Less of an eye-opener, and more of a grim confirmation, Richard Bilton's Who Gets the Best Jobs?
documentary, which has just finished on BBC2 (iPlayer link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00yb5kv
), may have non-Russell Group uni staff shaking their heads sadly at their students tomorrow, and thinking pitying thoughts about their future prospects. Nevertheless, unpaid internships, well-established professional entry boundaries based on parental income, and the faint whiff of the scrapheap are the modern facts of life.
The programme is recommended, but not as particularly cheerful viewing.Update:
Additional download links for the programme (in .avi and other file formats) can be found here: http://www.scnsrc.net/tv/who-gets-the-best-jobs-ws-pdtv-xvid-pvr/
The Higher Education Policy Institute's report "Higher Education Supply and Demand to 2020" hit the wires earlier today. You can find the relevant download links here: http://www.hepi.ac.uk/455-1907/Higher-Education-Supply-and-Demand-to-2020.html
If UCAS aren't spitting blood at the BBC's slightly warped focus on "unqualified" student numbers in their coverage, I'd be very surprised: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-12356387
Dear future disembodied heads,
I've been sent back in time to deliver some bad news, and some good news. The bad news is that the majority of your students now live between 80 and 6,000 miles away from your lecture theatre.
The good news is that you can now teach sans
trousers. Oh my goodness, the freedom! The freedom!sensaes
There's actually a lot to be said in favour of the recommendations of the Online Learning Task Force's Collaborate to compete - Seizing the opportunity of online learning for UK higher education
report (PDF here: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2011/11_01/11_01.pdf
, Word document alternative here: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2011/11_01/11_01.doc
, other related gubbins here: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefce/2011/11_01/
). The trouble is, most of it could've been said about a decade ago.
Never mind. If Willetts is to be believed, it's a case of better late than never:'I thank Lynne and the Task Force for their work and welcome such a helpful report. It contains important recommendations that we will consider carefully in conjunction with HEFCE. We expect to address many of the issues raised in our forthcoming HE White Paper.'
Just keep some trousers handy for those close-up and personal interactions with the students you'll still have to deal with in your immediate
"Making Things Whole Again: The Take That Reunion
An interdisciplinary conference examining the theme of break-up and reunion in popular music acts, focusing on Take That."http://conference.fan-networks-exhibition.org
Cheers to everyone who sent me the link.
I'm not even going to try
to be ironic about the source:'Students across the country are preparing for a day of protests, walkouts and occupations next Wednesday 24 November—“Day X”. The students’ march of 50,000 and occupation of the Tories’ Millbank Tower last week has inspired millions to see that a militant fightback against cuts is possible. The rise of this new student movement has the potential to be a turning point in the battle against the Tories. That’s why it’s vital that Day X isn’t just for students. Workers—whether at colleges or anywhere else—need to come out to show their support as young people fight for our future.'http://www.socialistworker.org.uk/art.php?id=23116
Regarding the previous Millbank Tower business, and the general excesses of media reporting, a colleague pointed out that, in the absence of an enraged Dr. Bruce Banner, the role played by gravity
in the fire extinguisher's descent, rather than an actual throw,
might be worthy of mention. There. Job done.Bonus item:
In case you missed it, here's the Institute For Fiscal Studies' note about their 'revised' take on the Government's proposals for HE funding...http://www.ifs.org.uk/pr/statement_171110.pdf
Sally Hunt, General Secretary of the UCU:"The actions of a mindless and totally unrepresentative minority should not distract from today's message. The overwhelming majority of staff and students on the march came here to send a clear and peaceful message to the politicians."
More here: http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=5113
Meanwhile, assessment of the (potential) impact of academic research will now form a part of 2014's REF exercise. This is a good
thing, if you care about funding.
More here: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/news/hefce/2010/refpilot.htm
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Laith Al-Shawaf and David M.G. Lewis
'Addressing vice-chancellors at a conference held by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Hefce, Mr Willetts said there were some "very difficult issues" around the proposed fee cap and levy.
Lord Browne proposed that a levy would start at 45% on the first £1,000 above £6,000, and rise by 5% on each £1,000 above that, and go towards funding the cost to the government of lending the money to students.
But Mr Willetts said the idea had "aroused quite a lot of concern across the sector", and said it could cause universities to drive their fees up higher to reach a given level of income.
He said the government recognised there were arguments for a lower levy or for "sticking with a fee cap".
Speaking later in response to reporters' questions, he said: "I don't think it's sensible or sustainable to imagine having an unlimited fee cap."'
Full story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-11598262