Knowledge hub


Welcome to the knowledge hub. This space is a repository for content relating to the summit theme, “How talent thrives”. It will feature articles, reports, podcasts and video content of particular interest to participants wanting to prepare for their attendance at the summit. Become a part of the conversation and join us by interacting through our social media channels using the hashtag #THEWAS


Three Ways to Cultivate Talents like David Yenicelik

Universities play an increasingly important role in society creating an environment where talents thrive. A co-founder of Skilllab, Yenicelik develops artificial intelligence to uncover roadmaps that guide refugees on how to integrate into local labour markets.

September 10th, 2019
Achieving diversity in leadership must start with students

Diversity matters to university leaders just as much as it does to business and society. Building a diverse staff and student body requires a nuanced approach, says Sarah Springman, who identifies three areas where institutions can push for more inclusion, especially around gender.

August 2nd, 2019
Nurturing talent is complex – and it is not enough

For those with educational responsibilities, how we choose and promote learners is crucial. In universities, if we are asked how we select our students, we typically say that it is a case of identifying and building on raw talent. But what does that really mean? And does it bear scrutiny?

July 31st, 2019
Bias towards domestic leaders undermines ‘global market for talent’ talk

Data on nationality of presidents and vice-chancellors among top 400 institutions shows vast majority come from own system. The leaders of the world’s top universities are much more likely to be recruited from within their own higher education system than from a wider international pool of talent, an analysis by Times Higher Education suggests.

July 9th, 2019
This will be the biggest disruption in higher education

Today, the #1 reason why Americans value and pursue higher education is “to get a good job.” The path has always been assumed as linear: first, go to college and then, get a good job. But what if there was a path to get a good job first – a job that comes with a college degree?

April 30th, 2019
It’s the people in universities who forge the future of AI

It would be easy for universities to cede the frontiers of research in AI to industry. But history – and the experts – tell us that would be a mistake.
“Anyone who can spell ‘artificial intelligence’ can get a job these days,” observed Dame Wendy Hall at the Times Higher Education World Academic Summit 2018 in Singapore.

March 28th, 2019
AI experts sceptical of automation impact on university workforce

A majority of artificial intelligence experts and higher education leaders have rejected the idea that the rise of automation will lead to job losses in universities in the next 10 to 15 years. The survey, conducted by THE in association with Microsoft, found that 56% of respondents did not expect the size of their administrative workforce to shrink as a result of the rise of AI.

March 28th, 2019
Inside ETH Zurich: one of the world’s most international universities

Switzerland’s flagship university has always been international, but has never been more in need of its global outlook, says Sarah Springman. How does a public institution in Switzerland with strong national roots become one of the world’s most international universities?

March 20th, 2019
Western universities feel the strain of China talent tussle

Western university sectors could regret employment practices that handicap academics from Asian backgrounds, as China ramps up its efforts to lure expatriates and foreigners to feed its burgeoning need for faculty. Push factors, such as seemingly discriminatory employment arrangements that trap Asians in junior academic positions, could add to the pull factors of a Chinese recruitment onslaught that has increased its aspirations by an order of magnitude.

February 21st, 2019
Interview with Manu Kapur

ETH Zurich’s learning sciences expert discusses his own ‘cut-throat’ schooling, why lecturing fails, and how students can fail ‘productively’. Manu Kapur holds a chair in learning sciences and higher education at ETH Zurich. Before this, his academic career took him to the United States, Hong Kong and Singapore. His research has tackled questions ranging from how students can fail productively to whether stereotypes affect learning.

February 21st, 2019


Talent attractiveness

Talented and skilled individuals have a key role to play in countries’ future prosperity. They hold jobs that are key for innovation and technological progress and ultimately contribute to stronger economic growth with other employment opportunities and better living conditions for all.

June 10th, 2019
The future of work? Work of the future!

We are used to thinking about artificial intelligence (AI) in the future tense, speculating how technological developments in this area will affect us. But if we spend too much time trying to figure out what to expect in the future, we risk not seeing that AI and robotisation have already started transforming our daily lives.

May 3rd, 2019
Branches from the same tree

American higher education has for generations been the envy of the world. Whether because of the enormous output of research, scholarship, and creative activity or the great diversity of offerings, American colleges and universities are widely admired and emulated across the globe.

May 1st, 2018
The Future of Jobs Report 2018

The opportunities for economic prosperity, societal progress and individual flourishing in the new world of work of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are enormous, yet depend on the ability of stakeholders to instigate reform in education and training systems, labour market policies, business approaches to developing skills, employment arrangements and existing social contracts.

May 1st, 2018


Best Of Both Worlds

I had the opportunity to combine the two worlds between which I juggle – being a student at ETH Zurich and a member of a start-up company that focuses on food waste. It was a great occasion that the World Academic Summit 2019 was held at my university.

October 3rd, 2019
Less is More: Tips for Hosting a Sustainable Conference

“If you would like a sustainable conference, don’t host a conference in the first place.” This was the first remark in an intense series of conversations about how to make this year’s THE World Academic Summit a sustainable meeting.

September 5th, 2019
Europe is a top destination for many researchers

Language, cultural differences and expense are common downsides, but there are opportunities to learn new techniques, work in diverse settings and polish confidence.

May 21st, 2019
Look to Africa to advance artificial intelligence

If AI is to improve lives and reduce inequalities, we must build expertise beyond the present-day centres of innovation, says Moustapha Cisse.

October 23rd, 2018
Paths to success for African scientists

Pursuing a career in science in Africa involves challenges not faced by researchers who remain in the high-income countries in which they studied.

October 17th, 2018

Videos and podcasts

THE podcast: Is ‘genius’ a bad word?

What does the notion of “genius” mean? And is it something that universities should look for in their search for talent? Nobel laureate astrophysicist Brian Schmidt discusses the notion of ‘genius’ with rising star physicist Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski.

September 20th, 2019
Video: Digitalisation presents a challenge to talent development worldwide

At the sixth Times Higher Education World Academic Summit, experts from the research community and higher education explored and reflected on how digitalisation is changing higher education and on nurturing of talent.

September 13th, 2019
Podcast: ETH hosts THE World Academic Summit

“How Talent Thrives” is a subject that university, as well as industry, is interested in. The summit will bring leaders from around the world to ETH Zurich to explore the topics regarding talent. In the ETH Podcast, Rector Sarah Springman and Professor Manu Kapur talk about how they seek for talented people and how talents, learning skills, and knowledge can merge.

September 9th, 2019
Video: One year after the Fields Medal

Alessio Figalli’s life has changed since he was awarded the Fields Medal one year ago. There’s now more intensive contact to schools and public life, and he has taken on new tasks in research. He masters them with a joyful outlook and optimism.

September 2nd, 2019
Video: Seven comments on talent from university and industry leaders

THE and ETH Zurich hosted an event in Davos during the 2019 World Economic Forum that brought together heads of leading research universities and technology companies to discuss how talent can be cultivated to meet 21st century economic and social needs.

January 25th, 2019
THE podcast: ETH Zurich, Toronto and NYU presidents talk talent

Presidents of the next three Times Higher Education World Academic Summit host partner institutions discuss global talent in the 21st century.

Here we speak with the former head of ETH Zurich, Lino Guzzella; Meric Gertler, president of the University of Toronto, and Andy Hamilton, president of NYU.

January 18th, 2019
Video: ETH Zurich and Microsoft: Hunting for talent

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and ETH President Lino Guzzella met at ETH Zurich to discuss the competition between business and research.

November 2nd, 2018
Video: research universities and lifelong learning

John Ross, THE‘s Asia-Pacific editor chairs this panel discussion about the leadership role research universities can take in fostering lifelong learning from the World Academic Summit 2018.

October 5th, 2018
THE podcast: highlights from the World Academic Summit 2018

The World Academic Summit 2018, hosted by the National University of Singapore, brought together more than 500 university and industry leaders to discuss the transformative power research can have in advancing knowledge, driving economic growth and building nations.

October 2nd, 2018