Applying to uni via video

Better than qualifications? The Chronicle of Higher Education has an interesting story on the use of videos in university applications. Whilst some institutions have been encouraging students to submit videos as supporting information, it seems at least one has now gone further and is offering students the opportunity to provide them as the primary selection … Continue reading Applying to uni via video

Excess Baggage

Luxury Transport for Students Lots of coverage in the media for this new service offering Luxury Transport for Students. New students are urged to become VIFs – or Very Important Freshers – and take advantage of these new ways of getting to university: We are stepping up the game, we are changing the way students … Continue reading Excess Baggage

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

Most serious league tables of the year?

League tables of choice All rankings have their shortcomings. Some though are perhaps even more methodologically questionable than others. I was struck recently by two league tables which seemed to be even less credible than this very important ranking of universities based on the length of their name. First up is the ranking of the … Continue reading Most serious league tables of the year?

Universities gripped by puppy mania

 Puppies for relaxation It's exam time and I've written before here about the advent of the puppy room as a means of addressing exam stress. All parts of the media seem to have got rather excited about this and other stress-busting approaches as this  BBC News story demonstrates:   University students have ordered hundreds of … Continue reading Universities gripped by puppy mania

A stimulating new degree course

A Degree in Coffee? Inside Higher Ed has an entertaining piece on the advent of a new degree in the critical area of coffee:   Many students and faculty members consider coffee to be essential to their daily existence. The University of California at Davis could be moving toward offering a major in coffee, The … Continue reading A stimulating new degree course

Trademarking the obvious in Higher Education

You might be sued for using some pretty common HE phrases Slate has an amusing piece on universities and colleges which have trademarked seemingly everyday Higher Education phrases such as "student life" and "fast-track MBA". According to the piece various institutions have been granted federal trademark registrations on the phrases, presumably to stop other people … Continue reading Trademarking the obvious in Higher Education

Surviving an avalanche

The avalanche came. And went? It's just about a year since the publication of the IPPR report  'An avalanche is coming: Higher education and the revolution ahead'. It really was a stirring waning to the future: 'Our belief is that deep, radical and urgent transformation is required in higher education as much as it is … Continue reading Surviving an avalanche

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

Celebrity tutors

Hong Kong's got (teaching) talent. Following a recent post on Oprah in the classroom, the New York Times has a great piece on Celebrity Tutors in Hong Kong: Advertisements for star tutors in Hong Kong can be seen all over here: on billboards that loom over highways and on the exteriors of shopping malls. Invariably, … Continue reading Celebrity tutors

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

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

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

Eau de HE: the Smell of Success

A new range of fundraising fragrances from Notre Dame. The Chronicle of Higher Education has this entertaining piece about the very serious business of making money from smells: The University of Notre Dame has long been known for its enthusiastic sports fans. Now, the South Bend Tribune reports, all of those rabid supporters will be … Continue reading Eau de HE: the Smell of Success

Measuring Collegiality

Can you test for academics' collegiality? And would you want to? The Chronicle of Higher Education has a piece on the launch of a new test to help determine academics' collegiality or,as they put it, whether a faculty member is "a bully or a jerk or an all-around pain in the neck." Two higher-education consultants … Continue reading Measuring Collegiality