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.

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Lifting university mission overload to unlock regional potential

Liverpool Hope April 2009 039.jpg

Author: Paul Benneworth

For someone interested in the regional benefits that universities bring to their host territories, there is quite an unusual paradox to the subject. There is huge contemporary interest in harnessing universities immense knowledge resources to drive forward innovation based regional development. That interest has spawned an impressive array of policies and instruments seeking to promote university-regional engagement, not least European Cohesion policy, strongly oriented towards innovation via partnerships where universities play leading roles. Read More…

Release U-Multirank’s 2017 Edition


CHEPS is one of the leading partners in U-Multirank, the multi-dimensional, user-driven international ranking of higher education institutions. The release date for the U-Multirank 2017 edition will be on Thursday, March 30th. The results will be published online (, at 10:30 CET.

This year’s rankings will feature both an institutional ranking and 16 subject rankings – of which four are new this year: economics, chemical and civil engineering, as well as industrial engineering/ production. Since U-Multirank’s inception, more than 150,000 current students at participating universities have contributed to U-Multirank’s subject rankings, providing a unique peer perspective to our teaching & learning dimension.

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