Nightmare on Academia Street: an English horror story coming to a campus near you

Any politician that dangles the carrot of a graduate premium on future earnings to justify increases in student fees, interest rates on loans, or adjusting student loan repayment thresholds, should be challenged for gross mis-selling. These are the findings of a recent report by the UK Intergenerational Foundation. In this opinion piece, the author of the report warns of the possible financial implications of postgraduate student loans for the future financial health of students and their career prospects. This phenomenon, particularly acute in the UK, could soon reach other countries in Europe, should they be tempted to follow suit.

Death in academia and the mis-measurement of science

Working in academia is not what it used to be. At least, when it comes to evaluation of work performance. Heightened and underhand pressure on academic performance, has led to the tragic death, last year, of an eminent professor from Imperial College, London, UK. Other academics across Europe have suffered the same fate, albeit these have only been documented anecdotally and did not receive the broader coverage English speaking publications affords. This raises questions concerning the pressures academics come under from academic institutions. These are run like businesses and are looking for unrealistic benchmarks, when it comes to research evaluation.

Carl Johan Sundberg: Career choices in and out of academia

In an exclusive interview to a special issue of EuroScientist, Carl Johan Sundberg, who is professor of physiology and pharmacology and the head of the bioentrepreneurship unit at the Karolinska Institute, shares his views on European science career paths. The greatest challenge today is that most researchers are moving from contract to contract. He sees the need for universities to introduce complementary skills training into PhD courses to ensure that scientists are ready to face their future responsibilities in and out of academia. Don’t miss other articles of the special issue on European science career paths on Tuesday 10th December!