Eva Brems, Laurens Lavrysen, and Lieselot Verdonck (Ghent): Universities as Human Rights Actors. Should studying literature be fun? “No” is too often the answer, as scholars signal their professionalism. Why literature professors turned against authors — or did they? Gold among the dross: Academic research in the US is unplanned, exploitative and driven by a lust for glory — the result is the envy of the world. The hard part of computer science? Getting into class. Thread: “OK, I should really write another thread about university-centric regional development, because I think people often make some (very understandable) mistakes when thinking about this issue”. Dean Baker Harvard’s choice: Hedge funds or scholarships. Art-school confidential: The expensive superficiality of M.F.A. programs.

Forget Stanford, Tsinghua beckons: America is losing African and Asian students to China. Academic ideas are supposed to thrive on their merits — if only. Europe has a plan to force academic publishers to make research free to read. Joi Ito on the quest to topple science-stymying academic paywalls. Andrew Marzoni on how academia is a cult. History majors are becoming a thing of the past, except in the Ivy League. Overworked and isolated: The rising epidemic of loneliness in academia. Graduate school can have terrible effects on people’s mental health.

Is email making professors stupid? It used to simplify crucial tasks — now it’s strangling scholars’ ability to think. No tuition, but you pay a percentage of your income (if you find a job). The liberal arts may not survive the 21st century.