Archive for January, 2009

Call for mobilisations in European universities March 18-20

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 31 January 2009 by Steve

“We do not want any ‘market of knowledge’! Call for a European mobilisation against the Lisbon strategy in higher education and research. The next spring summit of the heads of state and governments of the European union will take place on March 19th‐20th, 2009. One of its priorities will be the assessment of the Lisbon strategy initiated in 2000, which frames the policies currently engaged in the Member States so as to ‘modernise’ the national research and education system (primary, secondary and higher education, lifelong learning). The declared ambition of a ‘knowledge‐based society’ should be encouraged, as far as it consists in a collective ambition to promote education and research as public goods, a guarantee of democratisation of knowledge, and an opportunity for citizens to possibly criticise scientific and technical choices. But the current orientation is different …” (more)

[Counter-Cartographies Collective, 31 January]

University’s ‘future in doubt’

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 31 January 2009 by Steve

“MPs have warned that the future of a university is in doubt as it faces the repayment of over £50m, after an audit found ‘incorrect data’ on students. London Metropolitan University has admitted that this puts more than 300 jobs at risk – and unions are planning a campus protest on Wednesday. The funding council says the deduction of income follows an audit showing inaccurate reporting of drop-out rates. A university leader says there could be further cases of such ‘gotcha audits’ …” (more)

[BBC News, 28 January]

Higher education? Aim lower

Posted in teaching with tags , on 31 January 2009 by Steve

“I had a great time in university. I had small classes with enthusiastic professors who pushed us hard. I took demanding survey courses in Western Civ, before such things fell out of fashion. I even thought I might have a future as a professor. By the time I graduated, the culture had shifted radically … Forty years ago, a university education was still largely confined to the (relatively) privileged elites. Today, every kid who’s smarter than a turnip is expected to go. Universities are vast credentialing factories whose main function is to certify that their graduates are intelligent enough to hold down jobs in the knowledge economy …” (more)

[Margaret Wente, Globe and Mail, 31 January]

Naked Trinity students spark chaos

Posted in Legal issues with tags , , on 31 January 2009 by Steve

“Trinity College has launched an investigation into an incident in which students went naked on the Luas and on the streets of the city centre for a ‘fundraising drive’. The Junior Dean’s office is now looking at an event called ‘Gumball Challenge’ and will be talking to the parties involved. Trinity students caused uproar across Dublin city centre as naked pranksters were seen swarming the streets and the Luas when a society fundraiser got seriously out of hand. Members of DU Players, the drama society in Trinity, organised a ‘Gumball Challenge’ in order to raise funds for one of their upcoming musicals. Participants were handed a list of 50 challenges that included dares such as ‘give Molly Malone a lapdance’, ‘drink your own p***’, ‘eat a euro coin’ and ‘get a tattoo’ …” (more)

[Herald, 31 January]

Students have been sold a lie

Posted in teaching with tags , on 31 January 2009 by Steve

“When a friend enrolled as a mature student last year, I was curious to hear what university life was like these days. It was quite a surprise when he reported back that students were taking personal calls on their mobile phones during lectures. Apparently it comes as a shock to the students when lecturers ask them to hang up. In a recent seminar a girl sat with her iPod headphones on, and was astonished when the tutor asked her to remove them. There were no more than a dozen or so other students in the class, and one of them was trying to give a presentation. ‘But I like listening to music!’ the girl objected, genuinely affronted by the intrusion, as though she were on a bus …” (more

[Decca Aitkenhead, Guardian, 31 January]

Colleges may put on courses for the unemployed

Posted in teaching with tags , , on 31 January 2009 by Steve

“In a new government action plan, third-level colleges will be asked to provide places and a broad range of courses for the growing number of unemployed, Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe said yesterday. A Cabinet subcommittee will report shortly to Taoiseach Brian Cowen on how the universities and particularly the 14 institutes of technology could play a role in retraining and upskilling …” (more)

[Séan Flynn, Irish Times, 31 January]

Ógra Shinn Féin calls for Solidarity with Student March Against Fees

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 30 January 2009 by Steve

“Ógra Shinn Féin has called for Irish citizens north and south, young and old, to support students in the 26 counties in their opposition to the introduction of student fees by joining USI’s national march and rally in Dublin next Wednesday February 4th. The march, beginning at the Garden of Remembrance at 1.30pm, is expected to mobilise thousands of students …” (more)

[Ógra Shinn Féin, 30 January]