No more drinking ‘games’

Exeter, according to the Guardian, has banned them following the death of a student as part of a society initiation. A previous post referred to the problems of the Freshers' Week drinking culture and the Government's concerns. The initiation ritual, here involving golfers (perhaps surprisingly?), remains a deeply unpleasant extension of this. A coroner's inquest … Continue reading No more drinking ‘games’

Managing an academic department

There are, I think, quite a few solid textbooks out there which are full of helpful advice for Heads of academic departments or schools. (For example: Managing the Academic Unit, by Allen Bolton, Open University Press, 2000 and Chairing an Academic Department by Gmelch and Miskin, Atwood, 2004) None though is quite as pithy as … Continue reading Managing an academic department

An education in drinking?

According to a recent story in The Times it is "Last orders for boozy freshers". THE days of new students being initiated into binge drinking at universities may be numbered. The government is considering plans to clamp down on “freshers’ weeks”, where students are encouraged to consume vast quantities of cheap alcohol. The prime minister … Continue reading An education in drinking?

World university league table: field rankings

Snappily titled SJTU-ARWU Field rankings have just been published. These are the companion tables to the overall world rankings produced by the team at SJTU. Due to overwhelming demand it seems: Since the first publication of Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) in 2003, we have received numerous requests to provide ranking of world universities … Continue reading World university league table: field rankings

Even more information for applicants?

According to the Guardian, in a report on a conference they have sponsored: Universities should offer more detailed information about courses to the Facebook generation, the shadow universities secretary, David Willetts, said today. The Guardian's Higher Education summit heard that students were sharing information about the offers they receive for university courses on social networking … Continue reading Even more information for applicants?

First-years perhaps not so IT-literate

There is a tendency for many of us to assume that every new cohort of students is even more IT-savvy than the last (and significantly ahead of almost all staff) and that we therefore need to offer them just about everything online and loads of exciting kit to play with too. But maybe first years … Continue reading First-years perhaps not so IT-literate