Articles on Higher education

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A new generation of architects is needed to build our cities. Flickr/MorBCN

Building the future with the next generation of architects

The “future” is something which manifests nowhere more potently than in our cities. Yet a substantial transformation over the past twenty years in the way cities are being made – both in terms of their…
Breaking free of the stranglehold of academic publishers holds appeal – but what are the dangers? Flickr

The pros and perils of ditching academic publishers

There are three tensions in the field of academic publishing (1) who pays to publish research? (2) who decides what gets published? and (3) who takes any profits? In the traditional model, based on publishing…
Frustration with copyright restrictions placed on scholarly work in many journals has helped fuel the Creative Commons and Open Access movements. Flickr/TilarX

Copyright or copywrong? How journals control access to research

Back in 1991, in the very earliest days of the internet, a group of high energy physicists began sharing their findings on a Los Alamos-based online archive called Arxiv. Their early experiments in the…
A growing number of academic institutions are building free online databases of their scholarly output. But publication in a big name academic journal still holds cachet for most academics. Flickr/mandiberg

Explainer: Open access vs traditional academic journal publishers

As the cost of accessing academic journal articles increases, a growing number of academic institutions are building publicly accessible databases of scholarly work. But how much of a threat to the traditional…
How does the high cost of academic journal subscriptions impact the developing world? Flickr/Book Aid International

How academic journals price out developing countries

Universities libraries in the developed world are struggling to pay academic journal subscription costs – so how can universities in developing countries hope to pay? In this Q+A, Professor Adam Habib…
Does the cost of academic journals stymie learning? Flickr/the.Firebottle

Putting a price on knowledge: the high cost of academic journals

The phrase ‘publish or perish’ is familiar to all academics, who face enormous pressure to have their work featured in the top academic journals. Career progression, job security and pay rises can depend…
Exams aren’t the only way to turn out graduates ready for the world of work. Flickr/Reality-check

Why we should abolish the university exam

The time has come to abolish university examinations. Just because something has been around a long time there’s no reason to assume it’s outdated. But in the case of exams that assumption would be right…
When is comes to research, it seems quantity has become much more important than quality. Flickr/Iscan

How ‘publish or perish’ is ruining finance education

Imagine the following conversation between a finance academic and his or her supervisor during an annual performance review: Academic: So, do you think I am ready for a promotion? Supervisor: Well, I see…
The best and the brightest put themselves put themselves through an intellectual ordeal to end up here. Flickr/Tejvan photos

Exam ‘over’ at All Souls College, Oxford, your time starts now…

The most feared exam in the world has been dropped. For over a century those hoping to study at All Souls College in Oxford opened an envelope with trepidation to discover just one word inside. They then…
The old system led to institutions urging their academics to write for the top-ranked academic journals only. Håkan Dahlström, Flickr

Journal rankings ditched: the experts respond

The Australian government has dropped the contentious system of ranking academic journals and assessing academics based on…
Medical deans are calling for a 50% increase in federal funding for student places. Flickr

Medical schools call for 50% funding boost

Australia’s medical schools need a 50% increase in federal funding to boost the proportion of places available to domestic…
The university funding system discourages research on volunteers like these men who are risking their lives to help their community. Flickr/Rob Down Under

In universities obsessed with research here’s what falls between the cracks

In Australian universities at the moment research is everything. They obsess over the rankings in the new ERA system which measures research performance. For academics publishing in the top journals isn’t…
International students are not fuelling immigration as much as first thought. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

International students impaled on (illusory) population spike

If you’re in politics, population matters. Rival studies on what constitutes a sustainable Australian population project wildly different statistics. But behind the figures are real people whose lives…

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