Kris Olds

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Most Recent Articles

March 4, 2013
Amidst all the hype and media coverage related to the just released Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings (2013), it's worth reflecting on just how small of a proportion of the world's universities are captured in this exercise (see below). As I noted last November, the term 'world university rankings' does not reflect the reality of the exercise the rankers are engaged in; they only focus on a minuscule corner of the institutional ecosystem of the world's universities. below). The firms associated with rankings have also normalized the temporal cycle of rankings despite this being an illogical exercise (unless you are interested in selling advertising space in a magazine and on a website).
March 2, 2013
Like many social scientists with ties and genuine affection for Singapore, I was shocked when I heard Nanyang Technological University (NTU) recently denied tenure to Dr. Cherian George (pictured to the right). But rather than speculate as to why NTU, led by President Bertil Andersson (a Swedish national, and former Chief Executive of the European Science Foundation, 2004-2007) and Provost Freddy Boey, chose to sanction this decision, I decided to think laterally and pondered what a position description for a replacement hire in George's areas of expertise would be like.
February 5, 2013
Insights from the University of Amsterdam on the development of their first MOOC (to be launched 20 February 2013).
January 27, 2013
I am sure you, or some of your fellow trustees, noticed Thomas Friedman’s op-ed (‘Revolution Hits the Universities’) in this weekend’s Sunday New York Times. There are some major caveats, though, to factor in when it comes to the Thomas Friedman/Moody’s/et al, argument; the one buzzing and humming through the system right now, propelled as it were by people, firms and organizations with vested yet often unstated interests in making you feel concerned, if not agitated.
December 18, 2012
How can we escape this new buzz about MOOCs, since the launch of Coursera? Is there anything else than the bubble effect created by the media that is part of the strategy itself?
December 16, 2012
Are Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) becoming mechanisms for international competition in global higher education? Or are the MOOCs born in the United States (circa 2012) poised to become post-national platforms of higher ed given their cosmopolitan multilingual architects?
December 3, 2012
To what degree have the territorial dimensions of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) been made visible? Remarkably little, I would argue.
November 16, 2012
Is there an alternative term to World University Rankings that would better reflect the realities of the very uneven global landscape of higher education and research?
September 9, 2012
Reflections on the new academic year, online courses, the OECD's forthcoming Education at a Glance (2012), and international consortia of universities.  
August 29, 2012
Hot off the press report -- Measuring Academic Research in Canada: Field-Normalized Academic Rankings 2012.

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