Archive for 27 January 2009

So do we need the historians here?

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 27 January 2009 by Steve

“Yesterday I was engaged in a discussion with a number of colleagues from various universities, and the conversation turned to the disciplinary mix needed in a higher education institution to ensure that it can be a credible university. We agreed that it was possible to be a perfectly respectable university, and successful, while not having, say, a range of minority languages in the portfolio. But then someone suggested that any institution that wanted to be recognised as a bona fide member of the academy would have to have some subjects or disciplines; and the example given was history. Well, DCU does not have a history department … Once again, we are up against the problem that there is no consensus any more as to what constitutes a university. Almost nothing that defined universities in the past – from the required core disciplines to the teaching methods – are universally accepted now …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 27 January]


Research reveals economic case for open access publishing

Posted in research with tags , on 27 January 2009 by Steve

“Sharing research information via a more open access publishing model would bring millions of pounds worth of savings to the higher education sector as well as benefiting UK plc. This is one of the key findings from a new research project commissioned by JISC. Professor John Houghton from the Centre of Strategic Economic Studies at Melbourne’s Victoria University and Professor Charles Oppenheim at Loughborough University were asked to lead research that would throw light on the economic and social implications of new models for scholarly publishing. The research centred on three models …” (more)

[JISC, 27 January]

Irving at the Lit & Deb: A reply to Prof Schabas

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 27 January 2009 by Steve

“Since writing my previous post, I have read a trenchant statement of the opposite view by Prof William Schabas, Director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights at NUI Galway. His argument is twofold. First, he refers to the EU Framework Decision on racism and xenophobia. Second, he argues that, whatever about that Decision, Irving should not as a matter of principle be granted a prestigious platform by the Lit & Deb …” (more)

[Eoin O’Dell, Cearta, 27 January]

Universities dread recession in China

Posted in teaching with tags on 27 January 2009 by Steve

“The possibility of China going into recession poses a ‘cataclysmic’ threat to global higher education, Prof Malcolm Gillies, vice-chancellor of City University, London, warned today. He told a seminar on globalisation that the world of international higher education was going to get colder. ‘We’re in a world where we can see a whole lot of factors. It’s getting chillier and we don’t know what bits will get frozen out or who will take the competitive advantage and break through. But if China does go into recession, that’s more cataclysmic than anything else,’ he told a Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) seminar. UK universities have relied on income from overseas students’ fees up until now, but the seminar heard that the period of growth in international students was over. Gillies said that Australian universities, whose academic year starts in February, had reported huge numbers of international students from China, Korea and Japan deferring their places …” (more)

[Anthea Lipsett, Guardian, 27 January]

A Crowning Indignity

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 27 January 2009 by Steve

“At one time a faculty was viewed as more than just a group of teachers. Faculty members were the essence of a college or university. They set the intellectual tone of the school, and as a result, the institutional agenda was centered on ideas, learning, values and bringing students into the realm of the mind. A college education was once intended to bring about a comprehensive transformation of the entering high school graduate, yielding an incipient scholar four years later. Students at a college were expected to absorb its culture and attitude and identify, however subliminally, with its mission. Those majoring in a department established a sense of identity with the field, and professors exhibited a sense of responsibility for their welfare and progress. Even in larger institutions, majors were viewed as individuals, and sometime as colleagues, not just numbers. Full time faculty members became advisers, confidants, and sometimes, friends. It’s different now …” (more)

[Bernard Fryshman, Inside Higher Ed, 27 January]

The diversity of bigotry

Posted in Life with tags , on 27 January 2009 by Steve

“On Friday, I noted a letter to the Irish Times that was little more than Hamas apologetics, interesting more for its list of signers than its content. They had 23 names listed and the Irish Times said there were 126 more. The letter with the full list of signers is here (there are only 148 names rather than the 149 the Irish Times reports) … Some of the affiliations are vague, but the ‘wide variety of disciplines’ is exceedingly comic. Take a look at the list, and you overwhelmingly get humanities and soft social science. Almost all the signers at the University of Limerick, for example, come from one department …” (more)

[William Sjostrom, Atlantic Blog, 26 January]

‘We put our heads down to do our final-year projects. When we looked up, the economy had collapsed’

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 27 January 2009 by Steve

“It looked like they would never have it so good, but all has changed utterly for last year’s third-level graduates. Three of them talk about employment and emigration … and the art of compromise. Orla Kennedy started her six-year architecture degree at the height of the construction boom and never had a problem getting work; until she graduated. Now working as a temp in administration, she is one of many Irish graduates struggling to use their qualifications and reconsidering their future in Ireland …” (more)

[Louise Holden, Irish Times, 27 January]