Universities in the uncertain world of Brexit

Posted in Governance and administration on January 17th, 2017 by steve

“There was never any doubt where the higher education sector stood on the UK’s membership of the European Union. Right from the start, Universities UK took a strong position in favour of the EU, and sponsored a campaign group entitled Universities for Europe. This almost certainly aligned with a widespread view amongst academics, as reflected indeed in guest posts in this blog …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 16 January]

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Higher education: the value proposition

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 20th, 2016 by steve

“There are few people who would argue that higher education does not have value, both for the student or graduate and for society. But perceptions of what that value is, and who or what derives the most benefit from it, can vary greatly. In addition, some people have, over recent years, claimed that the growth of higher education has been accompanied or even prompted by a neoliberal perspective that has corrupted educational principles …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 19 December]

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Class action

Posted in Legal issues on December 6th, 2016 by steve

UK“Here’s a thing to gladden the hearts of my lawyer friends. Let’s say you’re a student and you’ve just got your exam results. You didn’t do as well as you were expecting. But you’re made of tough stuff and get on with your life. Some years later you think, hang on, if my result had been a little better I’d be a lot richer now. So why not sue the university and let them make up the difference in money …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 6 December]

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The global world of higher education. Or maybe not.

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on November 8th, 2016 by steve

UK“We are now nearly five months on from the ‘Brexit’ referendum in which a narrow majority of the British electorate voted to leave the European Union. It is generally assumed by commentators (although of course there is no actual statistical evidence) that the key driver of this decision was opposition to immigration …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 8 November]

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People talk about interdisciplinarity, but will we ever really do it?

Posted in Research on November 1st, 2016 by steve

Scotland“During my first year as a lecturer in 1981 I attended a workshop on ‘the protection of academic disciplines’. The event had been organised by a group of academics from various subject areas who wanted to draw attention to the risk, as they saw it, of scholarship and knowledge being put at risk by an obsession with interdisciplinary studies and research …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 31 October]

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Thumbs down for educational technology?

Posted in Teaching on October 25th, 2016 by steve

Scotland“It is exactly 30 years ago today that I took delivery of my first personal computer. It was an Apple Macintosh, and it had an incredible 1 megabyte of RAM and, er, no hard drive …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 24 October]

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Brexit outside Britain

Posted in Governance and administration on October 4th, 2016 by steve

UK“Those of us living in the United Kingdom may, in the light of recent excitements here, sometimes forget that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (‘Brexit’) does not just have repercussions in Britain …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 3 October]

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The academic career?

Posted in Life on August 30th, 2016 by steve

Scotland“Every so often someone asks me whether I would recommend academia as a career option, and to be honest I am never quite sure what to say. Of course the academy has been very good to me, but what can someone entering the profession today expect? …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 29 August]

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The right participation?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 23rd, 2016 by steve

Scotland“It is that time of year again, when (at least in this part of the world) school examination results are out and universities make their final student selection decisions. It is also the time of year when questions are asked, again, about how many people should ideally participate in higher education …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 22 August]

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Brexit and EU research funding – some necessary certainty?

Posted in Research on August 16th, 2016 by steve

UK“Last week the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, issued a statement, which inter alia contained the following assurance …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 16 August]

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Regulating higher education

Posted in Governance and administration on August 9th, 2016 by steve

UK“One common feature of higher education in Britain’s political regions – ie England, Wales and Scotland – is that all are making or considering changes to the way in which higher education is supervised …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 8 August]

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Irish higher education: the funding dilemma

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on July 12th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“As Irish readers will know, yesterday saw the publication of the report of the Expert Group on Future Funding of Higher Education (chaired by Peter Cassells), Investing in National Ambition: A Strategy for Funding Higher Education. Its recommendations had been well trailed in advance of publication, so while they merit discussion of course they are hardly new …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 11 July]

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Brexit and the academic imperative

Posted in Governance and administration on June 14th, 2016 by steve

UK“As I may have mentioned before, I do not subscribe to the view that universities as institutions should campaign for or against the UK’s continuing membership of the European Union …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 14 June]

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Credit where it’s due?

Posted in Teaching on June 7th, 2016 by steve

Scotland“A couple of years ago MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) were all the rage – as we discussed a couple of times in this blog. I was, as readers may recall, a little sceptical; and then the noise around MOOCs abated, and we went on to other things …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 7 June]

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Cheap at any price?

Posted in Governance and administration on May 31st, 2016 by steve

UK“In the United Kingdom at least there now appears to be a belief that assuring quality means measuring things. This, as we have noted previously in this blog, lies at the heart of the Research Excellence Framework …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 31 May]

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The rise of the illiberal university?

Posted in Governance and administration on May 24th, 2016 by steve

Scotland“In 1982 the German-American historian Konrad Jarausch published a fascinating book (Students, Society and Politics in Imperial Germany: the Rise of Academic Illiberalism) in which he charted the rush of Wilhelmine universities and academics into sentimental nationalism and xenophobic intolerance …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 23 May]

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Higher education – is competition always the answer?

Posted in Governance and administration on May 17th, 2016 by steve

UK“The United Kingdom government, acting in this case for England only (as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own systems), has just issued its White Paper on higher education, setting out its policy agenda. At the heart of this agenda is a simple diagnosis of the sector’s problems: ‘insufficient competition and a lack of informed choice’ …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 16 May]

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The value of student engagement

Posted in Governance and administration on May 10th, 2016 by steve

Scotland“One of the questions the academic community should be asking itself more regularly is what exactly they think is the student’s stake in the higher education framework, beyond that of a learner. Some of this debate would probably these days focus on whether students are …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 9 May]

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Posted in Governance and administration on May 3rd, 2016 by steve

Scotland“Let’s not personalise this, so no names. But a few years ago I read about a group of academics protesting at their university about some restructuring or other then taking place. Their ire was particularly directed at one of the university’s senior management team, an academic who, they claimed, didn’t have a single book in his office …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 2 May]


Are universities useless in supporting economic development?

Posted in Governance and administration on April 26th, 2016 by steve

Scotland“We have previously considered in this blog whether university programmes of teaching and research should be aligned with economic needs, and there is a variety of views on this point …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 25 April]

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