Archive for 21 November 2008

Students to discuss fees with Minister

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 21 November 2008 by Steve

“Student union leaders are to meet Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe to outline their opposition to the reintroduction of third-level fees. Trinity College Dublin students’ union president Cathal Reilly said yesterday he would meet the Minister and he hoped his counterparts from UCD and DCU would also be present. Mr Reilly spoke to the Minister as he arrived at Trinity College yesterday, amid loud protests from students, to announce a new PhD research programme in arts and humanities. About 100 students carried placards and shouted slogans against the reintroduction of third-level fees …” (more)

[Kitty Holland, Irish Times, 21 November]

Students to discuss fees with Minister

Posted in Life with tags , on 21 November 2008 by Steve

“The journal Times Higher Education first ran an article on this phenomenon in 2005, in which it referred to research that had been undertaken on it. Academic staff in universities where this new model was being tried out were interviewed, and invariably hostile; they felt that the environment in which they were being asked to work was ‘a little like being in a call centre’, and that it was ‘like moving from a grown-up atmosphere to a classroom atmosphere.’ The authors of the article concluded that for open plan arrangements to work in universities a whole new attitude to and etiquette for academic work would have to be adopted. More recently the same journal took a closer look at an experiment with open plan arrangements in Sussex University. The intention behind this experiment was to see whether the office lay-out and use would encourage greater collaboration and interdisciplinarity; but the response of staff working there suggested it did not achieve that effect …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 21 November]

Solo science: tinkering outside the tower

Posted in research with tags , on 21 November 2008 by Steve

“A modern British university is no place to think. That’s the sad conclusion I came to after ten years struggling in my secure academic job. What had at first seemed a magnificent opportunity and a great privilege had become a burden. And I couldn’t stand it any more. Instead of reading and writing and thinking and arguing and carrying out experiments to try to understand the nature of the human mind or the mysteries of the universe, I was filling in forms, attending meetings and marking ever higher piles of increasingly pedestrian essays. Just sometimes I had the joy of knowing I’d inspired my students, or helped them design exciting experiments. Just sometimes I even did some research myself. But mostly I seemed to be wasting my brain away. So I left. The job I abandoned was that of reader in psychology at a large new university, where I taught everything from huge classes in introductory psychology and statistics to seminars on consciousness …” (more)

[Susan Blackmore, Intelligent Life, 24 October]