Earth From Above

While walking through Darling Harbour yesterday - visiting the Fiesta Festival - I had a look at the Earth From Above exhibition by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Some of you might have already seen it since the exhibition has been traveling around the world the past years. I thought it was pretty amazing... Below are a few of my favorites. Click on the pictures to see the larger versions and the stories that go with them, or go here to see them all. Worker resting on bales of cotton, Thonakaha, Korhogo, Ivory Coast: 225Read more …

The Blog’s 2nd Birthday

I noticed that it has been exactly 2 years ago today that my blog went to air. Happy birthday! And another milestone occurred at September 1st when Beerkens' Blog welcomed its 100,000th visitor. Some more stats? Busiest day was on May 24th 2007. Most visited post was the one on the UNSW Asia debacle followed by the one on international university rankings and reactivity and my critical analysis of the economics of selective knowledge...Read more …

Brussels Sprouts and Meatballs…

While the rest of the world is concerned with petty issues like the quality of education, access to education, excellence in education, etc, some enlightened patriots with a judaeo-christian heritage xenophobic Dutch Members of Parliament see to it that their Ministry of Education deals with the questions that really matter. Here's a translation of the formal letter to the deputy minister of education [pdf]: Questions of Members Wilders and Bosma for the Deputy Minister of Education, Culture and Sciences, Mrs. Bijsterveldt-Vliegenthart about Halal-meals during a school outing of an ROC (ROC stands for…Read more …

HOW to reform Europe’s universities?

Going through my daily news intake, my eyes fell on this alarming headline in Businessweek: Europe Falls Short in Higher Education. Going through the article, it seemed like the same old story (more of this and this). Nonetheless,  I decided to have a look at the source of the article. It was based on a policy brief (Why reform  Europe’s universities?) issued by Breugel, a European think tank devoted to international economics. The report presented some interesting data and analysis of the determinants of research performance (interesting despite the fact that much of…Read more …

Debating Education: Oxford 2.0 style

The Economist has taken the initiative to start a debate series. In the series, a range of topics will be debated in the Oxford 2.0 style. The first topic being debated is... Education. And you can decide on the topic that's being discussed. Five propositions that the Economist sees the most far-reaching and divisive aspects of the education debate, are short-listed . It covers a variety of topics ranging from the place of foreign students to the global digital divide to private contributions in higher ed. Here are the 5 selected propositions: 212Read more …

Higher Education in the 21st Century

From this weeks Times Higher Education Supplement: Nottingham owns a 37.5 per cent share in the Ningbo campus, a joint venture with the state-owned Wanli Education Group. Wanli provided the infrastructure, worth £14 million. Nottingham has spent a further £5.3 million in its Malaysia campus, in which it owns 29.1 per cent of the shares. A spokesman for Nottingham said that the university's current deficit of Pounds 8 million on a £345.9 million income was not tied directly to the China and Malaysia developments, as it had spent more than £200 million over…Read more …