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On 1 and 2 September THE's virtual World Academic Summit will bring together over 100 speakers to answer questions like: Is the pandemic and the shift to a more digitally-based world changing the value of “place” for higher education institutions? Does this create a new opportunity for institutions in the Global South to redefine their public value and research impact? Has the pandemic accelerated trends that were already clear and expected for higher education institutions or have we moved into uncharted territory?   

The THE World University Rankings 2021 will also be launched during the event. 

In this episode of the podcast THE's chief knowledge officer, Phil Baty, and our head of content and engagement for our world summit series, Tim Sowula, join host Sara Custer to discuss the highlights of the upcoming event and what attendees can expect from the virtual platform. 

Susan McCahan, vice-provost of academic programmes at the University of Toronto, also speaks with Sara about how the institution has seen challenges as well as opportunities during the pandemic and her vision for the future of higher education. 

Special thanks to the water fowl of Victoria park for their cameo appearances. 


Asian universities were the first institutions that had to quickly take all operations online in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Now several months into lockdown, the world’s higher education sector will be watching them to see what the next phase of online delivery will be; how assessments will be carried out; and in what ways traditional learning environments will be changed as a result of these emergency measures. 


In this episode Sara Custer speaks with THE’s Asia editor Joyce Lau about her coverage of Hong Kong universities and Hamish Coates about how Tsinghua University has responded. 


Read more about how Asian universities are responding to the coronavirus pandemic:

China’s go-ahead for entrance exam seen as sign of confidence

Asian universities face online assessment hurdles in virus crisis

Governments have ‘responsibility’ to help reimburse students

China’s coronavirus lockdown: ‘In this situation, it is important to just keep going’

Will the coronavirus make online education go viral?

THE digital editor Simon Baker speaks to Naomi Firsht about some of the biggest data stories in higher education since the beginning of 2020. As the new decade begins, Simon examines how well the sector globally has recovered from the 2008 financial crash. Meanwhile, UK HE is becoming increasingly reliant on Chinese fee income, and in Indonesia a government policy may have fuelled an increase in low-quality research.

Read more:





University leaders from around the world convened at an event co-hosted by Times Higher Education and the University of Toronto in Davos during the World Economic Forum to talk about the power of place. The event kicked off the conversation we'll be having at the World Academic Summit in Toronto in September. 


Tim Sowula head of content and engagement for the THE Summits series hosts a special post-event wrap-up with Cheryl Regehr, vice-president and provost at the University of Toronto, Raj Kumar, vice-chancellor of OP Jindal University in India and Michael Spence, vice-chancellor at the University of Sydney. We also bring you highlights of the roundtable discussion.  


Speaking in the highlights:


Co-host: Phil Baty, chief knowledge officer, THE

Co-host: Cheryl Regehr, vice-president and provost, University of Toronto

Speakers (in order): Sarah Springman, rector, ETH Zurich

Bing Yang, provost and vice-president, Tsinghua University

Peter Piot, director, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Raj Kumar, vice-chancellor, OP Jindal University

Julie Bishop, chancellor, Australian National University 

Michael Spence, vice-chancellor, University of Sydney

Alicia Wilson, vice-president for economic development, Johns Hopkins University

Suzanne Fortier, principal and vice-chancellor, McGill University

Shinnosuke Obi, vice-president for international collaboration, Keio University


See more coverage of the Davos event: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/sydney-v-c-sees-huge-public-support-keeping-china-ties

Find out more about the World Academic Summit: https://tes.shocklogic.com/summits/worldacademic/2020/


When it comes to community integration, is your institution in it for the long haul? That’s Johns Hopkins University's intention with its Live Near Your Work scheme. The nearly 12-year-old programme provides grants to employees to buy homes in deprived neighbourhoods around east Baltimore. 

According to Alicia Wilson vice-president for economic development at Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Health System, the success of an organisation is boosted by the health of its community. 

“We value our stake here but we also want the folks who work with us to benefit from being in this city and we’re willing to put dollars behind that,” said Ms. Wilson. 

She also gives tips for how institutions that might not have Johns Hopkins' resources can anchor themselves in their local communities. 

Boris Johnson soared to victory with a landslide win in the General Election, putting Brexit and the Conservatives’ vision for science and research very much back on the agenda. But what does a now inevitable Brexit mean for universities and those working in higher education, and has the election highlighted a graduate, non-graduate split among voters?  THE deputy news editor John Morgan and THE data editor Simon Baker speak to Naomi Firsht about the election results and discuss what the future holds for HE under Boris Johnson’s government.

Read more: 

Tory election victory sets scene for UK research funding battle

Tory campus free speech bill would ‘stoke new culture war’

Split between graduate, non-graduate voters has bearing on universities

UK universities face up to Brexit after Tory election win

Do students see this as the Brexit election or are issues like climate change and the cost of living more important – and is the promise of zero tuition fees all it’s cracked up to be? Has the drive for student voter registration worked, and what do goats have to do with it? Will there be some tactical voting on 12 December, and how will students be celebrating/commiserating as the election results roll in?

To discuss all of this and more, Naomi Firsht speaks to: Joe Vinson, commercial services officer and director of Queen Mary students’ union service; Atyab Rashid, student at King’s College London and vice-president of KCL’s Liberal Democrat Society; Carol Paige, ­democracy, operations and community officer at UCL Students’ Union; and Bo Jacobs Strom, student at the London School of Economics and Political Science and volunteer with the UK Student Climate Network.

Find out more:

A student’s guide to the UK general election

UK general election 2019: where could students impact the vote?

Student populations can make a big difference to a constituency’s make-up, and with the 12 December election taking place during term-time, we may see the student vote having an impact on certain seats.

THE’s data editor, Simon Baker, has crunched the numbers and come up with a student impact score for each constituency. In this General Election 2019 special podcast, he explains how this works and discusses which seats might lead to some surprising results.

Read more:

UK general election 2019: where could students impact the vote?

Students risk missing out on votes as universities lag on registration

Labour support among UK students nearly halves in 18 months

Two experts in AI discuss the big ethical questions about the technology that are keeping them up at night. Plus, they consider how universities can be a driving force for ethical AI development and what, if anything, can be done to develop global AI regulations. 

At the THE Live in November, Sara Custer, digital editor at Times Higher Education, sat down with Kate Devlin, senior lecturer in social and cultural artificial intelligence at King's College London and Nathan Lea, a senior research associate in clinical epidemiology at the Institute of Health Informatics at UCL. This is a recording of that panel. 

The General Election is fast approaching and the party manifestos are finally out. Labour is promising to cut tuition fees, the Conservatives want more of a focus on science and the Liberal Democrats would rather not mention HE at all. But what are all of the parties really offering for higher education and how are they proposing to achieve their aims? 

THE’s deputy news editor, John Morgan, talks us through the main parties’ manifestos, providing an essential breakdown of what they are pledging and where they are lacking, and analyses what such promises could mean for higher education.

Read more:




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