Legrain on immigrants

Tonight I attended a lecture (in the Sydney Ideas Series) from Philippe Legrain on his latest book: Immigrants: your country needs them. It was also the occasion of his Sydney book launch but luckily - in this open world - I ordered the book a month ago from the UK (and thereby avoided the high Australian book prices).   Legrain's lecture will be available on the University of Sydney podcasts site, but here's a short impression of both book and lecture. In short, Legrain's message is: Let them in! Because it's better for…Read more …

Economic Benefits of Higher Education

Universities UK - the umbrella organisation of the Vice-Chancellors in the UK - issued a report (by Pricewaterhouse Coopers) last week on the private economic benefits of getting a degree. The report shows that higher education is still a very good investment: university graduates earn on average about a quarter more than young people who leave school after their A-levels. In total, a degree will bring average additional earnings of £160,000 over a working life. Some more findings:Financial benefit is greatest for men from lower socio-economic groups or from families from lower levels…Read more …

Female University Presidents

Harvard has named Drew Gilpin Faust as its 28th president. Faust has since 2001 been the Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. Last year, Larry Summers had a turbulent exit as Harvard president. This was caused mainly by a speech he held at NBER, early 2005. In trying to explain why there were more men than women in high-end science and engineering positions, he suggested that it might be related to ability and/or preference.The new Harvard president seems to be the opposite of her predecessor. Richard Bradley, author of "Harvard Rules:…Read more …

Austria vs. Brussels

The case of the Austrian Europeanisation by stealth and the European Commissions' (EC) recent letter of formal notice continues... The Austrian chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer thinks that the EC not only affects the Austrian higher education policies but also jeopardizes the Austrian health system. He has said he will resist Brussels' push for equal access of all EU students to Austria's medical faculties."Vienna and Berlin have been and are still in agreement on the quotas scheme, and it is preposturous that some doctrinaires describe something as discriminatory which is not being perceived as discriminatory…Read more …

Greek resistance

More than six thousand students and academics marched through the centre of Athens last night to oppose government plans to reform the country's higher education system and allow private universities to operate in Greece.The protests reflect the rising tension over the reforms proposed by government, which would break a major taboo in Greece by allowing private universities to operate under state supervision and to issue state-recognized degrees. Academic staff began a three-day strike Wednesday, and have threatened open-ended strikes from next week. State primary and secondary school teachers held a sympathy work stoppage.…Read more …