Log in

No account? Create an account

Wed, Feb. 2nd, 2011, 10:22 pm
sensaes: Somewhat London-centric, but required viewing nonetheless. Also, HEPI.

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

Sun, Jan. 30th, 2011, 11:31 pm
sensaes: You'd better get used to talking into that webcam.

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!



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.' - http://www.hefce.ac.uk/news/hefce/2011/oltf.htm

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 vicinity...

Thu, Jan. 13th, 2011, 09:56 am
sensaes: 3-4 June, 2011.

"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."


Cheers to everyone who sent me the link.

Tue, Dec. 21st, 2010, 02:36 pm
sensaes: In case you missed it yesterday...

...what with Vincent Cable suffering delusions about having his finger on a nuclear trigger (or some such balderdash*), here's that letter on grant funding for Higher Education, 2011-2012 (and beyond) from the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills:


And here's the response from Tim Melville-Ross, HEFCE Chair:


Merry Christmas.


Fri, Nov. 26th, 2010, 08:19 pm
sensaes: Demolition, Day X, Day X2...shouldn't that be Day Y?


More to the point, is anyone making a killing by flogging commemorative T-shirts?

Mon, Nov. 22nd, 2010, 04:40 pm
sensaes: (Groundhog?) "Day X".

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.'


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...



Update: Typical...


Thu, Nov. 11th, 2010, 10:51 pm
sensaes: Aftermath, and Something Of More Importance.

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

Wed, Oct. 27th, 2010, 10:24 pm
laithalshawaf: Disgust Sensitivity Survey

 Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin are conducting an online survey to understand why people differ in their levels of disgust sensitivity. This survey takes about 15 minutes in total, and the study would benefit from your participation.

You must be 18+ years old and fluent in English to take this survey. These are the only requirements for participation. If you are interested in taking this survey, or learning some more about it, please click on this link:


If you choose to participate, all of your answers will remain anonymous and confidential, and you will not be asked to provide any identifying information.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact the researchers at laith.alshawaf@mail.utexas.edu. Thank you for your consideration!


Laith Al-Shawaf and David M.G. Lewis

Fri, Oct. 22nd, 2010, 12:30 am
sensaes: Willetts rubs some soothing ointment on it...sort of.

'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

Thu, Oct. 21st, 2010, 09:30 pm
femaelstrom: A little advice, please?

I'm not exactly sure where to begin with this post or what advice people might be able to offer, but, I live in hope....

So, here's the story.

Grad school + Long distance relationship + Illness + Work = What now?!Collapse )

skipped back 10