Knowledge hub


Welcome to the knowledge hub. This space is a repository for content relating to the summit theme, “How talent thrives”. It will feature articles, reports, podcasts and video content of particular interest to participants wanting to prepare for their attendance at the summit. Become a part of the conversation and join us by interacting through our social media channels using the hashtag #THEWAS


Achieving diversity in leadership must start with students

Diversity matters to university leaders just as much as it does to business and society. Building a diverse staff and student body requires a nuanced approach, says Sarah Springman, who identifies three areas where institutions can push for more inclusion, especially around gender.

August 2nd, 2019
Nurturing talent is complex – and it is not enough

For those with educational responsibilities, how we choose and promote learners is crucial. In universities, if we are asked how we select our students, we typically say that it is a case of identifying and building on raw talent. But what does that really mean? And does it bear scrutiny?

July 31st, 2019
Bias towards domestic leaders undermines ‘global market for talent’ talk

Data on nationality of presidents and vice-chancellors among top 400 institutions shows vast majority come from own system. The leaders of the world’s top universities are much more likely to be recruited from within their own higher education system than from a wider international pool of talent, an analysis by Times Higher Education suggests.

July 9th, 2019
This will be the biggest disruption in higher education

Today, the #1 reason why Americans value and pursue higher education is “to get a good job.” The path has always been assumed as linear: first, go to college and then, get a good job. But what if there was a path to get a good job first – a job that comes with a college degree?

April 30th, 2019
It’s the people in universities who forge the future of AI

It would be easy for universities to cede the frontiers of research in AI to industry. But history – and the experts – tell us that would be a mistake.
“Anyone who can spell ‘artificial intelligence’ can get a job these days,” observed Dame Wendy Hall at the Times Higher Education World Academic Summit 2018 in Singapore.

March 28th, 2019
AI experts sceptical of automation impact on university workforce

A majority of artificial intelligence experts and higher education leaders have rejected the idea that the rise of automation will lead to job losses in universities in the next 10 to 15 years. The survey, conducted by THE in association with Microsoft, found that 56% of respondents did not expect the size of their administrative workforce to shrink as a result of the rise of AI.

March 28th, 2019
Inside ETH Zurich: one of the world’s most international universities

Switzerland’s flagship university has always been international, but has never been more in need of its global outlook, says Sarah Springman. How does a public institution in Switzerland with strong national roots become one of the world’s most international universities?

March 20th, 2019
Western universities feel the strain of China talent tussle

Western university sectors could regret employment practices that handicap academics from Asian backgrounds, as China ramps up its efforts to lure expatriates and foreigners to feed its burgeoning need for faculty. Push factors, such as seemingly discriminatory employment arrangements that trap Asians in junior academic positions, could add to the pull factors of a Chinese recruitment onslaught that has increased its aspirations by an order of magnitude.

February 21st, 2019
Interview with Manu Kapur

ETH Zurich’s learning sciences expert discusses his own ‘cut-throat’ schooling, why lecturing fails, and how students can fail ‘productively’. Manu Kapur holds a chair in learning sciences and higher education at ETH Zurich. Before this, his academic career took him to the United States, Hong Kong and Singapore. His research has tackled questions ranging from how students can fail productively to whether stereotypes affect learning.

February 21st, 2019
University leaders hit out at firms’ ‘dangerous’ skills obsession

Vice-chancellors turn on businesses for not doing enough to educate and retrain their workforce. The head of one of the US’ leading higher education institutions has warned business representatives that it is bordering on “dangerous” to argue that universities exist only to prepare students for the workplace.

January 24th, 2019
Closing the future-skills gap

The emergence of digitization and automation is rapidly changing the requirements needed in the workplace, creating demand for a range of new skill sets. Future skills are needed now – skills that to some extent exist today like agile working and digital interaction, and skills that are only just emerging like blockchain technology development.

January 18th, 2019
AI talent brain drain ‘deeply concerning’

European countries need to urgently improve conditions for researchers working in artificial intelligence to stem a brain drain of talent moving from academia to industry, sector leaders have said. The warning was issued after a major new report on the AI research landscape suggested that US technology companies were enticing top researchers away from universities at an increasing rate.

December 13th, 2018
Warning over brain drain of European AI talent to industry

European countries need to urgently improve conditions for AI researchers to stem a brain drain of talent moving from academia to industry. The warning was issued after a major new report on the AI research landscape suggested that US technology companies were enticing top researchers away from universities at an increasing rate.

December 11th, 2018
The journey starts now

On the occasion of the Times Higher Education World Academic Summit 2018, a delegation from ETH Zurich travelled to Singapore. President Lino Guzzella spoke to highlight the importance of “constructive failure”, a term coined by ETH Zurich Professor Manu Kapur, which then became a buzzword for the rest of the summit.

November 15th, 2018
THEM World Academic Summit 2019 heads to Switzerland

Times Higher Education’s World Academic Summit 2019 will be held in partnership with ETH Zurich in Switzerland next September.

September 27th, 2018
Why we should require all students to take two Philosophy courses

If I were the czar of higher education that is not explicitly vocational, I would require every undergraduate to study philosophy. And if I were both czar and czarina, I would require all students to take two philosophy courses — one in their first year and another just before graduation.

July 9th, 2018


Talent attractiveness

Talented and skilled individuals have a key role to play in countries’ future prosperity. They hold jobs that are key for innovation and technological progress and ultimately contribute to stronger economic growth with other employment opportunities and better living conditions for all.

June 10th, 2019
The future of work? Work of the future!

We are used to thinking about artificial intelligence (AI) in the future tense, speculating how technological developments in this area will affect us. But if we spend too much time trying to figure out what to expect in the future, we risk not seeing that AI and robotisation have already started transforming our daily lives.

May 3rd, 2019
Branches from the same tree

American higher education has for generations been the envy of the world. Whether because of the enormous output of research, scholarship, and creative activity or the great diversity of offerings, American colleges and universities are widely admired and emulated across the globe.

May 1st, 2018
The Future of Jobs Report 2018

The opportunities for economic prosperity, societal progress and individual flourishing in the new world of work of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are enormous, yet depend on the ability of stakeholders to instigate reform in education and training systems, labour market policies, business approaches to developing skills, employment arrangements and existing social contracts.

May 1st, 2018


Europe is a top destination for many researchers

Language, cultural differences and expense are common downsides, but there are opportunities to learn new techniques, work in diverse settings and polish confidence.

May 21st, 2019
Look to Africa to advance artificial intelligence

If AI is to improve lives and reduce inequalities, we must build expertise beyond the present-day centres of innovation, says Moustapha Cisse.

October 23rd, 2018
Paths to success for African scientists

Pursuing a career in science in Africa involves challenges not faced by researchers who remain in the high-income countries in which they studied.

October 17th, 2018

Videos and podcasts

Video: Seven comments on talent from university and industry leaders

THE and ETH Zurich hosted an event in Davos during the 2019 World Economic Forum that brought together heads of leading research universities and technology companies to discuss how talent can be cultivated to meet 21st century economic and social needs.

January 25th, 2019
THE podcast: ETH Zurich, Toronto and NYU presidents talk talent

Presidents of the next three Times Higher Education World Academic Summit host partner institutions discuss global talent in the 21st century.

Here we speak with the former head of ETH Zurich, Lino Guzzella; Meric Gertler, president of the University of Toronto, and Andy Hamilton, president of NYU.

January 18th, 2019
Video: ETH Zurich and Microsoft: Hunting for talent

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and ETH President Lino Guzzella met at ETH Zurich to discuss the competition between business and research.

November 2nd, 2018
Video: research universities and lifelong learning

John Ross, THE‘s Asia-Pacific editor chairs this panel discussion about the leadership role research universities can take in fostering lifelong learning from the World Academic Summit 2018.

October 5th, 2018
THE podcast: highlights from the World Academic Summit 2018

The World Academic Summit 2018, hosted by the National University of Singapore, brought together more than 500 university and industry leaders to discuss the transformative power research can have in advancing knowledge, driving economic growth and building nations.

October 2nd, 2018