Oxford college porter

Inequality remains a pernicious problem at our elite universities. Failure to tackle it will have negative consequences for individuals and society at large

Schoolboy rugby

In the rivalry to make the next scientific breakthrough, collaboration is key. But the UK’s post-Brexit course only undermines its competitive standing

Face covered with UCU stickers

Faith in private-sector innovation has driven Conservative reforms under both Willetts and Johnson – but is that really what universities need?

Anti-Weinstein protesters

Just like Hollywood and Parliament, academia has entrenched power hierarchies. It can’t pretend that sexual harassment doesn’t take place

Man leaning back

Research is paid for by legerdemain, and we should be honest about it if we want to correct funding imbalances and treat students fairly

Woman in EU mask

Last week’s spats over universities’ supposed anti-Brexit bias and what to do about it highlight the contested nature of free speech

Hidden camera

Academics find information and inspiration in myriad places and forms, and what they do with it can transform and even save lives

Students hugging

In our rapidly changing world focused on science and progress, the liberal arts are sometimes considered irrelevant; but they offer unique insight into who we are and where we are going

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