Daft University Traditions

Some students (and universities) do the silliest things... Lots of universities have bizarre traditions which their students sustain year after year or in some cases disappear into oblivion. My eye was recently caught by a collection of "Princetonia" including this rather odd event called Poler's Recess: One of the more peculiar Princeton traditions was an … Continue reading Daft University Traditions

Falling short: careers guidance in schools

A new Ofsted report on the parlous state of careers guidance Ofsted has recently published a report entitled Going in the right direction? Careers guidance in schools from September 2012. The report covers a sample of 60 schools to assess how they were addressing their legal responsibility, in place since September 2012, for securing access to … Continue reading Falling short: careers guidance in schools

Unbelievable excitement as website updated

Big announcements about Unistats. As previously noted there is no shortage of information available to prospective university students. Unistats was intended to enable better decision-making by students but, whilst it is not without merit, it is no substitute for effective advice and guidance. Unfortunately this shiny website seems to be pretty much all that's on … Continue reading Unbelievable excitement as website updated

True Crime on Campus §31: no dead ducks

It's all new and all real: more true crime on campus There can be some strange and often challenging incidents on campus sometimes. However, our outstanding Security staff are ready for anything and always there to deal with the problem- no matter how odd: 20:50 Security provided access for a student who was locked in … Continue reading True Crime on Campus §31: no dead ducks

Times and Sunday Times 2014 University League Table Top 20 Placings

The Times and Sunday Times League Table 2014 A quick look at the top 20 in the all new combined Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide ranking for 2014. Full details can be found on the Sunday Times website (£). 1 Cambridge 2 Oxford 3 LSE 4 St Andrews 5 Imperial 6 Durham 7 Bath 8 Exeter … Continue reading Times and Sunday Times 2014 University League Table Top 20 Placings

Oprah in the classroom

I'm a Celebrity - get me in there The Chronicle of Higher Education has a diverting article on the appointment of celebrities as visiting academics at US universities. Celebrity adjunct culture as it is described brings many challenges, not least of which is the resentment of existing staff at the pay and perks afforded the … Continue reading Oprah in the classroom

International agents: regulation required?

Do we need to regulate universities use of international recruitment agents? A new publication from the Leadership Foundation, called Using International Recruitment Agents: Risks and Regulation? argues that we do need more regulation in this area. It's an interesting report on an important area of activity: The expansion of the international student market has coincided with a … Continue reading International agents: regulation required?

Top new university ranking: 50 under 50 degrees north

An exciting new league table! Both QS and THE have, rather unimaginatively, produced rankings of universities under 50 years old. More exciting alternative rankings here have offered the highly creative 20 over 500 and 30 under six but this new not at all arbitrary league table draws not on age but on the inescapable facts of … Continue reading Top new university ranking: 50 under 50 degrees north

Higher Ed data – way too much information

Tackling the surfeit of data I've written before here about Higher Education regulation (see for example this general commentary and this post on information provision) and the excess of information provision available to prospective students. It's pleasing therefore to see that HEFCE is undertaking a review of providing information about higher education. The aims of the review … Continue reading Higher Ed data – way too much information

New 2013/14 QS World University Rankings

Latest QS world league table is out Full details of the rankings can be found at the QS website. A summary of the world top 10 follows where we find MIT retaining the top spot for a second year and four UK universities remain in the top 10: Global top ten 2013 2012 Institution Country … Continue reading New 2013/14 QS World University Rankings

Reducing University Regulation in Australia

"Red tape strangling universities must be cut" A recently released report in Australia following a review of higher education regulation has found that an “unnecessarily heavy reporting burden” had been imposed on higher education providers by the quality agency and government. A report in University World News notes the irony in the fact that a paper … Continue reading Reducing University Regulation in Australia

The Imperfect University: rational admissions – it’s time for PQA

A brighter future for university admissions? It will be some time before all of the results are in but it does look at this stage as if this year's admissions round has been a little less turbulent than last year's. The mood across many universities seems to be one of some relief after a period … Continue reading The Imperfect University: rational admissions – it’s time for PQA

Getting off my bike…

A rather challenging ride for a very good cause As previously noted here I faced a major cycling challenge on Sunday as part of Life Cycle 3: During the last two summers a team from the University of Nottingham led by our Vice-Chancellor cycled ridiculously long distances to raise money for good causes. The team … Continue reading Getting off my bike…

The Office of Fair Trading targets universities

The OFT is investigating universities' terms and conditions. The Office of Fair Trading, apparently at the request of the National Union of Students, has started an investigation into whether some of the sanctions imposed by universities on students, which may prevent them from progressing or graduating if they owe the university money, are unfair in … Continue reading The Office of Fair Trading targets universities