Fast-track degrees ‘would create two-tier academy’ in England

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 11th, 2017 by steve

“More academics will be pushed into stressful teaching-only contracts if fast-track honours degrees are rolled out across England, it has been warned. While universities have cautiously welcomed plans to allow them to charge up to £14,000 a year for ‘compressed’ two-year degrees, staff and student bodies have now raised concerns about any large-scale shift towards year-round university teaching …” (more)

[Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 9 March]

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Spoiling the party (redux)

Posted in Governance and administration on March 7th, 2017 by steve

“Hot on the heels of my comments last week came the publication of a ‘briefing paper’ by the Adam Smith Institute, claiming to have found evidence that ‘individuals with left-wing and liberal views are overrepresented in British academia’. This conclusion is based on some at best very arguable analysis …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 7 March]

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Debunking a report on left wing groupthink using left wing groupthink

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

“A new report from the Adam Smith Institute on so-called left-wing bias in academia has been making waves over the past week. It has already largely been written off in the sector as lazy, unevidenced, ideological puff, but I thought that it was necessary to look a little bit deeper at the report, and what it is trying to say …” (more)

[Aidan Byrne, Wonkhe, 5 March]

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Sexual harassment ‘at epidemic levels’ in UK universities

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on March 6th, 2017 by steve

“Sexual harassment, misconduct and gender violence by university staff are at epidemic levels in the UK, a Guardian investigation suggests. Freedom of information (FoI) requests sent to 120 universities found that students made at least 169 such allegations against academic and non-academic staff from 2011-12 to 2016-17 …” (more)

[David Batty, Sally Weale and Caroline Bannock, Guardian, 5 March]

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Brexit: Is Britain Facing A Mass Academic Exodus?

Posted in Governance and administration on March 5th, 2017 by steve

“The UK exiting the Single Market and the European Customs Union will not only mean a return to customs checks, effectively creating a so-called hard border to control migration, it will also greatly affect the UK’s and Europe’s innovation capacity …” (more)

[Denise Feldner, The Globalist, 5 March]

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Irish colleges reject NI A-Level subjects

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

Ireland“The Republic of Ireland’s seven main universities in the will not accept results in four A-Levels taken by students in Northern Ireland this year. The affected subjects are Software Systems Development, Moving Image Arts, Digital Technology and Environmental Technology …” (more)

[Robbie Meredith, BBC News, 2 March]

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Brexit Issues

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

IrelandThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide an update on meetings and discussions he or his officials have had with counterparts in other EU states with regard to the impact of Brexit on third level fees that would be charged to Irish or other EU citizens studying in the UK or Northern Ireland and-or other barriers to access for Irish or EU students to studying in the UK or Northern Ireland …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 1 March]

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Are Two-Year University Courses The Way Forward?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 1st, 2017 by steve

“If you have read any of my posts before, you may know that I am currently in my third and final year of studying English Language, with the end very much in sight. While University hasn’t been the worst years of my life, I wouldn’t say they have been the best either. It has been a long two-and-a-half years …” (more)

[Katie Grace, Huffington Post, 1 March]

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Students applying to study in UK drop 20% since Brexit vote

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The number of Irish students applying to study in the UK has dropped by about 20% since the Brexit vote last year. Uncertainty surrounding fees is making continental Europe a more attractive proposition than Britain for Irish students looking to study abroad …” (more)

[Aine McMahon and Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 27 February]

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Brexit Issues

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 23rd, 2017 by steve

IrelandThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide an update on meetings he or his officials have had with counterparts in other EU states with regard to the impact of Brexit on third level fees that would be charged to Irish or other EU citizens studying in the UK …” (more)

[Dail written answers, 22 February]

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Why British universities are unlikely to accept invitation to set up campuses in France

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

“A consortium of academic institutes near Paris is hoping to lure British universities to create research campuses in France, dangling as bait the possibility of access to European Union research funds after Brexit. Some UK institutions aren’t ruling out the idea. But a rush to create outposts in France seems unlikely for the moment, one UK policy expert thinks …” (more)

[Barbara Casassus and Daniel Cressey, Nature News, 22 February]

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Now a degree is a commodity, no wonder more students are cheating

Posted in Legal issues on February 22nd, 2017 by steve

“It was reported this week that the Department for Education is considering new penalties for students who plagiarise essays. This comes after an investigation by the Times in 2016 found that 50,000 students had been caught cheating on their university degrees in the three years before. Students were paying anywhere between £100 and £6,750 for an essay, and this widespread cheating has led to suggestions that criminal records could be dished out to offenders …” (more)

[Poppy Noor, Guardian, 22 February]

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Universities and Brexit: ‘We’ve 2,500 EU students – talent we don’t want to lose’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on February 22nd, 2017 by steve

“Anton Muscatelli remembers his shock on the morning of the EU referendum result. He felt upset, shaken by its implications and by the forces that drove the vote to leave …” (more)

[Severin Carrell, Guardian, 21 February]

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Greater clarity given on students’ rights to judicial review

Posted in Legal issues on February 22nd, 2017 by steve

“The legal relationship between students and universities is complex. Students are – to some extent – consumers, with consumer rights that can be enforced in courts. They also have access to a form of ombudsman scheme, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator, which was set up to address some of the deficiencies in the historic system of University Visitors …” (more)

[Philip Plowden, Wonkhe, 22 February]

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University students could be fined or handed criminal records for plagiarised essays, new proposals suggest

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on February 21st, 2017 by steve

“University students who buy essays online face fines and a criminal record under plans to punish plagiarism being considered by the government. For the first time, students caught cheating could be criminalised amid fears that a burgeoning ‘essay mills’ industry is threatening the quality of a British university degree …” (more)

[Harry Yorke, Telegraph, 21 February]

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TEF 1, TEF 2 and a complex game of snakes and ladders

Posted in Teaching on February 20th, 2017 by steve

“Why does it look like more than 30 eligible English institutions are not entering TEF 2? And why did six eligible institutions actively opt out of TEF 1 – a competition that required them merely to continue existing? …” (more)

[Mark Leach, Wonkhe, 20 February]

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Oxford University considering French campus amid research funding concerns after Brexit

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

“Oxford University is considering opening its first foreign campus in direct response to the UK leaving the European Union. The former director of the French ministry for education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, confirmed French authorities and institutions were working to bring the UK’s most revered universities to France and said officials had also spoken to representatives from the University of Warwick …” (more)

[Harry Cockburn, Independent, 20 February]

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Northern Ireland leads way on university applications

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 17th, 2017 by steve

“Northern Ireland has enjoyed the highest application rate to universities across the UK this year, statistics show. Around 48% of youngsters had applied to a university course by the main January 15 deadline, followed by England (37%) and Wales (32%) …” (more)

[Alison Kershaw, Belfast Telegraph, 17 February]

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Cambridge University ‘Class Lists’ Could Be Scrapped Under New Data Protection Laws

Posted in Legal issues on February 16th, 2017 by steve

“A 250-year-old Cambridge University tradition of publishing students’ exam results outside the Senate House could be banned under new data protection laws. The legislation, set to come into force in May 2018, is likely to deem the current system of posting ‘class lists’ as illegal …” (more)

[Jasmin Gray, Huffington Post, 16 February]

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HE bill: why universities are not supermarkets

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

“The UK government’s controversial plans for reform of higher education have at their heart two sets of economic ideas. The first concerns national wealth and, in particular, the impact of higher education on the size of the economy over time. These ideas are about the ends to be served by the system of higher education …” (more)

[Martin Wolf, Times Higher Education, 16 February]

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