Features

Psychedelic shock

A recent wave of commentators have been disparaging universities and painting all who work in them as complicit in a fraud. Philip Cowan examines their case

Nicholas Dirk

The former chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley explains how he navigated protests from both the Left and Right, and threatening tweets from President Trump

Camera in car mirror

David Matthews learns how archivists deal with enquiries about material collected by the former East Germany’s secret police that can still destroy reputations

Hawaiian shirt at the Wailing Wall

In a pair of books exploring aspects of Jewish identity, Devorah Baum reflects on Jewishness and the human condition. She talks about turning uncomfortable ‘Jewish feelings’ such as guilt into something positive, and how humour is a way of coping with life’s trials

Snow on campus

Liberal arts colleges are often perceived as being elite and irrelevant. But the best among them excel in areas such as engagement and focus on critical thinking. Ellie Bothwell explores whether liberal arts education has become redundant – or simply needs a makeover

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 

Poisonous

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