Archive for 10 June 2009


Posted in research with tags on 10 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Welcome to the 7th Galway Symposium on Higher Education!! There’s been a lull in the city since the Volvo Ocean Racers left us at the weekend, but now the next big event is about to start – ‘Design for Learning – Curriculum & Assessment in Higher Education’. Taking place in Aras Moyolla on the north part of the main university campus, it promises to be an opportunity for debate, intellectual stimulation and jolly banter around the key themes of learning outcomes, Bologna and assessment …” (more)

[Summa cum laude, 10 June]

Should ‘alternative medicine’ be taught in universities?

Posted in teaching with tags , on 10 June 2009 by Steve

UK“The use of complementary therapies on the NHS will be explored in a More 4 documentary tonight, which will reveal that £12m has been spent on homeopathy over the last three years. Why does it matter? Homeopathy – where patients are treated with a diluted dose of the substance that caused their original symptoms – has been widely discredited as little more than ‘sugar pills’ by scientists. After a six-year campaign by Professor David Colquhoun at University College London, the last BSc in homeopathy was suspended by Westminster University in March after it failed to recruit enough students. Five homeopathy degrees have been scrapped since 2007 …” (more)

[Anthea Lipsett, Mortarboard, 10 June]

The financial crisis and the systemic failure of academic economics

Posted in research with tags on 10 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The global financial crisis has revealed the need to rethink fundamentally how financial systems are regulated. It has also made clear a systemic failure of the economics profession. Over the past three decades, economists have largely developed and come to rely on models that disregard key factors — including heterogeneity of decision rules, revisions of forecasting strategies, and changes in the social context — that drive outcomes in asset and other markets. It is obvious, even to the casual observer that these models fail to account for the actual evolution of the real-world economy …” (more)

[progressive-economy@TASC, 10 June]

Graduate Tax – A better alternative to tuition fees?

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 10 June 2009 by Steve

UK“The National Union of Students (NUS) has published a blueprint that suggests setting up a People’s Trust for Higher Education. It is, they say, ‘A fund built mainly on contributions by former undergraduate students and their employers, and the employers of current students’. Rather than ramp up fees, lift caps and get universities charging different fees, the NUS blueprint asks for a form of graduate tax that would be paid over a fixed period of 20 years, based on your earnings. The more you earn, the more you pay back …” (more)

[TheUniversityBlog, 10 June]

Open-Access Publisher Appears to Have Accepted Fake Paper From Bogus Center

Posted in research with tags on 10 June 2009 by Steve

USA“The medical-research industry is under growing pressure to improve its ethical standards. Similar pressure has extended to peer-reviewed medical journals, after Elsevier, a publishing leader, admitted to publishing at least nine fake journals from 2000 to 2005. In other words, it’s an especially bad time for a medical journal to be duped by an author who, say, submits a fake computer-generated research paper from a fake institution he named the Center for Research in Applied Phrenology — or CRAP. And yet that’s exactly what appears to have happened …” (more)

[Paul Basken, Chronicle of Higher Education, 10 June]

Equity Within Education

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 10 June 2009 by Steve

Canada“… Two recent books, both of which acknowledge a myriad of entry points into a critical analysis, enter the debate through the lens of gender. Linda Sax’s The Gender Gap in College: Maximizing the Developmental Potential of Women and Men contributes to the field through a large-scale analysis of the significance of gender at the undergraduate level. Most College Students are Women: Implications for Teaching, Learning, and Policy, edited by Jeanie K Allen, Diane R Dean, and Susan D Bracken, as well, challenges the conceptualization of students as a homogenous consumer group and highlights the need to remain cognizant of various forms of difference when we carry out academic duties. A fundamental thrust of these works is the theoretical and practical exploration of the salience of gender to higher education …” (more)

[Academic Matters, June issue]

Call for student tax – not fees

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 10 June 2009 by Steve

UK“Students are calling for the abolition of tuition fees and their replacement with a graduate tax. The National Union of Students (NUS) has traditionally opposed paying for university in any way. At the moment, students in England and Northern Ireland are liable for charges of up to £3,225 a year and universities are lobbying for an increase. The NUS says graduates should pay a proportion of their income into a trust for 20 years after they leave …” (more)

[BBC News, 10 June]

PDs to donate all archives of party’s history to UCD

Posted in research with tags , on 10 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“… The PDs will cease to exist shortly. The party no longer accepts State funding and all that remains is for its financial affairs to be wound up before a letter is sent to the clerk of the Dáil formalising the party’s demise. That is expected to happen within weeks, a party spokesman said yesterday. This evening the party archives will be officially presented to UCD at a ceremony in Newman House, Dublin. The former leaders of the party, Des O’Malley, Mary Harney and Michael McDowell, are expected to attend, as are founding member and trustee Paul McKay and former minister Bobby Molloy …” (more)

[Stephen Collins, Irish Times, 10 June]

Getting the visa

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 10 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“One of the major changes to have taken place in higher education in Ireland during the current decade is its internationalisation … It is therefore particularly disturbing that we make access to Ireland for them extraordinarily difficult. For students from outside the European Union, they require a visa, and getting this is both bureaucratically complex (and I gather, sometimes unpleasant) and very time-consuming. Most students who come to Ireland could be going somewhere else. Countries competing with us – such as the United Kingdom and the United States – now tend to offer a streamlined and fast visa application process. The UK authorities will typically offer a visa within 2-3 weeks of asking; in our case it can take months …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 9 June]

Universities policy: education education education

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 10 June 2009 by Steve

UK“Mostly unnoticed in last Friday’s post-election fall out, at about lunch time the department for innovation, universities and skills disappeared. There is now no minister for education or universities in the government. This is a curious state of affairs for a party that first won power with education at the top of its list of priorities; and although the record is certainly not all bad, it cannot have been dropped from every Whitehall nameplate because the job was done. Certainly the old DIUS was an awkward mix of responsibilities …” (more)

[Editorial, Guardian, 10 June]

We need to attract more international students

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 10 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Every year €500m is brought into the Irish economy by international third level students from outside the EU. But why is New Zealand, a country with a comparable population, much more successful than we are in attracting them. The difference is that New Zealand has put a clear policy in place and formed an alliance between government, education providers and supporting organisations to deliver stated objectives. The absence of a government policy here has meant we are not claiming our share of the global market for international education …” (more)

[Independent, 10 June]

Farewell to Judgment

Posted in Life with tags on 10 June 2009 by Steve

UK“… As universities expanded, the humanities began to displace the sciences from the curriculum. Students wished to use their time at university to cultivate their leisure interests and to improve their souls, rather than to learn hard facts and complex theories. And there arose a serious question as to why universities were devoting their resources to subjects that made so little discernible difference to the wider world. What good do the humanities do, and why should students take three or four years out of their lives in order to read books which — if they were interested — they would read in any case, and which — if they were not interested — would never do them the least bit of good? …” (more)

[Roger Scruton, American Spectator, June issue]