Humboldt University in Berlin. German universities may emerge as ‘winners’ from Brexit. Tilemahos Efthimiadis, CC BY
The UK is currently the second-largest recipient of competitive research funding from the EU: 6% of students and 17% of staff in UK universities are from other EU countries. Nearly half of academic papers produced by the UK are written in collaboration with at least one international partner – and among the top 20 countries UK academics cooperate the most with, 13 are in the EU.
While collaboration is important, countries also compete with each other for funding and students. Our new research has found that academics and institutions across Europe, and particularly in Germany, could make significant gains as Brexit shakes (more…)
The White Paper has been received with the usual round of ‘welcomes’ from the higher education ‘establishment’ – rather limp ‘up to a point, Lord Copper’ responses that deceive no one and are probably motivated more by fear of the consequences of open opposition than any sense of conviction. Or perhaps the neo-liberal discourse of ‘universities are knowledge businesses’ and ‘students are customers’ is now so clamorous that it has become almost impossible to think that any other policies are possible.
Certainly it has become difficult to assert some simple truths – that universities are not simply knowledge machines, however great the ‘impact’ of their research; that they are about more than boosting global competitiveness (or lifetime earnings) but are key institutions in the kind of ‘open society’ we urge on lesser breeds in Eastern Europe or the Middle East (but not Saudi Arabia – and certainly not China); and that students are not customers but learners. To say such stuff is to risk being labelled a dinosaur, a leftie or a spokesperson for the ‘producers’ cartel’ / encrusted establishment – or probably all three.
So the only available – short-term – strategy is to attack the detail, and expose the White Paper (more…)