Disunity in binarity

In the Netherlands, the discussion about the sustainability of a binary system has again come up. The best examples of countries that have abolished their binary systems are probably the UK and Australia. Maybe the Dutch politicians should take a look at the developments in Australia.Minister Nelson’s  recent push for graduate school universities and the push for students to complete a general degree before entering elite graduate schools at the nation's sandstone universities seems to be a return to a binary system. Maybe not of polytechnics and universities in this case, but a binary…Read more …

Languages of the Internet

Yesterday, UNESCO published a report on languages and the Internet (Click here for a PDF version for the whole report). The report is primarily on measurement and methodology, but also shows some results of these measurements. Here are some of my quick observations:English language speakers are still the largest language group on the internet with around 300 million users. The English language domination however is far less than in 2001, mainly due to the growth of Chinese and Japanese speaking/writing internet users (see graph). While in 1998, web pages were still dominantly in…Read more …

One ERC…or 25?

Now that I have returned from my visit last month to CHEPS in the Netherlands and the University of Aveiro in Portugal, I’ll try to post more regularly again. That said…let’s start with a short item in last weeks Economist:“Historically, the European Union has not bothered with funding much basic scientific research. Such activities have mainly remained the preserve of national governments, not least because giving scientists free rein can lead to discoveries that not only make money but ultimately enhance military might. That attitude is now changing. The European Commission proposes to…Read more …

Marx, marketing and the bottom line

Yes, some things might be wrong with some universities in some Western European higher education systems. In its 8th September 2005 special edition "The Brains Business", the Economist devoted many pages to heavily critique 'Europe's' higher education system (as if there is no diversity within Europe). In many cases their critique was justified, in many cases it was imbalanced.In their most recent edition the (Western) Europe bashing continues. In the article "from Marx to marketing" they report on the rise of (private) higher education in Eastern Europe:"But in education, as in other industries,…Read more …