Another university league table variation

A league table of universties’ social media ‘visibility’

Econsultancy have published a league table of Russell Group universities’ social media profiles or their ‘visibility’:

The visibility score we use here is based on the total number of links a web domain has scored on the six social sites, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Delicious and StumbleUpon, while accounting for different weightings we give to links on individual social sites.

The content linked to includes

news page stories about new research studies and initiatives are quite common. While heavily shared links included software simulations, web cam images, jokes and podcasts.



The league table is as follows:

Social visibility of Russell Group universities

University of Cambridge. Visibility score: 462,823

University of Oxford: 442,758

London School of Economics: 286,859

Newcastle University: 186,184

University College London: 176,202

University of Warwick: 169,462

University of Manchester: 143,186

University of Edinburgh: 131,053

Queens University Belfast: 118,137

University of Glasgow: 72,211

University of Bristol: 70,656

University of Nottingham: 64,381

University of Leeds: 63,802

Imperial College London: 47,321

Cardiff University: 46,053

University of Southampton: 44,106

King’s College London: 31,762

University of Liverpool: 20,444

University of Birmingham: 15,873

University of Sheffield: 9,912

It’s a bit crude but nevertheless fascinating. And it is quite striking how big the gap is between Oxbridge and the lower half of the table. Many of us have a lot to do to catch up.

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“Drop the ‘mickey mouse’ degrees”

“Drop the ‘mickey mouse’ degrees” says head of Royal Society of Chemistry

It’s silly season again. According to a blog post from Richard Pike of the RSC:

‘Mickey Mouse’ degree courses should be swept away, and priorities in university education and research should reflect the challenges facing the country over the forthcoming decades. No longer should the government be paying 18-year-olds to start courses on celebrity journalism, drama with waste management, or international football business management.

This seems to be prompted by new constraints in HE funding and suggests that not only is utilitarianism a primary consideration but that university autonomy is also secondary to the perceived national need. Anyway, whatever the philosophical basis of the approach it’s always fun to pick on bonkers degree courses. Which probably explains why the story was swiftly picked up by the Telegraph which quotes Dr Pike:

“We need a population with an enduring set of skills, such as an understanding of the physical world around us, literacy and communication, numeracy, how to function and continue to learn in a complex society, and above all creativity, rather than an ability to satisfy some ephemeral demand that in 10 years’ time will be viewed as a curiosity.”

Further analysis of the courses he lambasts is also offered by the paper:

Celebrity Journalism is a new three-year course to be offered at Staffordshire University from this autumn. It includes topics such as interviewing celebrities and understanding celebrity culture. International Football Business Management is offered by Bucks New University and covers coaching, government policy, and issues in sport and leisure, among others.

All highly entertaining stuff therefore and really nothing new as previous posts on the launch of an MA in Beatles Studies and the offer of a degree in Northern Studies show. For the really masochistic there is also a podcast on “bonkers or niche” degrees.

University of Nottingham: Graduate Trainee Programme

The first group of four Graduate Trainees are coming to the end of their year-long programme which has been extremely successful.

seeds

As the advert for the 2009-10 scheme describes it:

The University is delighted to announce the Nottingham Graduate Trainee Programme. This innovative programme, aimed exclusively at University of Nottingham graduates from any of the University campuses interested in developing a career in university administration. It offers an invaluable insight into this dynamic management activity whilst developing an understanding of:

* markets
* income streams
* resource allocation processes
* client bases including students, parents, employers, funding bodies and commercial partners.

The programme offers four trainees the opportunity to experience key components of university operation and build an understanding of the institution’s strategy. Trainees will spend 12 months undertaking a planned rotation of placements in different areas of the University, reporting to senior staff. Placements will be across central services and schools, and trainees may have the opportunity to experience activity at one of the University’s overseas campuses in Malaysia or China.

The evidence from the presentations by each of the trainees on their experiences and the results both for them and the University is extraordinarily positive. They have all done outstandingly well and all four have now secured other posts within Nottingham which really is excellent news.

Comments on some of the outcomes of the programme can be seen in a recent podcast:

League tables podcast (toe in the water time)

University of Nottingham league tables podcast

podcastlogofinalOK, it’s the first one but you’ve got to start somewhere. (Many thanks to Andrew Burden for doing the hard work.)

Suspect this is probably going to be the full extent of cross-media influence though.

Graduate Training Programme at the University of Nottingham

A brief podcast on the launch of the new programme for Graduate Trainees at the University of Nottingham (produced by Andrew Burden of the Communications team)

Offers a good first look at what it is hoped will be a really important and valuable development for the University.

New additions to iTunes U

As reported by the BBC, UCL, the OU and Trinity have joined the iTunes U stable along with a group of other non-US universities. It remains to be seen whether they will reach the top 10 with any of their offerings but one of the UCL presentations is a bit different: the University’s annual report as a series of brief podcasts.

Given the well-known challenges of making university annual reports readable and then promoting them this seems like a worthy approach. But it is still difficult to make some of the issues sound exciting.

Digby (Lord) Jones: Honorary Degree

A really good speech from Lord Jones at the Graduation Ceremony on 19 July:

The audio is available on the University of Nottingham Podcast site.

Digby

Video also available (for the full gowned effect).

He generously (and, of course, justifiably) compliments the University in many ways and there is a nice anecdote about being picked up for BBC interviews on his first day as a Minister.