecting suitable reviewers for the Journal. Each Issue of the Journal will contain an acknowledgement note with the list of reviewers who will have helped with its production.

Registration Form for Reviewers (download)


Research Article Review Form

As indicated above (under the 'Peer Review Process' section), Reviewers are required to use the standard form designed for the evaluation of research articles. There are two versions of the form: an online version and a downloadable one in PDF, WORD, and XLSX formats. Once logged on the system, the Reviewer has two options. He/she can complete the online version and submit it online. Alternatively, the Reviewer can download the form in any of the three formats, complete it, and upload it to the OJS platform for the attention of Advisory Editor responsible for the review process of the assigned manuscript.

Research Article Review Form (Word) (download)
Research Article Review Form (PDF) (download)
Research Article Review Form (XLSX) (download)


TJHE Ethical Guidelines for Publication

Tuning Journal for Higher Education (TJHE), Tuning Journal in short, is an international journal publishing in English original research studies and reviews in all aspects of competence-based, student-centred, and outcome-oriented education reforms at university level across the globe. It is published by the University of Deusto’s Publications department on behalf of the International Tuning Academy (Tuning Academy, in short), a jointly managed project of the Universities of Deusto (Spain) and Groningen (The Netherlands). The Journal, essentially an open access, online and peer-reviewed publication, is committed to maintain the highest ethical standards. Hence, the involvement of any stakeholder in any function connected with TJHE, including acting as an editor, the reviewing of manuscripts, the management and production of the Journal and the authorship and submission of manuscripts implies acceptance of and adherence to TJHE Ethical Guidelines for Publication.

TJHE Ethical Guidelines (online)


TJHE Ethical Guidelines (PDF) (download)


Contribution Topics

The Journal welcomes contributions on the following topics:

1. Competence-based learning in higher education

  • Teaching, learning and assessing: theories, policies, and practices
  • Processes, environments/contexts and experiences of (outcome-oriented) learning
  • Subject-specific good practices of teaching, learning and assessment in higher education
  • Generic/General skills and competences in higher education
  • Curriculum design, implementation and enhancement
  • Quality assurance strategies, mechanisms and approaches
  • Integration and support to the implementation of national reform agendas
  • Change management at strategic and degree programme level

2. Academic teachers’ professional development and teaching competences

  • Scholarship of teaching, learning, organising, and assessing
  • Teachers’ professional development strategies and challenges

3. Cooperation and partnership building

  • Higher education profiling and employability in an interdependent world
  • Inter-university cooperation and partnership in higher education
  • University-business cooperation: work-based learning strategies, approaches, methodologies and challenges

4. Emergence and development of higher education areas

  • Internationalisation, sustainability, and local ownership in higher education
  • Recognition challenges and experiences in national and international perspectives
  • Convergence in higher education and related challenges (diversity and local traditions, interculturality, …)
  • Students’ and stakeholders’ participation in higher education
  • Transitions and challenges to and from higher education (admission from secondary education and other learning paths; preparation for the job market)
  • Role of overarching qualifications frameworks and meta-profiles
  • Further emerging topics in the higher education scenario worldwide



En varios proyectos de Tuning Educational Structures in Europe (2000-2010), que se iniciaron como una reacción de HE a la Declaración de Bolonia de 1999, se abordaron varias líneas de Bolonia y se desarrollaron herramientas prácticas para ayudar en su implementación. A lo largo de los años, Tuning ha recibido interés de todo el mundo, como resultado, entre otras, de las siguientes iniciativas: Tuning África, Tuning Australia, Tuning America Latina, Tuning Russia y Tuning USA.

Las dos instituciones académicas que en 2000 iniciaron los proyectos de Tuning y que desde entonces los coordinan son la Universidad de Deusto (España) y la Universidad de Groningen (Países Bajos).


Sources of Support

Tuning Journal for Higher Education (TJHE), en resumen, se beneficia del apoyo de la Universidad de Deusto y la Universidad de Groningen, así como de la comunidad global de Tuning en general.


Journal History

El Tuning Journal for Higher Education (TJHE), en breve, se lanzó oficialmente el miércoles 21 de noviembre de 2012 en Bruselas (BE), en una reunión general de Tuning. Su primer número fue publicado en noviembre de 2013.