Things have changed

Not many blog posts these days...and that won't change too much in the next few weeks. I'm working hard to finish two papers for two conferences next month in Austria and Ireland. Before the conferences, I'll be in the Netherlands for a few weeks. And talking about the Netherlands... During my frequent short term writer's blocks I stumbled upon this video called "Sex, Drugs and Democracy", a documentary about the liberal nature of Dutch society. At least.... the way it was in 1994. It starts with the usual stuff. By now, everyone probably…Read more …

De-mystify Public Policy for Higher Education

Yesterday evening I attended the first seminar in the new Higher Education Colloquium Series organised by the Faculty of Education and Social Work of the University of Sydney. The first presentation - 'trying to de-mystify public policy for higher education' was given by Geoff Gallop, director of the Graduate School of Government at the University of Sydney and former Premier of Western Australia. He made several interesting observations and recommendations. Todays higher education section of The Australian emphasised his plea for further deregulation of the sector. Although the Australian system is very market…Read more …

Blog Repaired

I noticed that the links to the posts in my blog were not working anymore. I am not sure how long that has been the case. I don't know what was wrong. But I fixed it. Although I don't know how...Read more …

Jakarta Post article

The Jakarta Post published a short op-ed article I wrote on higher education funding in Indonesia. They titled it Inequality in Indonesian higher education a real threat (registration required; click here for the pdf version). It is mainly based on a previous post I wrote on the topic, although the blog post has some extra graphs in it.Read more …

Crack addict: University Inc.

More than 25 years after the Bayh-Dole Act came into force, Members of the Subcommittee on Technology & Innovation met to discuss the future of the law. The law allows universities to patent inventions that result from government funded R&D. Inside HigherEd reports that most members agreed that circumstances have changed the last 25 years. Competition is coming from China and India, instead of Germany and Japan. Technology is now more complex, with technological innovations being based on a bundle of patents instead of a few. And...universities have become competitors not just collaborators.…Read more …

Barclays Financial Center

The outcome of the battle for ABN Amro between the Royal Bank of Scotland Group and Barclays will not just affect the banking sector but also have an impact on Dutch higher education. The Volkskrant reports this morning that Barclays wants to invest 20 Million Euros in the Facult of Economics of the University of Amsterdam. The university can use the money to attract top professors in order to improve the quality of its education and research. In return, the faculty will change the name of 'part of its faculty' into the Barclays…Read more …

Asian Godfathers: Collusion of Business & Politics

Another book to add to my ‘to-read-list’: Asian Godfathers: Money and Power in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Newsweek has an article by the author of the book, Joe Studwell. Studwell had expected that the Asian crisis ten years ago would trigger the transition from crony capitalism to a market free of manipulation by bureaucrats and politicians. After the research for his book, he concludes that he was wrong: The architecture of the Southeast Asian economy remains what it was 10 and 50 and 100 years ago. The domestic economies of Hong Kong,…Read more …

W-E-B links for Today: Truth & Lies

What did the internets bring me today? A lot of truths and lies: World news today - healthcare in the US and who is telling the truth? Michael Moore on CNN, demanding an apology. Education & Science news today - Dr. Carmona and the administration who had instructed him to put political considerations over scientific ones: truth vs. lies, a.k.a. science versus politics. Blog post today: science versus politics was the theme of yesterday's 'great global warming swindle' event. John Quiggin blogs on this hilarious evening and shows how the delusionists were demolished.…Read more …

Graduates and the Australian Labour Market

Meanwhile, in Australia a discussion is going on about the supply and demand of graduates. Are there enough university graduates or too few, or maybe even too many? And if there is a gap between supply and demand, how can this gap be filled by changing the supply? Or is there simply no such thing as an oversupply of high quality graduates in the knowledge economy? Bob Birrell, Daniel Edwards and Ian Dobson from Monash University published a paper emphasizing the widening gap between demand for and supply of university graduates. 196Read more …

W-E-B links for Today: Economists

What did the internets bring me today? A lot of economists: World news today - former economics professor Dominique Strauss-Kahn is nominated for the IMF: a socialist unafraid of free markets Education & Science news today - one economic school of thought - the orthodox neo-classical economists - are monopolising economics departments, leaving no place for heterodoxy Blog post today - Nicolai Foss, of the Copenhagen Business School, blogging on Organizations and Markets about the imperfect market for brilliant economics articlesRead more …

W-E-B links for Today: 10 July 2007

The editorial board of the Beerkens' Blog has decided to throw in a new daily item. I'll be posting my own snapshot of the internet on a regular basis, providing you with three links that I think are most important or remarkable for that day: First of all the World news of the day: a link to a news item about anything, happening anywhere; Second, the Education news of the day: a link to a news item relating to the topics of this blog, like education, academia, science and innovation. And finally, the…Read more …

Culture & Competitiveness

Cultural orientation toward the future differs between countries and strongly correlates with the level of competitiveness of the country. That was one of the findings of Mansour Javidan and his colleagues in the Project GLOBE (see this month's issue of the Harvard Business Review). Since 1993, the project examines the inter-relationships between societal culture, organizational culture, and organizational leadership. Through a survey of over 17,000 middle managers in 61 societies, they found clear international differences in several areas, one of them being "future orientation". 182Read more …

Open access to research

A nice little snippet from last week's issue of Nature about a good initiative in open access to research: "The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), a leading private sponsor of biomedical research in the United States, will require its 300-plus investigators to make their research publicly accessible within six months of publication. Articles that do not meet this requirement will not be considered when the investigators apply for contract renewals. The policy, announced on 26 June, will come into effect at the start of 2008 and will apply only to papers on which…Read more …

Rankings and Policy

Here's a typical example of how international university rankings directly influence university policies. This is a newspaper article about a national university, reported in a major national newspaper somewhere in the world: "The university has started recruiting international undergraduate students in an effort to boost its image on a global scale. About 300 international students from various countries registered at the university here yesterday. The Minister for Higher Education said recruiting international students was to improve its rank in world university rankings, such as the Times Higher Education Supplement’s (THES) World University Rankings."…Read more …

French university reforms

Nicolas Sarkozy has made higher education reform one of the main issues in his early presidency. In general, the French universities are underfunded and inefficient. Higher education is free (apart from a small registration fee) and funded almost totally by taxpayers money. Universities are state agencies, staff are civil servants and institutional autonomy is lacking. Unsurprisingly, autonomy is the key word of the reforms announced by Sarkozy and Valérie Pécresse, the higher-education minister. She clarified here autonomy plans in the Economist: 161Read more …