Archive for 14 June 2009

Third-level fees may be delayed by government

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 14 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Questions surround education minister Batt O’Keeffe’s plans to re-introduce third-level fees following both government parties’ drubbing in the local and European elections. While O’Keeffe is under pressure to bring the issue to cabinet before the summer break to allow for the introduction of fees for the 2010/2011 academic year, there is some speculation that the issue may form part of the review of the programme for government between Fianna Fáil and the Greens. This review will not be completed until the autumn …” (more)

[Shane Coleman, Sunday Tribune, 14 June]

Survey Identifies Several Trends at US Colleges That Appear to Undermine Productivity of Scholars

Posted in research with tags , on 14 June 2009 by Steve

USA“The research output of faculty members at American colleges appears to be suffering at least in part as a result of declining financial support and scholars’ unwillingness to engage in collaborations with their peers abroad, according to a new analysis of international survey data. The data analysis, discussed this month at the annual conference of the Association for Institutional Research, also concludes that US scholars have less time for and interest in research than they did before, which is probably contributing to their productivity decline. A rise in the share of U.S. faculty members who are untenured or part-time also may be playing a role …” (more)

[Peter Schmidt, Chronicle of Higher Education, 14 June]

I’ll never teach online again

Posted in teaching with tags on 14 June 2009 by Steve

USA“I trained for it, I tried it, and I’ll never do it again. While online teaching may be the wave of the future (although I desperately hope not), it is not for me. Perhaps I’m the old dog that resists new tricks. Maybe I am a technophobe. It might be that I’m plain old-fashioned. This much I can say with certainty: I have years of experience successfully teaching in collegiate classrooms and online teaching doesn’t compare. So I’ll just chalk up my first and only venture to experience and make my way back to the traditional academy …” (more)

[Elayne Clift, University World News, 14 June]

Publishing in English creates western industry

Posted in research with tags , on 14 June 2009 by Steve

china“China’s adoption of English as a universal academic language, combined with western-style publishing requirements for university promotion, has led to a proliferation of foreign companies offering the nation’s academics proofreading services. For about US$350 a medium-sized article, the companies receive online drafts written for publication in an international journal. They then correct the ‘Chinglish’ grammar and return the copy online to the author. In the sciences, however, regardless of the quality of the research, the product may still fall short of the precision needed …” (more)

[John Richard Schrock, University World News, 14 June]

Joint PhDs becoming popular

Posted in teaching with tags on 14 June 2009 by Steve

EU“A major two-year project undertaken by the European University Association with the support of the European Commission and involving 33 universities in 20 European countries has found that collaborative doctoral programmes are growing in importance in Europe and offering real value to universities and industry …” (more)

[University World News, 14 June]

Summer flu, fall headaches?

Posted in Life with tags , on 14 June 2009 by Steve

USA“As college students begin leaving for summer vacation, the H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, is cropping up on a surprising number of campuses across America. Some national experts say the trend could be an ominous sign for students and health centres in the Autumn, when flu season traditionally intensifies. ‘If we continue to see outbreaks of H1N1 during the summer, we should prepare for having a lot of influenza in the fall …’” (more)

[Stephanie Lee and Ben Eisen, University World News, 14 June]

Moving on

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 14 June 2009 by Steve

UK“The University of Ulster’s Jordanstown campus is a fitting place to consider what changes have come to Northern Ireland’s higher education institutions in the wake of the peace process and the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. The gargantuan 1970s grey concrete building at the centre of the campus, evocative of bleaker and more violent times, is now facing demolition. But while there can be no doubt that the worst days of the Troubles are over, in Northern Ireland’s two universities many believe that sectarianism has not yet been completely consigned to history. A recent issue of Ufouria, the University of Ulster students’ union magazine, includes student-penned articles focusing on the killings of two soldiers in Antrim and a policeman in Craigavon, the mass public protests against those acts, and the need for greater integration on campus …” (more)

[Hannah Fearn, Times Higher Education, 28 May]

A new heavy touch?

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , , on 14 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The Irish Times on Saturday carried a report of a speech by Mr Tom Boland, the chief executive of the Higher Education Authority, at a conference in the Dublin Institute of Technology: ‘Mr Boland said the era of light-touch regulation by government of higher education was drawing to a close’. This approach, he said, has ‘given us unnecessary and inefficient duplication in programme provision. It has given us mission creep, inflexible staffing structures and practices and it has given us a fragmented system of institutions which to a very great extent stand apart and aloof from each other.’ Tom Boland is a good friend of the university sector, and we need to take seriously what he says …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 14 June]