Features

Academia has gone green in a big way in recent years, but some doubt whether it will make much difference to the planet. Nick Mayo speaks to scholars and students to assess the sector’s environmental record

12 September

Universities often claim to be competing in a global market, but their recruitment of leaders typically results in domestic appointments. With some of the world’s top institutions led by people from abroad, John Ross asks whether more should be following suit 

5 September

Mounting workloads and mushrooming publication output are making the task of staying abreast of the latest developments in the literature ever more difficult for academics. Here, eight researchers reflect on their own approaches and offer their tips

22 August

Continuous retraining is widely seen as the answer to the coming job losses caused by automation and artificial intelligence. But are universities the best places to provide it? And are their courses, structures and funding systems optimised to do so? Anna McKie reports

8 August

Business and management schools are highly successful in financial terms, and provide valuable income to their wider universities. But opinion remains sharply divided on how successful they have been intellectually. Here, five business academics give their views on whether their discipline has done enough to earn the respect of the academy and wider society

1 August

Summer is upon northern hemisphere academics. But its cherished traditional identity as a time for intensive research is being challenged by the increasing obligations around teaching and administration that often crowd out research entirely during term time. So is the 40/40/20 workload model still sustainable? Respondents to a THE survey suggest not. Nick Mayo hears why

25 July

Even in disciplines in which research is inherently inexpensive, ‘grant capture’ is increasingly being adopted as a metric to judge academics and universities. But with success rates typically little better than one in five, rejection is the fate of most applications. Six academics give their tips on how to improve the odds

18 July

In today’s political and psychological climate, teaching some liberal arts standards has become an abyss to avoid, says Crispin Sartwell

Formulating and implementing a strategic plan is core to the modern university leader’s job description. But amid complaints that such documents are vacuous, generic and irrelevant to the wider community, John Ross asks how the process can be improved

4 July

A punitive attitude towards incarceration limits the access of the US’ uniquely large prison population to college degrees. But there are signs that attitudes are finally shifting. Paul Basken considers the arguments and looks at some prime examples of what can be achieved with a captive audience

27 June

Overseas branch campuses have mushroomed in the past two decades, but with the risks larger than initially assumed and the returns less certain, stories of abandoned ventures have begun to mount. Ellie Bothwell asks whether the model still has a future 

20 June

Universities in most nations are now obliged to prioritise graduate career prospects, but how it should be approached depends on your view of the meaning of education. Academics need to think that through much more clearly, says Tom Cutterham

20 June

Last year’s scandal over the ministerial vetoing of Australian research grants coincided with the centenary of the fabled principle that politicians should keep out of such decisions. But with governments becoming increasingly ideological and desperate for innovation-fuelled growth, does scientific autonomy have a future? Rachael Pells investigates 

13 June

The serious-minded pursuit of knowledge is not incompatible with an enjoyment of some rather more popular pursuits. Six academics talk about their passion for a topic conspicuous by its absence from the scholarly literature 

6 June

Western ‘settler’ nations such as Canada and Australia are wrestling with how to redress historical injustices visited on their native populations. One proposal is for universities to embrace Indigenous knowledge. But what does that mean in practice? Will it achieve its aims? And where does it leave science? Matthew Reisz considers the arguments

6 June

Most universities still rely on exams and assessed essays to grade their students. But as the fourth industrial revolution, employability and student satisfaction all rise up the agenda, many experts are suggesting that assessment needs to much more closely resemble real-world tasks. Anna McKie marks the arguments   

23 May

Recent controversies in Australia over vice-chancellors’ pay, Ramsay Centre funding and the role of academic presses have raised questions about whether university boards have too few – or, perhaps, too many – members from scholarly backgrounds. John Ross chairs the discussion

16 May