Academics concerned universities are excluding interdisciplinary research from the Research Excellence Framework exercise.
Most university departments will be in a state of frenzy right now with the deadline for submitting to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) only days away. As the last Ts are crossed and Is dotted, the approaching deadline may come as a relief to those heads of departments and staff involved in the submission process. But for many academics, the process to date has been pretty grim. (...) by Claire Shaw, Guardian Professional,Thursday 21 November 2013
Licence-Maîtrise-Doctorat (LMD), ce système d'enseignement universitaire, copié sur celui de l'Europe, est devenu un atout commercial pour des universités sans scrupules du Sud Kivu, vantant des études plus courtes. Mais tout ce qui fait l'intérêt de ces nouveaux cursus est oublié, y compris de la plupart des étudiants. Copie à revoir... (...) - SYFIA Grands Lacs, 25/11/2013
Recruiting and retaining the best researchers is a key challenge for Europe. Talks about introducing an attractive career structures with prospects for advancement, such as a tenure track, are ripe. Well-established in the US and increasingly in the UK, tenure track provides a clear, merit-based system that takes excellent researchers from postdoc to professor. But even if it is desirable, it does not guarantee more time for research given the increasingly bureaucratic nature of the job of university professor. - See more at: http://euroscientist.com/2013/10/tenure-track-key-to-attract-top-talent/#sthash.soS61fWJ.dpufRecruiting and retaining the best researchers is a key challenge for Europe. Talks about introducing an attractive career structures with prospects for advancement, such as a tenure track, are ripe. Well-established in the US and increasingly in the UK, tenure track provides a clear, merit-based system that takes excellent researchers from postdoc to professor. But even if it is desirable, it does not guarantee more time for research given the increasingly bureaucratic nature of the job of university professor. - See more at: http://euroscientist.com/2013/10/tenure-track-key-to-attract-top-talent/#sthash.soS61fWJ.dpufRecruiting and retaining the best researchers is a key challenge for Europe. Talks about introducing an attractive career structures with prospects for advancement, such as a tenure track, are ripe. Well-established in the US and increasingly in the UK, tenure track provides a clear, merit-based system that takes excellent researchers from postdoc to professor. But even if it is desirable, it does not guarantee more time for research given the increasingly bureaucratic nature of the job of university professor. - See more at: http://euroscientist.com/2013/10/tenure-track-key-to-attract-top-talent/#sthash.soS61fWJ.dpuf
Recruiting and retaining the best researchers is a key challenge for Europe. Talks about introducing an attractive career structures with prospects for advancement, such as a tenure track, are ripe. Well-established in the US and increasingly in the UK, tenure track provides a clear, merit-based system that takes excellent researchers from postdoc to professor. But even if it is desirable, it does not guarantee more time for research given the increasingly bureaucratic nature of the job of university professor (...) - Euroscientist, October 8th 2013
The European Parliament voted last Thursday on the final version of the union’s record research and innovation programme for 2014-20, dubbed Horizon 2020. The European Union (EU) has allocated €79 billion (US$106 billion) to spend on research and innovation projects, not just on the continent but also around the world. (...) - University World News, by Keith Nuthall, 22 November 2013 Issue No:297
Despite pre-election promises it would not slash spending on Australia’s universities, the new conservative government of Prime Minister Tony Abbott has done just that – with a A$900 million (US$825 million) cut from university grants.
In addition, the nation’s 820,000 university students will lose discounts they currently receive for early repayment of their higher education loan debts – and that will cost them almost A$300 million. (...) - University World News, by
Un sondage réalisé auprès des étudiants des universités de Bâle et Zurich et de l EPFZ montre que près de 14 des sondés ont déjà consommé des drogues pour doper leurs capacités. (...) - 20 minutes.ch, 14/11/2013
Entretien entre Isabelle Kraus (enseignante-chercheure en physique et chimie à l’Université de Strasbourg, chargée de mission égalités-diversité) et Pinar Selek (doctorante) autour de la place de la femme dans le monde universitaire, en France et en Turquie. - utv - Unistra, 18/11/2013
The British government has woken up to what some universities are calling a ‘postgraduate crisis’ with a pledge of £75 million (US$120 million) to fund a string of initiatives aimed at reversing falling demand for masters courses among UK students.
However, this doesn’t mean that a postgraduate loans system is about to be introduced for home and European Union students – despite calls for such a move from a number of higher education and student leaders.(...) - University World News, by Nic Mitchell, 15 November 2013 Issue No:296
Carol Propper lifts the lid on research that asks whether good university management leads to better teaching and research.
It's a commonly cited view that managing academics is like herding cats: difficult and ultimately pointless. But this view contrasts with growing evidence that good management increase productivity in both the private and public sectors. (...) - The Guardian, by Carol Propper, 12 November 2013
Poll of research universities documents impact of this year's cuts in federal funding
This year’s mandatory across-the-board budget cuts to U.S. research agencies have translated into less money for academic scientists and delays in their research projects.
A survey of public and private U.S. research universities released today finds that 70% of the 74 respondents report that sequestration has caused a reduction in federal research grants to their institutions and has slowed campus-based research. The biggest effects are fewer student positions (31%), a reduction in temporary or part-time staff positions (30%), and a decline in postdoctoral fellows (24%). Some 22% of respondents said they also have had to reduce the number of permanent staff members. (...) Science, by Jeffrey Mervis, 11 November 2013
Boston — Des responsables des finances de l'Université Harvard se sont engagés à mieux gérer les coûts et à élaborer des stratégies permettant d'engranger de nouveaux revenus après que le déficit de la célèbre institution d'enseignement eut bondi à 34 millions $US au cours du plus récent exercice financier, comparativement à un manque à gagner de 7,9 millions $US l'année précédente. (...) - Le Devoir, 9/11/2013
En Grèce le personnel administratif des plus grandes universités du pays est en grève depuis plus de deux mois. Pressée de remplir les objectifs de réduction de la fonction publique fixés par ses bailleurs de fonds, la Grèce taille dans l'éducation et prévoit la mise en disponibilité de plus de 1300 employés d'universités. Le principe : prié de quitter son poste, l'agent est payé pendant 8 mois à 75% de son salaire, puis est soit reclassé, soit licencié. L'Université d'Athènes doit ainsi se séparer de 40% de ses 1000 employés administratifs. Le reportage à Athènes d’Adéa Guillot. - arte.tv, 07/11/2013
The biomedical research community is due for some self-reflection.
Biomedical researchers are grumbling a lot these days. The worries span funding levels at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the peer review process, academic promotion policies, the effectiveness of conferences, waste caused by scientific error, regulatory burdens, and so on. However the grumbling won’t amount to much unless there is a systematic way to formulate, analyze, implement, and monitor reforms to the systems and institutions that make conducting research possible. To do this, the community should develop a new academic tradition of analyzing the biomedical research enterprise. A 21st century ability to apply research data to medical advances will require a 21st century understanding of how to organize biomedical research. (...) - The Scientist Magazine, by David Rubenson and Paul Salvaterra, November 25, 2013
Percentage of recent graduates working in jobs which do not require degree up to 47% from 39% before financial crisis.
Almost half of recent graduates in the UK are in non-graduate jobs, according to official data that has underscored the challenges facing young people entering the labour market.
The proportion of recent graduates working in jobs for which a higher educational background is not usually required was 47% this year, up sharply from 39% before the financial crisis struck. Most of the increase has come since the 2008/9 recession, the Office for National Statistics said. (...) - By Katie Allen, The guardian, 19 Novembre 2018
Le refinancement est, pour la Communauté française de Belgique, mais aussi pour les Régions wallonne et bruxelloise, et même si chacun sait que ce sont des instances distinctes, une question de priorités à gérer. Les effets de la « crise » se font sentir à tous les niveaux, il faut donc faire des choix. (...) - Blog Bernard Rentier, Recteur, 23/11/2013
In 2000, economist Steven Levitt and sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh published an article in the Quarterly Journal of Economics about the internal wage structure of a Chicago drug gang. This piece would later serve as a basis for a chapter in Levitt’s (and Dubner’s) best seller Freakonomics. The title of the chapter, “Why drug dealers still live with their moms”, was based on the finding that the income distribution within gangs was extremely skewed in favor of those at the top, while the rank-and-file street sellers earned even less than employees in legitimate low-skilled activities, let’s say at McDonald’s. They calculated 3.30 dollars as the hourly rate, that is, well below a living wage (that’s why they still live with their moms). (....) - Blog of Alexandre Afonso, November 21, 2013
Journal-initiated retractions can reduce the number of citations of the author's earlier publications, a study finds (S. F. Lu et al. Sci. Rep. 3, 3146; 2013). The authors analysed the effects of 667 retractions — mostly in the sciences and dating mainly from 2000 onwards — on citations of the author's earlier work. When a journal initiated the retraction, the number of annual citations of earlier papers fell by 6.9% on average. But author-initiated retractions had no such effect. The scientific community rewards honesty, says study co-author Ben Jones, an economist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Self-reporting indicates that “you really care about getting it right”, he says. (...) - Nature, 503, 429, 20 November 2013
Governments can get lost in counting; in the worst case, they lose sight of the policy goals that some measurement is supposed to facilitate. In Norway, our system for rewarding universities for scientific publications is under review. As politicians begin processing the recommendations for change, perhaps the most important step they can take is to renew the policy objectives of the system. What exactly should the incentive system to lead to and how might it be constructed to achieve these goals? In the first two parts of this three-part series, I have identified four incentives that — if changed — would lead to a system with greater integrity and rationality. (...) - by Curt Rice, November 12, 2013
Peer reviewers for biology grant proposals submitted to the US National Science Foundation (NSF) do not accurately predict the apparent success of projects, according to a study (S. M. Scheiner and L. M. Bouchie Front. Ecol. Environ. 11, 406–407; 2013). Reviewers' scores and rankings for 41 environmental-biology projects funded by the NSF in 2002 did not correlate well with productivity measures, including the number of publications produced by 2012 and the mean number of citations per year. But reviewers do provide value by weeding out flawed proposals and suggesting improvements, says co-author Samuel Scheiner, programme director for the environmental-biology division of the NSF in Arlington, Virginia. - Nature 502, 713, 30 October 2013
International student mobility is a complex phenomenon with multiple variables interacting at the national, institutional and individual level. A deeper understanding of student mobility trends can help in not only shaping effective national policies but also informed institutional strategies. (...) - University World News, by Rahul Choudaha, 13 November 2013 Issue No:296
Researchers seek to fend off restrictions on National Science Foundation grant programmes.
It is not unusual for conservative politicians in the United States to question the value of social-science research. Studies of anything from global social networks to the history of conservation in South America have proved irresistible to Republicans keen to argue that funding would reap greater rewards elsewhere. But this year, researchers in the field received a sharp shock when those criticisms morphed into tangible restrictions. (...) - Nature, by Sarah Zhang, 12/11/2013
Students who choose to go a private university may find fees compare well to the alternative.
When David Farley chose to study for a master's at a private institution, he was more worried about reputation than cost, though the fees were a nice surprise. He enrolled on the IFS School of Finance's flagship programme – an MSc in banking practice and management – which, like many courses, can be delivered online or as a blended programme, with fees ranging from nearly £9,000 to £10,500. (...) - by Helena Pozniak, The Guardian, 10 November 2013
Une enquête menée au Canada révèle que un scientifique sur deux dit disposer d’exemples d’ingérences politiques dans son travail.
Même la revue Nature n'en a fait qu'une brève de seize lignes et c'est probablement là un autre signe du trouble de notre époque. Car les résultats de l'enquête menée par l'Institut professionnel de la fonction publique du Canada (IPFPC) et publiée ces jours-ci auraient dû, dans un monde normal, provoquer la franche indignation des revues savantes. (...) - Le Monde, par Stéphane Foucart, 09/11/2103