Archive for the ‘universities’ Category

“Simply put, for the majority of students, the value of higher education is a function of its immediate employment prospects as opposed to long-term developmental and intangible benefits. This quest for value is especially prevalent in developed economies, where slow economic growth and scarcity of employment prospects fuel scepticism.” Not certain how much of this […]

There is an interview with Sir Christopher Snowden in the Times Higher, with the title.’ The only was is up, but there are different routes.’ The ‘up’ refers to university fees, and comments on views from the  VC of Oxford that fees need to go up. Funding for HE is a complete mess,  and the […]

“The place to begin may be the US Senate. At the end of July 2012 the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labour and Pensions presented an 800-page report, the culmination of a two-year investigation into ‘for-profit’ higher education institutions.?1 The senators found that at such institutions a mere 17.4 per cent of annual revenue was spent […]

Simpon Jenkins in the Guardian: Willetts has celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Robbins report with a pamphlet questioning one aspect of the expansion it stimulated. Pre-Robbins, British universities devoted 60% of their time to teaching and 40% to research. Now those percentages are reversed, so that universities are “lopsided away from teaching”. Only in the former […]

Oct 09, 2013

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The NYT reports: In its case with the trade commission, Apple accused Samsung of violating four patents, including a design patent for the general look of an iPhone — a rectangle with rounded corners — and a utility patent for detecting when headphones are plugged into a device. And you wonder why companies now feel […]

Christopher Bigsby’s advice for entrants to the university business: “Do not mention contact hours. If asked, say: it depends what you mean by contact. And hours.”

Oct 05, 2013

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One of the most telling of Rich deMillo’s insights into US universities is how a 1$ research outlay, costs an institution 2.5$. The difference—1.5$— has to come from somewhere. In some instances this will be endowment funds, but in others it will be money allocated for teaching. I do not know of comparable figures for […]

There is a more subtle view on this than I had earlier appreciated. See this piece by Pasi Sahlberg. This is not just about school teachers  either. In many under-performing nations, I notice, three fallacies of teacher effectiveness prevail. The first belief is that “the quality of an education system cannot exceed the quality of its […]

Stanley Fish in the NYT discussing two cultures of education reform. The problem is that I lean both ways. I now add the phrase “learning outcomes” to the list of words and phrases that should never be used, along with “stakeholders,” “imbricate,” “aporia” and “performative.”)

Aug 18, 2013

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“When we have public debates about the needs of higher education—the future of higher education—not coincidentally they track with the agendas and recommendations set forth by the Gates foundation, by McKinsey & Company, by the New America Foundation,” he says. “These are considered independent resources, but basically they’re putting out PowerPoint presentations—and the rest of […]

Aug 09, 2013

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Two snippets from the Times Higher Education on August 1st stuck in my mind. In the first, there is an account of some work published by Ron Johnston from the University of Bristol (paper in the Political Quarterly). With student fees of £9000 per year, and living costs leading to a notional 50K debt, a […]

Jun 28, 2013

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In the European Union, 23.2% of people ages 15 to 24 (roughly 6 million people) are unemployed (1). Surprisingly, EU youth unemployment is higher in countries where more young people have university degrees…… Youth unemployment in the European Union reminds us that there is a deepening mismatch between what the labor market needs and what […]

I came across this study of online learning, ‘Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence from Randomized Trials’, by William G. Bowen, Matthew M. Chingos, Kelly A. Lack & Thomas I. Nygren via this well written piece by Kevin Carey. Again, the message for me, is that what we do offline is not too clever. You can […]

Philip Greenspun penned a great post sometime back, on why academic science careers were unattractive for many. It is worth reading first, before continuing here. He links to this earlier piece here, but also to another blog post about two female identical twins, one of whom is pursuing a career in medicine, the other in […]

May 31, 2013

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Martin Weller gets it: I guess we all knew the MOOC bubble would burst sometime, but I’m saying it’s happened this week – it just doesn’t know it yet. The reason? Commercial MOOC providers have started making noises about becoming elearning courseware providers for standard education providers.

May 08, 2013

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  I couldn’t help but put two quotes side by side (well one under the other one..). The fist, from Rich DeMillo, which I quoted a couple of days back: There is a message in the journey that higher education took from Peter Abelard to Apple Computer: professors who do not provide value, who are […]

We have been having a debate on whether lecture attendance in medical school should be compulsory. Personally, I am horrified by the idea. But others have different views. The debate is over at edmeded, but below I post what I wrote, but with some links and quotes. Students come to university not just to worship […]

Vernon Bogdanor in the THE in an article on Thatcher and the decline of HE in the UK: Just three MPs spoke out against the Green Paper – an incongruous trio – Enoch Powell, the former professor of Greek, declared that it was “barbarism to attempt to evaluate the contents of higher education in terms […]

I am puzzled by those who do not think that such training may make matters worse. I had thought the data was reasonable on this. Philip Greenspun has another clever angle (as usual). A friend of mine is a top science researcher working as a professor at a state university. Every year he is required […]

“Students were pointing out to lecturers that they pay an absolute fortune to study,” Ms Allen continued. “If they bought something in a shop and it was broken, they would take it back. It’s quite possible that attitude exists towards education – if the mark isn’t what they wanted, they simply return it.”  THE

Feb 25, 2013

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Student support In 2009 Denmark spent 0.55% of gross national product (GNP) on the SU, while Finland, Norway and the UK respectively spent 0.34%, 0.27% and 0.043% of GNP. In the UK, the proportion of GNP spent on student aid is thus 13 times lower than in Denmark. University World News

Of the educational sort. From the NYT Landon Crider, a courier at Busch, Slipakoff & Schuh, graduated from Georgia State University.Consider the 45-person law firm of Busch, Slipakoff & Schuh here in Atlanta, a place that has seen tremendous growth in the college-educated population. Like other employers across the country, the firm hires only people […]

 If young people who have played by society’s rules—working hard, for example, to graduate from school and university—find fewer and fewer opportunities to secure decent jobs and the sense of respect that comes with them, society will have to be prepared for outbreaks of anger or even violence. The evidence is already there in the […]

“The core explanation is this: the academy lacks a serious culture of teaching and learning. ” From an essay by Richard Keeling and Richard Hersh in Inside Higher Ed. No punches pulled, and hard to disagree with. Indeed the problem in what they say is that we know it already (puts me in mind of […]

Nov 11, 2012

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John Naughton (rightly in my view) arguing that the current online bubble will leave the ‘high status’ colleges largely alone. Hmmm… I think I’d read this as Round Two of the 1999-2000 fantasies about online education. It smacks of Fathom.com. But the movement started by Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrunn will eventually have a disruptive […]

John Naughton in today’s Observer, commenting on the merger of Penguin and Random House. Ho, ho. In the long view of history, the Bertelsmann-Pearson deal will be seen as just the latest instalment of a long-running story: a tale of formerly dominant industries trying to prevent their venerable business models being dismantled by the internet. The […]

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