Two universities may opt out of state system

Posted in Governance and administration on June 30th, 2011 by steve

“Unnamed specialist institutions thinking of going private, vice-chancellors’ survey shows, as experts predict emergence of a ‘super league’ of British universities …” (more)

[Jeevan Vasagar, Guardian, 30 June]

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Classics at Royal Holloway under threat

Posted in Governance and administration on June 30th, 2011 by steve

“Slasher vice-chancellors tend to use the same tactic to get their way. First they announce some departmental massacre … all the jobs in the Sociology Department are to go; there will be two positions in the History Department that the 30 Sociologists can compete for, the others will be made redundant … oh, and also there is to be no consultation, it is going to the University Council tomorrow. Panic all round, of course, and screams of anguish …” (more)

[Mary Beard, A Don’s Life, 30 June]

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The threat to the UK teaching universities is real and imminent

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 30th, 2011 by steve

“Matthew Robb, senior principal with the Parthenon Group’s global education consultancy division, says many UK HEIs will have to remodel themselves into local businesses to survive …” (more)

[Kim Catcheside, Guardian Professional, 30 June]

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Tackling basic literary skills

Posted in Teaching on June 30th, 2011 by steve

“… This is not a minor issue. Many institutions in these islands derive a considerable income from teaching English as a foreign language, and people coming to Britain and Ireland often do so to learn the language …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 30 June]

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Commission proposes €80bn for next Framework Programme

Posted in Governance and administration on June 30th, 2011 by steve

“The next Framework Programme will be worth €80.2 billion if the European Commission gets its way, the proposal for the 2014-2020 Commission budget has shown. This would signify a 46% increase on the budget of Framework 7, which runs from 2007 to 2013 and is worth about €56bn …” (more)

[Inga Vesper, Research Blogs, 30 June]

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DCU journalism course to allot more time to basic writing skills

Posted in Teaching on June 30th, 2011 by steve

“Declining literacy standards among school-leavers have prompted a Dublin university to allocate more time to the teaching of basic writing skills to first-year journalism students …” (more)

[Eoin Burke-Kennedy, Irish Times, 30 June]

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Tuition fees in Scotland for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 30th, 2011 by steve

“Recent events in England have created an issue for Scottish higher education. While in Scotland the principle of free access to universities is a central part of public policy, English higher education institutions can now charge tuition fees of up to £9,000, and most as we know have chosen to set fees at or near that level …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 29 June]

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Free app has the cite stuff for REF

Posted in Research on June 30th, 2011 by steve

“The ‘methodologically indefensible’ peer-review element of the research excellence framework should be scrapped and replaced by citation data drawn from a free internet application. This is the view of Patrick Dunleavy, professor of political science and public policy at the London School of Economics. He told Times Higher Education that the Publish or Perish app, created last year by Anne-Wil Harzing, professor of international management at the University of Melbourne, offered a much easier, cheaper and more robust way to assess research …” (more)

[Paul Jump, Times Higher Education, 30 June]

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University governance review in Scotland

Posted in Governance and administration on June 30th, 2011 by steve

“I have previously pointed out in this blog that I have been asked by the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Michael Russell MSP, to chair a review of university governance in Scotland. The remit of this review was published by the government on Wednesday …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 29 June]

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Are the BBC’s academics a good reflection of new public thinkers?

Posted in Life on June 30th, 2011 by steve

“The BBC’s New Generation Thinkers have been announced but could the public have been better served by looking outside academia? …” (more)

[Eliza Anyangwe, Guardian Professional, 29 June]

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It’s impact factor time!

Posted in Teaching on June 29th, 2011 by steve

“Once a year, information company Thomson Reuters publishes updates to a measure of popularity that every science journal displays in lights: its ‘impact factor’. This event, which happened again yesterday, always produces a slightly embarrassed buzz among science journal editors …” (more)

[Richard Van Noorden, Nature News Blog, 29 June]

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E-book publishers to gain access to 15,000 libraries

Posted in Research on June 29th, 2011 by steve

“If you think the speed at which e-books have become a viable marketplace is astonishing, a clever Irish publishing company is now about to offer e-book publishers access to public libraries for the first time. Irish e-book distribution company ePub Direct plans to offer access to libraries for publishers’ e-book titles …” (more)

[John Kennedy, Silicon Republic, 29 June]

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Scottish universities to be allowed to charge £9k for students from rest of UK

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 29th, 2011 by steve

“Scottish universities will be allowed to set tuition fees at £9,000 a year for students from the rest of the UK, bringing them into line with their English counterparts. While universities in England are to be allowed to treble their fees in 2012-13, the Scottish National Party government has pledged not to introduce fees for home students north of the border …” (more)

[John Gill, Times Higher Education, 29 June]

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Risks in unreliable rankings

Posted in Governance and administration on June 29th, 2011 by steve

“Only top-ranked universities should use their positions in global league tables for marketing purposes, because of the unreliable nature of the mid-range rankings, says rankings expert Simon Marginson. And the top institutions shouldn’t overplay their performance either, because potential students don’t understand the methodologies employed …” (more)

[John Ross, The Australian, 27 June]

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Is full-blown privatisation of higher education a progressive policy?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on June 29th, 2011 by steve

“Marketisation of schools, colleges and universities was pretty well accomplished under New Labour. They got teachers, lecturers and researchers competing for students, training contracts and research funding on measures of ‘quality’, verified by increasingly arbitrary measurement through Ofsted, further education (FE) and higher education (HE) quality controllers. Now David Willetts’ white paper on higher education introduces full-blown privatisation with naked price competition for ‘customer driven’ education and training …” (more)

[Patrick Ainley and Martin Allen, Guardian, 29 June]

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Higher education white paper: who are the winners and losers?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on June 29th, 2011 by steve

“Little was new in HE white paper on Monday. What there was – the contestability of 65,000 places for high grade students and another 20,000 so called ‘affordable’ places – was an attempt to neutralise the unintended consequences of allowing universities to charge up to £9000 per year …” (more)

[Kim Catcheside, Guardian, 29 June]

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Students urged to apply as soon as possible for Student Grant Scheme – 38,000 students expected to apply on line

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 29th, 2011 by steve

“The Department of Education and Skills has announced details of the further and higher education Student Grant Scheme for the 2011/12 academic year. Up until now, there were four grant schemes. In the first major step to overhaul the student grant system, the four schemes have been replaced by a single unified scheme this year. This will make it far easier for students to apply for a grant. Almost 38,000 students, well over half of the expected number of applications, will be able to apply online for their grant this year …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 28 June]

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Third Level Grants

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 29th, 2011 by steve

Senator Pat O’Neill: I thank the Minister of State, Deputy Ciarán Cannon, for taking this matter. The issue I wish to raise is not a transport matter but one that has created problems for people living in my area in County Kilkenny.In the last budget announced in December the qualifying distance between home and college for the payment of a non-adjacent grant was increased from 24 km to 45 km. This issue affects not only people living in County Kilkenny but also others living in counties such as Roscommon and Leitrim. We do not have third level facilities in the county …” (more)

[Seanad Éireann, 28 June]

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Digital literacy strong in Irish youths

Posted in Teaching on June 29th, 2011 by steve

“Irish teenagers are above average at reading digital and online texts, according to an educational study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The latest volume of the organisation’s Programme for International Student Assessment measured the ability of 15-year-old students to read, understand and apply digital texts, including e-mails and websites …” (more)

[Eoin Burke-Kennedy, Irish Times, 29 June]

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University of Melbourne a model for Trinity College Dublin

Posted in Governance and administration on June 29th, 2011 by steve

“Caught in limbo between his election in early April as the 44th provost of Trinity College Dublin and stepping into the big chair on August 1, Patrick Prendergast has been doing some homework. He was in Melbourne last week to get a first-hand understanding of how the Melbourne model works, and no doubt take a breather from Ireland’s economic woes …” (more)

[Julie Hare, The Australian, 29 June]

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