Learn about the challenges and realities of higher education in today’s economy, and measures institutions can take to plan for the future.
A National Imperative: Reforming America’s Higher Education System
There is no shortage of publications and resources dedicated to higher education. If you’re looking for articles on this subject, some of the best topics to explore below include emerging trends in higher education, and challenges in the field. Other areas covered here include ethical issues, higher ed policy, administration, new trends, and academic careers. Also find informative news for academic professionals and graduate students.
50 Under 50 ranking: the best young universities in the world
Tech-focused universities in Australia and Asia dominate the latest 50 Under 50 ranking (the world’s best universities that are less than 50 years old). Links to Selected Articles in Higher Education
Helen Lock, Guardian 2016
8 habits to help you get through your PhD
For many postgraduates, the four years of intense independent research is a really stressful time. So here are eight habits that I developed during the course of my doctorate studies that not only helped me to better cope with the ridiculous amount of stress, but also transformed me into someone who could look beyond the stresses and truly appreciate the journey.
Shabana Khan, Times Higher Education 2016
Transfer Season: Lowering the Barrier Between Community College and Four-year College
Community colleges are a vital part of America’s opportunity structure, not least because they often provide a way into higher education for adults from less advantaged backgrounds. Each year there are around 10 million undergraduates enrolled at public, two-year colleges.
Richard V. Reeves and Edward Rodrigue, Brookings 2016
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Part-time Lecturers on Precarious Work: ‘I don’t make enough for rent’
Three university lecturers speak out about the professional and personal impact of casualised academic contracts.
Sally Weale, The Guardian 2016
How Americans have come to see college as a requirement
The new “social mobility” metric in rankings signals a third wave in higher education reform. Links to Selected Articles in Higher Education.
Paul Glastris, Washington Post 2018
The 20 most-read higher education stories of 2016
The most popular Times Higher Education stories of the last year revealed.
The Reporters, Times Higher Education 2016
A PhD should be about improving society, not chasing academic kudos
Too much research is aimed at insular academic circles rather than the real world. Let’s fix this broken system
Julian Kirchherr, The Guardian 2018
The Structure of Success in America
In America perhaps only race is a more sensitive subject than the way we sort ourselves out in the struggle for success. At the center of that struggle are higher education and ETS, the Educational Testing Service. Herewith an inside look at the history and workings of one of the most familiar yet least public of American institutions.
Nicholas Lemann, The Atlantic 1995
The world’s knowledge is being buried in a salt mine
The Memory of Mankind project aims to save our most precious documents from an apocalypse – by burying microscopic engravings in an Austrian salt mine.
Richard Gray, BBC 2016
Can It Really Be True That Half of Academic Papers Are Never Read?
Arthur G. Jago, Chronicle of Higher Education 2018
A twist on controversial ‘Professor Watchlist’: Notre Dame academics want their names added
Here’s a twist regarding a controversial new website called ‘Professor Watchlist’, which has the names of some 200 academics deemed by a conservative group to be advancing ‘leftist propaganda’ in classrooms and discriminating against conservative students. More than 100 faculty members at the University of Notre Dame say they want their names added. Links to Selected Articles in Higher Education.
Valerie Strauss, Washington Post 2016
There are no quick fixes for the failing American university
Support from the federal government has covered up the long-term trend. Until now.
Christopher P. Loss, Washington Post 2017
Academics aren’t Lobbyists – So Our Research Changes Nothing
I want my work to influence policy and change lives, but there’s little hope that politicians will even read it. So how can we get our messages heard?
Academics Anonymous, Guardian 2016
Free books about college entrance exams
Unbundling the 4-year degree: How to design education for the future
Countless organizations are rethinking how students learn and earn skills in postsecondary education
Kelsea Kierstead, eCampus News 2018
Universities are using casual contracts to put profit before people
There is a place for casualised work in academia but it is becoming so widespread that talent is being driven away, and both staff and students suffer.
Kehinde Andrews, The Guardian 2016
The 40-Year-Old Burnout
Why I gave up tenure for a yet-to-be-determined career
Jonathan Malesic, Chronicle of Higher Education 2016
Untangling Academic Publishing: A history of the relationship between commercial interests, academic prestige and the circulation of research
This briefing paper aims to provide a historical perspective that can inform the debates about what the future of academic publishing should look like. We argue that current policy regarding open access publishing, and many of the other proposals for the reform of academic publishing, have been too focused on the opportunities and financial challenges of the most recent changes in digital communications technologies and have given undue weight to commercial concerns.
Aileen Fyfe and others, Zenodo 2017
What Can You Do With a Humanities Ph.D., Anyway?
The choice to leave academia does not have to mean life as a barista.
Elizabeth Segran, The Atlantic 2014
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How tax policy made college unaffordable
The government’s failure to fully invest in higher education created our current crisis.
Elizabeth Tandy Shermer, Washington Post 2017
What Free Won’t Fix: Too Many Public Colleges are Dropout Factories
Not all four-year public schools are giving students, or taxpayers, a good return on their investment. In fact, at many of these institutions, first-time, full-time students are not graduating, a large number are unable to earn wages higher than the typical high school graduate, and many cannot pay back the loans they’ve taken out.
Tamara Hiler and Lanae Erickson, The Third Way 2016
Looking in All the Wrong Places
How the Monitoring of Colleges Misses What Matters Most
Robert Shireman, Elizabeth Baylor, and Ben Miller, Center for American Progress 2016
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What Higher Education Can Learn from Fitbit
Today, technology is allowing us to capture unprecedented data on our daily activities. Widespread broadband access coupled with the explosion of mobile computing is making it easy to measure activities that were, historically, almost impossible to capture. Recently, the use of predictive analytics has garnered well-deserved interest and attention in higher education.
Frederick Singer, EdSurge 2016
Why universities can’t see women as leaders
The roles women take in universities aren’t recognised as routes to the top. But they demand as much drive as the posts traditionally scooped up by men.
Louise Tickle, The Guardian 2017
Academics can change the world – if they stop talking only to their peers
Research and creative thinking can change the world, so academics have enormous power. But the overwhelming majority are not shaping today’s public debates because their work is largely sitting in academic journals that are read almost exclusively by their peers.
Savo Heleta, The Conversation 2016
Why we can’t trust academic journals to tell the scientific truth
Academic journals don’t select the research they publish on scientific rigour alone. So why aren’t academics taking to the streets about this?
Julian Kirchherr, The Guardian 2017
Academics need to embrace new ways of writing and sharing research
Universities are a ‘thousand-year-old industry on the cusp of profound change’, according to a study that explored Australia’s higher education landscape four years ago. It said, “Over the next ten-15 years, the current public university model – will prove unviable in all but a few cases.”
Craig Blewett, The Conversation 2016
Without liberal arts and sciences, America’s foundation crumbles
Two hundred and forty years ago this Monday, in the midst of the American Revolution, five college students at William & Mary met at the Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg, Va., and founded The Phi Beta Kappa Society.
Frederick M. Lawrence, The Hill 2016
After Public Colleges Suffer Many Blows, a Film Fires Back
A new documentary, “Starving the Beast: The Battle to Disrupt and Reform America’s Public Universities”, argues that Public universities are reeling from the effects of 35 years of underfunding, combined with a coordinated campaign by reform-minded groups to treat universities as businesses and students as customers.
Katherine Mangan, Chronicle of Higher Education 2016
Yale graduate students look to unionize after labor board ruling
Teaching fellows at Yale University have filed petitions with the National Labor Relations Board to join UNITE-HERE, days after a board decision granting graduate students the legal protection to unionize.
Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, Washington Post 2016
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Amazon Unveils Online Education Service for Teachers
Amazon plans to make a major foray into the education technology market for primary and secondary schools. Amazon said that it would introduce an online marketplace with tens of thousands of free lesson plans, worksheets and other instructional materials for teachers, called Amazon Inspire.
Natasha Singer, NY Times 2016
How the Financing of Colleges May Lead to Disaster!
Brief introduction to seven recent books about financing college education.
Rana Foroohar, NY Review of Books 2016
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How to Live Less Anxiously in Academe
4 steps toward an alternative academic career
Carl Cederström and Michael Marinetto, Chronicle of Higher Education 2016
How to Write a Thesis, by Umberto Eco
This guide gets right to the heart of the virtues that make a scholar, Robert Eaglestone discovers
Robert Eaglestone, Times Higher Education 2015
More than a third of UK graduates regret attending university
Report finds graduates have just £150 spare each month after living costs and half feel a degree has not helped their life path
Patrick Collinson, The Guardian 2016
The Myths and Realities of a Liberal Arts Education
The national discourse on the value of study at a private liberal arts college is based on myths, not reality. Study after study demonstrates that an education in the liberal arts and sciences is excellent preparation for success in a range of careers.
Sean Decatur, The Aspen Institute 2016
On Campus, Failure Is on the Syllabus
A Smith College initiative called “Failing Well” is one of a crop of university programs that aim to help high achievers cope with basic setbacks.
Jessica Bennett, NY Times 2017
The open-plan university – noisy nightmare or buzzing ideas hub?
Do universities need to break down their dividing walls or give people private space to think? A researcher and an estates manager go head-to-head
Gail Kinman and Iain Garfield, The Guardian 2015
Are elite universities ‘safe spaces’? Not if you’re starting a union
For all their trigger warnings and safe spaces, places like Yale and Columbia are not very democratic when it comes to unions.
Thomas Frank, Guardian 2017
As Support Grows for Ditching Confederate Statues, Colleges Weigh Their Options
A Confederate monument in Durham, N.C., hit the ground and crumpled when a student wrapped it with a yellow strap and protesters yanked the statue from its pedestal. More than 1,500 Confederate monuments remain across the United States – some on college campuses.
Adam Harris, Chronicle of Higher Education 2017
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Where the Grass Is Greener
Study finds humanities and social science Ph.D.s working outside academe are happier than their tenure-track peers, even if “alt-ac” careers weren’t their first choice.
Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed 2017
Humanities research is groundbreaking, life-changing… and ignored
Humanities scholars are making strides in sectors from sustainability to robotics – why are so few people aware of their work?
Gretchen Busl, The Guardian 2015
Incomplete: The Quality Crisis at America’s Private, Non-Profit Colleges
Tamara Hiler, Lanae Erickson, Megan John, Third Way 2016
Can MOOCs offer anything new?
Massive Open Online Courses enable educators to connect with a learners on a huge scale.
Maiken Umbach and Ian Cooke, History Today 2016
Instead of Gaslighting Adjuncts, We Could Help Them
As academics who’ve made it to the tenure track, what can we do to help the adjuncts and underemployed Ph.D.s who haven’t? I mean, instead of just gaslighting them and insisting that the dismal faculty job market “was ever thus.”
Annemarie Pérez, Chronicle of Higher Education 2018
Secularism in American education: its history (1931)
Confrey Burton, Catholic University 1931
Princeton Digs Deep Into Its Fraught Racial History
Jennifer Schuessler, NY Times 2017
Professors are losing their freedom of expression
The issue of universities punishing faculty who, outside of professional settings, express views that are considered controversial or even offensive.
Howard Gillman and Erwin Chemerinsky, Washington Post 2017
Reimagining College as a Lifelong Learning Experience
Matthew Rascoff and Eric Johnson, Chronicle of Higher Education 2016
Open access: The true cost of science publishing
Cheap open-access journals raise questions about the value publishers add for their money.
Richard Van Noorden, Nature 2013
Is your university degree barely worth the paper it’s written on? Discuss
We’re constantly told university education is a good thing. But with tuition fees so high, it’s time its true value was measured
Sonia Sodha, The Guardian 2018
Citations are not enough: Academic promotion panels must take into account a scholar’s presence in popular media
Scholars all around the world are almost solely judged upon their publications in (prestigious) peer-reviewed journals. The authors argue that publications in the popular media must count as well. After all, these publications are crucial in informing practitioners’ decision-making.
Asit Biswas and Julian Kirchherr, LSE Impact blog
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Colleges Need to Give Students Better Career Advice
According to a new Gallup-Purdue Index, only about half of college graduates visited the career services office on their campus, and alarmingly few found it very helpful. Just 17 percent of those who graduated between 2010 and 2016 said their career-services office was very helpful.
Emily DeRuy, Atlantic 2016
Scientific publishing is a rip-off. We fund the research – it should be free
Those who take on the global industry that traps research behind paywalls are heroes, not thieves
George Monbiot, The Guardian 2018
Big shift to free texts in state colleges
Lee Shearer, Athens Banner-Herald 2016
Skim reading is the new normal. The effect on society is profound
When the reading brain skims texts, we don’t have time to grasp complexity, to understand another’s feelings or to perceive beauty. We need a new literacy for the digital age
Maryanne The Guardian 2018
Some Lesser-Known Truths About Academe
Daniel McCormack, Chronicle of Higher Education 2017
It’s Not Liberal Arts And Literature Majors Who Are Most Underemployed
Derek Newton, Forbes 2018
It’s time for academics to take back control of research journals
The evolution into a highly-profitable industry was never planned. Academics must make the case for lower-cost journals
Stephen Curry, The Guardian 2017
Conflicting Signals in the Academic Job Market for History
Since the recession, the number of jobs advertised with the AHA at careers.historians.org has typically dropped while the applicant pool has grown. But the newest data on the academic job market in history signal a slightly different picture.
Robert B. Townsend and Emily Swafford, Perspectives on History 2017
History at West Point: Teaching Critical Thinking to Future Army Officers
Ty Seidule, Perspectives on History 2017
Century Past Articles & Digital Collections
The current system of knowledge dissemination isn’t working and Sci-Hub is merely a symptom of the problem
The widespread use of Sci-Hub, the world’s “first pirate website” for research papers, has fueled one of the most important cross-disciplinary debates in academia in recent times. Since it emerged in 2011, academics, librarians, and publishers have expressed varied opinions about Sci-Hub, a website which currently provides free access to more than 51 million scientific academic papers and articles and claims to be “challenging the status quo” of academic publishing.
Ivan Farias Pelcastre and Flor Gonzalez Correa, London School of Economics and Political Science 2016
Time to talk about why so many postgrads have poor mental health
An outpouring on Twitter highlights the acute pressures on young scientists.
Editorial, Nature 2018
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Why Most Republicans Don’t Like Higher Education
Terry W. Hartle, Chronicle of Higher Education 2017
Is the staggeringly profitable business of scientific publishing bad for science?
It is an industry like no other, with profit margins to rival Google – and it was created by one of Britain’s most notorious tycoons: Robert Maxwell.
Stephen Buranyi, The Guardian 2017
Dear student, I just don’t have time to mark your essay properly
In an ideal world, your work would be read by an engaged, enthusiastic professional – but the reality is very, very different.
Academics Anonymous, Guardian 2016
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Dump the pointless metrics and take a hard look at casualisation
There is now a large body of research in the US, over a 20-year period, that shows casualization has a clear impact on teaching quality. Most students are taught at some point, perhaps even for majority of their time at university, by people on insecure casual contracts.
Sally Hunt, Guardian 2016
Early career researchers: the difficulty of saying’no’ as a newbie
Juggling multiple departmental roles on top of teaching and research can leave new lecturers feeling ‘punch-drunk’.
Richard Budd, Times Higher Education 2015
The World Might Be Better Off Without College for Everyone
Students don’t seem to be getting much out of higher education.
Bryan Caplan, The Atlantic 2018
This Is How Badly We’re Managing Our Student Debt
Borrowers aren’t making payments and are taking longer to repay their loans
Shahien Nasiripour, Bloomberg 2016
This student put 50 million stolen research articles online. And they’re free
The 27-year-old graduate student from Kazakhstan is operating a searchable online database of nearly 50 million stolen scholarly journal articles, shattering the $10 billion-per-year paywall of academic publishers
Michael Rosenwald, Washington Post 2016
Education Dept. Revokes Recognition of Embattled Accreditor of For-Profit Colleges
The U.S. Education Department has decided to revoke the federal recognition of the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. The accreditor has been accused of lax oversight of for-profit colleges, including the now-defunct ITT Educational Services Inc. and Corinthian Colleges.
Andy Thomason, Chronicle of Higher Education 2016
Efficiency? Cons and Pros of Online Learning
I take issue with anyone who suggests that online classes are a more efficient format than face to face classes. Instead of 1-3 hours of face to face contact time weekly, in an online class I would imagine that easily becomes 7-12 hours for an online instructor.
Arden Kirkland, blog 2014
From Devolution to DeVos: A Brief History of the Federal Role in American Education
The current debate over Republican President Donald Trump’s appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education has revived age-old questions about the proper role of the federal government in American schools. The national imprint on education has never been large, but it has long been contentious.
Lawrence J. McAndrews, OAH blog 2017
How can I be successful in grad school?
“1. Remember: there are no non-professional interactions.
2. Fundamentals matter. Practice your talks until they flow. Do some editorial work. Volunteer. Wear clean clothes. Update your software. Eat. Sleep. Take showers. Laugh. Love. Don’t obsess over the university -explore your city or town. Make friends everywhere. Eat cupcakes.
Matthew Pratt Guterl, Quartz 2016
How the US college went from pitiful to powerful
In its first century the American higher-education system was a messy, disorganised joke. How did it rise to world dominance?
David Labaree, Aeon
How To Tell Fake News From Real News In ‘Post-Truth’ Era
Behind the fake news crisis lies what’s perhaps a larger problem: Many Americans doubt what governments or authorities tell them, and also dismiss real news from traditional sources. But we’ve got tips to sharpen our skepticism.
Steve Inskeep, NPR 2016
Life After the PhD
Text of a talk the author gave for History Lab Plus at the Institute of Historical Research. He wanted to take the opportunity to offer advice on the process of taking advice itself. It is his own personal experience of making the transition.
Will Pooley 2016
Money Won’t Keep Teachers in Schools
At every stage, getting and keeping teachers in U.S. classrooms has become a challenge. Longtime teachers are retiring while mid-career and novice teachers are leaving for other pursuits. In interviews with former teachers a lack of support – from school and district administrators, lawmakers, and the community more broadly- came up most frequently as a rationale for leaving.
Emily DeRuy, Atlantic 2016
Precarious Working Conditions in the University – Podcast
Six scholars in the early stages of their careers gather to discuss a big problem plaguing higher education: precarious working conditions for university lecturers and teachers.
Hannah Elias, History Workshop 2016
The Academy’s Dirty Secret
An astonishingly small number of elite universities produce an overwhelming number of America’s professors. The top 10 universities produce three times as many future professors as those ranked 11 through 20.
Joel Warner and Aaron Clauset, Slate 2016
Tuition is now a useless concept in higher education
Congress should strip from the Higher Education Act the requirement that colleges publish a ‘tuition’ number. The figure is as good as useless now. Why is the concept of tuition as good as useless? Let me count the ways.
Danielle Allen, Washington Post 2016
Unions Knocking on the Academy’s Doors
For decades, universities treated graduate teaching and research assistants not as professionals, but as supplicants working long hours for low pay. But a recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board now requires private universities to bargain with graduate-employee labor unions over compensation and working conditions.
Teresa Tritch, NY Times 2016
Want college to pay off? These are the 50 majors with the highest earnings
The job search engine ‘Glassdoor’ analyzed more than 500,000 resumes and self-reported salaries to determine which majors pay the most during the first five years after graduation. Eight of the 10 most-bankable majors are tied to engineering or technology, such as computer science, electrical engineering and information technology.
Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, Washington Post 2016
What Is Education For?
In 2006, the highest court in New York affirmed that students in the state have a right to civic education. It spoke to a fundamental question: What is an education for?
Danielle Allen, Boston Review 2016
Who’s Responsible for the Demise of America’s Public Research Universities?
America’s great public research universities, which produce path-breaking discoveries and train some of the country’s most talented young students, are under siege. The result may be a significant weakening of the nation’s preeminence in higher education.
Jonathan R. Cole, Atlantic 2016
Why Harvard graduate students want to join the auto workers union
Should graduate students have the right to form a union? As a federal panel weighs that question, students at Harvard and other elite universities are readying troops for potential union elections – while those institutions, arguing that students are not employees, are trying to block the way.
Melissa Bailey, Stat 2016
Why Studying the Humanities Is So Vital in the Information Age
In an era fixated with science, technology, and data, the humanities are in decline. They’re more vital than ever.