Stop censoring student journalists – we’re trying to hold universities to account

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

“Student journalism is often – and rightly – applauded for the work it does at universities across the country. Many of the bylines that now sit atop newsprint began their days in student newsrooms, chasing stories across campus …” (more)

[Guardian, 23 June]

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University rankings: good intentions, image polishing and more bureaucracy

Posted in Teaching on June 24th, 2017 by steve

“Some UK universities will be cheering, some groaning, after the release of rankings under the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). My own university received a silver, so we’re shrugging. Despite all these reactions, we don’t know if we can expect any impact on the quality of teaching. What we do know, however, is that it will lead to a large-scale image polishing, the mushrooming of rankings-related bureaucracy, judicious gaming of the new rules, and cynicism amongst professors and lecturers …” (more)

[Andre Spicer, The Conversation, 23 June]

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TEF results – How do REF and TEF results compare?

Posted in Governance and administration on June 22nd, 2017 by steve

“My first ever blog for Wonkhe was back in 2014, just after the REF results were released. I compared those results with NSS, to see if they could give us an idea of different institutions’ strategic focuses on research and teaching …” (more)

[David Morris, Wonkhe, 22 June]

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Eight first lessons from the TEF results

Posted in Teaching on June 22nd, 2017 by steve

“The Teaching Excellence Framework could have a seismic impact on the reputations of British universities, both for good and for ill. As effectively a government-sponsored evaluation, its Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards could be stuck with institutions for up to three years …” (more)

[David Morris, Wonkhe, 22 June]

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The results of the Teaching Excellence Framework

Posted in Teaching on June 22nd, 2017 by steve

“No exit polls here or counts to follow through the night. Just the final outcomes showing higher education institutions that have been awarded Gold, Silver, and Bronze awards for the quality of their teaching, student experience, and graduate outcomes. Wonkhe is full of analysis of these results and will continue to be so throughout Thursday, with the underlying data released by HEFCE just after midnight …” (more)

[Wonkhe, 22 June]

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Performance management is here to stay, but TEF needs a rethink

Posted in Teaching on June 21st, 2017 by steve

“The post-election regroupement of the government provides a surprising and welcome opportunity to rethink the TEF before it does too much damage, before the shaping of behaviours and unplanned consequences become entrenched …” (more)

[Simon Marginson, Wonkhe, 21 June]

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The Great Exodus

Posted in Governance and administration on June 20th, 2017 by steve

“All of us in the United Kingdom, and universities specifically, are still struggling to discern what the practical implications of Brexit will be. We are not helped by the total confusion in the matter right now, with no clear consensus either in the UK government or the opposition as to what should be the desired outcome of the negotiations that began, sort of, in Brussels yesterday …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 19 June]

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Universities face looming strikes as market revolution bites

Posted in Governance and administration on June 18th, 2017 by steve

“Academics in Crewe are waiting in limbo. The campus, which is run by Manchester Metropolitan University, is the main centre for higher education in south Cheshire. But in February it was confirmed it would close in the summer of 2019, with 160 academic jobs at risk, and this week those academics will stage a two-day walkout in protest …” (more)

[Rebecca Ratcliffe, Guardian, 18 June]

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Brexit may stem outflow of nursing staff, claims recruiter

Posted in Life on June 13th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The United Kingdom ’s exit from the European Union may cut the numbers of nurses who are quitting Irish hospitals to work in the National Health Service, a leading healthcare recruiter has said. The number of applications by nurses from other EU countries to work in English hospitals has fallen by 96% since last year’s Brexit referendum, it was announced on Monday …” (more)

[Elaine Edwards, Irish Times, 12 June]

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More students are dropping out of university because of mental health problems

Posted in Life on June 13th, 2017 by steve

“The UK student population has doubled in the last twenty years to almost two million. During this time, higher tuition fees have placed increased pressure on students – with a recent survey finding that 75% of students who receive a maintenance loan feel stressed about their debt …” (more)

[Lucy Winrow, The Conversation, 12 June]

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UK universities fall down global league tables after budget cuts

Posted in Governance and administration on June 8th, 2017 by steve

“Britain’s universities are being dragged down by falling levels of research funding and employing fewer highly qualified staff than their international rivals, according to the compilers of a prestigious world university league table. The QS world university rankings for 2018, published on Thursday, shows the majority of British universities slipping down its table …” (more)

[Richard Adams, Guardian, 7 June]

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Keep women in academia by providing childcare, historian urges universities

Posted in Governance and administration on June 8th, 2017 by steve

“A leading British historian has called on universities to provide more support for childcare to reduce the number of women who leave academia before they reach the peak of their careers. Starting a family remains one of the greatest obstacles for women who are building their careers as university researchers, but too little is done to help them …” (more)

[Ian Sample, Guardian, 7 June]

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Edinburgh University loses 96 EU staff in past year, study finds

Posted in Governance and administration on June 6th, 2017 by steve

“Edinburgh University ranks third in the UK for loss of European Union (EU) staff in the past year, a study has found …” (more)

[Herald Scotland, 5 June]

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Brussels drive to ‘punish’ UK could end membership of EU research

Posted in Research on June 6th, 2017 by steve

“UK universities’ chances of staying in European Union research programmes will come down to whether senior figures in Brussels seek to ‘punish’ Britain in the Brexit negotiations, according to a German MEP …” (more)

[John Morgan, Times Higher Education, 5 June]

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Fear of Brexit brain drain as EU nationals leave British universities

Posted in Governance and administration on June 4th, 2017 by steve

“More than 1,300 academics from the European Union have left British universities in the past year, prompting concerns of a Brexit brain drain. There has been a 30% rise in departures of EU staff in just two years, according to data released by dozens of universities under the Freedom of Information Act …” (more)

[Michael Savage, Guardian, 3 June]

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What does the general election 2017 mean for scientific research?

Posted in Research on June 2nd, 2017 by steve

“Scientific research and technological development are rarely topics of discussion in election debates, and scientists are not normally known for being overtly political creatures. However, following government commitments to leave European funding and regulatory bodies, many scientists have turned to the Labour manifesto to look for alternatives …” (more)

[Ben Fernando, New Statesman, 1 June]

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Of monsters and mentors: PhD disasters, and how to avoid them

Posted in Teaching on June 1st, 2017 by steve

“For all the efforts in recent years to improve the doctoral experience for students, Times Higher Education still receives a steady supply of horror stories from PhD candidates. To the authors of such submissions, the system appears, at best, indifferent to them and, at worst, outright exploitative. Here, we present three such examples – all of whose writers, tellingly, feel the need to remain anonymous, given the power dynamics involved …” (more)

[Times Higher Education, 1 June]

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Prendergast Pledges to ‘Surmount’ Challenges Posed by Brexit

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 31st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Provost Patrick Prendergast has stated the College’s plans to ‘surmount’ the multitude of challenges posed by the UK’s exit from the EU and affirmed its hope that higher, non-EU fees would not be introduced for British and Northern Irish students …” (more)

[Sinéad Baker, University Times, 30 May]

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Brexit could lead to fees hike says Queen’s vice-chancellor

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 29th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Students from the Republic are facing potential massive university fee increases after the UK withdraws from the EU. The head of Queen’s University Belfast said EU undergraduates could be charged pricier international tuition fees post-Brexit …” (more)

[Simon Doyle, Irish News, 29 May]

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It’s not essay mills that are doing the grinding

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on May 26th, 2017 by steve

“Notwithstanding the rejection of an amendment to the UK’s Higher Education and Research Bill that would have outlawed ‘cheating services’, political and public concern about essay mills remains at a historic high …” (more)

[Stuart Macdonald, Times Higher Education, 25 May]

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