07 avril 2013

Can today's universities change with the times?

Go to the Globe and Mail homepageWe’ve asked university deans and presidents, colleges, industry leaders and students to talk about our education system. Are universities sufficiently connected to our schools? Are they preparing students for jobs? And are they co-operating with each other, and with colleges?
Julia Christensen Hughes 
"Interestingly, the situation we face today is not entirely dissimilar to a crisis in higher education encountered in the United States in the early 1800s. At that time, the economy was shifting from one that had been largely agrarian to one that was industrial." Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:35 - - Permalien [#]

Studying the case for a new Mrs. degree in marriage

Go to the Globe and Mail homepageBy Zosia Bielski. Susan Patton’s incendiary letter, titled “Advice for the young women of Princeton: the daughters I never had,” is the spiritual equivalent of a nettlesome aunt at a holiday dinner. Whispering and tugging at your sleeve, she foretells great misery if you don’t couple up, soon. Published last Friday in The Daily Princetonian, Patton’s letter exhorted young women at the school to “lean in” less and husband hunt more, preferably ahead of graduation. Patton – class of ’77 – argued that women who settle for men below their intellectual level eventually come to resent those husbands, herself included. The divorcée believes there is nowhere better to meet your brainy match than at university. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:33 - - Permalien [#]

Tie university funding to outcomes; four hours in the classroom

Go to the Globe and Mail homepageBy Simona Chiose. The Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) is recommending that future funding for colleges and universities be partly based on individual mandates and outcomes. Some courses, such as large introductory classes, could even be offered online, or through a blend of online and in-class learning. While enrolling more students is important to the public, the report also argues that quality must be preserved in any growth plan. The recommendations were made in a report that reviewed the submissions made by colleges and universities in response to a consultation process begun by Glenn Murray, the former minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:30 - - Permalien [#]

Academics 'dropping regional accents' to fit in at elite universities

http://bathknightblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/telegraph-logo.jpgBy Victoria Ward. Academics with broad regional accents suffer "tacit prejudice" at top universities and feel obliged to adopt posher accents to avoid being patronised, according to a study. They fear that unless they hide their local dialects they will be classed as "outsiders" and marginalised in the event of redundancies, researchers found. Although discrimination on grounds of gender, race or sexuality is no longer tolerated, they said the desire by universities to be classed as "elite" meant that prejudice against regional accents continued to go unchallenged. Michelle Addison, a PhD student at Newcastle University who conducted the study, said that "talking the talk" by using an accent that carried connotations of intelligence had become commonplace among academics anxious to "fit in". Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:15 - - Permalien [#]

Universities should ban country-specific student societies, professor says

The TelegraphBy Hayley Dixon. Although such a step could be seen as “social engineering” it could build bridges between those coming from abroad to study and their British counterparts, said Paul White, pro-vice chancellor for learning an teaching at the University of Sheffield. While universities are generally good at helping students form friendships they also create “close communities of students who don’t interact with each other”, Professor White said.
For example Chinese, Indian and British students all tend to stick with their national groups, he claimed. An international faculty of Sheffield University - City College, in Thessaloniki, Greece – has already banned national student societies, he told the Westminster Higher Education Conference.
“They want their students from the Balkan region not to feel that they are Serbs of Kosovans or Macedonians,” he said. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:12 - - Permalien [#]

Nature's publishers to launch open-access platform for data sets

Times Higher EducationBy Paul Jump. In a further sign of the growing scientific prominence of data sets, Nature Publishing Group has launched a new open-access platform that will peer review and publish detailed descriptions of their contents. Scientific Data will publish “data descriptors”: citeable descriptions of the contents of data sets that will contain structured information created in-house by NPG.
However, the platform will not host the datasets themselves. These must be made available via other public databases: ideally ones which are “recognised” within their research communities. The platform, which will open for submissions in the autumn and launch in spring 2014, will focus initially on the life and environmental sciences, before expanding into other areas of the natural sciences. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 02:01 - - Permalien [#]

Adelaide v-c wants end to fixed-time contracts in Australia

Times Higher EducationBy Paul Jump. Australian academics should not be contractually bound always to split their time equally between teaching and research, the vice-chancellor of the University of Adelaide has said. Employment contracts in Australia typically stipulate that academics should divide their time between research, teaching and administration according to a 40:40:20 ratio. But Warren Bebbington told the National Tertiary Education Union’s national conference in Melbourne on 4 April that the formula should be more flexible, reflecting academics’ current priorities. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 01:58 - - Permalien [#]

British Library starts digital drive

Times Higher EducationBy Matthew Reisz. The British Library – and the nation’s other legal deposit libraries – have officially taken on responsibility to archive UK web content, opening up immense opportunities for researchers. All British print publications have been held by the libraries since 1662. But from today, says Lucie Burgess, the library’s head of content strategy, this has been extended “to capture the digital universe as well”. The 4.8 million websites using the .uk domain will all be collected and made accessible from January 2014, though certain material will be available earlier. Other British websites with .org and .com domain names should follow soon after. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 01:56 - - Permalien [#]

(Scientific) life is not fair

Blog badge, Occam's cornerBy Steve Caplan. Are students discriminated against for choosing poor or unsuccessful mentors? Scientific life isn't fair, so choosing wisely at the outset is crucial for student success. Recently I was "volunteered" to deliver a seminar at my institute, to explain – from a reviewer's perspective – what the major criteria are for submission of a competitive PhD student fellowship application. I anticipated a small turnout and even suggested to the organisers that a small seminar room that held 50 people would be more than sufficient. After all, the eligibility for most fellowships in the US today is exclusively for US citizens or those with permanent resident status. And our graduate student body is comprised of a large number of international students. I found myself rather shocked to find the large auditorium almost packed with PhD students, post-docs and mentors, regardless of nationality. I guess that in the age of a major "scientific recession", the interest in ways to support students and post-docs is greater than ever. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 01:50 - - Permalien [#]

Early career research: the power of 'no'

The Guardian homeLearning how to be selective in the opportunities you take is challenging, says Adam Dunn, but can shape a research career. I say yes to new research opportunities much more often than I should. Whether it is new collaborations, helping colleagues with statistical analyses and data visualisation, reviewing obscure multidisciplinary manuscripts, or chasing down the bizarre ideas that arrive in the middle of the night, I have trouble saying no. All academics face endlessly growing to-do lists, yet there is precious little advice out there about what to avoid putting on the list in the first place. The portrait of the low stress, no pressure Forbes professor is a myth. The reality for early career researchers is much closer to the other extreme. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 01:47 - - Permalien [#]