Restricting Free Speech?

Is there really a freedom of speech problem in US universities?   Inside Higher Ed has a report on a new publication on free speech on US campuses. Nearly 59 percent of campuses have policies that "clearly and substantially" restrict students' protected speech, according to an annual report from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, … Continue reading Restricting Free Speech?

Varsity on ice

The Big Match: University of Nottingham v Nottingham Trent University Earlier this week I attended the annual Nottingham v Trent Varsity ice hockey match. It really is a fantastic sporting event and must be the biggest of its kind in UK higher education. With a sell-out crowd of over 7,000 the atmosphere was terrific. It … Continue reading Varsity on ice

Disciplinary differences…

...and similarities. In an earlier blog post I noted the noted the importance of good discipline on campus. A sound disciplinary framework is important for sustaining a strong idea of community, ensuring students are able to get on with their studies without unwarranted distraction and for developing s sense of social responsibility across the student … Continue reading Disciplinary differences…

20 over 500

Don’t forget the oldies. As silly and pointless now as it was when originally published last year. But does have some helpful comments attached.


Youth isn’t everything

Last year it was Times Higher Education but this year it is the turn of QS to produce a ranking of newer universities, presumably on the basis that somehow they suffer in the rankings for not having done enough stuff over their limited histories. Unfortunately, this rather discriminates against older institutions which are also often disadvantaged in the rankings for being, well, old.

So, it’s time to right this wrong by producing the all new top 20 of universities over 500 years old. Let’s hear it for the ancients!

And the good news is that European universities once again dominate and Italy in particular does extremely well. It is also another good year for the University of Bologna, the grandaddy of them all, which is top of the heap for a record-breaking 925th year. Let’s look at the full top 20:

  1. University of Bologna
  2. University of…

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The damage caused by the athletics arms race

Uncontrolled expansion of athletics can cause real problems Interesting piece in Inside Higher Ed on a paper which looks at the academic damage of an expanding independent athletics program with a particular focus on Berkeley: When describing the approach that administrators at the University of California at Berkeley took to the university's sports program, John Cummins … Continue reading The damage caused by the athletics arms race

Sustainability charts: Latest UI GreenMetric World University Ranking

Now out : the new Green Metric World Ranking This world university league table first appeared in 2010 and was headed by the University of California, Berkeley. Two years ago the University of Nottingham led the field (down to second to Connecticut in last year's ranking). This year though Nottingham is back on top: The … Continue reading Sustainability charts: Latest UI GreenMetric World University Ranking

That Higher Ed joke isn’t funny any more

Satire in Higher Education. I've written before about books covering higher education in general and the commented on the end of the campus novel as well as its  possible reinvention. More recently, there has been a series of books intended to capture the humorous and darker side of British higher education life: A comic portrayal of modern … Continue reading That Higher Ed joke isn’t funny any more

No stress in academia?

Professor ranked as one of the least stressful jobs. Inside Higher Ed has a report on an annual work survey which again names Professor as a low-stress job. This year’s report ranks university professor the No. 4 least-stressful job, behind audiologist, hair stylist and jeweler. Seamstress/tailor, dietician, medical records technician, librarian, multimedia artist and drill press … Continue reading No stress in academia?

The Imperfect University: 2013 collection

Because universities are still difficult, but still worth it With the latest post, on Robbins, we are now up to a total of 18 pieces to date in the Imperfect University series. Covering a wide range of occasionally relevant issues I do hope there is something for everyone in here. And there is a question … Continue reading The Imperfect University: 2013 collection

Pop Art to Brit Art

A great exhibition at the Djanogly Gallery, Lakeside This exhibition is undoubtedly the highlight of Lakeside's winter season and is the first outing of a terrific collection of contemporary art: The guiding principle behind the David Ross collection is of art produced during his own lifetime, and it is particularly rich in paintings by artists … Continue reading Pop Art to Brit Art

More real than university itself?

The Sims 3: University Life Back in 2007 I posted on Sims 2 University. Since then things have become much more exciting it seems. This Sims 3: University Life opportunity to "play with university life" all sounds incredibly realistic and enables you to attend lectures, organise protests and experiment with street art. And of course do lots … Continue reading More real than university itself?

More Problems for MOOCs

More gloomy news for MOOC enthusiasts MIT Technology Review has a striking report on how some data mining has exposed a few embarrassing problems for MOOCs. The research confirms earlier reports about low continuation and completion rates and, perhaps surprisingly, notes that teacher involvement really doesn't help: But this new golden age of education has rapidly … Continue reading More Problems for MOOCs

True Crime on Campus §33: Best of 2013

True Crime on Campus §33: Best of 2013 and vote for #1 It's the time for some reviews of last year's stuff and 2013 has been another busy year for our hard working Security staff. Here are some of my true crime on campus favourites from the year together with an opportunity to vote for … Continue reading True Crime on Campus §33: Best of 2013