Scholars are well suited to a globalised world, but national rules restrict where they may work

March 1, 2002

THES reporters examine appointment systems worldwide:

The academic profession has been global, or at least free from the constraints of national boundaries, since the Middle Ages. Scholars moved more or less freely between Middle Eastern and European intellectual hotspots.

The developing empires of Britain, Spain, France and Portugal further widened the network, and the intellectual ferment of the United States created another axis for the flow.

But as university employment became more formalised - and especially as the academic professions in continental Europe became part of the civil service - movement was restricted. Career paths favoured nationals of the country, either formally or through more subtle means. Almost by default, each country developed its own mechanisms for training, selection and appointment.

Thes reporters capture those differences and explain how the inexorable shift towards an international dimension for higher education is affecting individual countries.

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