Archive for 18 October 2009

Are academics messy?

Posted in Life with tags on 18 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“In the light of the conclusive research reported below, I will be carrying out random spot-checks of the Geary Institute common room. Violaters of established social norms will be summarily punished, forced to read a paper by myself or Liam Delaney …” (more)

[Kevin Denny, Geary Behavioural Economics Blog, 18 October]

Universities face tougher inspections ahead of higher fees

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

UK“The Government will publish in the next few weeks a higher education framework laying out its university strategy for the next 15 years. At the same time it will launch a long-awaited review of current tuition fees. Under the framework, universities will come under greater scrutiny, in a move designed to ease the way to higher fees. Although the fees review will not report until after the general election, there is a consensus that the cap will be lifted beyond the current £3,225 a year …” (more)

[Julie Henry, Sunday Telegraph, 18 October]

Are tenured faculty slackers?

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

USA“The word tenure, when used as a search term on, results in more than ratings for professors. It also showcases pervasive ideas regarding this historical method of ensuring academic freedom. As one student wrote: ‘The only reason this guy has a job … must be because he has tenure. This is why I don’t believe in tenure …'” (more)

[James Soto Antony and Ruby Hayden, University World News, 18 October]

Single European fleet of research vessels

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

EU“Work has begun on an EU-funded initiative to link Europe’s research vessels into a single fleet. Dubbed Eurofleets, the four-year project has been allocated €7.2 million (US$10.75 million) under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for research. In recent years, oceanographers have increased the use of satellites and floats in their investigations. Nevertheless, research vessels, submarines, and the equipment they carry remain at the front line of marine research, providing scientists with access to the sea surface, the water column and the sea floor so that they can collect samples, make observations, and service seabed observatories …” (more)

[University World News, 18 October]

Clamp-down on foreign academics

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

Israel“Israeli authorities’ refusal to let some foreign academics enter the West Bank has had a huge impact on the development of Palestinian institutions, said a British academic recently denied entry to the West Bank and forced to cancel a lecture at Birzeit University. Foreign academics working in the West Bank have increasingly found their entry to the West Bank barred or have had ‘Palestinian Authority only’ stamped in their passports, thereby preventing them from entering Israel …” (more)

[Helena Flusfeder, University World News, 18 October]

Organised against labour

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

USA“In the last few years, a conservative legal organisation has filed complaints and extensive information requests to at least 11 colleges and universities with regard to labour centres that conduct research about and offer programmes for unions. The American Association of University Professors, which has tracked the complaints, has issued a statement charging that they are an attempt to violate the academic freedom of the academics who work in these programmes …” (more)

[Scott Jaschik, University World News, 18 October]

Rectors demand more funding

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

Germany“Margret Wintermantel, President of Germany’s Rectors’ Conference or HRK, has urged the new Christian Democrat-Free Democrat coalition to continue the previous administration’s efforts to support higher education. Her organisation is pressing for further implementation of the ‘Higher Education Pact’, a package of measures agreed between the federal and state governments to boost university revenues between 2007 and 2020 …” (more)

[Michael Gardner, University World News, 18 October]

Online education’s outrageous fortune?

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

USA“Imagine training to become a Certified Professional Midwife online. You can at Aviva Institute of Duluth, Minnesota. Opportunities like this may seem promising, especially in the context of economic uncertainty or when full-time, on-campus study is not an option. But should traditional brick-and-mortar universities be concerned? Kevin Carey, Policy Director for Education Center, thinks they should. In a recent article published in the Washington Monthly, he suggests that many universities risk following the recent experience of newspapers against the tide of new media …” (more)

[Sarah King Head, University World News, 18 October]

Furious row at economists’ forum over ‘zombie banks’

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

Ireland“A furious row broke out at the annual economists’ conference when the former chief economist of Ulster Bank challenged the standing of UCD economist and ferocious critic of Nama, Prof Morgan Kelly. After Prof Kelly had described the Irish banks as ‘worse than zombies’ because they were completely dead, Pat McArdle said the organisers of the conference had to ask themselves whether Prof Kelly should have been allowed to say what he did …” (more)

[Brendan Keenan, Independent, 18 October]

Employers demand a compulsory gap year for all students

Posted in Life with tags , , on 18 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Employers want students to take a compulsory gap year between Leaving Cert and college to allow them to learn vital workplace skills. They’re worried that our education system is not producing well-rounded school leavers who can think on their feet. Bosses say the points race means many school leavers are spoon-fed information …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 16 October]

Benchmarking pay of migrants and women

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

Ireland“There is a rising crescendo of continuing controversy about public sector pay. On the one side independent statistical and research evidence is showing a ‘premium’ to public sector workers no matter what it is measured or adjusted for various measurable things. On the other side, public sector trade unions are disputing this evidence and are pointing to the difficulties of true ‘like-with-like’ comparisons. Moreover, there is a sense that the whole controversy is removing the focus from where it should be – the super rich, the rich and the not-so-rich self-employed and owners of various sources of income other than (measurable) wage income …” (more)

[Slí Eile, progressive-economy@TASC, 17 October]

FP6 did little for the ERA

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

EU“Two Framework Programme 6 (FP6) schemes specifically devised to promote the development of the European Research Area failed to deliver, according to a new report. The European Court of Auditors says that ‘Networks of Excellence’ and ‘Integrated Projects’, two FP6 instruments designed to foster integration and coordination in Europe’s fragmented research sector and reach clearly-defined scientific and technological objectives, had only limited success. The Court makes a series of recommendations to the European Commission, many of which are relevant to the current Framework Programme 7 …” (more)

[Anna Jenkinson, Science Business, 15 October]