09 mars 2013

Fewer postdocs with higher salaries? Hold your horses!

By David Kent. There has been a lot of rumbling over the last few years about how poorly compensated postdoctoral fellows are and how the system churns out too many doctoral students. Many have suggested that the best solution is to trim the number of positions and increase the salaries of those remaining. However, I suspect that many of the people arguing for better pay and fewer postdoc positions do not consider that they might be part of the cohort who would lose their jobs if such a measure were undertaken. I imagine that just about everyone would like to have more money and more job security, so I always find the “pay me more” arguments tough to swallow unless they are backed up with some good reasons and a clear plan for how things will be paid for. There are certainly good examples of exploited and underpaid postdoctoral fellows – I know this is especially prevalent in Canada and would love to remedy it. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:46 - - Permalien [#]

Why we undervalue a liberal arts education

graduation_cap_448x200By Adam Chapnick. It’s because too many graduates complete their degrees without an ability to articulate what they have learned. Tough economic times are inevitably difficult for supporters of the liberal arts. When governments cut back, they prioritize. And when it comes to education, the STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) almost inevitably win out. Recently, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario committed over $900,000 to a Youth STEM Initiative. According to the press release that accompanied the announcement, the program was meant “to expand, enhance and coordinate the reach and impact of educational outreach programs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics for children and youth in kindergarten through grade 12.” Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:37 - - Permalien [#]

A better way for selecting effective university leaders

academic_leadership_210x400By Patrick J. Monahan. York University modernized its system for choosing academic administrators based on research about what works. Given the increasing competitive pressures and financial challenges facing universities across North America, most academic administrators recognize that strong and effective leadership is a key ingredient for institutional success. Yet, while there has been a proliferation of writing on the topic of what effective academic leadership entails, relatively little scholarly attention has been paid to the selection process for academic leaders. Are there certain kinds of processes or methodologies that are more likely to result in the selection of more successful academic leaders?
Over the last decade, the procedures governing senior academic searches at York University, where I served as a dean and then as provost from 2003 to 2012, have changed considerably. The key driver behind this evolution has been a widely shared desire at the university to improve the reliability and the validity of the academic search process by imparting a greater sense of discipline and rigour. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:34 - - Permalien [#]

Université de Sherbrooke continues its efforts in Haiti

By Jean-François Venne. The faculty of medicine has already completed over 30 training missions in the country.
Université de Sherbrooke
’s faculty of medicine and health sciences is set to launch three new medical training projects in Haiti, to be carried out in conjunction with Université Quisqueya located in Port-au-Prince. The faculty, which also has initiatives underway in Mali and Uruguay, has already completed 30 training missions in Haiti. “Promoting international cooperation is one of the faculty’s guiding principles,” notes Paul Grand’Maison, director of the faculty’s International Relations Office. “We see it as a matter of social responsibility. It is unthinkable that we should go about our business here at home without any regard for others elsewhere.” Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 22:29 - - Permalien [#]

Apprenticeships overhaul to offer school-leavers way into professions without university degree

http://bathknightblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/telegraph-logo.jpgBy James Kirkup. School-leavers will be able to become accountants, airline pilots and join other professions without a university degree under an overhaul of apprenticeships expected next week. Ministers will announce measures intended to raise the standing of vocational training to make it a credible alternative to university. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 21:53 - - Permalien [#]

Student loans bill for EU undergraduates tops £100m

http://bathknightblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/telegraph-logo.jpgBy Alex Usher. The amount of taxpayers' money handed to students from mainland Europe to take courses at British universities soared above £100 million for the first time last year, it has emerged. Figures show that funding awarded to EU students increased by more than £15m – 17.5 per cent – in just 12 months on the back of a surge in demand from eastern European nations. In all, almost 32,000 undergraduates took out Government-backed loans to cover tuition fees in 2011/12 – almost four times the total five years earlier.
Students from Romania were one of the largest recipients of funding, while those from Lithuania and Bulgaria also received more loans than most other countries. It is predicted that the size of loans awarded to EU students will soar further this year following a sharp rise in university tuition fees. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 21:49 - - Permalien [#]

University spending rising faster than income

Times Higher EducationBy John Morgan. Spending by English universities rose faster than their income did in the year before £9,000 tuition fees were introduced, while institutions again increased their reliance on fees paid by overseas students.
Although the rises in spending at England’s universities are below or in line with inflation, they are under intense pressure from the government to reduce their costs. The issue could be a factor in current talks over the 2015-16 spending review, in which the Treasury is thought to be seeking a cut of around £1 billion from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills budget. Expenditure by English universities rose by 2 per cent to £22.2 billion in 2011-12, outstripping the 1.5 per cent rise in their income to £23.3 billion, according to figures on finances published yesterday by the Higher Education Statistics Agency. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 21:39 - - Permalien [#]

University rankings show 'super-brands' escaping chasing pack

Times Higher EducationBy Jack Grove. Six elite universities in the US and UK dominate Times Higher Education’s 2013 World Reputation Rankings. Harvard University heads a group of six “super-brands” which have pulled away from the chasing pack in terms of reputation and prestige, according to the tables published on 4 March.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the second highest in the list of top 100 university brands followed by the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, the University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University.
Australia is the major success story of the 2013 rankings, with an extra two representatives in the world top 100 – the University of New South Wales and Monash University.
Its four other universities in the top 100 also improved their standings, with the University of Melbourne highest ranked at number 39. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 21:35 - - Permalien [#]

Chavez's death 'unlikely to help' Venezuelan universities

Times Higher EducationBy Jack Grove. Death of Hugo Chavez unlikely to lead to changes within Venezuela’s ‘isolationist’ university system, says expert. The death of Hugo Chavez is unlikely to lead to much-needed changes within Venezuela’s “isolationist” university system, a higher education expert has told an international conference. Orlando Albornoz, professor of education at the Central University of Venezuela, told delegates at Going Global, the British Council’s conference for higher education leaders, that those in charge of higher education in his country would remain deeply committed to a “different vision” of university education. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 21:33 - - Permalien [#]