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Articles on Universities

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Take your pick. Social scientists have got skills galore. Erich Kesse

‘Lazy’ social scientists? Just what your business needs

A report by the Campaign for Social Science is challenging some tired stereotypes about social scientists. As The i reported, social science graduates are defying the “layabout myth”. The report “What…
Doing a PhD can feel pretty lonely but online social platforms are here to help. PhD image from www.shutterstock.com

Doing a PhD can be a lonely business but it doesn’t have to be

Completing a PhD is no small feat. It requires both high intellect and a great deal of tenacity. But it can be lonely at the top, with many PhD students struggling with stress, feelings of isolation and…
Media studies is on offer at top-tier universities. wayneandwax

Top universities teach media studies, so why brief against it?

Media studies gets a hard time in higher education and the top universities in the UK are not making things any easier by continuing to take a contradictory stance as they advise students on what to study…
Will philanthropy in Australia change because of the recent donation by Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest to Wes Australian universities. Seed image from www.shutterstock.com

Of Forrests and acorns: philanthropic gift may seed other university giving

This week’s A$65 million pledge by Nicola and Andrew Forrest to all five West Australian universities alters the philanthropy landscape in Australia. The Forrests’ donation comes less than a year after…
Will the hype around free high quality higher education last? Online image from www.shutterstock.com

From MOOCs to HARVARDs: will online go mainstream?

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) draw a spectrum of responses. Should we be spruiking MOOCs? Spooked by MOOCs? Or hoping the hype will fade and the fad will pass? Most of us know the headlines. Free…
A prize for everyone in rankings season. RichardTurnerPhotography

What rankings don’t tell you about university excellence

Autumn is the season for university rankings. We’ve already had the the Academic Ranking of World Universities, produced in Shanghai, the QS ranking and the Leiden Ranking. Now the Times Higher Education…
David Willetts: not blue enough. Policy Exchange

Where next for universities under Conservative reforms?

The Conservative Party is in Manchester for its annual conference, a gesture that some in the city view as a provocation. Such a view is informed by more than the historical irony that the Manchester Central…
The head of Newcastle University explains why we need to keep our universities open. University image from www.shutterstock.com

A Vice-Chancellor’s defence of the uncapped university system

As the new government settles in, there has been heated speculation around major changes to the higher education system. Education minister Christopher Pyne’s comments to the media have raised questions…
New education minister Christopher Pyne wants to review the Australian university system because of concerns about declining quality. AAP/Julian Smith

Pyne’s higher education policy rethink should keep universities’ doors open

On the surface, Australia’s fourth and fifth ministers for higher education for 2013 - Labor’s Kim Carr and the Coalition’s Christopher Pyne - have political views that are many miles apart. Even by the…
Finally! A UK MOOC can be mine. CollegeDegrees360

MOOCs open for business in the UK

Massive Open Online Courses landed in the UK today with the launch of FutureLearn, a project led by the Open University and including around 20 universities from the UK, Monash University in Australia…
Are mature students being put off study by higher fees? uonottingham

Mature student numbers down 14% as higher tuition fees bite

A report published today by the Independent Commission on Fees shows that the number of mature students applying to study at university has fallen by 14% since the introduction of tuition fees of up to…
From massively open to really massively open. oxyman

Google and friends put the ‘open’ back into MOOCs

The entrance of Google into the Massive Open Online Courses market this week has the potential to reignite the spirit of openness that saw these alternative routes into higher education emerge in the first…
Unfair working conditions are nothing new in academia. chancellorgriffin

Zero-hour contracts shame British universities

Further and higher education institutions have a long and ignoble history of employing staff on zero-hour contracts, so figures released last week by the University and College Union come as no surprise…
Not all pursuits can have their worthiness calculated in dollars and cents. epSos.de

Guess who defines ‘waste’ in ARC-funded research

I doubt anyone truly believes governments are infinitely resourced. Even the most rabid, single-issue monomaniac can appreciate that to add public money from bucket X, it must come from bucket Y. So it’s…
Innovation is transforming the singular Australia idea of a university. Image from shutterstock.com

The Australian idea of a university

This is a transcript of the 2013 Newman Lecture delivered on Wednesday at Monash University’s Mannix College. Let me quote a much-respected contemporary Australian scholar and philosopher, Raimond Gaita…
Teaching skills: 5, Lab facilities: 3. This is no way to choose a university. stevedotcarter

Don’t fall into the rankings trap when assessing a university

The idea that we should audit universities is, in many respects, a good one. It can be used to keep them accountable and it can be a driver of change. University rankings – such as those offered by Times…

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