The post-Naylor Report effort to get big new investments in fundamental science is in trouble. Bluntly, the Finance Department appears not to be buying the argument that fundamental research is, in fact, a good investment. I’m not 100% surprised: the Naylor mostly tended to assume the wider benefits of research to economic growth rather than demonstrate or prove it, and the big U-15 institutions have banked everything on a rhetorical strategy of: money for research à a miracle occurs à innovation and growth! A … [ Read More ]
Over the past few days, I’ve been providing a lot of data on how well global “world-class universities” are faring (briefly: most of them are doing pretty well, the ones in Canada much less so). But to some degree the real question is: does any of this matter? Do higher expenditures per student actually result in greater academic output? And if not, why not?
To answer this question requires a quick detour into the issue of bibliometrics. If you try … [ Read More ]
One of the knocks against the whole idea of “world-class universities” is that it tends to reinforce institutional privilege; that it’s mostly about big universities with big reputations aiming to expand their financial advantage over everyone else. Without speaking to motive, it is possible to use the financial data I’ve been writing about these last couple of days to examine empirically whether it is true the top dogs are gaining on everyone else or not. And what the data tell us … [ Read More ]
Yesterday we looked at the absolute incomes of world-class universities; that is institutions in the top 200 of the 2017 Shanghai Academic Rankings of World Universities (ARWU). Today, I want to look at the question of whether things are getting better or worse for these institutions.
Of the 174 top-200 ARWU universities for which we have financial data for 2015 or 2016, 155 have data on finances and students going back to 2006. For another 11 institutions, we have data going back … [ Read More ]
Along with my colleague Marcos Ramos, I’ve been working recently on some analysis of “world-class universities” and how they have been getting on in the world. Over the next couple of days I’m going to just lay out some of this research. Buckle in:
We define “world-class universities” as any institution in the top 200 of the 2017 Shanghai Academic Rankings of World Universities (ARWU). Our measure of financial clout is expenditures per student, converted to $US at purchasing-power-parity, using … [ Read More ]