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


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.


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?


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…

The First Law of Quality Assurance: Conservation of Quality Work

As you and I were taught in secondary school, the First Law of Thermodynamics is a form of the law of conservation of energy. Energy can be converted into different forms but is never increased or lost (in a closed system). The First Law of Thermodynamics can be easily translated into the world of quality assurance in higher education: whatever form external quality assurance has, at the ‘shop floor’ level it takes the same amount of quality work.

flame-3159300_1280-1 Read More…

In need of research on research: Encourage replication studies


Scientists as well as publishers, media, sponsors and assessors of scientific research are obsessed with new research results aimed to further improve our society and economy. Contemporary research is largely about originality. What is not new hardly counts. This obsession goes so far that it is at the expense of the reliability and credibility of research, also fundamental science demands.

Read More…