26 décembre 2017

Artificial Intelligence

By Alex Usher. I am getting pretty sick of AI hype.  It’s not that I think AI is without value or a mirage or anything, but I think people are getting weirdly reluctant to challenge even the most obviously nonsensical claims about the industry.  But, since apparently others don’t seem to want to play skeptic on this, I guess I’m “it”. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 04:48 - - Permalien [#]


Just Make it Automatic Already

By Alex Usher. Translate this to higher education savings and you get something like the following: lower-income families do not think long-term about investing in human capital because they have so little long-term capital to play with.  But give them some capital – say $500 at the birth of a child – and they will start to have longer-term horizons and be encouraged to save and help their kid in planning for education.  And so the idea of the CLB was born. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 04:47 - - Permalien [#]

Antipodean Tuition News

By Alex Usher. All the really interesting news about tuition these days is happening south of the equator–let’s catch up.
Chile.  When last we checked in on things in Santiago, we noted how President Bachelet’s gratuidad program had kind of foundered on the rocks of reality.  Having brought in free fees for the students in the bottom six income deciles at a cost of 607 billion pesos (roughly $1.25B Canadian), it turned out that the additional cost to make education free for the top four deciles would triple the cost.  So they stopped. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 04:46 - - Permalien [#]

Replacing Permanent Faculty

By Alex Usher. Last week, I wrote a piece about how the professoriate is aging and how these aging professors are taking up an increasing fraction of university budgets.  My back of the envelope calculation suggested that for the extra $1.15 billion we are spending on this group compared to 15 years ago, we might be able to hire as many as 10,000 new, younger profs and thus help renew the professoriate. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 04:45 - - Permalien [#]

Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot

By Alex Usher. It’s the end of the year for us at HESA Towers today (at least as far as blogging goes).  I know in the Scottish tradition, you’re supposed to use the end of the year for memories, but I kind of prefer the Japanese tradition of Bonenkai, or “forget-the-year”: basically, wipe out as many brain cells with alcohol and start the new year fresh. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 04:43 - - Permalien [#]


Social Science in Capital-less Capitalism

By Alex Usher. Capitalism without Capital is the title of an intriguing new book from Jonathan Haskel and Stian Westlake.  The book documents the rise of an economy where more and more value resides in intangibles rather than tangibles. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 04:42 - - Permalien [#]

Nationalism and Higher Education

By Alex Usher. For fairly obvious reasons, nationalism has been on people’s minds in higher education lately.  Nationalist/populists are on the loose, and their values and policies appear to be inimical to those of higher education.  The standard higher education party line usually includes i) something about knowledge knowing no boundaries ii) some reference to the earliest universities in Italy where the student body was fully international and iii) something about building global understanding for peace/trade/development/whatever. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 04:42 - - Permalien [#]

The Cost of an Aging Professoriate

By Alex Usher. You may have read recently about how Canada is really sticking it to junior researchers.  Dalhousie’s Julia Wright recently wrote about Canada haemorrhaging early-career research capacity and she has a point – just in the last seven years, the proportion of Canadian faculty aged 40 or less has fallen by a third, from roughly 22% to just over 15%. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 04:41 - - Permalien [#]

A Canny Government Relations Strategy

By Alex Usher. Though it didn’t get a whole lot of ink/pixels, the Council of Ontario Universities launched a new lobbying campaign last week.  It’s called Partnering for a Better Future for Ontario and its focal point is a document of the same name – you can read the short version of the report here (yes, I know, only in academia could the short version of a lobbying report be 44 pages long).  In fact, it’s accompanied by a wide variety of supporting documents which are available on the campaign website. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 04:39 - - Permalien [#]

A Book Unaware of its Own Argument

By Alex Usher. One minor Canadian publishing event of note this fall was the release of Anthony Lacavera’s How We Can Win (or possibly, Kate Fillion’s How We Can Win, since it’s fairly clear she’s the one who actually wrote it).  Lacavera is a minor celebrity in Canada for having been a serial CEO, most notably of WIND Canada, which briefly challenged the Bell/Telus/Rogers telecom oligopoly. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 04:38 - - Permalien [#]