Archive for 22 April 2009

Re-baselining jargon

Posted in Life with tags , on 22 April 2009 by Steve

Ireland“… Universities are also notoriously fond of jargon, and like most jargon users often don’t realise they are even doing it. We often bombard school leavers with marketing talk that includes ‘modular’, ‘continuous assessment’, ‘dissertation’, ‘learning outcomes and the like – not to mention a whole mountain of incomprehensible acronyms like APEL (‘accreditation of prior learning’, if you must know – and don’t ask me why the ‘E’ is there…). And if you get on to a university committee, if you’re not familiar with the jargon you might as well switch off, because none of it will make any sense whatsoever …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 21 April]

Ógra join with FEE to occupy Department of Finance

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , , on 22 April 2009 by Steve

Ireland“On Thursday April 16th, members of FEE ‘Free Education for Everyone’ from UCD and NUIM, including some ÓSF members gathered at St Stephens Green in Dublin to discuss the planned direct action at the Dept of Finance that day. With more numbers gathered than expected, it was agreed that there could be an occupation coupled with the proposed blockade. Amongst those to volunteer to occupy inside where a number of ÓSF activists. After gaining access into the building the members proceeded to occupy the main staircase chanting ‘Students and workers unite to fight the cutbacks’ and ‘No cutbacks no fees, no Fianna Fáil TDs’ …” (more)

[Ógra Shinn Féin, 21 April]

And another thing

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 22 April 2009 by Steve

Canada“Let’s talk about paternalism. Specifically, what is the role of administration vis-a-vis faculty? Certainly mentoring has always been a part of the collegium, and it often works well (except perhaps, as happened to a friend of mine, when a ‘mentor’ confuses their ‘mentee’ with an unpaid personal assistant and gets them to pick up dry cleaning). But these sorts of relationships, with or without dry-cleaning, are between individuals. I am thinking more of a general attitude that one sometimes finds, an assumption of parental moral authority where none should exist …” (more)

[Miriam Jones, Living in Interesting Times, 21 April]

‘Higher Learning, Greater Good’

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 22 April 2009 by Steve

USA“To many academics, the societal benefits of higher education are more than evident. But many others – including some influential lawmakers – view the benefits of higher education more narrowly. In Higher Learning, Greater Good: The Private and Social Benefits of Higher Education (Johns Hopkins University Press), Walter W. McMahon attempts to redefine how these benefits are measured and viewed. McMahon, a professor emeritus of economics and education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, responded to questions about his new book …” (more)

[Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, 21 April]