Students to complete Leaving Cert exams online

Posted in Teaching on January 4th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Cert students over the coming years will complete more of their exams online under plans to modernise the education system. Computer science, which is being introduced as a new subject from this September, is set to be the first exam which will be completed fully on computer. Minister for Education Richard Bruton said he expected this will be the first of many subjects where exams will take place online … (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 4 December]

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REF cycles ‘force academics to rush out poorer quality research’

Posted in Research on January 4th, 2018 by steve

“An extensive study provides new backing for a claim long advanced by those working in UK universities: that the research excellence framework forces academics to produce scholarship in greater quantity but of poorer quality …” (more)

[Rachael Pells, Times Higher Education, 4 January]

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Ludovic Highman, ‘The European Union’s Modernisation Agenda for Higher Education and the Case of Ireland’

Posted in Governance and administration on January 4th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The book sets out to offer a national perspective on the complex changes occurring in European higher education systems. The Lisbon European Council (2000) set an ambitious target for the Union to become ‘the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world’ with important ramifications for higher education systems and institutions, because of the key role they play in driving innovation and producing knowledge. How this objective at the European Union (EU) level has been understood and implemented at Member State level will be the focus of this book …” (more)

Ludovic Highman, The European Union’s Modernisation Agenda for Higher Education and the Case of Ireland, 274pp, Peter Lang, 20 December 2017, ISBN-10: 2807606148.

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Heffernan and Heffernan, ‘Language games: University responses to ranking metrics’

Posted in Research on January 4th, 2018 by steve

Abstract: League tables of universities that measure performance in various ways are now commonplace, with numerous bodies providing their own rankings of how institutions throughout the world are seen to be performing on a range of metrics. This paper uses Lyotard’s notion of language games to theorise that universities are regaining some power over being placed on league tables by creating narratives that manipulate their rankings to promote their own strengths. This paper examines the findings of a study involving university responses to global rankings throughout 2016 produced by two major ranking bodies, Times Higher Education and QS Top Universities. The existing literature has established that ranking tables can be used as a vehicle for humiliation and can produce terrors for all those involved. Thus, the significance of this study’s findings is in new ways of theorising university responses to appearing on league tables at a time when academia is a high-stakes activity where institutions’ abilities are measured and reported on at a global scale.

Troy A Heffernan and Amanda Heffernan, ‘Language games: University responses to ranking metrics’, Higher Education Quarterly, ISSN: 0951-5224, Date: 01.01.2018, Volume 72 Issue 1 Page: 29-39.

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UK universities plan German links to weather Brexit storm

Posted in Governance and administration on January 4th, 2018 by steve

“The UK’s research-intensive universities are hurrying to create partnerships with German institutions to continue to benefit from continental funding after Brexit. The University of Oxford has said that a new alliance with four Berlin universities could help its academics to win joint grants from British and German funders, while another Russell Group university expects to announce a similar partnership soon …” (more)

[David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 4 January]

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Post-Christmas third-level exams

Posted in Teaching on January 4th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Perhaps the powers that be might take pity on and have sympathy for all of those students (and their parents!) who have to suffer the torture of post-Christmas exams and the stress that accompanies them …” (more)

[Dee Delany, Irish Times, 4 December]

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