25 octobre 2015

The Most Horrifying Book of the Year

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "higheredstrategy.com logo"By Alex Usher. One of the most famous studies on higher education and opportunity was published a little over fifteen years ago by economists Alan Krueger and Stacy Berg Dale.  Using something called the College and Beyond Survey, they followed over 6,000 students who had been accepted to American universities in 1976, and then looked at their outcomes almost twenty years later, in 1995.  The key finding was that holding SATs constant, school selectivity didn’t matter much.  The important thing wasn’t attending Harvard, it was having the marks to get into Harvard (for whites, at least – for black students, accessing the networks available to selective school alumni did have a positive effect on education). More...

Posté par pcassuto à 11:59 - - Permalien [#]


Universities and National Competitiveness

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "higheredstrategy.com logo"By Alex Usher. Ever since von Humboldt sold the Prussian Government on the idea that research universities were a tool with which to increase national power, they’ve been publicly funded to pursue precisely those ends.  The definition of “national power”, and the role universities are asked to play in developing it, has of course varied over time and by region.  Nowadays, we talk of power in terms of “national competitiveness”, and universities are supposed to play a role in ensuring that. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 11:58 - - Permalien [#]

Statistics Canada is in the Wrong Century

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "higheredstrategy.com logo"By Alex Usher. If what you are looking for is agricultural statistics, Statistics Canada is a wondrous place.  See, Statscan even made a fabulous (if oddly truncated) little video about agricultural statistics. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 11:57 - - Permalien [#]

Living the Lie in Research Universities

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "higheredstrategy.com logo"By Alex Usher. Take the following two thoughts/statements:

1.       “At our institution, research and teaching are inseparable, two sides of the same coin”
2.       “At our institution, if you are a good researcher, you get more money and you get teaching leave to do more research”

Both these statements can’t be true. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 11:56 - - Permalien [#]

Better Know a Higher Ed System: Brazil

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "higheredstrategy.com logo"By Alex Usher. Brazil is the smallest and probably the least-known of the BRICs.  It doesn’t have a big economy or a big diaspora like China or India, and it isn’t a former superpower like Russia.  But it is still the second-largest country in the Americas, and with more Brazilian students heading abroad, it’s a country well-worth knowing more about.  So here goes:
First, it’s a pretty young system.  The first functioning university – Universidade de Sao Paolo (USP) – was founded in 1934 (prior to that, individual faculties of law and medicine existed, but did not comprise a full university).  That’s maybe not a huge surprise given that former colonial master Portugal only got it’s second university (Coimbra) in 1911.  And until 1968, there really wasn’t much by the way of a full-time teaching corps: most profs had jobs elsewhere, and taught part-time for the prestige. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 11:54 - - Permalien [#]


Golden Liberty or Rapid Collegiality?

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "higheredstrategy.com logo"By Alex Usher. Once upon a time, there was a land of liberty known as Poland.  While the rest of Europe was going through the counter-reformation, the Thirty Years’ War, and the beginnings of absolutism, Poland had the world’s most liberal constitution.  Nobles (who formed a rather substantial portion of the population) had the right to elect their king.  Religious freedom existed (though Catholics remained a strong majority).  The king could not declare war or peace without Parliamentary agreement (the Sejm), nor could he raise taxes without them. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 11:53 - - Permalien [#]

Fields of Study: Some International Comparisons

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "higheredstrategy.com logo"By Alex Usher. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: “We really need to have more STEM grads in this country.  Really, we ought to be more like Germany or Japan – fewer of these ridiculous philosophy degrees, and more of those lovely, lovely engineers and scientists.” 
Personally, I’ve heard this one too many times. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 11:52 - - Permalien [#]

Liberal Arts Deserves Better Arguments

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "higheredstrategy.com logo"By Alex Usher. You may have noticed that I failed to award a “worst back-to-school” piece for the second year running.  This is because the bad stuff took a while to come out.  Rest assured, it came, and I now present two of them.
First is Heather Mallick’s little missive on Liberal Arts in the Star last week.  The utterly lazy premise is this: advances in ICT have changed the world dramatically, so what matters now is synthesis.  And by God, Liberal Arts gives you synthesis, even if it doesn’t give you science.  So, yay Liberal Arts. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 11:50 - - Permalien [#]

Are Japanese Humanities Faculties Really Being Shut Down?

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "higheredstrategy.com logo"By Alex Usher. You may have noticed stories in the press recently about the government of Japan asking national universities to shut down their humanities faculties.  Such stories have appeared in the Times Higher Ed, Time, and Bloomberg.  Most of these stories have been accompanied by commentary about how shortsighted this is: don’t the Japanese know that life is complex, and that we need humanities for synthesis, etc.?  A lot of these stories are also tinged with a hint of early-1990s “these uncultured Asians only think about business and money” Japanophobia. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 11:49 - - Permalien [#]

University Rankings and the Eugenics Movement

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "higheredstrategy.com logo"By Alex Usher. Over the course of writing a book chapter, I’ve come up with a delightful little nugget: some of the earliest rankings of universities originated in the Eugenics movement. 
The story starts with Francis Galton. A first cousin to Charles Darwin, Galton was the inventor of the weather map, standard deviation, the regression line (and the explanation of regression towards the mean), fingerprinting, and composite photography.  In other words, pretty much your textbook definition of a genius. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 11:49 - - Permalien [#]