Yesterday I talked about how the notion of neo-liberal universities was based on four concepts: greater use of market mechanisms, increased use of competitions, the role of performance data and, more broadly, the question of institutional management. Today I’m going to look at the first and maybe more important of those issues: are universities subject to greater market mechanisms now than they were before? Are there universities in other parts of the world which are not subject to the same … [ Read More ]
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 –> a miracle occurs –> … [ 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 ]