17 février 2013

Germany's Research Rating will make quality its own reward

Click here for THE homepageBy Elizabeth Gibney. New assessment scheme will not be used to direct cash to institutions.
As the UK braces in anticipation of the full impact of the 2014 research excellence framework, its seventh country-wide research assessment exercise, Europe's other research giant has just given the green light to the introduction of its own assessment system. Eight years in the making, Germany's Research Rating (or Forschungsrating) has so far consisted of four subject-level pilots, with evaluations carried out in chemistry, sociology, electrical engineering and British and American studies. On 25 January the German Council of Science and Humanities (the Wissenschaftsrat) approved plans to roll out the system across all fields.
A working group has been tasked with developing a detailed proposal on how the system will be organised. Although a number of questions remain, within a couple of years the system will be implemented across the board, Rainer Lange, head of research at the council, told Times Higher Education. The subcommittee that designed the Research Rating looked at both the UK and the Dutch assessment systems in designing the process, and it opted for a system more like that of the Netherlands. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 10:34 - - Permalien [#]

Balancing integrity and the ‘dirty’ world of research

http://enews.ksu.edu.sa/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/UWN.jpgBy Mari Elken and Jens Jungblut. One thing you almost never learn in masters or PhD education is how the world of successful project applications really works. In the context of unstable and competitive funding sources and expectations of impact and societal relevance, the nature of academic work is changing. New job profiles emerge, with academics being expected to be more entrepreneurial, project management becoming a central skill and policy relevance emerging as a key funding criterion. While policy relevance is expected, linkage between research and policy – the so-called research-policy nexus – is not always straightforward or without contestation. This raises questions about the appropriate skills and competences for the next generation of researchers, who have to operate at the intersection between traditional academic work, policy advice and contract research. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 10:32 - - Permalien [#]

Roles and functions of higher education councils

http://enews.ksu.edu.sa/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/UWN.jpgBy Tracy Bailey. Since the mid-1980s there has been a growing trend in developed countries to establish semi-autonomous government agencies. Their creation has usually been linked to new public management and concomitant demands on governments for greater efficiency, responsiveness, transparency and accountability. The nature of such agencies is diverse, but they usually share some key characteristics, including being at arm’s length from their parent ministry, mandated to carry out public tasks within a specific sector, having a core staff of public servants, being largely financed by the state budget, and subject to administrative law procedures. Within the realm of higher education governance, many countries – developed and developing alike – have established higher (or tertiary) education councils or commissions, which fall under this umbrella of semi-autonomous government agency. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 10:31 - - Permalien [#]

Mixed signals at the doors of higher education

http://enews.ksu.edu.sa/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/UWN.jpgBy Nico Cloete. A central feature of South Africa’s 1955 Freedom Charter was that, “The doors of learning and culture shall be opened – Higher education and technical training shall be opened to all by means of state allowances and scholarships awarded on the basis of merit”. Implementing this laudable goal has been much more challenging than the charter’s authors ever imagined. In January 2012 at the University of Johannesburg, Gloria Sekwena – a mother accompanying her son who was applying for a place – was trampled to death in a stampede of 7,000 applicants. In trying to explain the disaster, Vice-chancellor Ihron Rensburg referred to the Freedom Charter in justifying the institution’s well-intended access policy of allowing ‘walk-ins’. This year, with no walk-ins, Metro police cars patrolled the gates of the campus to prevent another queue and stampede. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 10:29 - - Permalien [#]

Obama Administration Launches College Scorecard

DiverseBy Ronald Roach. The national movement to make higher education institutions more transparent in terms of their comparative costs and student outcomes got a lift from the Obama administration with the launch of the web-based College Scorecard resource tool on Wednesday. President Obama, during the State of the Union address on Tuesday, announced the “new College Scorecard” as a web resource “that parents and students can use to compare schools based on a simple criteria—where you can get the most bang for your educational buck.” As a feature in the College Affordability and Transparency Center section, the College Scorecard is accessible through the White House website.
“Through tax credits, grants and better loans, we’ve made college more affordable for millions of students and families over the last few years. But taxpayers can’t keep on subsidizing higher and higher and higher costs for higher education,” Obama said. “Colleges must do their part to keep costs down, and it’s our job to make sure that they do.” Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 10:27 - - Permalien [#]

Internationalisation opens up new debate on purpose of universities

http://enews.ksu.edu.sa/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/UWN.jpgBy Abu Kamara. Internationalisation is shifting the way we think about higher education. As a paradigm, it has its own language, logic, strengths and weaknesses, as well as supporters and dissenters.
The current article identifies university-level internationalisation booster activities, place-based internationalisation booster strategies such as the marketing of culture, and recognition of various internationalisation consumers as some activities that are driving the shifts in our conceptions of higher education. University level-internationalisation booster activities offer a window into the belief systems that structure university commitments. One example is efforts to rebrand and situate universities and their locations in a ‘glocal’ context. This is particularly clear in recent increases in the amounts of money universities are spending on university and place promotions. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 10:26 - - Permalien [#]

Third-level institutions cannot function in isolation

irishtimes.comBy Jim Browne. The higher-education landscape has reached a tipping point. Growing international competition; increasing privatisation and the challenge posed by Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) mean that on a global scale, higher education is in a state of metamorphosis. At home, increasing student demand, funding challenges, a proliferation of choice and calls for programme rationalisation, alongside concerns about admissions systems, have brought the sector to a transition point.
The Higher Education Authority (HEA) has published proposals for the future of higher education. One thing has emerged from these proposals: institutions can no longer operate in isolation; they must collaborate. In the past the focus was on individual institutions, but now the HEA envisages regional clusters or ecosystems of higher education within geographical boundaries. These will be composed of diverse institutions co-operating to meet the social and economic needs of the country. I have long argued for a network of collaborating institutions, each of which develops and maintains excellence in selected complementary areas. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 10:24 - - Permalien [#]

U-Multirank aims to improve HE, not sell newspapers

http://enews.ksu.edu.sa/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/UWN.jpgBy Jordi Curell. Is Times Higher Education worried about competition to its world university ranking from U-Multirank? It looks like it from the tone of its reporting on the new European ranking initiative launched in Dublin at the end of January.
Let us hope not, though – because this should not be a question of competition, but rather of greater transparency in the performance of higher education systems and institutions. The European Commission has launched a new multidimensional ranking, which will allow stakeholders to get a clear picture of performance across the full range of institutions, highlighting excellence in all the different missions of universities – in teaching and learning, in knowledge transfer and regional development and in internationalisation, as well as in research. The preparatory study on U-Multirank showed that a multidimensional ranking is feasible. Now is the time to implement it. At the European Union (EU) presidency conference in Ireland at the end of January, stakeholders agreed that U-Multirank had now entered the implementation phase. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 10:22 - - Permalien [#]

Stop polarising the MOOCs debate

http://enews.ksu.edu.sa/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/UWN.jpgBy Cathy N Davidson. The academic conversation on MOOCs is starting to polarise in exactly the talking-past-one-another way that so many complex conversations evolve: with very smart points on either side, but not a lot of recognition that the validity of certain key points on one side does not undermine the validity of certain key points on the other.  I regret this flattening of online learning into a simple binary of ‘politically and financially motivated greed’ on the one hand and ‘an opportunity to find out more about learning’ on the other. Some of both in different situations can be true. It's always hard to be able to hold two complex and even contradictory ideas in one's mind at once but, well, that's life. Both can be true. And there is so much to be gained from a sustained conversation on every side and from each side's learning from the other, without assuming the other side is being naive or callous in its concerns. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 10:18 - - Permalien [#]

African Students Abroad Returning Home For Fast Career Growth

MDG : Scientific research in Africa : Scientist at University of Cape Town,By Nick Chiles. In order to grow their economies, nations across Africa have long been trying to figure out how to stop the brain drain—the best and the brightest African students going to school in the U.S. and the U.K. and not bringing their talents back to Africa.
But recent studies indicate that the brain drain may finally be coming to an end. Many African students studying abroad are now finding opportunities to use their training back at home. With seven of the world’s ten fastest economies in Africa, young people are noticing that their home may be the place where they have the best chance of quickly establishing a career.
Though Reda Merdi, 19, of Morocco, is heading to the University of Pennsylvania in the fall after finishing up at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, he has no plans to stay in the U.S. when he has completed his Ivy League education. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 10:16 - - Permalien [#]