Archive for 7 June 2009

Three unis may unite

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 7 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Discussions are underway about a possible merger between Dublin City University, NUI Maynooth and the Royal College of Surgeons, the Sunday Tribune has learned. It is understood that preliminary talks about combining the three institutions have already taken place. The aim of the merger would be to ensure the survival of each facility into the future …” (more)

[Jennifer Bray, Sunday Tribune, 7 June]

Academic benefits of choral singing

Posted in Life with tags on 7 June 2009 by Steve

USA“Children who sing in choruses have greater academic success and more advanced social skills than children who don’t sing, a national study by Chorus America has found. Large majorities of parents and educators surveyed for the study attributed a significant part of a child’s academic success to singing in a choir. The 2009 study, commissioned by Chorus America, benchmarked a study in 2003 to evaluate the benefits of choral singing and its impact on communities. Results from the latest research supported earlier findings that adult choral singers exhibit increased social skills, civic involvement, volunteerism, philanthropy and support of other art forms compared with non-singers …” (more)

[University World News, 7 June]

Problems teaching science online

Posted in teaching with tags , on 7 June 2009 by Steve

USA“The internet provides convenience in dissemination of science information but there is substantial research documenting problems with replacing face-to-face teaching and traditional paper publishing. In this article, I describe 10 such problems …” (more)

[John Richard Schrock, University World News, 7 June]

Major policy shift in ERC advanced grants

Posted in research with tags , on 7 June 2009 by Steve

EU“Over the last three years, researchers and their institutions in Europe, along with many others elsewhere, have been preparing for the announcement of the latest European Research Council research grants programme. As recently as January, ERC officials were proposing an expansion of the scheme but at a Tubitak conference in Istanbul in March this picture changed abruptly, to the alarm of those planning to apply for grants …” (more)

[Jan Petter Myklebust, University World News, 7 June]

All change in Wales as the big five universities break away

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 7 June 2009 by Steve

Wales“On St David’s Day this year, the biggest five of the Welsh universities announced that they were forming an alliance that would be strong in research and put Wales on the map. The announcement was a shock to the other seven remaining higher education institutions left within the University of Wales who were planning to announce their own alliance. The big five had stolen their thunder. Four of the five – Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea – had ceased to be part of the University of Wales and had made common cause with the fifth, Glamorgan, which was never part of the University of Wales anyway …” (more)

[Lucy Hodges, Independent, 4 June]

Tear up these exams or we’re going to leave our boys behind

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 7 June 2009 by Steve

UK“Boys don’t perform as well as girls at school. That is well known. What is less well known is that this continues through university. There are some who think this doesn’t matter. At a recent conference on the impact of feminism on higher education, one academic said that the poor performance of boys ‘is seen as a threat to masculinity. It is a moral panic’. I don’t agree. Research just published by the Higher Education Policy Institute confirms that on all measures of achievement the difference that begins in school continues into and through university …” (more)

[Bahram Bekhradnia, Observer, 7 June]

A Saturday in June

Posted in teaching with tags , on 7 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“… My other major commitment on Saturday was the handing out of awards at DCU’s Intergenerational Learning Project. This involves DCU staff and students working with older and retired people in two learning modules, Introduction to Computers, and Introduction to Science. It is part of our commitment to the idea of DCU as an inclusive place that serves the needs of the whole community, and we have been fortunate to receive funding for this from the Government through the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 7 June]

Multi-Million pound support from Invest NI for Queen’s and UU

Posted in research with tags , , , on 7 June 2009 by Steve

UK“Invest Northern Ireland offered £3.5 million last year to help bring university-based research to the commercial market and unlock significant economic benefits. Through its Proof of Concept programme, Invest NI is helping Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster take forward 35 innovative projects that aim to develop new products and processes for a diverse range of highly competitive industry sectors. The support from Invest NI is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland …” (more)

[NI Tech Blog, 5 June]