Oxford Sued Over Grades by Student Who Couldn’t Get Into Harvard

Posted in Legal issues on November 21st, 2017 by steve

“Lawyers for an Oxford graduate who is suing the university over his ‘disappointing’ exam grades nearly two decades ago told a London court Tuesday that he missed out on going to law school in the US because of his results …” (more)

[Kaye Wiggins, Bloomberg, 21 November]


UK undergraduates ‘studying less and working more’

Posted in Teaching on November 20th, 2017 by steve

“Students at UK universities are spending less time studying, in and out of class, and more time working for pay or caring, according to a major survey. The UK Engagement Survey, conducted by the Higher Education Academy and based on the responses of 35,927 undergraduates at 42 institutions, found that less than half of students – 48% – said that they spent 11 or more hours a week studying independently. This compares with 52% in 2016 …” (more)

[Chris Havergal, Times Higher Education, 20 November]


How much cross-subsidy? Research funding and the British university

Posted in Research on November 19th, 2017 by steve

“A recent HEPI report exposes the confidence trick that sustains British higher education. Research excellence leads to high international status; this, in turn, leads to high numbers of international students, and these students underwrite the research. Simple, but maybe not sustainable, especially in the current climate. Indeed an examination of this creaky merry-go-round exposes the risks that face UK universities …” (more)

[Andrew McRae, Wonkhe, 19 November]


ETUCE releases Brexit statement

Posted in Governance and administration on November 16th, 2017 by steve

“ETUCE has now published a statement on Brexit negotiations following its adoption by the ETUCE Committee. The statement focuses on the potential effects of Brexit upon education and the teaching profession …” (more)

[ETUCE, 16 November]

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University branding needs a radical gear shift

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues on November 15th, 2017 by steve

“Earlier this year, I called for the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to police universities’ marketing claims much more aggressively. And now it has …” (more)

[Charles Heyman, Wonkhe, 15 November]

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Brexit: The academic subjects most threatened by Britain leaving the EU revealed

Posted in Governance and administration on November 14th, 2017 by steve

“British universities are at risk of ‘collapse’ after Brexit as the future of tens of thousands of foreign academics is called into doubt, according to a new report. Changes to immigration rules will make it increasingly difficult for universities to hire and retain top academic talent …” (more)

[Josh Gabbatiss, Independent, 14 November]

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Report into Certain Matters and Allegations Relating to the University of Limerick

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on November 8th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Higher Education Authority has published the report of Dr Richard Thorn into Certain Matters and Allegations Relating to the University of Limerick. The report was commissioned by the Higher Education Authority and the Department of Education and Skills in May this year. It makes 36 findings and 10 recommendations to be implemented by the University of Limerick …” (more, download)

[Higher Education Authority, 8 November]

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Elite universities strive for inclusivity – but only up to a point

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on November 2nd, 2017 by steve

“A growing sense of middle-class grievance in the UK would make a radical redistribution of top university places a very difficult political sell, says Sir Nigel Thrift …” (more)

[Times Higher Education, 2 November]


Irish third-level students pay second-highest fees in Europe

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on November 2nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Third-level students in Ireland pay the second highest fees in Europe, according to a new report by the European Commission. While the UK has the highest fees – equivalent to about €10,000 – it is followed by Ireland with fees of €3,000. A crucial difference, however, is that more than 40 per cent of students in Ireland do not have to pay fees as they are entitled to means-tested grants …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 2 November]

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Creating a new relationship in research, science and innovation with the EU

Posted in Research on November 2nd, 2017 by steve

“Dr Vassiliki Papatsiba from the University of Sheffield and Dr Ludovic Highman from the UCL Institute of Education highlight the urgent need for a new partnership in research, science and innovation with the EU if the UK is to retain its status as a leading knowledge economy. The briefing outlines why clarity on the future of the UK’s research relationship with the EU is so necessary …” (more)

[Centre for Global Higher Education, 1 November]

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‘We’ve tried everything else, so why not a graduate tax?’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on October 30th, 2017 by steve

“Only five years since the current system for funding Home/EU undergraduates at universities in England was introduced, its future is already in serious doubt. Policy proposals, first from Jeremy Corbyn during this year’s General Election campaign and then from Theresa May at the Conservative Party Conference earlier this month, have once again put university fees and student funding at the centre of a national political debate …” (more)

[Helen Carasso, Wonkhe, 30 October]

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Paranoia and Consensus: British Universities and Brexit

Posted in Governance and administration on October 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Another day, another paranoid Daily Mail headline.  Obsessed with ‘traitors within’, the people who gave you ‘Crush the Saboteurs’ continue to present the existence of large numbers of people who have always opposed Brexit as some sort of treasonable conspiracy theory …” (more)

[conradbrunstrom, 26 October]

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Why student loans are a confidence trick for the 85%

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 26th, 2017 by steve

“The current system of university student funding in England is a confidence trick. It is an attempt to defraud a group of people – poorer students and their families – after having gained their trust by pretending that the system is fair and they will be treated equally …” (more)

[Danny Dorling, Wonkhe, 26 October]

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Brexit perspectives in the academy

Posted in Teaching on October 25th, 2017 by steve

“Apparently like all university heads in the United Kingdom, I received a letter this week from Mr Chris Heaton-Harris MP, a Conservative Whip in the House of Commons and, as his own website states, a ‘fierce Eurosceptic’. In his letter, Mr Heaton-Harris asks me to supply him with the names of professors ‘who are involved in the teaching of European affairs, with particular reference to Brexit’ …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 25 October]

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Third Level Admissions Entry Requirements: A-levels

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 25th, 2017 by steve

IrelandNiall Ó Donnghaile (Sinn Fein): I raised this Commencement matter because the issue in question is coming to the fore. Many students, educationalists and teachers in the North are noticing and falling foul of a particular anomaly where there is a difference in the recognition of the A-level grading system by institutions in the South. This has only been exacerbated by Brexit …” (more)

[Seanad debates, 24 October]

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Lecturers tell Brexit-curious MP to pay tuition fee if he wants course notes

Posted in Governance and administration on October 25th, 2017 by steve

“Lecturers have hit out after a Tory MP wrote to universities asking for names of professors teaching about Brexit and requesting links to their courses. The letter from Chris Heaton-Harris, a Conservative whip and Leave campaigner, has prompted a backlash from those teaching …” (more)

[Nicola Irwin, Independent, 24 October]


No 10 disowns Tory whip accused of ‘McCarthyite’ behaviour

Posted in Governance and administration on October 24th, 2017 by steve

“A Conservative whip accused of ‘McCarthyite’ behaviour after writing to university vice-chancellors to demand a list of tutors lecturing on Brexit was not acting on behalf of the government, No 10 has said …” (more)

[Jessica Elgot and others, Guardian, 24 October]


Student Leaders Unite to Condemn Brexit ‘Chaos’

Posted in Governance and administration on October 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Student leaders from Ireland, the UK and Northern Ireland all today jointly condemned the detrimental impact on higher education of the uncertainty around the UK’s exit from the EU. In a joint statement at a student summit in London today …” (more)

[Matthew Murphy, University Times, 20 October]

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Upgrading all borderline students’ degree classes ‘unacceptable’

Posted in Teaching on October 22nd, 2017 by steve

“UK universities must ensure that their policies on borderline scores do not in effect lower the thresholds for degree classifications, sector bodies say. In a new report, Universities UK and GuildHE call for more transparency around degree algorithms – the set of rules that institutions follow to determine a student’s final degree classification …” (more)

[Ellie Bothwell, Times Higher Education, 18 October]

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Universities ‘could face fines or de-registration’ if they fail to uphold freedom of speech

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on October 19th, 2017 by steve

“Universities that use ‘no platforming’ and ‘safe spaces’ to shut down free speech could face action from the new higher education regulator, the Government has announced. Jo Johnson, the universities minister, said young people and students need to ‘accept the legitimacy of healthy vigorous debate’ as he outlined plans …” (more)

[Arj Singh, Independent, 19 October]

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