Archive for 14 January 2009

Students want rewarding careers, not bonus points

Posted in teaching with tags , , on 14 January 2009 by Steve

“Recent calls to reintroduce bonus points for higher maths as part of a wider strategy to incentivise the uptake of physics, chemistry and higher maths in the Leaving Certificate cause me to wonder if we have been looking in the right place for solutions to a problem that has bedevilled Irish education for years. Assuming our primary goal is to enhance the mathematical/scientific proficiency of all school students and not just those with the capacity to do higher level maths and science in the Leaving Certificate, an alternative approach is proposed here …” (more)

[Pat O’Mahony, Independent, 14 January]

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Close to the Vest

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 14 January 2009 by Steve

“Arne Duncan took a step toward becoming the next U.S. secretary of education Tuesday, but the Chicago public schools chief had little to say about higher education during his Senate confirmation hearing … While Duncan frequently spoke of ‘access’ and ‘affordability,’ he didn’t mention a third ‘a-word’ — ‘accountability.’ The omission was significant, given the fact that pressure for greater accountability in higher education has been a crucial issue for Margaret Spellings, who is in her final days as President Bush’s secretary of education. Duncan did note, however, that the U.S. is losing its competitive edge internationally when it comes to the educational achievement of its citizenry. ‘The United States hasn’t so much fallen behind as other countries have passed us,’ he said. ‘Other countries have taken this much more seriously’ … (more)

[Jack Stripling, Inside Higher Ed, 14 January]

Top universities fight to keep lion’s share of research money

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 14 January 2009 by Steve

“Leading universities are fighting behind the scenes to hang on to their share of research funding in the next round of financial allocations in March. The Russell group of large research-intensive universities, which for decades has had the lion’s share of research funding, says it risks ‘haemorrhaging money’ in allocations made after the results of last month’s research assessment exercise (RAE) … At present, 82% of research funding in England goes to just 29 universities. The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) is now working out a funding formula to allocate research cash to English universities based on the outcome of the RAE …” (more)

[Anthea Lipsett, Guardian, 14 January]

Graduate jobs vanishing, says poll of recruiters

Posted in Life with tags , on 14 January 2009 by Steve

“Students face a ‘very slim’ chance of a graduate-level job this summer according to a poll of 100 of the country’s best-known companies which shows that one in six such posts have already been cut. Most graduate traineeships are already taken and positions in the City alone are down 47%. It is the first widespread acknowledgement from leading employers that they are reducing recruitment. A Guardian investigation last week revealed widespread fears about the graduate jobs market, with some companies restricting recruitment to just five top universities. Today’s poll was conducted by High Fliers Research, which specialises in the graduate recruitment market …” (more)

[Polly Curtis, Guardian, 14 January]

The world of committees

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 14 January 2009 by Steve

“According to a report I read recently, there research that has revealed that, in all the universities in the world, there are an estimated 4,610,000 committees. I stopped briefly to consider how many that might be, on average, per university, and I concluded that the figure was probably about right. On the assumption that each of these committees meets several times a year (and of course many will meet very frequently), and making certain assumptions about the number of academic working days in the year and so forth, I concluded that, today, there were probably 184,400 university committee meetings across the world …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 14 January]