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

Singing mice

From the Victorian slum-dwellers whose lives were transformed after they found a warbling rodent, to the jazz-like sound of mouse music, Richard Sugg says that if you take strange stories seriously, you may find something beautiful

Mountain and money

Economists’ stock plummeted with the financial crash. The authors of a new book suggest that reading novels could sharpen their insights, while four academics consider how the field might need to change

People in a light tunnel

The universities of China, Singapore and South Korea are among the world leaders in some STEM fields, but will they expand their strength into other disciplines? asks Simon Marginson

Students in lecture hall

Simon Baker explores the mechanics of the teaching excellence framework to determine if it was fair, if universities will attempt to game it, if it will win public favour and if it will change in future iterations

Boat on a lake in Norway

Stephen Mumford tells Matthew Reisz about his desire to bring his discipline to a wider audience, why Norway was the perfect place to write his Cartesian debut novel and why insights into causation have more practical relevance than might first appear

Rainbow flag at a rodeo

Texas-born scholar Angelia Wilson talks to Matthew Reisz about the changing face of political studies, Trump and the Christian Right, and a Bible Belt road trip

International education is Australia’s third-largest export industry, worth more than A$20 billion, and is set for further growth driven by current geopolitics. Jack Grove reports on how international recruitment is playing its part in Australia’s embrace of the Asian century

Reflection of man in cracked mirror

To defend the values of reason from political attack we need to be more discriminating about the claims made in its name, says John Hendry

THE v-c pay survey 2017

In our annual survey of vice-chancellors’ pay, which reveals double-digit hikes for some and more modest rises for others, Simon Baker examines how remuneration committees make their decisions amid calls for greater transparency over the ‘arbitrary’ nature of salary increases

Thatcher Heather May and Blair as rowers at Oxford

Oxford has educated almost all post-war British leaders. Anthony Seldon looks at Oxbridge’s powerful political role

Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat rosettes

Some MPs turned out of office might turn to academia for employment. But what do former political high-flyers bring to a university, and what are the potential downsides? Jack Grove reports

Jean-Lou Chameau

Ellie Bothwell talks with the KAUST president about effective leadership, securing funding and the importance of keeping the local public onside

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision


Moves to privilege community service in university admissions will create even more social justice warriors when what we need are more deep thinkers, argues Alexander Zubatov


We examine citation data to get an idea of the most exciting and potentially ground-breaking research topics

Disability on Campus

Five academics talk about the issues associated with various disabilities and what should be done to improve support