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AJCann
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Fee hike will leave government facing ‘huge liabilities’ in 30 years

Students enrolling at university in 2012-13 will have to earn salaries of £50,000 a year immediately after graduating if they are to pay off their student loan debt before the 30-year government write-off threshold, a new analysis suggests. This is over £30,000 more than the average first-year salary for a university graduate.

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Stuart Johnson's comment, January 16, 2012 12:02 PM
By' 'eck!
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Is the number of first-class degrees cause for concern?

Is the number of first-class degrees cause for concern? | AJCann | Scoop.it

The latest figures out from the Higher Education Statistics Agency may fuel fears that grade inflation is rife in UK universities. The statistics show the proportion of undergraduates being awarded first-class degrees has risen rapidly in the last four years. The latest figures, from 2010-2011, reveal that almost one in six undergraduates at UK universities achieved a first (15.5%). This compares to one in eight (12.6%) in 2006-07.

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Universities under Attack

Universities under Attack | AJCann | Scoop.it

"The lack of solidarity — or even collegiality — among academics is one of the most depressing aspects of the current crisis. One sees this acutely in the way it renders universities unable to combat the racketeering of journal publishers, for example. If all the serious universities in Britain and the US collectively decided that they would cancel journal subscriptions rather than submit to the price gouging currently practiced by publishers, then the entire cartel would collapse in a year. But the moment a university librarian so much as hints that s/he is minded to call the publishers’ bluff there will be angry calls from academics each concerned not about the importance of the issue for the community, but about their individual interests — citations, access to papers, etc."

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Universities to pay cash incentives to attract students

Universities to pay cash incentives to attract students | AJCann | Scoop.it

Institutions across the country, including City University London, and Leicester, Surrey and Northumbria universities, are introducing payments to attract candidates with the best exam grades.

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The science of choosing where to study

The science of choosing where to study | AJCann | Scoop.it

"So, just what is the best physics department in the country? Here's the answer: nobody knows and nobody can tell you. You can come up with all the metrics you want on student satisfaction, contact time, employment rates and so on, but the whole concept of what the "best" course for Student X is so tied up with softer issues that it's impossible - and not desirable - to render that choice down to a statistical measure."

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Socratic Backfire?

Socratic Backfire? | AJCann | Scoop.it

Some students didn't take well to Steven Maranville’s teaching style at Utah Valley University. They complained that in the professor’s “capstone” business course, he asked them questions in class even when they didn't raise their hands. They also didn't like it when he made them work in teams. Those complaints against him led the university denying him tenure – a decision amounting to firing, according to a lawsuit Maranville filed against the university this month. Maranville, his lawyer and the university aren't talking about the case, although the suit details the dispute.

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Metric perversion

Metric perversion | AJCann | Scoop.it

Reliance on metrics produces perverse effects, encouraging researchers to focus on a narrow range of issues and methodologies. This may be more justifiable in disciplines where there is little diversity, but it is "dangerously objective" in heterogeneous fields.

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Government’s student places proposals do not go far enough

The 1994 Group of leading research universities are today warning the Government that plans proposed in the Higher Education White Paper are not enough to establish a system led by student-demand.

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University access plan 'will fail', says Russell Group

The Russell Group said: “We remain concerned that the Government’s proposals on access do not fully recognise the root cause of the problem and the great work already being done to improve participation. They risk focusing too much on regulation of universities rather than resolving the real problems: underachievement at school and poor advice on the best choices of A-level subjects and university degree course.”

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A university education should be about mind over money

A university education should be about mind over money | AJCann | Scoop.it

"I didn't go to university to get a job at the end of it. I didn't go so I could one day earn more money. I didn't go so my mum could collect the mandatory graduation picture and put it on her mantelpiece. And I certainly didn't go because that's what all my peers did. I went to learn. Does that sound odd? University is more often associated with three years of boozing and a few frantic essay all-nighters. And I did learn, lots – not only about politics, which I studied, but about myself. I made friends, I learned to cook and, sometimes, even clean. For me, university was too good an opportunity to waste on a few cheap shots at bars."

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elearnspace › What am I not seeing?

"In the US and UK in particular, higher education is at the early stages of a massive shift from public ownership to private ownership and entrepreneurial solutions. As the funds flow to innovators – or in Bb’s case, value hubs – tremendous wealth will be created for the risk-takers. In language and ideology that I’ve heard in numerous discussions over the past five years “education is the last industry to globalize”."
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Oxbridge places dominated by just five elitist schools

Oxbridge places dominated by just five elitist schools | AJCann | Scoop.it
Just five top schools send more pupils to Oxford and Cambridge than 2,000 other comprehensives or sixth-form colleges combined.
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Private college announces sub-£6k fees for undergraduate degrees

The ifs School of Finance will charge £5,750 per year for its three-year degree in banking practice and management and is also looking at the possibility of offering the course over two years. It also plans to introduce two new full-time undergraduate courses with fees of £6,000 - a specialist BSc in accounting and finance for financial services and a degree in financial analysis and risk, which is tailored to the wholesale financial services market.
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Pile it high, sell it cheap

Manchester is not alone.

 

"Complaints of sub-standard teaching and overcrowding have led the University of Manchester to cut student numbers by more than 1,000, The Sunday Times claimed. The Russell Group university, which has more than 28,000 undergraduates, will lower its intake from 8,736 in 2010 to 7,544 by 2014 - a 14 per cent fall, the newspaper reported on 8 January. More than 100 academics will also be hired to improve staff-to-student ratios."

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Unregulated KIS data overload will baffle, not enlighten, students

Unregulated KIS data overload will baffle, not enlighten, students | AJCann | Scoop.it

"It is precisely the students we are keenest to encourage - those from widening-participation backgrounds - who will be most disadvantaged by unregulated information overload. Bafflement, together with debt-aversion, is likely to reinforce their tendency to "go local" - and this in turn could seriously restrict their choices and opportunities."

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Two-front push for extra places leaves low-income students out in the cold

Two-front push for extra places leaves low-income students out in the cold | AJCann | Scoop.it

"A pre-1992 university has cut almost £1 million in planned cash support for poorer students while offering tuition-fee discounts for high-achieving applicants so that it can bid for extra places on two fronts."

Dontcha just love market forces?

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Academic writing: why does it have to be so dull and stilted?

Academic writing: why does it have to be so dull and stilted? | AJCann | Scoop.it

"Can it be right or acceptable that in an age of 24/7 communication you submit an article, wait months for feedback and then – in the happy event that the revised work is accepted – the article is finally published maybe a year later. Currency? Relevance? Agency for change? And if it is printed, you then have the issue of it being read by three people and a dog."

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iPad pilot project reveals limitations as an instructional tool #UoLTUG

iPad pilot project reveals limitations as an instructional tool #UoLTUG | AJCann | Scoop.it

Fifty-two percent said that they used the iPad to present websites. Thirty-nine percent used the iPad in the classroom to share videos and presentations. And 30 percent stated that they used it for presenting Blackboard and PDFs.

When asked which apps were most helpful, those mentioned most frequently were: Safari, Mail, Keynote, iAnnotate, GoodReader, Evernote, Pages, Dropbox, Blackboard Mobile and YouTube.

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University reform: a flawed experiment?

University reform: a flawed experiment? | AJCann | Scoop.it

"If Willetts' hypothesis were true, then the US - with its famous tier of private non-profit universities and its less-celebrated tier of private for-profit universities - would outperform all the world's more-or-less purely public university systems with ease. But instead, the US offers only a fraction of the value for money produced by public university systems in the UK and elsewhere. And it follows that the Minister's hypothesis should be rejected as false, unless he can provide some equally weighty evidence to support it."

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New ways with old numbers

"Cost-benefit analysis has its place. But the benefits of academic research can pop up in such unexpected ways, sometimes immediately and sometimes after centuries. We should not set too much store by any bureaucrat’s analysis of “academic impact".

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Fifth of UK universities in deficit

Fifth of UK universities in deficit | AJCann | Scoop.it

There are 26 UK universities and higher education institutions in deficit. Almost half of institutions are below the recommended minimum of surplus. Russell Group universities more than doubled their surpluses - but the report estimates that the planned changes to funding will see a "squeezed middle" of universities facing an income cut of 11%.

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Loyalty Discount Scholarship for UK Students at University of Kent

First UK example of family discounts I have seen:

"The University of Kent is pleased to announce that it has decided to recognise the family and personal loyalty shown by registration on multiple degrees by siblings, children of alumni, husband and wife studying together or alumni studying for additional degrees.  A discount of 10% of the first year’s tuition fee will be allowed on registration and payment of tuition fees."

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The English Ivy League

The English Ivy League | AJCann | Scoop.it
An English "Ivy League" consisting of just a handful of leading universities could develop as a result of Government plans to shake-up higher education
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Universities must recruit poor students to justify £9k fees - Telegraph

Universities must recruit poor students to justify £9k fees - Telegraph | AJCann | Scoop.it
Nice headline from the Torygraph.
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Elitist Not Elite to take up AAB gauntlet

Elitist Not Elite to take up AAB gauntlet | AJCann | Scoop.it
"Of the 12 VCs who responded, six said they planned to expand their recruitment of students with AAB grades or better, with one aiming to boost total undergraduate numbers by as much as 10 per cent via such recruitment in 2012-13."
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