Multidimensional Carnegie Classification

Today, the The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has presented its new classification of U.S. colleges and universities. The main differences at the research-end is a change from two types of research universities (intensive and extensive) to three types:Research Universities (very high research activity) Research Universities (high research activity) Doctoral/Research UniversitiesOther changes in the classification are discussed here at Inside HigherEd and in this pdf-document of the Foundation. According to Carnegie President Lee S. Shulman, the classification has become more multidimensional as a response to the increasingly complex higher education sector:"The…Read more …

EIT: European MIT, Technological EUI or none of the above?

The European Commission will propose to the European Council to set up a European Institute of Technology, also known as the European MIT. The Commission President Barosso puts it like this: "Excellence needs flagships: that is why Europe must have a strong European Institute of Technology, bringing together the best brains and companies and disseminating the results throughout Europe" The EIT will not be a brick-and-mortar institution. Its structure will consist of two levels: a Governing Board with a small supporting administration and a set of Knowledge Communities, distributed all over Europe. These…Read more …

Students in Belarus

The Dutch online higher education magazine 'Scienceguide' reported on the precarious situation of students in Belarus. Here is my translation:With the upcoming presidential elections of March 19, Belarus dictator Lukashenko is acting in the way we know him. Again, he uses students as a target in order to intimidate civilians. During a memorial procession to commemorate 'lost' members of the political opposition and journalists, 20 members of the student movement Zoebr have been arrested. Because recently the public voicing of discontent with the regime became liable to punishment (because of 'attack on the…Read more …

Rank the Rankings

University Rankings are popular. And some of them are quite influential, even though their methodologies leave a lot to be desired. A good example of this influence is for instance the fact that in Malaysia, Ministers and even the Prime Minister have reacted to the Times Higher Education Supplement ranking of universities (very well reported on in this blog, here and here and here, and many more posts)The Education Policy Institute now has a report on these league tables (a sort of ranking of rankings). Surprisingly (or not?), they point to the German…Read more …

Podcast University

The University of Washington has a trendy way to teach you about one of the world's oldest institutions: the university. They podcast a serie of lectures ranging from 'Human Sexuality' to 'Introduction to Macroeconomics'. One of the lectures that you can subscribe to is 'The idea of the University'. There are also powerpoint slides avaiable here.Slowly, more lectures are being offered through podcasts. Purdue University and the University of Washington, to my knowledge, have the widest range of lectures available. 'Productive strategies' presented a list with links to lecture podcasts a few months…Read more …

The power of plumbers

That poor, backward, traditional place called Europe has been a popular topic in the last couple of days, in the official media as well as in several blogs. Dan Drezner's blog and Crooked Timber both have a post on this issue, mainly responding to Cato Unbound (Is Old Europe Doomed?) and Fareed Zakaria's piece in the Washington Post (The Decline And Fall Of Europe). Friday, the International Herald Tribune contributed to the discussion, claiming that Europe's economies are in the doldrums.Of course I understand that bloggers and columnists need catchy titles. And I…Read more …

Europeanisation by stealth

The Chronicle reports on another clear illustration of how the European Union, and especially the European Court of Justice (ECJ), affects national higher education policies. Formally, the EU has no authority in the field of higher education. Yet, through spill-overs and ECJ litigation it profoundly impacts higher ed.Until last year, Austria was the only country that did not have a cap on the number of students in medical schools. Everyone who finished high school and passed the 'matura' was able to attend medical school. Most EU countries had such caps in order to…Read more …

Globalisation: 99 Definitions & Perspectives

While I was looking for a file in my computer I stumbled upon an old document. It's a file with a list of different perspectives and definitions of globalisation that I assembled for my doctoral research some years ago. I thought it might be of useful for students and scholars that are trying to grasp the possible meanings of the term. It is a list of 99 (give or take a few) views from different disciplines and different sectors. Most are from academics, ranging from anthropologists to economists and from philosophers to business…Read more …

Unhappy Chardonnay Socialists

A survey of Curtin University compares the happiness of people in all electorates in Australia reveals that the Sydney Inner West, covering Annandale, Leichhardt, Petersham, Newtown, Marrickville and Summer Hill, tops the national list for all-round UN-happiness. The Sydney Morning Herald wonders:"is it aircraft noise, John Howard's long reign, or being overworked and underpaid that makes the so-called chardonnay socialists of Sydney's Inner West the most disgruntled people in Australia?"I must admit that I was surprised by the findings. Arriving in Sydney almost a year ago, I immediately loved Newtown and lived there…Read more …

Micro-Managing Red Tape

Rumour has it that the Australian universities will soon start a new assault on red tape and over-regulation. They claim that government bureaucracy is wasting millions of taxpayers' dollars a year. In their vision for Australian higher education (Our Universities: Backing Australia's Future, released in 2003) the Howard government agreed that:"..the reporting requirements of universities need to be streamlined and that the resulting savings should be re-invested in education. Significant reduction in regulatory intervention, to which the Government is committed, will require the development of agreed measures of educational outcomes that can replace…Read more …

Cold, costly but cutting edge education

The recruitment of international students has become a lucrative business in countries like the US, the UK and Australia. In the UK they are estimated to bring in about 4 billion pounds a year to British universities and some 10 billion to the economy as a whole. With the aging of the population, the UK is worried about the (financial) future of its universities. Non EU international students can be charged higher fees and are therefore seen as a potential solution to these financial problems.There are now over 300,000 foreign students demand from…Read more …

Lisbon and Washington

A bit over a week ago, President Bush has delivered his State of the Union. Last Wednesday, the Budget for 2007 was presented. In both, the American Competitiveness Initiative (ACI) played an important role. The ACI sets the following goals:300 grants for schools to implement research-based math curricula and interventions 10,000 more scientists, students, post-doctoral fellows, and technicians provided opportunities to contribute to the innovation enterprise 100,000 highly qualified math and science teachers by 2015 700,000 advanced placement tests passed by low-income students 800,000 workers getting the skills they need for the jobs…Read more …

Anyone but the King

Thailand is one of the countries in Southeast Asia that has shown rapid development. Economically it has done very well. It recovered relatively easily from the financial crisis in 1997 and is showing good progress in recovering from the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami. It has liberalised in terms of trade, but it has also become more open politically.But of course there is one thing that you cannot do, and that is to criticise King Bhumibol. The Chronicle reports:The government of Thailand has blocked access in that country to the Web site of Yale…Read more …

Higher Education, the GATS and the Convention on the High Seas

In recent years there has been a lot of debate on how higher education world-wide will be affected by the General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS; a treaty within the WTO framework). The GATS makes a distinction between four different modes of supply of services:Cross-border supply is defined to cover services flows from the territory of one Member into the territory of another Member (e.g. distance education programmes offered abroad);Consumption abroad refers to situations where a service consumer (e.g. students go to another country to complete a programme);Commercial presence implies that a…Read more …

Science Dollars, Shekels, Rand and Reals

A newsfeed from the Science and Development Network brought me to this article on science spending. The article is based on the UNESCO Science Report 2005. We have heard a lot of talk about how Asia is catching up with Europe in terms of spending on R&D and Science. In the case of science spending, Asia has already overtaken Europe, mainly due to China's increase in spending on science.It says that from 1997 to 2002, Asian funding from public and private sources rose by four per cent, enabling Asia to account for 32…Read more …