Speaking truth to power: Academic freedom and engaged universities

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This year, in 2018, the Central European University was bullied and persecuted, forced to leave Budapest and relocate to Vienna.

‘The expulsion of CEU … comes amid wider attacks on academic freedom in Hungary, including a recent move by the government to withdraw accreditation from gender studies programs and to impose a tax on academic programs for migrants and refugees.’ (Inside HigherEd, 2018-12-04)

Hungary is not the only country where academic freedom is in more danger this year than it has been for a long time. Think of Hong Kong, where students were not allowed to speak out for independence, think of many countries in Central Asia where autocratic rulers ban any idea of criticism on their regime, and so many others—enough to make scholars think of developing a global index of academic freedom.

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A New Institute to Improve the Ethiopian Higher Education Sector

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While the Ethiopian government is leading the country steadily towards its industrial age through far-reaching reform agendas, for the higher education sector addressing the people’s expectations remains a struggle. Read More…

Science and Innovation Centers – bringing a new dimension to the internationalization of higher education, research and innovation

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In times of increasing pressures to compete on an international level, the need for internationalization of higher education, research and innovation is still unquestioned and more important than ever. In the past, countries devised and funded internationalization strategies for higher education and research that focused on topics as e.g., international mobility, research cooperation and collaborations. With the rise of ‘science and innovation centers’ (SIC), a new policy instrument targeting internationalization and international competitiveness in higher education, research and innovation has entered the scene. To date, however, only little research has shed light on these new institutions that bring internationalization efforts to a new level. Read More…

Study visit of a higher education delegation from Baden-Württemberg to the Netherlands

In June 2018, a delegation of higher education institutions from the German state of Baden-Württemberg travelled to the Netherlands to gain more knowledge about the Dutch science system. The delegation (see picture) was led by Ulrich Steinbach, Deputy Minister for Science, Research and the Arts in Baden-Württemberg.

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From left to right: Justyna Oser, Ben Jongbloed, Ulrich Steinbach, Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden, Andrea Schaub, Julia Fritz-Steuber, Barbara Plecher-Hochstraßer, Joachim Ankerhold, Katharina Lemmens-Krug

The delegation comprised representatives from the universities of Hohenheim, Mannheim, Ulm, and Tübingen. CHEPS organised discussions over a period of three days with representatives of the Read More…

The University of Twente’s Annual Report: What to make of it?

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Let’s read

This month, our university, the University of Twente, released its 2017 Annual Report. An annual report is mostly self-congratulatory. It’s an annual recurring ritual, boasting the good work the university has done in the past year and assuring that money was well spent. Most of my colleagues in the university will probably not pay much attention. Like most academics, they rather identify with their discipline and research partners in other universities than with their own institution. But being a researcher in CHEPS, I do (I have!) to take notice. So, what can we learn from the 170+ pages in this report? Read More…

An unusual contribution from higher education to building the future?

Wonderland: A timeline of the 1984/5 Miners' Strike Source: posted in HT Blog, 2014.

One of my strongest memories growing up in Cullercoats was sitting in the dining room, with its hideous red flock wallpaper, in the flickering light of three altar candles. As a child of the late 1970s, I’ve since concluded that that’s my only real memory of the Winter of Discontent. Read More…

University funding needs a revamp

Don’t fund universities according to student numbers or numbers of degrees. Instead, performance agreements are needed.

The debate about university funding is on the rise. In Dutch newspapers, in particular NRC, critical pieces appeared about exorbitant ‘efficiency steering’ and unacceptable work pressure. The Rathenau institute reported [in Dutch] about the perverse effects of Read More…