HE News & Commentary

By Ian | News, opinions and interesting links for the academic community.

10 truths a PhD supervisor will never tell you

My father used to tell a joke, over and over again. It was a classic outback Australian, Slim Dusty joke that – like the best dad jokes – I can’t …

Management

International students forced to queue in their thousands to collect visas

Julia Goodfellow, incoming president of Universities UK, warns that administrative hurdles make students feel unwelcome<p>International students are being forced to queue up in their thousands to collect visas from post offices, according to Julia Goodfellow, vice-chancellor of Kent …

Education

Qualitative and quantitative research are fundamentally distinct and differences are paramount to the social sciences

<b>Matt Vidal</b> <i>calls for clear distinctions to be made between qualitative and quantitative research. Using as an example the impartial data generated by</i> …

Research

Links From Wikipedia to Russell Group University Repositories

A session at the recent Wikimania conference provided an opportunity for discussion on the topics: “The fount of all knowledge – wikipedia as the …

Research

University heads' salaries averaged more than £250,000 last academic year

University and College Union research uncovers pay rises of more than 10% for some vice-chancellors, resulting in salaries that ‘would amaze staff and students’<p>University heads took home salary packages worth more than £250,000 each during the last academic year, with some vice-chancellors enjoying …

Education

Feminist academics take note: women are not all white and straight

For a university feminist initiative to be progressive, it needs to take account of the variety of ways in which women experience oppression<p>University feminism initiatives, like Oxford’s women in the humanities, at first glance seem valuable in their intentions and goals. However, the vast majority …

Feminism

Paperity partners with Altmetric in measuring social impact of papers

With the advent of Internet era and online academic publishing, not only the way how scholars communicate, but also how their impact is measured, …

Marketing

What is the price of tuition fees? A generation’s potential and creativity

Today’s students will struggle to flourish as tomorrow’s citizens if they are saddled by debt – and Labour is yet to make this point<p>“Labour plans pension raid to fund lower student fees” is how the Times reported Ed Balls’s latest proposals. This makes the policy sound risky, unjust and populist, a …

Money

Bond plan will shake university funding world

We believe that the new funding model we have pioneered has the potential to revolutionise financing options for others<p>When I walk around our campus, …

UK Universities

The boundaries of academic blogging

<i>Alex Marsh thinks of himself as a blogger who is an academic, rather than an “academic blogger”. He finds that though there is significant overlap,</i> …

Education

Vice-chancellors share their expectations for 2015 party manifestos

From bringing back the student numbers cap to abolishing the ‘nonsensical’ age restriction for receiving a postgraduate loan, 10 university heads tell us their expectations for 2015<p>At the start of 2015 many questions are in the air. Will tuition fees rise or fall after the general election? What …

Higher Education

Best University Workplace Survey 2015: results and analysis

Source: Nick Shepherd<p>What is life really like in the UK’s universities? Do you feel overworked, underappreciated and underpaid? Or are your work life …

Education

Let’s debate higher education honestly

The Labour party has identified a major problem relating to university tuition fees but reducing them is not an appropriate solution for it (Editorial, 3 February). The problem is that a large minority of graduates have to enter careers that will never pay enough during their working lives so as to …

Higher Education

Publishers respond to growing need for collaboration by offering an open access home for interdisciplinary research.

<i>The new journal</i> Palgrave Communications <i>aims to support interdisciplinary development by offering a high-quality outlet for research in the</i> …

Research

UK political parties on fees: A deafening silence

A core concern of CDBU is the funding of higher education in the UK. We are not a party political organisation, but we take an intense interest in …

Plaid Cymru

How to write a killer conference abstract: The first step towards an engaging presentation.

Helen Kara responds to our previously published guide to writing abstracts and elaborates specifically on the differences for conference abstracts. …

Research

Your essential ‘how-to’ guide to writing good abstracts

<b>1.</b> How long is the abstract? [Generally it should be 200 words minimum, 350 maximum] Does it have paragraphs? [No more than 2]<p>How much information …

London School of Economics

UK can’t afford to fall behind

Spend any time at all observing higher education and it quickly becomes clear that universities are one of the strongest common denominators as …

Education

Watchdog raises alarm as number of part-time university students falls

Office of Fair Access to Higher Education says reduction ‘should be a significant concern for policymakers’<p>Plummeting numbers of part-time students studying at British universities in the wake of tuition fee increases should be a serious concern for policymakers trying to keep part-time study …

Education

What’s the point of open academic data? Redefining valuable research based on re-use and reproducibility.

<i>The benefits of open research to both those who fund it and to wider society mean that academia is on a course which cannot be altered, or returned</i> …

Research

Quality of European research threatened by cuts

Cutting the Horizon 2020 budget would harm the performance of the whole European research system, warns UUK president<p>European research funding: it’s like Robin Hood in reverse<p>British universities risk losing their position as world-leading institutions if proposed cuts to the European Union …

Brexit

Do students really need a men's representative?

Students at Keele University believe a men’s rep can help ensure equal rights. But not all student unions are on board<p>Keele University’s student union has both a women’s representative and a men’s representative. This is unusual in British universities, which tend to only have women’s …

Gender

University challenge

IT IS a long time since the groves of academe were paced only by men, but even now some of them are more populated by women than others are. Why, is …

Present research clearly to reach policymakers, academic says

In brief: Jonathan Shepherd said ‘short, accessible formats’ suited social media<p>Academics’ habit of wrapping their research findings in caveats …

Research

Ucas report suggests fall in entrance grades at selective universities

In its <i>End of Cycle</i> report for 2014, Ucas says the number of students who secured places in UK universities broke through the 500,000 barrier for the …

Lies, damned lies and statistics (about press releases)

According to the famous saying, there are three types of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. Earlier this month, we had some of the latter, …

Research

More lower-income students going to university despite tuition fees

Ucas figures show overall admissions in 2014 were at a record 512,400, with 10% rise in candidates from poorer families<p>The number of students securing degree places at UK universities and colleges topped half a million for the first time in 2014, with 512,400 people gaining places and a rise of 10% …

Education

REF 2014: winners and losers in 'intensity' ranking

Queen’s University Belfast and Brunel and Loughborough universities are three of the biggest winners when their quality scores in the research …

Education

Should students relax at Christmas, or revise?

Many sixth-form students have exams to study for and a Ucas deadline looming. A father considers whether they can afford to take a break over the festive season<p>• Read more from our parents series here<p>Christmas may be coming, but like many parents I’m secretly hoping the festive season isn’t going …

Education