Archive for 18 June 2009

HEFCE backs off citations in favour of peer review in REF

Posted in research with tags , on 18 June 2009 by Steve

UK“The use of citations to determine the quality of academic work in the hard sciences is to be abandoned in favour of peer review in the new system being designed to replace the research assessment exercise. However, information about the number of citations a scholar’s work accrues could be provided to assessment panels to help “inform” their judgments in a range of subjects …” (more)

[Zoë Corbyn, Times Higher Education, 18 June]

Pinker leads international attack on UCL’s ‘unjust’ treatment of scholar

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 18 June 2009 by Steve

UK“An international group of scholars has launched a scathing attack on an elite UK university, accusing it of ‘extraordinary and unjust’ treatment of an academic. The 25 eminent researchers from four continents, led by Steven Pinker of Harvard University, have written to University College London voicing ‘strong concern’ over what they say is the ‘summary suspension and enforced silence’ of Heather van der Lely, director of UCL’s Centre for Developmental Language Disorders and Cognitive Neuroscience. Internationally acclaimed Professor van der Lely, 53, was suspended on charges of insubordination by UCL last November after she refused to move to a smaller laboratory space, which she felt was inadequate for her research …” (more)

[Zoë Corbyn, Times Higher Education, 18 June]

Pension fund legislation published

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 18 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The legislation facilitating the transfer of the pension funds of the TCD, UCD, UCC, NUIG and NUIM pension schemes and the NUI General Scheme to the National Pension Reserve Fund (NPRF) was published on Friday last, 12 June. The legislation is part of the Financial Measures (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, 2009 (Number 37 of 2009) …” (more)

[IFUT Blog, 16 June]

[The text of the bill is here.]

What’s in a name

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 18 June 2009 by Steve

UK“So DIUS is dead … At a very basic level I find it depressing that the notion of ‘education’ is now largely invisible in the political landscape. The split of the education brief into two for me was itself quite significant. A symbolic denial of the idea of education as a continuum – so much for a policy setting that at least looked like it could take a cradle-to-grave, lifelong learning, perspective. But by embedding higher education in BIS, the government seems to be sending out a very clear signal that HE really is entirely subservient to the performative, workforce development, agenda …” (more)

[HeadSpace, 17 June]

Go Dutch, save money: British students can take degrees in English at the University of Maastricht and pay lower fees than at home

Posted in Fees and access with tags on 18 June 2009 by Steve

UK“It is a warm afternoon in May towards the end of the summer term and 10 young people on a European studies degree are gathered in a seminar room discussing the pros and cons of the Lisbon Treaty. All speak fluent English. There is some disagreement but it is expressed in a mature and thoughtful way. The most noticeable thing about the group is how pragmatic and well-informed they are about Europe, certainly by the standards of British students. This was the University of Maastricht, situated in the picturesque Dutch town of the same name on the border of The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, and the young people were all German, happy to be there and to be undertaking their degree in English …” (more)

[Lucy Hodge, Independent, 18 June]