An unprovoked rant about education

Posted in Governance and administration, Research, Teaching on November 23rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Taking care of some medical ‘business’ today so can’t really work as such. So I thought I’d have a rant about higher education. The decline in state funding for higher education over the last 10 to 15 years has had one major effect: institutions must now operate as quasi-corporations. I’ve never seen this as some sort of neoliberal takeover, more like a case of needs must …” (more)

[Tales from Academia, 23 November]

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The impacts agenda is an autonomous push for opening up and democratizing academia, not part of a neo-liberal hegemony

Posted in Research on November 20th, 2020 by steve

“Improving academic impact has been given a bad name in some academic circles, who link it to a near-conspiracy theory view of the powers of ‘neo-liberalism’. But Patrick Dunleavy and Jane Tinkler argue that (despite one or two bureaucratic distortions, like the REF), the impacts agenda is centrally about enhancing the efficacy of scientific and academic work, democratizing access to knowledge and culture, and fostering rational thinking …” (more)

[Impact of Social Sciences, 20 November]

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A requiem for impact?

Posted in Research on January 27th, 2020 by steve

“With the government launching a major review of research bureaucracy and methods, James Wilsdon asks: is the end of the road for impact measures in grant applications? …” (more)

[Wonkhe, 27 January]

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The impact agenda has led to social media being used in a role it may not be equipped to perform

Posted in Research on May 31st, 2018 by steve

“In a rapidly changing higher education landscape, where the meaning of ‘impact’ and the expectations surrounding it are continually developing, the perceived relevance of social media seems obvious. Accordingly, increasing numbers of institutions are encouraging their researchers to take up social media to communicate their research to wider society …” (more)

[Katy Jordan and Mark Carrigan, LSE Impact Blog, 31 May]

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Academics fear the value of knowledge for its own sake is diminishing

Posted in Research on June 19th, 2017 by steve

“A climate of ‘anti-intellectualism’, faltering levels of trust in ‘experts’ and an era of ‘post-truth’ provides a rather dreary depiction of the state of academia today. Compound this with the reorganisation of higher education – where universities are run more like businesses – along with the politics of austerity, and it may be little surprise that the sector is said to be in crisis …” (more)

[Jennifer Chubb, The Conversation, 19 June]


Unions Criticise Loan Option in Cassells Report

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on July 11th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A coalition of unions across the country have criticised the loan options outlined in the Higher Level funding report released earlier today. Trade Unions including IMPACT, SIPTU, IFUT and TUI have all come out to condemn the proposal, outlined in the Cassells report …” (more)

[Roisin Guyett-Nicholson, University Observer, 11 July]

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With a New Alliance Between Unions, Potential For Greater Impact on Funding

Posted in Governance and administration on June 13th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The news that the four largest trade unions in higher education have come together with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) to form a coalition to campaign for proper state investment in the sector should be welcome news to anyone interested in the future of the sector …” (more)

[University Times, 12 June]

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New Coalition Calls For Bigger Employer Contribution To Higher Education Costs

Posted in Governance and administration on June 8th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The four biggest trade unions in higher education have joined with the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) to campaign for better public investment in the sector. USI, IFUT, IMPACT, SIPTU and TUI announced their new coalition as they published joint proposals on higher education funding as part of Minister Richard Bruton’s public consultation on an education strategy for 2016-2018 …” (more)

[Irish Federation of University Teachers, 8 June]

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Education sector unions to campaign for investment

Posted in Governance and administration on June 8th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The four biggest trade unions in higher education have joined forces with the Union of Students in Ireland to campaign for better public investment in the sector. The Irish Federation of University Teachers, the Teachers Union of Ireland, IMPACT and SIPTU announced their new coalition with the USI as they published joint-proposals on higher education funding …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 8 June]

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WIT withdraws memo regarding redundancy scheme

Posted in Governance and administration on February 25th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Waterford Institute of Technology has withdrawn a letter sent to unions stating that the Department of Education and Skills had informed them of the possibility of a voluntary redundancy scheme for public servants employed in the education and training sector. The memo seen by RTÉ News was sent to representatives of the Teachers Union of Ireland, IMPACT, Unite and SIPTU last night by a senior manager at WIT …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 25 February]

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Education and research have serious impact

Posted in Research on September 24th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“A few years ago, a particular word started to appear with increasing regularity in international higher education and research circles. The word was ‘impact’. Its increasing prevalence derives from the desire, particularly in straitened economic times, to assess the benefits of the funding applied to higher education and research …” (more)

[Orla Feely, Irish Times, 24 September]

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REF 2014: impact element cost £55 million

Posted in Research on April 2nd, 2015 by steve

UK“The impact element of the research excellence framework was almost as costly to institutions as the entire 2008 research assessment exercise. That is one of the findings of Rand Europe’s assessment of institutions’ and panellists’ experience of the inaugural inclusion of impact in the 2014 REF …” (more)

[Paul Jump, Times Higher Education, 2 April]

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Is slack science reporting letting down the public?

Posted in Governance and administration on March 24th, 2015 by steve

UK“The Los Angeles Times recently ran the following headline: ‘Another reason to drink coffee: It’s good for your heart, study says’. It all sounded very cheery – except that the carefully researched scientific study, published in the journal Heart, didn’t say that at all …” (more)

[Lucy Ward, Guardian, 24 March]

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The focus on bibliometrics makes papers less useful

Posted in Research on January 14th, 2015 by steve

International“Forcing research to fit the mould of high-impact journals weakens it. Hiring decisions should be based on merit, not impact factor, says Reinhard Werner …” (more)

[Nature, 13 January]

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Proof over promise: Moving citation metric systems beyond journal impact towards a career impact approach

Posted in Research on September 17th, 2014 by steve

“Publishing in a high-impact journal carries the implicit promise that the article will also be highly cited. But the proof of this logic remains unsubstantiated …” (more)

[Anne-Wil Harzing and Wilfred Mijnhardt, Impact of Social Sciences, 17 September]

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The internationalisation of academic publishing points to distinctly different audiences for scholarly books

Posted in Research on April 29th, 2014 by steve

“The rise of internationalisation has been a prime focus of bibliometric research for years. Most of the studies so far have analysed the increasing occurrence of multi-national co-authorships of journal articles …” (more)

[Frederik Verleysen and Tim Engels, Impact of Social Sciences, 29 April]

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Research funding emphasis on ‘impact’ spawns a new industry

Posted in Research on November 12th, 2013 by steve

“In their bid to secure funding under the terms of the Research Excellence Framework, academics are drafting in writers and consultants to make them and their work more accessible …” (more)

[Harriet Swain, Guardian, 12 November]

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Benefits of Open Access to Research

Posted in Research on October 21st, 2013 by steve

“The theme of International Open Access Week 2013 is ‘Redefining Impact’. It’s an interesting theme because it’s a question I frequently get asked when I talk about the benefits of open access to research …” (more)

[Breeda Herlihy, The River-side, 16 October]

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Impact factors are clouding our judgement

Posted in Research on October 17th, 2013 by steve

Nature has an interesting news feature this week on impact factors. Eugenie Samuel Reich’s article — part of a special supplement covering various aspects of the rather ill-defined notion of impact — explores whether publication in journals such as Nature or Science is a game-changer for scientific careers …” (more)

[Stephen Curry, Reciprocal Space, 17 October]

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The usefulness of citation counts depends heavily on the context of an individual’s publishing community

Posted in Research on September 26th, 2013 by steve

“Let me start with a confession. I like and use citations. Does this really make me a bad person? I don’t think so, for reasons that are fundamentally economic …” (more)

[David Laband, Impact of Social Sciences, 26 September]

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