The 20 most-read Times Higher Education articles of 2014

We reveal the stories that have topped the THE website’s most-read lists over the past twelve months

December 25, 2014

For UK higher education, 2014 was the year of the research excellence framework: the year we finally found out who had prospered and who had perished in the jaws of the research assessment behemoth.

That the REF results, released on 18 December, shot straight into top spot in our list of the most-read articles on the Times Higher Education website is no great surprise, then, particularly given the sheer quantity of data accompanying our REF analysis.

But what other stories drew the most attention online? No need to guess – the answers are to be found here, in our annual review of the 20 most-read THE articles of the year.

20. REF 2014 winners: who performed best?
(18 December 2014)

King’s College London raised its GPA while submitting more staff to the REF 2014. But who were the other notable achievers and underachievers?

Zygmunt Bauman

19. Zygmunt Bauman rebuffs plagiarism accusation
(3 April 2014)

The renowned sociologist was robust in his response, claiming high-quality scholarship does not depend on obedience to technical rules on referencing.

Lecturer with dog's head photo pasted over face

18. Today’s intellectuals: too obedient?
(28 August 2014)

Are scholars turning into sycophants? Fred Inglis was in rampaging form in this call to arms, arguing that it is the obligation of academics to speak truth to power.


17. Me and my PhD supervisor: tales of love and loathing
( March 2014)

Every PhD student, and every supervisor, will have their own tales to tell about the unique relationship at the heart of the doctoral experience. Here, academics discuss how their own supervisors shaped their teaching.

Person viewed through window, working late in office

16. Work less, do more, live better
(7 August 2014)

Long working hours may now be the norm, but they shouldn’t be, according to Patience Schell. Rather, we must rediscover the truth that leisure is vital for mind, body and productivity.

UK visa (detail)

15. Glyndwr visa licence suspended amid Home Office crackdown
(24 June 2014)

In June, the Home Office dropped a bombshell, informing a number of universities they were being blocked from sponsoring new international students. The restrictions have since been lifted.

National Student Survey 2014 results, smiley face painted on red wall

14. National Student Survey results show record levels of satisfaction
(12 August 2014)

Students were most satisfied with teaching, least happy with assessment and feedback in the annual THE survey - always one of our most-read data analyses.

Miles Cole illustration (14 August 2014)

13. The PhD experience: this far, and no further
(14 August 2014)

Doctoral study changes lives - usually for the better, but not always. In this feature, we heard stories from across the spectrum of PhD experiences.

David Parkins illustration (6 February 2014)

12. Academic assessment gone mad
(6 February 2014)

Has accountability to stakeholders got out of hand? Steven Ward explored one of the most pressing issues in academia in this satirical take on the Orwellian world of over-assessment.

Miles Cole illustration (3 April 2014)

11. Times Higher Education pay survey
(3 April 2014)

What’s behind the big salary increases for vice-chancellors? We asked the important questions in our annual survey of academic pay across the UK.

10. Imperial College professor Stefan Grimm ‘was given grant income target’
(3 December 2014)

In one of our most-read news stories of the year, we reported on emails which shed light on a review placed on an academic found dead in September.

People wearing masks

9. Why do some academics feel like frauds?
(9 January 2014)

Ruth Barcan believes that the prevelance of so-called “imposter syndrome” is evidence of a broken academic system.

Times Higher Education Best University Workplace Survey 2014 results

8. THE Best University Workplace Survey results
(30 January 2014)

The results of our inaugural staff-satisfaction survey were fascinating, shining a spotlight on the reality of working life in UK higher education.

7. Imperial College London to ‘review procedures’ after death of academic
( November 2014)

Colleagues say failed grant applications had made Stefan Grimm fear for his job.

Crowd of students flipping pancakes

6. Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey
(15 May 2014)

Another annual fixture from THE, this year’s student experience survey showed universities working hard - and succeeding - to improve life for their students.

Miles Cole illustration (18 December 2014)

5. REF 2014: results by subject
(18 December 2014)

Were new research stars born? Who was helped or hurt by impact? In another segment of THE’s REF analysis, we dissected the results by discipline.

Female student leaning against statue

4. Germany’s great tuition fees U-turn
(13 February 2014)

Could England force a similar reversal? Howard Hotson asks the question after a remarkable turnaround in Europe.

World University Rankings 2014-2015 results out now

3. World University Rankings 2014-2015 show US strength on the wane
(2 October 2014)

This year’s THE WUR results suggested that underfunded Western institutions outside the elite are struggling. Delve into the data accompanying our news story.

Cannon being fired at Caltech

2. Caltech: secrets of the world’s number one university
(6 February 2014)

How does a tiny institution create such outsized impact? WUR editor Phil Baty visited California to find out.

Logo index

1. REF 2014 results: table of excellence
(18 December 2014)

There was only going to be one outcome for most-read THE article of the year, and the REF duly delivered. But what were the outcomes from the REF itself that mattered most to you and your university? Find out in our analysis, accompanied by the most comprehensive set of REF tables available.


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