Fire! Reflections on a major incident In the evening of Friday September 12 I received a call from our Deputy Head of Security to alert me to a major fire at the University's Jubilee Campus. The building ablaze was the unfinished GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry and, during the hours that followed, it … Continue reading Chemical Reaction
The 2014 Grant letter: another epistolary triumph
And the wait was finally over The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has written to HEFCE with the Department's annual message on funding and helpful bag of instructions. As excitement in the sector reached near fever pitch, the contents were being live-tweeted by @TimesHigherEd while everyone else waited to get hold of … Continue reading The 2014 Grant letter: another epistolary triumph
What are academic bloggers up to?
What are academic bloggers blogging about? And why? A great article for the Guardian Higher Education Network by Pat Thomson ( @ThomsonPat ) and Inger Mewburn ( @thesiswhisperer ) on bloggers in higher education. The piece is a summary of an article in a special edition of Studies in Higher Education and the longer one is well … Continue reading What are academic bloggers up to?
Dark Arts: Gothic Studies
There's a Centre for Gothic Studies. Scary.A couple of years ago I noted the launch of an MA in Horror and Transgression at the University of Derby. This followed on from posts on some other rather niche offers including a zombie course at the University of Baltimore and a course covering Lady Gaga. Now this has all been taken … Continue reading Dark Arts: Gothic Studies
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…
Getting on my bike…
A shortish ride for a very good cause 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 did not include me and they have sensibly overlooked me again as they cycle round the capital cities of … Continue reading Getting on my bike…
The Imperfect University: Know Your History
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 … Continue reading The Imperfect University: Know Your History
More Data – Open Data
Data for all. Data.ac.uk has launched. It's a great idea for a site which is intended to provide access to lots of open data but also tools and somewhere to share ideas and approaches: This is a landmark site for academia providing a single point of contact for linked open data development. It not only … Continue reading More Data – Open Data
A higher education report to remember?
Or not much of an impact? It's a month or so now since the publication of the IPPR report on securing the future of higher education in England. It was a big report based on a considerable amount of work by a group headed by Nigel Thrift. But, despite an initial flurry, it doesn't seem to … Continue reading A higher education report to remember?
Everything’s gone green
Some positive work on sustainable futures at the University of Nottingham. In 2012 the University of Nottingham won the Times Higher Education Award for Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development. In the citation for the award the judges noted Nottingham was a “trailblazer” for environmental best practice. Now I must admit that I used to be … Continue reading Everything’s gone green
Launch of the nice university league table
New league table: nearly there. A previous post noted the imminent arrival of the all new European non-ranking ranking. Well now it seems to be nearly complete with only a year to wait until the first ranking is produced. The public launch of the 'multi-dimensional' ranking, which is intended to cover a wider range of … Continue reading Launch of the nice university league table
The Imperfect University: what do we know about HE leadership?
What do we know about leadership in higher education? Not a lot, seems to be the answer. I’ve written a bit before in the Imperfect University series about leadership in universities. There is a new report out which seeks to sum up what we know about leadership in HE. This report, written by Professor … Continue reading The Imperfect University: what do we know about HE leadership?
Higher education funding letters: another bundle of joy
On government HE funding letters The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has written to HEFCE with the Department's annual message on funding and helpful bag of instructions. The letter sets out Government funding and priorities for HEFCE and for higher education for the second year of the new financial arrangements for higher … Continue reading Higher education funding letters: another bundle of joy
African Universities and the Global Rankings
Should African universities be concerned with the global league tables? Inside Higher Ed has a really good piece on African universities and the impact of the international rankings. Essentially the challenge for Africa is that the global league tables use metrics which simply don't favour the continent's institutions: Any observer of higher education in Africa … Continue reading African Universities and the Global Rankings
The Value of International University Networks
There are more than you might think... The July edition of the International Unit newsletter (which can be downloaded as a PDF here) has an interesting article on the value and power of international university networks. It identifies the following consortia as the main players: Academic Consortium 21 Association of Commonwealth Universities Coimbra Group Santander … Continue reading The Value of International University Networks