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

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

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

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

Capsized woman and boat

Early career academics can be left to sink or swim when navigating the choppy waters of learning scholarly writing. Helen Sword says a more formal, communal approach can help everyone, especially women

Bums out in Magaluf

With the holiday season upon us, five academics suggest some unique destinations you may want to consider – or perhaps not

Thorns and butterflies

Conditions that undermine the notion of scholarly vocation – relentless work, ubiquitous bureaucracy – can cause academics acute distress and spur them to quit, says Ruth Barcan