Archive for 27 June 2009

CAO website back in operation

Posted in teaching with tags on 27 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“… In a statement this afternoon, the CAO confirmed that the website went down last night and it apologised to applicants for the inconvenience. The statement read: ‘CAO staff worked to resolve the issue on Saturday morning 27 June and the website was back in service at 1pm on Saturday 27 June. Volume of traffic was not a contributing factor to the interruption of service’ …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 27 June]

Concern as CAO website crashes

Posted in teaching with tags on 27 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The CAO website, which deals with college and university applications, crashed this morning. Many students had planned to make use of the Change of Mind facility this weekend before the deadline on 1 July …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 27 June]

Perspectives on Academic Freedom

Posted in Life with tags on 27 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“One of my favourite blogs is Erin O’Connor’s Critical Mass, a blog dedicated to commentary on the state of academe in general and American higher education in particular. She is invariably interesting and unfailingly provocative, if not always right; and her discussions of academic freedom in all its guises have helped to clarify what I think about such matters. Last week, she blogged about a new report from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA, where she is a Research Fellow) on Protecting the Free Exchange of Ideas. How Trustees Can Advance Intellectual Diversity on Campus …” (more)

[Eoin O’Dell, Cearta, 26 June]

Article-Level Metrics (At PLoS And Beyond)

Posted in research with tags on 27 June 2009 by Steve

USA“‘Article-Level Metrics at PLoS’ takes the view that readers need some way to measure, or at least indicate, the ‘worth’ (or ‘impact’ etc) of a journal article. With over a million articles published per year it’s impossible to read everything and so filtering tools are needed. Some journals have been experimenting with providing data on online usage, but PLoS is going further than this. We are at the start of a program to provide citations, usage data, social bookmarking activity …” (more)

[Gerry McKiernan, Scholarship 2.0, 26 June]

Studying through the recession

Posted in teaching with tags , , on 27 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“An item this week in the Belfast Telegraph reported that, as the recession affects employment and job prospects, more people are opting for university degree programmes, and in particular postgraduate (and post-experience) degrees. In this particular case, students were reported to be causing a surge in demand for the programmes of the Business School of the University of Ulster; I expect that the experience is similar across business schools in the other universities in Ireland …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 26 June]

On shaky foundations

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 27 June 2009 by Steve

Germany“… German universities are underfunded by international standards. Professors juggle scores of students; at top American universities they nurture a handful. In switching to the bachelors-masters degrees prescribed by Europe’s standardising ‘Bologna process’, many universities tried to cram bachelors degrees into just six terms. Only six German universities are among the top 100 in the Shanghai rankings (Munich is highest, at 55th). Just 21% of each age cohort gets a degree; the OECD average is 37%. A high-wage country with few natural resources cannot afford sub-par universities …” (more)

[Economist, 25 June]

Multidisciplinary research – an essential driver for innovation

Posted in research with tags on 27 June 2009 by Steve

Australia“For 2000 years, the advancement of knowledge in western civilization has taken a path of increasing specialization. We have approached understanding our world by deconstructing it into smaller and smaller fragments creating the disciplines and subdisciplines in order to be able to predict, or at least to explain, behaviour in nature, individuals, and society. In today’s knowledge landscape there are powerful drivers for multidisciplinary research …” (more)

[Jill Trewhella, GlobalHighEd, 26 June]

Potential doctors put off by huge debts

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 27 June 2009 by Steve

UK“The colossal debts accumulated by medical students are deterring school-leavers and narrowing the social intake of the profession, doctors’ leaders have warned. The next generation of NHS doctors will emerge from six years of study owing as much as £46,000, the British Medical Association calculates. Further tuition fee increases will destroy ‘any pretence [of] widening access to medical education’ …” (more)

[Owen Bowcott, Guardian, 26 June]