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Trekkers crossing river, Tarkine rainforest Why do students study so far from home?

Nick Hillman examines the endurance of the boarding school model of higher education

Man lying on beach, Glyfada, Greece Brexit: the perks and pitfalls for higher education

After Tory victory in the general election, an EU exit could become reality. We hear from both sides of the debate

Armed Iraqi fighters standing on smoke-covered road Scholarship on the front line: life in Iraq and interviewing IS

Academic Victoria Fontan has borne witness to Iraq’s unfolding tragedy. She discusses encounters with Islamic State and US troops and her fears for the country’s future

Couple pushing car full of numbers up hill Metrics: how to handle them responsibly

Amid concerns about the growing use – and abuse – of quantitative measures in universities, a major new review examines the role of metrics in the assessment of research, from the REF to performance management

Feature illustration (9 July 2015) Medieval dread: student deviance and devilry

Even centuries ago, student misconduct and violence vexed townspeople and authorities. The behaviour, says one scholar, highlights negative stereotypes and socio-political tensions

Hungarian woman wearing a plastic bag in the rain Can free thinking continue amid authoritarian culture?

With Hungary accused of ‘undermining democratic values’, Malcolm Gillies considers to what extent universities with a liberal mission can flourish in ‘illiberal’ societies

A woman floating in the sea The postdoc experience: hopes and fears

Six early career researchers reflect on their experiences

A black and white crowd scene with a few people highlighted The UCU at the microlevel

What are the key issues local union branches are dealing with, and how do they manage relationships with institutions in what many activists argue is an increasingly confrontational environment?

World in Focus

Hungarian woman wearing a plastic bag in the rain

Can free thinking continue amid authoritarian culture?

With Hungary accused of ‘undermining democratic values’, Malcolm Gillies considers to what extent universities with a liberal mission can flourish in ‘illiberal’ societies

The Outer Limits

Armed Iraqi fighters standing on smoke-covered road

Scholarship on the front line: life in Iraq and interviewing IS

Academic Victoria Fontan has borne witness to Iraq’s unfolding tragedy. She discusses encounters with Islamic State and US troops and her fears for the country’s future

Essays

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Let’s make higher education an election issue

In the workplace and at the ballot box, it is time to reject stale ideology, says Thomas Docherty

Death of the ascetics: the rise of the v-c lifestyle

University leaders command huge salaries. Lincoln Allison examines how asceticism gave way to abundance

Hannah Arendt: thinking versus evil

Jon Nixon asks what Arendt’s work can tell us about the value of universities as places of thinking together

Out of office: on research leave in Florence

Poring over manuscripts in the Biblioteca Nazionale prompts Nicholas Till to consider the benefits of studying original documents in a digital age

The rise of the medical humanities

Belinda Jack examines the growing field and considers the therapeutic effects of poetry

Thomas Docherty on academic freedom

Managerial fundamentalism has taken hold in universities, with scholars viewed as resources that must be controlled, argues the Warwick scholar

Intellectual cowardice

Scholarship can be a fearsome activity, as Chris Walsh discovered when he set out to investigate the figure of the coward

Benefits culture: rethinking Mozart on Maggie’s dole

Nicholas Till acknowledges his debt to Margaret Thatcher and explains why he regrets his Cambridge degree

Profiles

Interview with David Lodge

As he turns 80, the writer discusses the ‘golden age’ of universities and the (imagined) sexual indiscretions of academics

Interview: Terry Eagleton

The literary theorist talks about his 50-year career, the importance of low-minded virtues and the double act of Christianity and communism

Sir Steve Smith: 'One v-c said I’d done moral equivalent of invading Iraq'

THE speaks to former UUK president, Sir Steve Smith, four years on from the tuition fee protests

Culture

Male silhouette facing wall of television screens

The golden age of TV? It just might be 2015

In today’s multichannel landscape, says Fred Inglis, there are more bright, wondering eyes on the world than Babestations

The Lady's Trial, Love's Sacrifice and 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Body and soul: the Globe’s John Ford Experiment

A rare staging of the dramatist’s work pushes to the fore seldom-seen plays that reveal the tensions at the heart of his oeuvre, says Lisa Hopkins

From the archive

Beware ‘brain-based learning’

Enthusiasm for ‘neuroeducation’ risks blinding people to its potentially limited efficacy, argues Steven Rose

Most commented

  • Elly Walton illustration (16 July 2015)

Whether in jest or not, sexist language shows an insensitivity to gender issues at odds with academic values, argues Dorothy Bishop

  • Tony Little, Eton College headmaster, 2007

Tony Little points to ‘increasing gap’ between teaching standards at sixth form and university

  • Two men looking surprised in an office

Report says projects fail when scholars obsessed with “shiny things” ignore business needs

  • AC Grayling, writer and academic

A. C. Grayling’s ‘Oxbridge-style’ private college strikes agreement with post-92 institution