US and Russian universities in new Sino-Foreign ventures Exciting news from Asia as not one but two universities announce new Sino-Foreign higher education institutions. First up is the University of Pittsburgh which has recently held a groundbreaking for the new Sichuan University-Pittsburgh Institute: Officials from the University of Pittsburgh and Sichuan University in China participated … Continue reading New Sino-Foreign Fun
Month: August 2014
Urgent: save those emails
Do we need to preserve Vice-Chancellors' emails? A diverting essay in Inside Higher Ed has a call for the preservation of presidential email: ...boards of trustees should act – with a sense of urgency. They might begin by appointing a task force, composed of professional historians, lawyers, board members, and administrators, to recommend procedures for … Continue reading Urgent: save those emails
Top new university ranking: 50 under 50 degrees north
Another post from the archives – silly #ranking time
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 geography to sort the best from the rest. It’s 50 under 50 degrees north!
The new latitude-led league table has been slammed as outrageous by northern Europeans in particular and described by UK universities as a stitch up by the US and central and southern Europeans. Those south of the equator have been similarly appalled.
“We’re all used to US dominance but this is ridiculous” said an Australian Vice-Chancellor who, remarkably, did not wish to be named.
There are some extraordinary results and ETH is the only non North American university in Top 20. There…
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Students behaving badly
One from the archives
Crimes and misdemeanours at university
I was greatly taken by this list of fineable offences for 18th-century students at Harvard:
Offense #19, “Cutting off the lead,” seems to refer to the lead on the college building’s roof. Lead was once used for roofing material (especially for more expensively-constructed buildings), and such buildings suffered from the depradations of thieves who would steal the lead and sell it. It’s unclear, in this case, whether the students were cutting off lead for profit or for simple mischief.
Students have always behaved badly. Not all of them and not all of the time but universities have often felt the need to seek to constrain the worst excesses and this list from Harvard is typical although clearly very much of its time. (See also True Crime on Campus…)
A previous post here looked at regulations in Oxford and Uzbekistan, in the 16th Century and more…
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2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities: Top 20 and UK placings
2014 ARWU University World Rankings: Top 20 and UK placings It feels like a strange time to publish a world ranking but ideal holiday reading for many. Anyway, as in previous years there is not a huge amount to get excited about as this is a league table where little changes. The full rankings have been published and … Continue reading 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities: Top 20 and UK placings
More on Beyoncé and Ghostbusting courses
The Telegraph seems to have a bit of a thing about courses featuring popular music and musicians. Especialy Beyoncé. Recently they published this story about Beyoncé and Miley Cyrus studies being offered at US colleges: It will focus on the growth of the star’s media empire, with an emphasis on her roles as a “black … Continue reading More on Beyoncé and Ghostbusting courses
The new University of Life
Some people are just too smart for university Must admit to being immensely irritated at the so-called 'UnCollege' proposition> And, having seen Dale speak recently at Going Global my annoyance has not decreased. This seems to be the story of UnCollege: Dale was unschooled for grades six through twelve and enrolled at Hendrix College … Continue reading The new University of Life
Jobs in .ac.uk
Some handy data on higher education employment trends HEFCE has published 'interactive' data on the trends in employment of staff in the higher education sector for the ten years, 2003-04 to 2012-13. The data is divided into two main categories: academic roles, such as professors and research assistants and then professional and support roles, including … Continue reading Jobs in .ac.uk
GCHQ accredits UK master's degrees for 'cyber spies' Was very much taken by this thrilling news. Of course we have had Professional Body accreditation for many years and more recently courses supported by Asda and other supermarkets. But this is a little bit different. Not least in the sense that GCHQ is not … Continue reading Spy kids
A long list of management principles
Important maxims to live and work by? Or just a long and forgettable list? The Chronicle of Higher Education has a diverting piece on a set of rules the new president of the University of Akron has issued to his senior staff: If Scott L. Scarborough gets his way, the University of Akron will have … Continue reading A long list of management principles
The Imperfect University: Know Your History
Another old one – this from last year
Know your history.
For my 700th blog post here I thought I would reflect on university histories. Given their nature it’s often struck me as rather surprising that universities and their staff tend not to have a well developed sense of institutional history.
Research matters to universities but they tend not to prioritise maintaining their own records for future researchers. It’s possibly that universities are generally not brilliant at comprehensive record keeping because of their devolved nature and more recently because of the shift from paper to digital but nevertheless there are core records around, for example see Nottingham’s institutional collection. Plus there is enough oral history available from longer established staff to last a lifetime if you ask for it.
Anyway, my contention is that staff at every level of the University need to know more about their institution’s past.
To make this point, a while…
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