09 mai 2013

How students with Asperger's cope at university

The Guardian homeBy . Students with autism may struggle socially but, with the right support, many excel in their chosen fields. What's the stereotype most people have of students? We're seen as boisterous party animals – socialising, drinking and flirting at every opportunity. Our degrees come second to the buzzing social scene that accompanies our first experience of freedom. But that's not the case for students with Asperger's syndrome. The National Autistic Society (NAS) informs us that Asperger's is "a form of autism that affects how a person makes sense of the world, processes information and relates to other people". People with the condition struggle with social interaction. Things we take for granted, such as being able to read body language or empathise with others, are difficult for them. Around 1 in 100 children have an autistic spectrum disorder in the UK, but nobody knows how many go on to higher education. Many adults with Asperger's are undiagnosed, and that's why it's important to raise awareness. University is a very daunting prospect for those who may not understand why they act differently; a diagnosis can bring reassurance and proper support. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:58 - - Permalien [#]

Essay writing service's ad banned for implying 'guaranteed' grade

The Guardian homeBy . Oxbridge Essays, which charges from £95 to £10,000-plus, said its work was only an 'example' and should not be submitted. Oxbridge Essays, which claims to have produced 64,106,500 words for more than 16,000 "happy" customers since 2006, offers custom-made undergraduate and masters essays, and even PhD theses. The company, which charges from £95 to more than £10,000 for its services, said that its essays are only meant to provide an "example" of how an "experienced and accomplished academic would approach the question or project you have been set". Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:55 - - Permalien [#]

Online students and teachers are no different from the rest of academia

The Guardian homeBy David NewtonDemand for online higher education is at record levels – yet the model remains a mystery for many. For David Newton, the only mystery is why everyone thinks it's so unusual. My name is David Newton, professor of business studies. I'm an online higher education tutor. Some of you may read that last sentence as a confession, rather than a simple statement of fact. Why? In my view, it is because – despite its growing popularity and valuable role in the future of higher education – online learning is still a mystery to many in academia, and viewed with prejudice by some. Take me, for example. People assume I'm some new breed of academic. I'm not. I am currently a tutor and programme director for undergraduate and MBA business degrees with a respected online learning provider. But my background is no different from any other university professor. I've worked in numerous UK and overseas universities, researched and published widely, and was dean of business and vice-principal at the Royal Agricultural College, where I still hold a visiting professorship in strategic management. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:51 - - Permalien [#]

UK students escape the fees nightmare and head for Europe

The Guardian homeBy . Are you looking for an affordable university somewhere different? There are plenty of English-friendly options in Europe to consider. Going to university is a pretty big step, but moving abroad for three years to do your degree is an even bigger one. To date it's a choice that few UK students have made – 2009 figures from the OECD show just 22,000 opting to study in another country, a tiny proportion of the two million or so who stay at home. With the introduction of much higher tuition fees this autumn, however, this is already starting to change, and there are good reasons why studying in Europe may be well worth considering. If you want do your entire degree within the EU – which means most of Europe – you'll lose your entitlement to a student loan here. But you'll find that all UK students are eligible for the same financial assistance as a home student from that country would receive. Many countries are considerably more generous to their undergraduates than we are: in Holland, for instance, you'll pay just £1,500 a year for your course. In some countries, including Denmark and Sweden, tuition costs nothing at all. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:45 - - Permalien [#]

Student loans: Will it soon be pay-back time?

The Guardian homeBy . Heads of universities are lobbying the government to alter student loans as a way to limit cuts. Students may have assumed the arguments about the new fee system were done and dusted. But as the axe looms over government funding for universities, senior academics are lobbying the government for graduates to start paying back their loans much earlier to cut public costs. Universities have already suffered severe cuts to their government funding for teaching and capital. Most are braced for further reductions when George Osborne unveils his comprehensive spending review on 26 June. Yet vice-chancellors warn that there are few pots of money left to raid, and further scything of the universities budget could seriously threaten the quality of teaching and science. Although none is keen to say so publicly yet, some vice-chancellors see changing the student finance arrangements as a fairly painless way of absorbing cuts. Backing them up is Nicholas Barr, professor of public economics at the London School of Economics and one of the leading experts on student loans. This, he argues, is a no-brainer. At present, graduates have to start repaying their loans when they earn £21,000 or more, but Barr is adamant that this should drop to £18,000. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:41 - - Permalien [#]

Universities must prepare for a buyer’s market

http://www.lhmartininstitute.edu.au/images/logo.gifBy Jeffrey Selingo. Jeffrey Selingo is editor at large at The Chronicle. This piece is adapted from his essay Colleges Must Prepare for a Buyer's Market, published 8 April 2013 in The Chronicle. Jeffrey will be speaking about the future of higher education in an LH Martin Institute webinar on 6 June 2013. University professors increasingly complain about the consumer mentality of their students: In exchange for shelling out ever greater amounts of tuition dollars, students expect to be treated to easy As and maximum flexibility in assignments and class attendance.
Students should be savvy consumers of higher education—but not in the classroom. Instead, they, and their parents, should adopt the consumer mind-set earlier, during their initial search for a university. Too many prospective families are captivated by the bells and whistles that institutions play during the admissions process, designed to hook students well before they fully understand the financial realities of going to their first-choice institution.
While doing research for my forthcoming book on the future of higher education, I visited nearly two dozen campuses in the U.S. and tagged along on as many prospective-student tours as I could inconspicuously join. For the most part, I found students and parents asking all the wrong questions. Universities have long benefited from the fact that they know more about prospective students than prospective students know about them. But that balance of power is slowly shifting, as consumer information about higher education improves, thanks largely to such long-overdue tools as the U.S. Education Department's College Scorecard and financial-aid "shopping sheet." Armed with these data, prospective students and parents in the U.S. become savvier consumers and begin asking better questions of the institutions they are considering. In order to continue attracting students, universities must be prepared to answer questions far more difficult than those about food service, new majors, or social life. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:21 - - Permalien [#]
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Standards and controls

http://www.cshe.unimelb.edu.au/research/res_seminars/pub_policy/2013/cshe-lhmartin.jpg6-8pm Mon. 17 June. Two decades of quality assurance at institution level and then at system level in higher Australian education have convinced few outside university marketing departments that real quality is stable or standards are improving. Now the government has put in place a vigorous Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Authority (TEQSA) to tighten external scrutiny and define and monitor standards of teaching and learning. But can standards be standardized between disciplines and institutions in a meaningful way? How can we accurately register improvements or declines? Is TEQSA summative or developmental? Is the system bigger than TEQSA or with it start to strangle institutional initiative, educational creativity and academic freedom?
Confirmed speakers:
Prof. Pip Pattison, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), University of Melbourne
Prof. Greg Craven, Vice-Chancellor, Australian Catholic University
Chair: Prof. Richard James, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Equity and Student Engagement), University of Melbourne
VENUE: Woodward Conference Centre, 10th Floor, Melbourne Law School, Pelham St, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria.
Jointly presented by the Centre for the Study of Higher Education & the LH Martin Institute.

Posté par pcassuto à 00:16 - - Permalien [#]

Open and free-for all

http://www.cshe.unimelb.edu.au/research/res_seminars/pub_policy/2013/cshe-lhmartin.jpg6-8pm Mon. 15 July. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) began in September 2011 at Stanford and it is already clear that they have radically changed higher education. Free programs from brand name universities with world leading experts, with online assessment and Ivy League certificates of completion at the end of a rigorous program, are a real competitor for face-to-face universities in the international education market, especially now that MOOC programs are recognized by many universities. And some institutions are incorporating MOOC units in their own programs, radically reducing teaching costs. Will academic staff numbers in Australia fall? What are the implications for the teaching/research nexus and for national research capacity? But should the world take its curriculum content from the American Ivy League and a handful of others. And is online assessment adequate and does the excision of face-to-face teaching and discussion take vital elements out of degrees? What do students want?
Confirmed speakers:
A/Prof. Gregor Kennedy
, Director of eLearning, University of Melbourne
Prof. Beverley Oliver, Pro Vice-Chancellor Learning Futures, Deakin University
Chair: Prof. Simon Marginson, Chair of Higher Education, Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne
VENUE: Woodward Conference Centre, 10th Floor, Melbourne Law School, Pelham St, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria.
Jointly presented by the Centre for the Study of Higher Education & the LH Martin Institute.

Posté par pcassuto à 00:13 - - Permalien [#]

Students and money

http://www.cshe.unimelb.edu.au/research/res_seminars/pub_policy/2013/cshe-lhmartin.jpg6-8pm Mon. 3 June. It is 25 years since the Higher Education Contribution Scheme began and the funding weights applied to each discipline were fixed. But we are yet to achieve a stable consensus on private and public contributions. The funding weights are out of whack with real cost differences, and both public and student contributions are capped at levels blocking the provision of genuinely high quality programs across the board. The rationale for government funding is unclear, a recipe for its continued erosion as a proportion of total revenues. The government commissioned the Base Funding Review to sort all of this out and then threw out the Review report! Meanwhile a future Coalition government, plugging a deficit created by the abolition of the carbon tax, is likely to cut government contributions and ramp up student charges. And the public costs generated by HECS loans at higher levels, in a demand-driven system, are mounting. Can we afford to bankroll education as a right? Can students from poorer backgrounds afford to take on an increased HECS debt? With free online courses of high quality now available, shouldn’t the cost of higher education be going down and not up?
Confirmed speakers:
Bruce Chapman
, Director, Policy Impact, Australian National University
Prof. Paul Wellings
, Vice-Chancellor, University of Wollongong
Prof. Ian Young
, Vice-Chancellor, Australian National University
Chair: Prof. Leo Goedegebuure, Director, LH Martin Institute
VENUE: Woodward Conference Centre, 10th Floor, Melbourne Law School, Pelham St, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria.
Jointly presented by the Centre for the Study of Higher Education & the LH Martin Institute.

Posté par pcassuto à 00:09 - - Permalien [#]

Educationalists must do better

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/magazine/graphics/logo.pngBy John Furlong. Education academics must demonstrate their practical relevance if they wish to save their discipline, argues John Furlong. Education is the UK’s second biggest social science; only business and administration employs more academic staff in our universities.
But as a discipline, it is at a major turning point - a crisis even.
Academic disciplines are not merely intellectually coherent fields of study, they also have a political life. They are argued for, supported, challenged and debated - and nowhere more so than in education.
Education as a discipline has rarely been master of its own destiny, mainly because it remains dominated by its role in providing professional preparation to teachers. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:06 - - Permalien [#]