An Indisputable Ranking Scorecard? Not Really

Posted in Governance and administration on January 7th, 2021 by steve

International“The University of New South Wales (UNSW) has produced an aggregate ranking of global universities, known as ARTU. This is based on the ‘Big Three’ rankers, QS, Times Higher Education (THE) and the Shanghai ARWU. The scores that are given are not an average but a aggregate of their ranks, which is then inverted. Nor surprisingly, Australian universities do well and the University of Melbourne is the best in Australia …” (more)

[University Ranking Watch, 7 January]

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‘Universities are not corporations’: 600 Australian academics call for change to uni governance structures

Posted in Governance and administration on July 29th, 2020 by steve

“More than 600 academics from 36 Australian universities and members of the academic community have signed an open letter to federal and state education ministers calling for a return to a more democratic, cost-effective and functional structure for Australia’s universities …” (more)

[Alessandro Pelizzon, Martin Young and Renaud Joannes-Boyau, The Conversation, 29 July]


What is this ‘anti-PhD’ attitude about?

Posted in Life on May 15th, 2019 by steve

“Lately, more and more students want a non-academic job when they finish their PhD. Anecdotally, some graduates seem to be experiencing the PhD as a barrier to employment, not an enabler. In fact, I’ve heard so much negative talk about how employers react to PhD holders over the years that it seemed important to start looking at this phenomenon more closely …” (more)

[The Thesis Whisperer, 13 May]

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‘A Legally Constructed Underclass of Workers? The Deportability and Limited Work Rights of International Students in Australia and the United Kingdom’

Posted in Legal issues on October 28th, 2018 by steve

Abstract: International students have not traditionally been the focus of labour law scholarship, in part because their central purpose in a foreign country is to study rather than work. It is also generally accepted that there is no special reason to focus on international students as a distinct category of workers. This article attests to the particular vulnerability of international students in domestic labour markets, drawing on a comparative study of government policy and practice in relation to international students in Australia and the UK. Immigration rules in both jurisdictions frame the manner in which international students engage in the labour market during their studies. These rules restrict the hours in which international students can engage in paid work during semester, and if breached can result in the international students being deported from the host country. This has the effect of limiting the job market for international students, increasing the power of employers and reducing the likelihood international students will report exploitative work. Instead of strict work hour limits and deportation for breach, governments should rely on other regulatory mechanisms for ensuring international students are present in the host country for the purpose of education rather than work.

Joanna Howe, A Legally Constructed Underclass of Workers? The Deportability and Limited Work Rights of International Students in Australia and the United Kingdom, Industrial Law Journal, Published: 24 October 2018.

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15% of students admit to buying essays. What can universities do about it?

Posted in Governance and administration on October 18th, 2018 by steve

“New research on plagiarism at university has revealed students are surprisingly unconcerned about a practice known as ‘contract cheating’. The term ‘contract cheating’ was coined in 2006, and describes students paying for completed assessments. At that time, concerns over the outsourcing of assessments were in their infancy, but today, contract cheating is big business …” (more)

[Jedidiah Evans, The Conversation, 18 October]

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The hidden costs of research assessment exercises: the curious case of Australia

Posted in Research on March 13th, 2018 by steve

“Research assessment exercises provide the government and wider public with assurance of the quality of university research, with the guiding principles being accountability, transparency, and openness. But is there the same accountability and openness when it comes to the public cost of these large-scale exercises? …” (more)

[Ksenia Sawczak, LSE Impact Blog, 13 March]

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Student loans: the experience in Australia

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 16th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“An expert group is likely to back a student loan scheme for third level. Let’s see how it has worked out in Australia. After seven years of spending cuts, rising student numbers and falling staff levels, there is broad agreement that higher education is under pressure as never before. Trying to get agreement on how to tackle the problem, however, is another matter …” (more)

[Padraig Collins, Irish Times, 16 February]

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‘It’s the micro inequities that do the most damage’: astrophysicist Jill Rathborne on biases in the world of science

Posted in Life on January 9th, 2016 by steve

Australia“When the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, recently announced that his innovation plan would contribute $13m to support greater participation of girls and women in research and science, technology, engineering and maths industries, he undoubtedly had scientists like Dr Jill Rathborne in mind …” (more)

[Brigid Delaney, Guardian, 8 January]

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Graduates who move overseas to be forced to pay back student debts

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 2nd, 2016 by steve

Australia“New rules mean Australians who live and work abroad while owing money on government loans must register with the tax office …” (more)

[Shalailah Medhora, Guardian, 31 December]

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Australian student loan scheme a match for Ireland – economist

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 30th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Getting students to pay for their college fees through contributions based on future earnings is more equitable and less open to abuse than other means of funding higher education, Irish policy makers have been told …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 30 September]

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Case study: ‘Irish medical graduates are really sought after’

Posted in Life on September 8th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Four weeks ago, shortly after finishing his intern year at hospitals in Cork and Kerry, Michael Courtney flew to Perth with a group of close friends, mostly doctors who had graduated with him …” (more)

[Ciara Kenny, Irish Times, 7 September]

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Affluent children reach top universities no matter the system

Posted in Life on July 27th, 2015 by steve

International“Study finds little difference in levels of inequality in England, US and Australia as privileged families do ‘whatever it takes’ to gain advantage …” (more)

[Chris Havergal, Times Higher Education, 26 July]

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The mini-revival of the Irish language

Posted in Teaching on April 27th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“There seems to be a general perception that our national language is perpetually on its last legs. But the view from within the Irish-language departments of our third-level institutions – and from colleges as far afield as the US and Australia – is rather different …” (more)

[Arminta Wallace, Irish Times, 27 April]

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Why a Branch Campus Failed

Posted in Governance and administration on February 26th, 2015 by steve

UK“Opening a branch campus in a foreign country can be a problematic exercise – if the experience of University College London is any guide. According to the Cross-Border Education Research Team at the State University of New York at Albany, nearly 220 international branch campuses of foreign universities are currently operating around the globe …” (more)

[Geoff Maslen, Chronicle of Higher Education, 25 February]

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Meetings vs. Management

Posted in Governance and administration on February 13th, 2015 by steve

Canada“It’s always difficult to make accurate observations about differences in national higher education cultures. But one thing I can tell you that is absolutely not true is the perception that Canadian universities are suffering under some kind of unprecedented managerialist regime …” (more)

[Alex Usher, HESA, 13 February]

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A virtuous circle? Australia’s third-level education funding model

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 2nd, 2014 by steve

Australia“Australia is in the middle of a funding revolution, encompassing overseas as well as domestic students. The system is under consideration for Ireland, but how well does it work? …” (more)

[Malcolm Byrne, Irish Times, 2 December]

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Trinity chief raises hopes of uni fee parity

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 5th, 2014 by steve

“Trinity College Provost Dr Patrick Prendergast has said he hopes Irish citizens returning from abroad will be able to attend university with the same fee structure as those who stayed in Ireland. ‘As it stands, this is not the case’, he said during his visit to Sydney recently …” (more)

[Padraig Collins, Irish Echo, 30 July]

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Opinion: Uncapping the sector is a risky business

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 8th, 2014 by steve

“Look to Ireland, not Australia, to see the damage caused by unfettered recruitment, says Bahram Bekhradnia …” (more)

[Times Higher Education, 8 May]

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Is commercialising Australia’s research an insurmountable challenge?

Posted in Research on May 4th, 2014 by steve

Australia“Universities play a key role in a country’s national innovation system (NIS). As I discussed in a previous article, Australia’s universities perform well by international benchmarks …” (more)

[Tim Mazzarol, The Conversation, 4 May]

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Loans liability after death – should dead students’ estates pay their debts?

Posted in Legal issues on April 24th, 2014 by steve

“Should students be pursued beyond the grave for outstanding loans? The idea has already been floated unofficially in Australia, in a report for the Grattan Institute by Andrew Norton …” (more)

[David Jobbins, University World News, 24 April]

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