The 25 most-read Times Higher Education articles of 2015

The most popular higher education articles of the year, based on website traffic

December 21, 2015
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Read the top 20 HE stories of 2016

The past 12 months have seen a higher education Green Paper, the proposal of a teaching excellence framework, and – of course – the publication of more than 50 editions of Times Higher Education.

In addition to the magazine, we launched a blog platform, a student section and brought you the very latest breaking higher education news as it happened.

But which stories had you clicking the most? Here are the top 25 most-read articles of 2015 (not including our World University Rankings, which have their own section).


25. Postdoc blues: how do you know when it is time to give up?
They think I’m a rising star, but my hopes of a real career in science are sinking. A melancholy start to our countdown.

Like this? Try: PhD students run professors close in Twitter popularity contest

24. World’s top 10 universities led by women
World University Rankings analysis reveals the best female-led institutions.

Like this? Try: Rankings top 200: 173 men and just 28 women

23. Higher education Green Paper at a glance
Some of the key points to take away from the UK government’s consultation document.

Like this? Try: HE Green Paper: everything you need to know

22. Why I had to quit the research excellence framework panel
No time for proper peer review and inevitable grade inflation pushed one academic to resignation.

Like this? Try: REF sceptic to lead review into research assessment

 21. The weird and wonderful world of academic Twitter
A peek inside a Pandora’s box of scholarly microblogging.

Like this? Try: The hidden silly side of higher education

20. National Student Survey 2015: £9K fees fail to dent satisfaction
Students continue to give positive reviews to UK higher education.

Like this? Try: A lamentable performance by Jo Johnson on student satisfaction

19. ‘Are you a construction worker?’ Life as a black Rhodes scholar
Donald Brown shares the experiences that prompted him to talk about ‘institutional racism’ at Oxford.

Like this? Try: Black and ethnic minorities still have mountains to climb in higher education

18. Zygmunt Bauman accused of serial ‘self-plagiarism’
Sociologist recycled 90,000 words of material, claims paper

Like this? Try: How big a sin is Baumans alleged self-plagiarism?

17. The story of a shy academic
The unknown advantages of being a shrinking violet in a boisterous academy.

Like this? Try: How to engage with sullen students

16. The postdoc experience: hopes and fears
Six early career researchers reflect on their experiences.

Like this? Try: The postdoc’s dilemma

15. Employability: which university is doing the best by its students?
Want to get a job? The Global Employability University Survey tells you which universities to consider.

Like this? Try: We need to talk about employability, not employment

14. Top 10 universities for producing Nobel prizewinners
Which institutions have clocked up the most laureates this century?

Like this? Try: Further analysis of this story

13. National Student Survey 2015: the overall satisfaction results in full
Does what it says in the headline. UK universities ranked by overall student satisfaction.

Like this? Try: Academics see NSS as a poor measure of teaching quality

12. Journal impact factors ‘no longer credible’
Editorial claims that manipulation means that the measure has ceased to be meaningful.

Like this? Try: Public engagement: go forth and mingle

11. THE ‘Table of Tables’ 2016: University of Cambridge top for fifth year running
The combined results of the three main UK university league tables.

Like this? Try: World University Rankings 2015-2016 results

10. Today’s students are anything but coddled
All the trigger warnings and no-platform campaigns reveal not a timid generation but one unafraid to tackle reality.

Like this? Try: Should students be partners in curriculum design?

9. The best UK universities chosen by major employers
The universities of Oxford and Cambridge have taken the top spots, but who else makes the list?

Like this? Try: THE Student Section

8. Which universities are the most innovative?
Our four ‘innovation indicators’ reveal the world’s strongest performers when it comes to innovation.

Like this? Try: Should UK universities be doing more to produce work-ready graduates?

7. Top 20 UK universities: National Student Survey and World University Rankings
The best UK universities based on undergraduate satisfaction and THE World Univeristy Rankings performance.

Like this? Try: NSS results have little impact on university applications

6. Ernst and Young drops degree classification threshold for graduate recruitment
Accountancy giant questions whether having a degree is linked to achievement at work.

Like this? Try: Working-class graduates ‘locked out’ of top careers

5. Global Employability University Ranking 2015 results
The top 150 universities for graduate employability ranked one to 100. Simple.

Like this? Try: Preparing graduates for the professional world

4. The 100 most international universities in the world 2015
The top performers in the International Outlook category of the 2014-2015 World University Rankings. The 2016 table will be out soon.

Like this? Try: 2016 World University Rankings by subject

3. Top 30 African universities: snapshot
Institutions from 10 countries feature in this top 30, which takes a snapshot of the continent’s research performance.

Like this? Try: Africa’s ‘teaching shops’: the rise of private universities

2. The worst piece of peer review I’ve ever received
Six academics share their worst experiences of peer review before delivering their verdict on the system.

Like this? Try: Should post-publication peer review be anonymous?

1. 10 steps to PhD failure
It caused a stir online (and will now do so again, no doubt)! Kevin Haggerty and Aaron Doyle offer advice on making your postgraduate study as tough as possible (although you could also use these tips to avoid some pitfalls if you prefer).

Like this? Try: 10 truths a PhD supervisor will never tell you

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