Pietro Boselli

Academic work is typically all-consuming, but some scholars still manage to combine some eye-catching sidelines with their day jobs. Here, five tell their stories

Graduate value

With degrees now necessary for entry into more jobs than ever before, John Morgan considers the economic arguments for expanding higher education

Happy statue Oxford

From neuroscience to philosophy and economics, seven scholars relate what work in their disciplines reveals about the search for #HEhappiness

University workers

Having caused a scandal over research assessment back in the 1990s, Lincoln Allison is well placed to give an overview of its impact, and still finds it wanting

Editing typewriter

Is your resolution for the new academic year to publish more? Here, 16 scholars give advice on pitching, editing and writing – and dealing with negative peer reviews

David Cannadine

The distinguished historian talks to Matthew Reisz about his latest book and his new role as president of the British Academy

Taiwan market

Taiwan hopes that attracting students from further afield, particularly mainland China, will help to address its higher education crisis. But this in turn brings challenges, including compromised academic freedom, writes Chris Parr

Redacted bank note

Salary transparency can promote equality but also tends to foment jealousy and strife among academic staff, as Adrian Furnham has seen at first hand

Red blood cells

Holly Else considers how the withdrawal of one of the biggest players in European research could change science on the Continent, and likely national winners and losers

Man blasts off with jetpack

Last week, the UK’s universities minister threatened to fine institutions that pay their v-cs more than the prime minister without a strong justification. We present three perspectives on the debate 


The bullying and subsequent suicide of a talented Ivy League scientist exposes ugly truths about the cruelty and dysfunction at the heart of academic science

man going up steps

An academic parent, a student and two researchers consider if the metrics approach is really the game changer for improving student outcomes that many claim, or if it has a dark side

Nobel statue

We share what 50 Nobel prizewinners think about issues facing science, universities and the world, from populist politics and researcher mobility, to artificial intelligence and threats to humankind

Melvyn Bragg

The radio show In Our Time is a sort of academic seminar on the airwaves. Its presenter tells Matthew Reisz about bringing scholars to the public, and the risks UK academia faces

Buried treasure

Scholars divulge which treasured possession they would rescue from their office before heading for the emergency exit if a fire broke out on campus

Hungarian police

With the Hungarian government clamping down on universities and championing labourers over philosophers, David Matthews meets those living with the consequences

Racks of bodies

Dame Sue Black’s pioneering work has taken her to war zones and the aftermath of natural disasters. She explains the scientific rigour required in the field

Ghost town

UK universities face uncertainty over the impact of Brexit and the TEF, the future for tuition fees and a pensions deficit. Which institutions have the financial clout and diversified portfolios to survive? Simon Baker runs the numbers

Father and son dressed as superheroes

Many an academic will be dragged to the cinema this summer by bored offspring determined to see the latest superhero film. But what kind of childhood heroes did scholars themselves have? Here, five reveal who and what inspired their career choices


John Morgan witnesses a pioneering collaboration between two Sheffield universities, drawing upon the city’s manufacturing heritage to become a hub of industrial innovation and a model of civic engagement

Measured degree

It has long been claimed that critical thinking ability sets graduates apart. But are universities really preparing students for the modern workplace? David Matthews reports

Dialectics of Liberation

At 1967’s Congress on the Dialectics of Liberation, radicals preached Black Power, existential psychiatry, free universities and more. Martin Levy on an event that was as much a happening as an academic conference

Free education protesters past and present

Ellie Bothwell goes through the archives from 45 to five years ago and discovers some recurring themes

Vanuatu ridge

Bernard Leeman, anti-apartheid fighter and peripatetic champion of low-cost rural tertiary education, describes the circuitous route he took to Vanuatu

Donkey rides and polo players

John Morgan considers the hierarchies of prestige in higher education, the insights offered by big data research, and whether mixed-ability universities are the answer