A strange use for a weapon

On the slightly odd tradition of the university mace. During our summer graduations, as I sat on stage and mused on the various facets of these wonderful if rather bizarre ceremonies (as I've done before so won't repeat here) I was struck by the strange presence of a mace as part of the proceedings. Our … Continue reading A strange use for a weapon

Reducing regulation in Australia

But will regulatory review deliver? A story in Inside Higher Ed notes that the Australian government is considering cutting higher education regulation. A previous post noted the woeful track record of UK governments in reducing the regulatory burden on universities so it will be interesting to see if Australia makes more progress: In a radical … Continue reading Reducing regulation in Australia

A Huge Outsourcing Deal

Texas goes large. A while ago via The Chronicle of Higher Education reported on massive outsourcing activity in Texas. Whilst outsourcing in itself is not that unusual, the scale of the deal done by Texas A&M University is pretty extraordinary. Last summer the university outsourced all of its main dining and facilities services to Compass Group USA … Continue reading A Huge Outsourcing Deal

Badges, badges, badges

Earn your first badge now! I've posted before about this nonsense but then I heard the exciting news about how you can bypass all that messy unpleasant formal education stuff and get straight on and get some real recognition for your achievements via this super Open Badges concept: Want to get started? Earn a Mozilla … Continue reading Badges, badges, badges

Faking it: China’s Diploma Mills

Report Reveals 100 Fake Universities (and wild chickens). A blog post last year noted the case of a non-existent university in the USA. Now there is an interesting report on China's Diploma Mills which has shown up a large number of fake institutions in the country: As China’s notoriously difficult college entrance exam, the feared … Continue reading Faking it: China’s Diploma Mills

More Data – Open Data

Data for all. Data.ac.uk has launched. It's a great idea for a site which is intended to provide access to lots of open data but also tools and somewhere to share ideas and approaches: This is a landmark site for academia providing a single point of contact for linked open data development. It not only … Continue reading More Data – Open Data

Regulation without legislation

Not a campaign slogan but the next steps in HE regulatory change from HEFCE Something of a surprise announcement from HEFCE on new changes to HE regulation. The changes follow a written Ministerial statement from David Willetts. The changes cover a lot of ground: The success of higher education in England is underpinned by the … Continue reading Regulation without legislation

A higher education report to remember?

Or not much of an impact? It's a month or so now since the publication of the IPPR report on securing the future of higher education in England. It was a big report based on a considerable amount of work by a group headed by Nigel Thrift. But, despite an initial flurry, it doesn't seem to … Continue reading A higher education report to remember?

An engaging app for students?

Possibly. But it's a tough sell. The Chronicle of Higher Education has a story on a new app which claims to offer faster outreach to students. But will it catch on?     The app, Student Engauge, is part of a larger trend toward mobile outreach, as colleges seek ways to engage with students who … Continue reading An engaging app for students?

More honoraries: serious or celeb 2013

Who are the lucky stars this year? A previous post on Honorary Degree recipients noted that almost all of them fall clearly into one of two categories: they are either serious or celeb. The former really don’t get much press coverage so it doesn't really matter if you have won a Nobel prize, discovered a … Continue reading More honoraries: serious or celeb 2013

Another amusing attack on administrators

Flipping administration. Clever. An entertaining piece on another splendid idea by Benjamin Ginsberg. A previous post noted his recent book The Fall of the Faculty had a distinctive analysis of the process of strategic planning as a tool for power-hungry administrators. This time, it is suggested we "forget MOOCs" and use MOOA instead (it really … Continue reading Another amusing attack on administrators

Delivering better higher education data?

Another attempt to clean up HE data. A previous post on the HE regulatory landscape noted the challenge of sorting out the massive range of data reporting required of universities - 550 different reporting requirements - which entailed a major programme of work. A year later things have moved on it seems and we now … Continue reading Delivering better higher education data?

More interest in branch campuses

Immigration constraints prompt overseas interests Out-law.com has an interesting piece on institutional ambitions overseas: In research carried out by Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, 67% of surveyed universities said that Government policy on immigration and fees made them more likely to establish an overseas presence. The internationalisation of higher education is not, of course, … Continue reading More interest in branch campuses