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19 août 2013

Is Translation O.K.?

http://www.insidehighered.com/sites/all/themes/ihecustom/logo.jpgBy David Matthews for Times Higher Education. Some British universities still lack clear policies on whether international students may use proofreaders or translators to help them with their work, it has emerged. The issue has flared up amid concern that English-language entrance requirements are set too low, with one former proofreader saying that she often had to tidy up a "mish-mash of translation, 'paraphrasing' and Wikipedia citations." Ros Hampton, head of conduct and appeals at the University of Wolverhampton, wrote on the public academic discussion service Jiscmail that she was "looking at the advice (or lack of it) that my institution provides with regard to the use of translators and proof readers." Read more...

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19 août 2013

The PLUS Loan Problem

http://www.insidehighered.com/sites/all/themes/ihecustom/logo.jpgBy Justin Draeger. This week, the U.S. Department of Education announced changes to the PLUS loan underwriting standards that may help previously denied PLUS loan applicants obtain loans. This will be welcome news to previously approved loan applicants who found themselves unexpectedly denied last year. But federal PLUS loans can be risky business for graduate students and parents of undergraduates who can use them to borrow up to the full cost of attendance at college. Much more can be done to protect consumers from getting too deeply into debt. The Department of Education recently added PLUS loan underwriting standards to its list of items to potentially consider during negotiated rule-making, the process where students, advocates and colleges work with the federal government to hash out new regulations. Read more...

19 août 2013

How to reach the many offline students

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/magazine/graphics/logo.pngBy Jon Marcus. Educators cannot assume that all young people are old hands online, research shows. Academics and university administrators may be struggling to keep up with social media, but research shows that the digital divide is not just generational. It is racial, ethnic and socio-economic, and there are even differences in the way that men and women communicate online.
That imbalance could affect efforts to recruit, retain and teach under-represented students, according to the US academic who led the work.
“There’s an assumption that all students are equally great with technology,” said Rey Junco, an associate professor at Purdue University and a faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. More...

19 août 2013

Moocs on FutureLearn to be revealed next month

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/magazine/graphics/logo.pngBy . The first courses on the UK’s first massive open online course platform Futurelearn will be unveiled in mid-September, it has been announced.
Specific details of the first Moocs to be made available are thin on the ground, although Futurelearn has confirmed that they will cover topics including literature; history; social sciences; computing and IT; and physical science, and be designed to work on mobile devices.
Times Higher Education revealed in December last year that the University of Warwick’s Business School was planning to offer a behavioural science Mooc on Futurelearn, although it has not been confirmed that this will be one of the first courses to go live. More...

19 août 2013

Graduate premium is nearer £200,000, says new report

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/magazine/graphics/logo.pngBy . A new government-commissioned study says a degree will earn graduates an extra £252,000 over their lifetime for women and £168,000 for men.
It comes amid debate over the value of a degree following the rise in tuition fees in the last academic year. The estimate is substantially higher than the £100,000 graduate premium calculated in 2002 by the Department for Education, which has been repeatedly cited by universities and politicians since. The Impact of University Degrees on the Lifecycle of Earnings: Some Further Analysis, released today, argues that men with a degree earn 28 per cent more than those without one, while for women the differential is 53 per cent. More...

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19 août 2013

Why exam results should be getting better all the time

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/magazine/graphics/logo.pngBy Gary Thomas. Yearly improvements are an inevitable by-product of social progress, says Gary Thomas. August is a dry time for newspaper editors, but until last year’s unexpected fall in top A-level grades, they could at least rely on annual warnings of grade inflation and exams getting easier. When last summer brought the first fall in the proportion of pupils achieving the top grade for 21 years, The Daily Telegraph described this as “cause for celebration”.
Are year-on-year improvements unfeasible, or are they an inevitable consequence of a wider phenomenon? As Frank Spencer so memorably described it to Betty: “Every day in every way I am getting better and better.”
Frank was right, but his maxim is more than a self-help anodyne. Last year in the New South Wales school athletics championships, a 12-year-old boy, James Gallaugher, ran the 100m in 11.72 seconds. A century ago at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens, this would have comfortably secured him the gold medal over the actual winner Thomas Burke (US, 12.0 seconds). If we could time travel, today’s boy – not yet shaving – would beat the 1896 Olympic champion. More...

19 août 2013

‘Political experiment’ must not reduce education to a commodity

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/magazine/graphics/logo.pngBy . Students should not be turned into consumers, sector expert Jürgen Enders tells David Matthews. Since the beginning of the year, the UK’s pool of higher education experts, long derided as being too small to cover so many universities and students, has arguably taken a turn to the right.
Nick Hillman, special adviser to the universities and science minister David Willetts, was named the new head of the Higher Education Policy Institute at the beginning of August. He helped to devise the coalition’s £9,000 fee regime for undergraduates, but has insisted that he will “speak truth unto power” and “go wherever the evidence leads”. More...

19 août 2013

Child support advice sought ‘over university costs’

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/magazine/graphics/logo.pngBy . More divorced mothers are seeking legal advice about whether ex-husbands can extend support payments for children at university, a law firm has said. Pannone, a family law firm with offices in London and Manchester, said its staff had seen a surge in enquiries about maintenance payments to help support children in higher education since tuition fees rose to £9,000 last year. 
Many women did not realise that they could apply for maintenance beyond the end of a child’s secondary education, said Pannone associate Naomi Rainey. More...

19 août 2013

India collaborations need to address ‘practical barriers’

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/magazine/graphics/logo.pngBy . Work between the UK research councils, Indian government and business can be improved by fixing practical barriers to collaboration, a report says. Since 2008, Research Councils UK and the government of India have together invested over £100 million in joint research programmes. 
Overall the report finds that researchers are positive about their experiences of research collaboration with each other and with their non-academic partners. But the research, which draws on interviews with researchers and programme directors as well as publicly available data, finds that about half of the projects undertaken through the partnership had experienced serious issues with access to data or access to people. Examples included visa problems, change of personnel in key positions or delays in hiring postdoctoral researchers. More...

19 août 2013

What is learning, exactly?

http://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_145x100/WashingtonPost/Content/Blogs/Images/201308/books-227x300.jpgBy Joanne Yatvin. Back when I was a child, an important rite on the first day of school each year was the handing out of textbooks.  By the time we had reached the middle grades we could expect to receive a math book, a reading book, a geography book, a history book, a spelling book, a science book, a language book, and maybe a health book, too.  Having all those mysterious tomes piled on our desks that first day was a thrilling experience, especially if some of them were brand new, fresh smelling, and colorful.  All the fifth-grade knowledge in the world was spread out right before our eyes and belonged to us for an entire year!
With a sense of pride and status we carried the whole load back and forth between home and school those first few days, making brown paper covers to protect them and showing them off to our approving parents. More...

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