Archive for 29 April 2009

End the University as We Know It

Posted in teaching with tags on 29 April 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Graduate education is the Detroit of higher learning. Most graduate programs in American universities produce a product for which there is no market (candidates for teaching positions that do not exist) and develop skills for which there is diminishing demand (research in subfields within subfields and publication in journals read by no one other than a few like-minded colleagues), all at a rapidly rising cost (sometimes well over $100,000 in student loans). Widespread hiring freezes and layoffs have brought these problems into sharp relief now. But our graduate system has been in crisis for decades …” (more)

[Mark C Taylor, New York Times, 26 April]

Colleges urged to cater for disabled students

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 29 April 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Students with disabilities are an afterthought in many Irish universities, a symposium of education experts was told yesterday. The symposium, organised by the Association for Higher Education Access and Disability (Ahead), was meeting to draft a Charter for Inclusive Teaching and Learning for third-level students. Ann Heelan, director of Ahead, said universities needed to take the needs of students with disabilities into account when designing their courses …” (more)

[Aoife Carr, Irish Times, 29 April]

Higher education and the flow of history

Posted in Life with tags , on 29 April 2009 by Steve

Ireland“A few years ago I was spending a day in a university library overseas, doing some research on an aspect of legal history on which I was writing. While looking for a particular article in a multi-disciplinary German journal I came across an autobiographical piece by an Austrian scientist whose name I no longer recall (I noted down several quotes from the article, but forgot to record the name of the author). He had been a professor in a university in Austria, and on one particular day in June 1914 he was due to deliver a farewell speech to a group of 52 graduating students. Just as he was entering the hall where the students were assembled a colleague whispered in his ear that the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Habsburg throne, had been assassinated in Sarajevo …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 29 April]

Impact Factors, Citations and the h-index

Posted in research with tags , on 29 April 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Rankings of universities and of individual researchers use impact factors, citation analyses and increasingly the ‘h-index’ as ways to measure research impact. There are numerous articles questioning the validity of these measures, but as they do exist it is worth knowing what they are and how to measure for yourself …” (more)

[Aoife Geraghty, Read Around Research, 28 April]