Online readers also avidly followed a series of stories about universities banned from recruiting international students by the UK Border Agency.
But there was at least some light relief from an article that uncovered the more unusual excuses students gave for not having done their work on time – including one who was being kept awake by a ghost.
In ascending order, the ten most read stories of 2012 were:
The tenth most popular THE story of 2012 came in November, with news that just 45.7 per cent of academic staff appeared to possess a doctorate, according to a study by Malcolm Tight, professor in higher education at Lancaster University.
The University of Aberdeen was considering whether or not to establish a chair in “integrative health care and management” funded primarily by an anthroposophical clinic, THE reported in April. The following month it decided against establishing the post.
Ghosts, erupting volcanoes and the outbreak of civil war were some of the stranger excuses offered by students who failed to submit work on time, THE reported in August.
In March it was announced that the universities of Durham, Exeter, York and Queen Mary, University of London, would leave the 1994 Group and join the Russell Group of large research intensive institutions.
Including student satisfaction scores in Key Information Sets is unlikely to influence students’ university choices but could heap additional pressure on academics to improve results, THE reported in September.
Teesside University’s Highly Trusted Sponsor status was suspended in early February after the UK Border Agency identified what were thought to be "administrative issues" with its recruitment of overseas students. Its status was restored in May.
In June THE reported that the University of Birmingham had withdrawn a job advertisement for an “honorary” unpaid research assistant after critics claimed the position was exploitative.
Academics are suffering from growing stress levels as a result of heavy workloads, management issues and a long-hours culture, according to a survey by the University and College Union released in October.
The UK Border Agency revoked London Metropolitan University’s licence to sponsor overseas students in August, sending shockwaves through the sector.
The most popular THE story of 2012 indicates that money is on our readers’ minds. THE reported in March that in a ranking of pay by country, the UK finished in seventh place, behind nations including Italy and South Africa.