Challenges of student recruitment in the age of COVID-19

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 30th, 2020 by steve

“More than half of the world’s learners are affected (51%, 890.5 million students) by the impact of COVID-19. With mass high school and university closures in an increasing number of countries, concerns about the implications for future international student enrolments and ultimately the impact on institutional cash flow are high on university leaders’ agendas …” (more)

[Janet Ilieva and Vincenzo Raimo, University World News, 28 March]

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Is it in students’ interests to enrol in September?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 30th, 2020 by steve

“Elsewhere on the site, Canadian HE expert Alex Usher describes the big decision facing universities around the world when it comes to what to do in September. I’ve been thinking about big decisions too – but rather than those faced by universities, I’ve been trying to think about the decisions now facing students …” (more)

[Jim Dickinson, Wonkhe, 29 March]

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Why pausing the REF makes sense but axing it doesn’t

Posted in Research on March 25th, 2020 by steve

“Yesterday’s announcement that the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) is to be placed on hold ‘until further notice’ is a welcome move by Research England and UKRI, in response to the deepening Covid-19 crisis …” (more)

[James Wilsdon, Wonkhe, 25 March]

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Thousands of students stranded at university amid UK lockdown

Posted in Governance and administration on March 24th, 2020 by steve

“Thousands of students are stranded in universities across the UK as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, prompting calls for support from vice-chancellors. Among them are international students from all over the world who have been unable to get flights home, and UK students who are stuck because they have no other home to go to, either because they are care leavers or are estranged from their families …” (more)

[Sally Weale, Guardian, 24 March]

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HEA Welcomes Publication of Report of Athena SWAN Charter (UK) Independent Review Steering Group

Posted in Governance and administration on March 24th, 2020 by steve

“The Higher Education Authority (HEA) welcomes The Future of Athena SWAN, the report of the Athena SWAN Charter (UK) Independent Review Steering Group published this week. The report is the result of an independent review of the Athena SWAN Charter in the United Kingdom, led by Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, Vice-Chancellor and President of Brunel University London …” (more)

[Maura O’Shea, HEA, 24 March]

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Which universities are moving to remote teaching?

Posted in Teaching on March 14th, 2020 by steve

“There’s no formal advice suggesting that universities should be moving to remote provision as a result of concerns over Covid-19, but many have elected to do so. Education secretary Gavin Williamson has advised universities to follow scientific advice …” (more)

[David Kernohan, Wonkhe, 13 March]

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Universities must stop making it up as they go along on staff-student complaints

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on March 12th, 2020 by steve

“Recent media attention has highlighted problems in complaints processes for addressing sexual misconduct in higher education. These media stories have highlighted issues within both student-student as well as staff-student complaints processes, and it is clear that urgent work is needed to address both …” (more)

[Anna Bull, Georgina Calvert-Lee and Tiffany Page, Wonkhe, 12 March]


Quitting EU Erasmus scheme would ‘blow a hole’ in UK economy

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on March 8th, 2020 by steve

“Quitting the EU’s Erasmus student exchange programme would ‘blow a hole’ in the UK’s economy, taking away income of £243m a year and depriving 17,000 British young people of valuable work experience, according to a group of education and business leaders …” (more)

[Richard Adams, Guardian, 8 March]

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Survey of academics finds widespread feelings of stress and overwork

Posted in Research on February 29th, 2020 by steve

“Many people imagine universities to be calm and relaxed places of work, populated by academics who have long holidays, small workloads and obsessions with obscure subjects. But our new research paints a very different picture …” (more)

[Mark Erickson, Carl Walker and Paul Hanna, The Conversation, 28 February]

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Do universities matter in post-Brexit Britain?

Posted in Governance and administration on February 27th, 2020 by steve

“Universities have been in the firing line again. A new Policy Exchange report claims that universities are ‘out of touch’ and have ‘lost the trust of the nation’ in some critical areas. There is a gap, argue the authors, between how the sector sees itself and how others see the sector …” (more)

[Chris Husbands and Natalie Day, Wonkhe, 27 February]


Trinity to advocate for UK to remain in Erasmus programme

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on February 22nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Trinity has announced a commitment to advocating for the United Kingdom’s continued membership in the Erasmus+ programme. In a email sent to all staff and students, Julia Carmichael, Trinity’s Chief Risk Officer (CRO) wrote that ‘we at Trinity will be at pains to show over the coming months that it is in the interests of the UK to continue the academic relationship it has with EU countries, particularly Ireland’ …” (more)

[Madalyn Williams, Trinity News, 21 February]

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The EU will not tolerate cherry-picking by the UK

Posted in Research on February 21st, 2020 by steve

“UK academics love the ERC, but selective participation in Horizon Europe is unlikely to be on the table, says John Womersley. Right at the end of the UK prime minister’s recent parliamentary statement on British intentions during the next 11 months of negotiations with the European Union comes a brief sentence on which the UK’s research and higher education communities are pinning great hope …” (more)

[Times Higher Education, 20 February]

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Solidarity with the UCU Strike!

Posted in Governance and administration on February 20th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“So the latest round of strikes by members of the University and College Union (UCU) began today. There will be fourteen days of strikes spread over four weeks between now and 13th March. The cause of the long-running dispute is twofold …” (more)

[In the Dark, 20 February]

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Students who complain about abuse on campus are being ‘wokesmeared’

Posted in Legal issues on February 17th, 2020 by steve

“Far from being hotbeds of political correctness, universities are ignoring victims of sexual harassment, racism and bullying …” (more)

[Nesrine Malik, Guardian, 16 February]


No room for you in lectures, top universities tell first-year students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on February 16th, 2020 by steve

“Students at prestigious universities have been turned away from overcrowded lectures and told to watch classes online or in overflow rooms. The Observer found that students paying £9,250 or more in Manchester, Nottingham and Lancaster, had struggled to get a seat in lectures. Manchester University maths students in a 600-capacity hall were given slips with a link to a YouTube live stream and told they could ‘sit in a coffee shop’ and watch …” (more)

[Josh Sandiford, Guardian, 15 February]


EU research head optimistic on post-Brexit future

Posted in Research on February 15th, 2020 by steve

“An EU research head says that he is ‘optimistic’ that there will continue to be close scientific collaboration with the UK after Brexit. Prof Mauro Ferrari said that science bodies on both sides of the Channel want close existing links to continue …” (more)

[Pallab Ghosh, BBC News, 15 February]

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UKRI wants monographs to be open access by 2024

Posted in Research on February 13th, 2020 by steve

“Academic monographs will need to be made freely available within 12 months of publication if authors are supported by public research funds, according to new open access proposals from the UK’s main research body …” (more)

[Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 13 February]

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‘Naked intimidation’: how universities silence academics on social media

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on February 12th, 2020 by steve

“When Cardiff University PhD student Grace Krause began getting headaches and back pain after staring at a computer screen for days on end, she decided to speak out online …” (more)

[Tess Reidy, Guardian, 12 February]


British universities face long shutdown of Chinese campuses as virus spreads

Posted in Governance and administration on February 9th, 2020 by steve

“British universities are braced for a long shutdown of their Chinese campuses after Beijing said it would extend the closure of China’s higher education sector into March to combat the spread of coronavirus. Nottingham, Birmingham City and Leeds universities were among the many UK higher education providers told they must delay the return of academics and students until 2 March …” (more)

[Phillip Inman, Guardian, 9 February]

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IUA join 36 EU and UK higher education and research organisations in joint-declaration of cooperation post-Brexit

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration, Research on February 4th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Universities Association (IUA) has joined 36 other higher education and research organisations from across the European Union and the United Kingdom in a joint declaration of cooperation on research and student exchange. All 37 pan-European organisations have signed the statement calling on governments across Europe for their continued commitment to the Erasmus+ and Horizon Europe programmes …” (more)

[IUA, 3 February]

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