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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Quarter of UK academics ‘bullied over scholarly views’

Posted in Life on May 26th, 2017 by steve

“Almost one in four lecturers at UK universities claims to have been subjected to bullying by colleagues over their academic views, a survey suggests. Of 2,300 people who responded to a University and College Union poll on academic freedom, 23% said that they had suffered workplace bullying on account of their scholarly views, while 27% claimed that they had faced ‘psychological pressure’ over their opinions …” (more)

[Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 25 May]

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Move over universities: the Conservative manifesto dissected

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

“The Conservative Party has now published its manifesto ahead of the general election. It represents a mixed bag for the higher education sector: on immigration and school sponsorship, the sector may take issue. Yet there are some more encouraging noises too, particularly in relation to industrial strategy and ambitious aims for research and development …” (more)

[David Morris and others, Wonkhe, 18 May]


What’s that coming over the hill? Is it a metric monster?

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

“It’s hard to go to an HE event these days without a doomful prediction that the government is going to use the data at its disposal to shake up the university sector. It’s easy to see where these fears come from …” (more)

[Ant Bagshaw, Wonkhe, 17 May]


‘Learning analytics’ can help universities improve student engagement and performance but data protection issues must be addressed, say experts

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on May 16th, 2017 by steve

“Universities have an opportunity to use the increasing volume of data at their disposal to improve students’ learning and attainment, as well as the quality of teaching and content provided on their courses, provided they get data protection issues right …” (more)

[, 16 May]

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How should universities respond when academic freedom is under threat?

Posted in Governance and administration on May 13th, 2017 by steve

“When European university leaders met last month for the annual European University Association conference in Bergen, Norway, top of the agenda was university independence and academic freedom. The focus on autonomy was timely …” (more)

[Paul Boyle, Times Higher Education, 13 May]

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A study about Learning Styles in the UK

Posted in Teaching on May 13th, 2017 by steve

“Takeaways? The amount of academics in UK higher education who belief in Learning Styles is getting smaller it seems, but 58% still does. Most of those believers actually never use them. 32% stated that they would continue to use Learning Styles despite being presented with the lack of an evidence base to support them …” (more)

[From experience to meaning …, 12 May]

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The Managerial Destruction of Universities … but what do we do about it?

Posted in Governance and administration on May 10th, 2017 by steve

“As I arrived at the University of Highlands and Islands for a conference on the ‘porous university’, there was a picket line outside the college. Lecturers were striking about a deal agreed with the Scottish Government to establish equal pay among teaching staff across Scotland which had been reneged on by management of colleges …” (more)

[Improvisation Blog, 10 May]


Students facing major fees hike in Republic over UK quitting EU

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 4th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Students from Northern Ireland who attend universities in the Republic may face fees of tens of thousands of euro following Brexit. There is currently a capped charge of €3,000 (£2,500) at Irish universities for EU students. However, when Northern Ireland leaves the EU along with the rest of the UK …” (more)

[Rebecca Black, Belfast Telegraph, 4 May]

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I work in a university. Here’s what I secretly want to tell senior management

Posted in Life on May 3rd, 2017 by steve

“The relationship between senior managers and university staff can be tricky, especially when academic and staff priorities clash with budgetary and policy requirements. Managers don’t always ask the right questions to find out how staff are feeling, and employees complain of a lack of consultation. So we asked a range of university staff to share their experiences of this complex relationship …” (more)

[Martin Williams, Guardian, 3 May]

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Number of UK students applying to study in Ireland plummets

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

Ireland“The number of UK students applying to study in Ireland through the CAO has dropped by 10% since the Brexit vote. Documents from the Department of Education outline a ‘noticeable drop’ in applications to Irish colleges from English, Welsh and Scottish students for September 2017. Similarly, Irish students applying to the UK UCAS system has dropped by 18% on 2016 figures …” (more)

[Jack Power, Irish Times, 2 May]

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The antidote to university league tables?

Posted in Governance and administration on May 2nd, 2017 by steve

“Last December, HEPI published a report ‘International university rankings: For good or ill?’ by its former Director Bahram Bekhradnia. Suffice to say, he didn’t plump for good. To sum up his criticisms, and more particularly to add some of my own, rankings narrowly assess the wrong criteria for quality …” (more)

[Johnny Rich, Wonkhe, 2 May]

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University fee increases pushed through

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

“Almost all universities in England will be able to add annual inflation-linked increases to tuition fees until 2020, in a deal pushing legislation through Parliament before the general election. The higher education legislation had been intended to make higher fees dependent on improved teaching …” (more)

[Sean Coughlan, BBC News, 27 April]


Brexit university ‘brain drain’ warning

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

“University staff from EU countries should be guaranteed a right to stay and work in the UK after Brexit to avoid a ‘damaging brain drain’, says a report from MPs. The education select committee wants urgent steps taken to end uncertainty over the future status of EU academics …” (more)

[Sean Coughlan, BBC News, 25 April]

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If the UK wants to remain a key global player after Brexit, the intake of foreign students must be protected

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on April 24th, 2017 by steve

“In the wake of last month’s triggering of Article 50, the tumultuous prospect of a hard Brexit has been widely speculated on. Sources say the economy has fared surprisingly well since the referendum, with growth both in the manufacturing and service sectors. But evidence suggests its effects have already begun to hit higher education …” (more)

[Dave Wheeler, Independent, 23 April]

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Against the market in universities

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

“Higher education has now joined the ­growing list of subjects (immigration, multiculturalism, nuclear armaments, freedom of speech) about which it is increasingly difficult, it seems, to have an informed public argument …” (more)

[Rowan Williams, New Statesman, 14 April]


Universities to Lobby Against International Fees for Northern Irish Students Post-Brexit

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on April 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The leaders of Irish universities will be lobbying to ensure that Northern Irish students are not subjected to higher, international-level fees, as negotiations begin over the UK’s exit from the EU …” (more)

[Kathleen McNamee, University Times, 11 April]

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Student loan interest rate set to rise by a third after UK inflation surge

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

“Students appear to be paying a heavy price for the UK’s inflation surge after the Brexit vote, which will drive the interest rate on their loans up by a third to 6.1%. The rise in inflation, driven by a decline in the value of the pound since June, means students will be charged substantially more interest on their loans, despite the fact that many other consumers are benefiting from record low interest rates …” (more)

[Rupert Jones, Guardian, 11 April]

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More university students are using tech to cheat in exams

Posted in Teaching on April 10th, 2017 by steve

“A growing number of UK university students are cheating in exams with the help of technological devices such as mobile phones, smart watches and hidden earpieces. Data obtained by the Guardian through freedom of information requests found a 42% rise in cheating cases involving technology over the last four years – from 148 in 2012 to 210 in 2016 …” (more)

[Sarah Marsh, Guardian, 10 April]

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How to strangle an export industry

Posted in Governance and administration on April 10th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Brexit, now that is is really happening, is going to cause a major strain on this country. In that context, and accepting that we don’t want to steal their boots while the body is still warm, it behooves Ireland to take every opportunity presented to take business from the UK …” (more)

[Brian M Lucey, 10 April]

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