02 juin 2013

Practical ways to shorten graduate program lengths

By In my last blog, I talked about the lengths of graduate students’ programs. I noted that often, longer times to completion are in the best interests of the graduate students, and we shouldn’t try to shorten all completion times regardless of individual circumstances. In general, I still think this way. However, I also appreciate the benefits of finishing up and getting on with one’s life; I also had an interesting discussion with a reader, who noted that long completion times can raise red flags with hiring committees. So, assuming that sometimes it really is in the best interests of students to just get on with it, already, this week I’m going to talk about some of the practical steps that we can take to encourage students to complete their graduate programs in a timely fashion. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 13:40 - - Permalien [#]

In defence of the three-minute thesis

http://www.universityaffairs.ca/images/logo-university-affairs.gifBy Martha Radice. Making us proud to be part of academia. Hot on the heels of tedx talks and Pecha Kucha nights, there’s a new knowledge mobilization craze sweeping the world of higher education: the Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) competition. It started in Australia and in 2011 reached Canadian shores at the University of British Columbia. 3MT has been spreading ever since, making it to the East Coast and my university, Dalhousie, in 2013. The idea is that graduate students present their research in three minutes flat, using only a single static slide as a visual aid – no props, extra audio or video allowed. Presentations are judged by professors and other experts, such as university communications staff, on criteria of comprehension, engagement and communication. A 3MT contest can involve several heats, with winners from each heat going to the next round. Ontario and Quebec have run provincial competitions, so a pan-Canadian one might be next. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 13:37 - - Permalien [#]

Your degree is not a waste of time

http://www.universityaffairs.ca/images/logo-university-affairs.gifBy Maureen Mancuso. Grim tales are taking over our story. If there is one virtue that university education values above all else it is critical thinking. Doubt, not the false security of certainty, is what we seek to instill in our students; we value questions over answers, because only in withstanding the most challenging questions can an answer begin to satisfy the truly critical mind. Oh, we are hardly immune to the paralysis of orthodoxy, but the very essence of scholarship is to relentlessly question what is known, how it is known, and whether there is some further insight to be had by a mind open to what it does not yet know. This is why “revolutions” – disruptive events in the political sphere – are so essential, and so frequent, in the academic world. Maybe too frequent, and appearing to outsiders as a ferment of undirected, purposeless chaos. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 13:35 - - Permalien [#]

Publishers with questionable practices prey on academics

By Rosanna Tamburri. Canadian researchers are being inundated with offers to publish their work by dubious online publishers. Faculty members say they are being bombarded with spam emails from dubious publishers of online academic journals soliciting contributions for articles or inviting them to review manuscripts and sit on editorial boards. Some publishers even send personalized emails to professors, praising their earlier published work and inviting them to submit an article. Scholars who do so are then charged article-processing fees that range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
“It’s a growing concern,” said Steven Liss, vice-principal, research, at Queen’s University who receives these types of emails at least once a week. A recent “ridiculous” one offered to feature a paper, which he had previously written and published elsewhere, on its website for $35. “The best solution in my opinion is to hit the delete button,” he said. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 13:32 - - Permalien [#]

Govt plans global entrance exam for foreign students

http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/simgad/17669205788970532173By Prashant K. Nanda. Institutions will be allowed to raise intake by 15%, fill vacant seats by letting in more foreign students. India plans to establish an entrance exam for foreign students seeking admission to educational institutions in the country, even as it lobbies international rating agencies to improve the rankings of its universities.
The human resource development (HRD) ministry will allow institutions offering engineering and similar courses and other universities, including private ones, to participate in the project, said two government officials with knowledge of the development.
The ministry will “start an international entrance exam for aspiring students from foreign lands,” said S.S. Mantha, chairman of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), the technical education regulator in the country and the body that will conduct the test. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:10 - - Permalien [#]

$174.8 million Japan aid to IIT-Hyderabada

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/photo/5580817.cmsJapan will provide $174.8 million (around 870 cr) loan as development aid to the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-H), the biggest-ever foreign aid to an IIT, which experts said will have a leapfrog effect on the standard of higher education in the state and boost infrastructure.
Armed with the financial aid, IIT-H will erect nine state-of-the-art buildings, including a special technology centre, new academic blocks and a research park.

Posté par pcassuto à 12:08 - - Permalien [#]

A degree too close to home? Call for price cut if students go local

The IndependentBy Richard Garner. Think-tank says proposal will help universities fend off an ‘avalanche of austerity’. Students who live at home while attending their local university should be offered cut-price degrees costing just £5,000 a year, an influential commission into the future of higher education is to recommend. The commission, set up by the Institute for Public Policy Research, argues that the discounted degrees would save the Government £10,000 per student in maintenance loans. The measure would also help keep up student numbers as universities grapple with further cuts in spending. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:07 - - Permalien [#]

Scottish universities remain ‘elitist’

http://www.scotsman.com/webimage/7.14068.1318337337!/image/1130617255.png_gen/derivatives/default/1130617255.pngBy Chris Marshall. ENDING tuition fees for Scottish students has failed to widen access to the country’s universities, a leading academic has warned.
Professor Sheila Riddell, of Edinburgh University’s School of Education, said free tuition had not “markedly altered” recruitment of those from the poorest backgrounds.
While students elsewhere in the UK pay up to £9,000 a year in fees, Scots have not paid for the cost of tuition since the graduate endowment was abolished in 2008.
Writing in The Scotsman today, Prof Riddell says the proportion of working class students at Scotland’s leading universities has actually fallen slightly in the past decade. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:04 - - Permalien [#]

Tertiary sector news website rejects veto claims

http://enews.ksu.edu.sa/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/UWN.jpgBy Nick Leys, The Australian. The Australian editors of tertiary sector news and opinion website The Conversation have rejected claims by a British newspaper that it lacks independence because it allows academics the right to veto what it publishes, writes Nick Leys for The Australian. The Times has accused The Conversation, which launched in Britain last week, of failing to disclose "that academics from its funding universities can demand changes to articles, headlines, photographs and even picture captions". Read more...

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

Rate your lecturer, urges new UK website

Times Higher EducationBy . In the US, the Rate My Professors website has been used by students to dish out a “public scolding” to their lecturers – and now the UK has its own equivalent, possibly bringing a shiver of dread to academics and universities. Rate Your Lecturer has launched in the UK, proclaiming that its data – showing feedback and ratings out of 10 on named lecturers by university – will ultimately “generate an alternative ranking system to that of the norm”. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 11:59 - - Permalien [#]