Mobility Stats: Mapping Mobility & Open Doors

Two international education organisations, Nuffic from the Netherlands and the Washington based Institute of International Education (IIE) published their international student mobility statistics this week. While Open Doors is being published by IIE already since 1948, the Nuffic publication – Mapping Mobility – was published for the first time in 2010. Although Nuffic published international education statistics before, this is the first one solely focused on higher education. Growth One finding of the Open Doors report was that the influx of international students into the US continued to grow modestly. Compared to the…Read more …

The Principle of Open Access

I'm reading 'The Access Principle' by John Willinsky, a Canadian scholar now at the Stanford University School of Education. He is also the driving force behind the Public Knowledge Project, dedicated to improving the scholarly and public quality of research. I heard about his book some time ago when developing an interest in the open access movement (especially in relation to research in developing countries). But I got really interested after reading the intro to this book review by Scott Aaronson: I have an ingenious idea for a company. My company will be…Read more …

Philantropy & Higher Education

Universities are becoming popular with donors. A recent report from private banking firm Coutts in association with The Centre for Philanthropy, Humanitarianism and Social Justice University of Kent showed that in the UK, rich donors are more likely to give to universities than any other good cause. The Coutts Million Pound Donors Report (pdf) indicates that higher education received 45 donations of over a million pounds in 2006-2007. The total value of million-pound-plus donations to higher education was £296.5 million. Of direct donations over 1 million pounds in the UK, 42% went to…Read more …

Can institutions be compared using standardised tests?

At the EAIR conference in Copenhagen last month I attended an interesting presentation by Trudy Banta, a professor of higher education and vice chancellor for planning and institutional improvement at Indiana University-Purdue University. Her question was clear: Can institutions really be compared using standardised tests? Policymakers seem determined to assess the quality of HEIs using standardised tests of student learning outcomes. Yet, Dr. Banta claims that such tests do not provide data for valid comparisons and on top of that, they measure other things than institutional performance: Comparing test scores sounds easy, but…Read more …

More rankings: Shanghai Jiao Tong, Forbes (& AHELO?)

Tomorrow, the new 2008 Academic Ranking of World Universities will be officially published. Not surprisingly, it's an almost all American affair. It's rather interesting that the publication of the Shanhai Jiao Tong rankings almost goes by unnoticed, especially if you compare it to the publication of the Times Higher Education Supplement/QS World University Rankings (the THES-QS rankings 2008 will be published on 9 October). This exactly is the strength of the SJT ranking. After all, universities are robust organisations and don't change a lot in a years time. I guess it therefore corresponds…Read more …

The Business School Business in Europe, Asia and the US

The Financial Times featured an interesting article from business guru Charles Baden Fuller. Professor at the Cass Business School of the City University, London. He observes a decrease in the gap between management research between the US and other regions like Europe and Asia. Although he acknowledges the supremacy of the US in the field, he says that the US share of management research will fall below 50 percent the next few years: Research output in management is still concentrated: less than 3 per cent of the world's universities produce more than 70…Read more …

US PhD’s & Chinese Alma Maters

Now here is an interesting fact. I knew that the United States was becoming ever more dependent on foreign PhD students, especially in the so-called STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). I also knew that an increasing proportion of them come from Asia, and China in particular. But this article in Science surprised me nonetheless: A new study has found that the most likely undergraduate alma mater for those who earned a Ph.D. in 2006 from a U.S. university was … Tsinghua University. Peking University, its neighbor in the Chinese capital, ranks second.…Read more …

University rankings and customer satisfaction

One of the main criticisms of international rankings is that they measure research quality rather than teaching quality. This is especially the case in for the Shanghai Jiao Tong Ranking. The THES Ranking uses proxies like employer surveys, student staff ratios and the number of international students in order to indicate education quality. The best known national university ranking is probably the one of the US News and World Report.  However, their proxies for educational quality (such as selectivity) can not be applied in a standardised global setting. The most ambitious project to…Read more …

Weird Science: Spouses & Physical Similarities

Convergence in the physical appearance of spouses by Zajonc, R.B., Adelmann, P.K., Murphy, S.T., & Niedenthal, P.M. (1987)  Full Text Available in Motivation and Emotion This study attempted to determine whether people who live with each other for a long period of time grow physically similar in their facial features. Photographs of couples when they were first married and 25 years later were judged for physical similarity and for the likelihood that they were married. The results showed that there is indeed an increase in apparent similarity after 25 years of cohabitation. Moreover,…Read more …

Another Campus Shooting…

Once again, there has been a shooting at a university campus in the US. On February 14, a gunman killed five students at Northern Illinois University. The killer died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He had been a graduate student in sociology at the university but was no longer enrolled. Sadly, the Northern Illinois shooting is part of a long list of random or semi-random shootings on university and college campuses: USA / 2008 - February 14: Five people are killed when a man opens fire in a classroom at Northern Illinois University…Read more …

Global Classrooms in the Desert

Both the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times bring an article by Tamar Lewin on universities rushing to set up outposts abroad. It presents an illustrative overview of the risks, benefits and the viability of institutional globalisation in higher education. If, after reading the article, you are left with any pressing questions, the NYT gives you the opportunity to pose them dirteclty to Charles E. Thorpe, the dean of Carnegie Mellon in Qatar (ht: globalhighered). To get you started, here are some interesting quotes that provide food for thought: Howard Rollins,…Read more …

Presidential Hopefuls and Academic Backgrounds

The remaining Republican and Democratic candidates for the 2008 presidential elections in the United States have followed rather different educational careers. While the Republicans have been trained in some 'typical republican' fields, the Democrats spend their formative years in the elitist private liberal art colleges and Ivy League universities. Although John McCain is very likely to become the Republican candidate, there is still a theoretical chance that Mike Huckabee will be elected. It's no surprise that Huckabee, the most conservative of the candidates, graduated from a college with a strong religious affiliation. He…Read more …

Intellectual Property Infringement?

Here's a case to watch. The University of Wisconsin in Madison is accusing processor giant Intel of stealing their intellectual property. A lawsuit has been filed by UW's technology transfer office (WARF, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation) in which it charges Intel with infringement of one of its patents. The patented invention improves the efficiency and speed of computer processing and this technology is used by Intel in its Intel Core 2 Duo processor. WARF filed this complaint to ensure that the interests of the UW-Madison and its inventors are protected and that WARF…Read more …

Machines I want

Now, isn't this frustrating. After a hard day's work, putting all effort in converting my thoughts to text, I read this: Philip M Parker is the world's fastest book author, and given that he has been at it only for about five years and already has more than 85,000 books to his name, he is also probably the most prolific. Parker himself says the total is well over 200,000. So how does Philip M Parker (professor of innovation, business and society at Insead in France) do all that? When he turns to a…Read more …

W-E-B links for Today: US Elections

What did the internets bring me today? A lot of presidential hopefuls. The World & the US elections - Alan S. Blinder analyses whether Americans are ready to stop the world and shut out reality: among Democrats, this may manifest itself in attitudes toward international trade that range from lukewarm support to outright hostility. Among Republicans, it shows up in attitudes toward immigration - and most things foreign - that border on xenophobia. Education & the US elections - Barack Obama, the winner of last week’s Democratic caucuses in Iowa was a favorite…Read more …