Leader

Woman and little girl drinking coffee

Despite fears of saturation, an ever-growing army of graduates could just counter – rather than heighten – the threat of machines taking all our jobs

Person trapped in deckchair

Theresa May’s tweaks to tuition fees may not be enough to quell the disquiet over the current system, says John Gill

Women walking past mans legs

Despite their scientific achievements, women account for only 5% of Nobel prize-winners. It diminishes them – and the award, says John Gill

Anti-fees protester

Countries worldwide are grappling with the challenge of expanding higher education with limited resources while maintaining quality 

Brexit protest in Westminster

A disastrous loss of goodwill during negotiations with Brussels may mean the days of Britain’s being a net beneficiary of EU research funding are over

Dodo in glass case

Britain has a remarkably strong higher education system that makes it a world-leading player, and it requires tending, not trashing

Nobel prizewinner

A survey of 50 laureates is full of insight, warnings and the can-do attitudes powering ‘beautiful minds’

Academic freedom supporter

Creeping political interference in universities, from the UK to Hungary and the US, is part of a worrying shift in attitudes towards higher education

Bailing out a boat

Universities used to be thought unsinkable, but the unthinkable – an institution going to the wall – is now a genuine, if yet remote, prospect

neon sign

Institutions are feeling under attack; they need to counter their critics by showing proudly and publicly the immense good work they do

Tool box

Universities claim to bestow on graduates the key to open the door to any job: critical thinking. But even if they do, are employers interested?

Measuring salary

Amid fresh criticism of executive remuneration, perhaps universities need to rethink the issue of vice-chancellors’ salaries

Woman looking into ear trumpet

As the row over fees reignites and mutates into a debate over the very purpose of universities, silence reigns on the issue of hyper-selectivity

Deckchairs in a park

Academics may see their work as a calling, which makes it hard for them to switch off. But vacations are essential for well-being – and a bit of fun

Older man waterskis

To remain carefully balanced ecosystems where experience and youth combine, should universities impose a sell-by date on academics?

Jeremy Corbyn flag at Glastonbury

Few in academia will have celebrated Brexit’s first anniversary but the unpredictable year since the vote has shown the power of a united voice

Bear reaching for golden stars

The TEF results will not halt universities’ unease about the exercise, the prospect of gaming the system or anxiety about long-term consequences

Protester in Theresa May mask

The wide appeal of Labour’s fees pledge means free higher education is back on the agenda, amid a shift in the political landscape

University of Oxford

And, if so, does it matter where they studied and what subject they specialised in?

Scene from horror movie

Terrible tales attest that some see this activity as a nuisance or worse, rather than as something that can benefit supervisor as much as student, says John Gill