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UK: Universities allowed to increase places for brightest A-level students

UK: Universities allowed to increase places for brightest A-level students | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it
More than 100,000 of the brightest A-level students will see their chances of going to some of the country's most selective universities rise this summer.

Universities are being told they can recruit as many students as they want - providing they have at least an A grade and two B grade passes at A-level. (...) - The Independent, by Richard Garner, 21 March 2013

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Stop the deluge of science research

Stop the deluge of science research | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

The increasing pace of human discovery is a curse – we need to rethink what it means to publish the results of research.

 

The rapid growth of scientific literature is often seen as evidence, if evidence were needed, that the pace of human discovery is accelerating. On the contrary, however, it is becoming a curse – one that requires us to radically rethink what it means to publish the results of research.

Relentlessly – day after day, year after year – scientists are uncovering new facts about the world. If anything, the startling rate at which this happens appears to be increasing, but how would we know if such an impression was true? One way is to look at the rate at which scientific papers are published and these have indeed been appearing at an ever-increasing rates for decades or even centuries. (...) - by Timo Hannay, The Guardian, 5 August 2014

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Australia's top eight universities push for higher fees, fewer students

Australia's top eight universities push for higher fees, fewer students | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Group of Eight vice chancellor describes deregulation as ‘holy grail’ for universities.

 

Australia’s prestigious Group of Eight (Go8) universities are likely to reduce the number of people they enrol while increasing fees for each student after deregulation, a key backer of the reforms has predicted.

Ian Young, vice chancellor of the Australian National University (ANU) and chairman of the Go8, argued this downsizing would be good news for the non-Go8 universities as it would “free up” more capable students to attend other institutions – “a trickle-down or a flow-across effect”. (...) - by Daniel Hurst, The guardian, 30 July 2014

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Transparency promised for vilified impact factor

Transparency promised for vilified impact factor | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Thomson Reuters vows to be clearer about how science's most misused metric is calculated.

 

The most misused metric in science is getting a makeover — although many researchers would like it to disappear altogether.

Information firm Thomson Reuters says that it will become more transparent over how it calculates impact factors, an annual ranking of more than 10,900 scientific journals that it published on 29 July, along with the names of 39 journals that it is barring from the list. (...) - By Richard Van Noorden, Nature, 29 July 2014

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German University Will Switch Master's Degrees to English

German University Will Switch Master's Degrees to English | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Technical University, in Munich, is planning to switch most master's degrees to English by 2020, The Local reported. Currently about one-third of such programs are in English. The university's president, Wolfgang Herrmann, said, "English is the lingua franca in academia and of the economy." But student leaders are skeptical of switching so many programs to English. (...) - @insidehighered, July 25, 2014

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Des étudiants malgaches vent debout contre la hausse de leurs frais d’études

Des étudiants malgaches vent debout contre la hausse de leurs frais d’études | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Depuis deux semaines, des étudiants de l’université d’Antananarivo sont en grève. Motif : le passage de l’université au système Licence-Maîtrise-Doctorat qui a engendré une hausse globale de leurs frais. Ils réclament une réévaluation de leur bourse et certains ont décidé d’employer la manière forte.(...) - France24, 25/07/2014

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UK universities spending more on outreach and less on bursaries, report shows

UK universities spending more on outreach and less on bursaries, report shows | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Britain’s leading universities have performed a U-turn over the methods they use to attract more disadvantaged students, says a report out today.

University access watchdog the Office for Fair Access reveals they are cutting spending on scholarships and bursaries and putting their efforts into sending students into their schools to raise their aspirations instead. (...) - by Richard Garner, The Independent, 24 July 2014

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Was your student loan worth it?

Was your student loan worth it? | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

The Commons business committee has said the entire student loan system is nearing a point where it is financially unworkable. We want to know if you feel your student loan was worth it.

Student loans are often the only reason many can afford to even think about going into higher education.

Now the entire student loan system has been declared almost financially unworkable by a group of MPs in charge of scrutinising university policy. The Commons business committee has called for an urgent review of the system just days after he Guardian reported that Vince Cable, the business secretary, had stalled on the sell-off of the student loan book because of fears it would not raise the amount of money predicted. (...) by Elena Cresci, The Guardian, 22 July 2014

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Australia: Senate blocks cuts to university funding

The Tony Abbott government's savings drive has taken another hit after the senate blocked A$435 million (US$408 million) in university cuts originally proposed by Labor, writes Matthew Knott for The Sydney Morning Herald.

The vote is the first indication of how the new senate may vote on the government's sweeping higher education reform agenda, which includes a full deregulation of fees, a 20% across-the-board course funding cut and increased interest on student debts. (...) - University World News from The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 July 2014 Issue No:329

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Poor conditions blamed for Venezuelan scientist exodus

Government-funded universities in Venezuela are witnessing a flight of scientists and professors, leaving them unable to fill posts, according to recent reports.

At Simón Bolívar University, around 240 professors have quit over the past five years – an unusually high number, says Rafael Álvarez, a representative of the university’s Association of Professors.

“I’ve been working here for 34 years and never seen something like this before,” he tells SciDev.Net. “It’s devastating.” (...) - University World News, by Andrea Small Carmona, 18 July 2014 Issue No:329

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New study raises questions about global rankings of citations

New study raises questions about global rankings of citations | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

The possession by Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz University of more highly cited researchers than almost any other university in the world raises questions about institutions’ ability to manipulate global rankings.

This is the view of two researchers who last week posted on the arXiv preprint server a paper that ranks universities by the number of highly cited researchers who list them as affiliations. (...) - By Paul Jump for Times Higher Education, @insidehighered, July 17, 2014

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US: A radical change in peer review

US: A radical change in peer review | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

A pilot project to ease pressure on NSF's vaunted peer-review system required grant applicants to review seven competing proposals.

 

A recent pilot project by the National Science Foundation (NSF) aimed at easing the strain on its vaunted merit review system featured an unusual twist: Grant applicants were required to review seven proposals from peers competing for the same pot of money. The approach created a captive—and highly motivated—pool of reviewers for program managers within NSF's Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation Division, saving them time. And using mail reviews rather than panels also saved NSF money. The quality of the reviews also seemed to be comparable to what is generated with NSF's traditional approach to peer review. NSF officials are weighing whether to expand the pilot to other programs. (...) - by Jeffrey Mervis, Science, 17 July 2014

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After #MassiveTeaching, questions about MOOC quality control

After #MassiveTeaching, questions about MOOC quality control | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

If students in a face-to-face course emailed their provost with concerns that their professor had stopped lecturing, chances are that someone -- a department head or an administrator -- would intervene. But what if the students were scattered across different countries and time zones in a not-for-credit massive open online course? (...) - by Carl Straumsheim, @insidehighered, July 15, 2014,

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UK: Universities minister quits as PM changes face of government

David Willetts, the United Kingdom universities and science minister in David Cameron's coalition government since 2010, has quit to return to the back benches and will leave parliament at the next general election in 2015.

His decision to leave the job coincided with a far-reaching cabinet reshuffle aimed at overcoming the prime minister's perceived problem with women by promoting more into senior posts.

Cameron’s allies presented the reshuffle as a bold move to shift perceptions of his cabinet as dominated by public school educated male toffs from the Tory heartlands of the shires. (...) - University World News, by David Jobbins, 16 July 2014 Issue No:329

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U.S. Energy Department to make researchers' papers free

U.S. Energy Department to make researchers' papers free | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

But portal linking to publishers' websites disappoints open-access advocates.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today unveiled its answer to a White House mandate to make the research papers it funds free for anyone to read: a Web portal that will link to full-text papers a year after they're published. Once researchers are up to speed and submitting their manuscripts, that will mean 20,000 to 30,000 new free papers a year on energy research, physics, and other scientific topics. (...) - by Jocelyn Kaiser, Science, 4 August 2014

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Decision looms on future of E.U. science advice

Decision looms on future of E.U. science advice | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Green groups criticize current adviser—and her office.

 

A row has erupted over the job of chief science adviser to the European Commission, a post created in 2012. Jean-Claude Juncker, the new commission's president-elect, must decide whether to keep the post; nine nongovernmental organizations have called on him to scrap it because they are angered by the support of the current science adviser, Anne Glover, for genetically modified organisms. Many scientific organizations want to keep the position. But even Glover's supporters admit that her position has problems—including a tiny budget and an ill-defined mandate—that the new commission, set to take office in November, needs to fix. (...) - by Kai Kupferschmidt, 31 July 2014

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À l’université de Munich, tous les cours seront désormais en anglais

À l’université de Munich, tous les cours seront désormais en anglais | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Une des meilleures universités d’Allemagne a pris la décision, controversée, de donner tous ses cours de Master dans la langue de Shakespeare, pour gagner en reconnaissance au niveau international. (...) - Le Figaro étudiant, 29/07/2014

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Study finds impact of pre-tenure status on publication rates at Korean universities

Study finds impact of pre-tenure status on publication rates at Korean universities | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Early-stage researchers in South Korea are “significantly” more productive than those further on in their careers, a study has found, partly because the former are striving to gain tenured positions.

Those with up to 10 years’ experience in “hard” subjects such as science, engineering and medicine published an average of eight articles every three years in international journals, but this fell to less than seven when they reached the “established” career stage (11-25 years’ experience). (...) - By David Matthews for Times Higher Education

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The Importance of Funding Basic Science Research

The Importance of Funding Basic Science Research | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

FASEB's Stand Up For Science competition winner brings perspective to the question of why we need to fund basic research.

 

FASEB, the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology runs an annual Stand Up For Science competition, and in 2013, the goal was to increase awareness of the value of US federal funding for biological and biomedical research.

The winning video is below, and it makes a compelling argument for the funding of basic science. So much of the science funding mindset has seemingly been influenced by Wall Street’s  “get rich quick” ethos. Businesses have been encouraged to forsake long term health and success in order to maximize this quarter’s profits to drive the stock price higher. Forget about the future, what about next week? (...) - by David Crotty, Blog "the scholarly kitchen", 25/07/2014

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L'Université de Montréal doit rembourser 18 millions $ perçus en trop

L'Université de Montréal doit rembourser 18 millions $ perçus en trop | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

L'Université de Montréal doit rembourser au gouvernement 18 millions $ perçus en trop pendant 10 ans pour des étudiants qui ont été financés... en double. (...) - par Daphnée Dion-Viens, La Presse, 23/07/2014

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Student loan system is almost financially unworkable, say MPs

Student loan system is almost financially unworkable, say MPs | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Commons business committee calls for review amid fears of multibillion-pound black hole in university funding.

The entire student loan system is nearing a point where it is financially unworkable, the group of MPs in charge of scrutinising university policy has found.

In a scathing report, the Commons business committee called for an urgent review of the system, amid predictions the government is heading towards a multibillion-pound black hole in the funding of universities.

There are growing fears among academics about the student loan system, despite unpopular changes in 2011 that involved tripling tuition fees for students. In its inquiry, the committee found that plans to lift a cap on student numbers, funded by selling the student loan book, may make the funding gap worse. (...) - by Rowena MAson, The Guardian, 22 July 2014

The entire student loan system is nearing a point where it is financially unworkable, the group of MPs in charge of scrutinising university policy has found.

In a scathing report, the Commons business committee called for an urgent review of the system, amid predictions the government is heading towards a multibillion-pound black hole in the funding of universities.

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What counts for academic productivity in research universities?

Publication in high status refereed journals has become a major criterion of academic success in the competitive environment of global higher education. Appearing in internationally circulated journals published in English is especially prestigious. Universities are engaged in a global arms race of publication; and academics are the shock troops of the struggle.

At stake is placement in the global university rankings, the allocation of budgets from governments, national prestige, the ability to attract the best students and professors and a preferred place in the pecking order of academe. (...) - University World News, by Philip G Altbach, 18 July 2014 Issue No:329

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The economics of creative research Research can drive economic development, but only if it is shielded from political whims and capitalist ideas

The economics of creative research Research can drive economic development, but only if it is shielded from political whims and capitalist ideas | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

In these times of economic crisis and austerity, the public funding of scientific research has come under the spotlight. Whilst there is acceptance of the general value of scientific research itself, govern- ments and funding agencies are increas- ingly interested in the performance and cost efficiency of specific research institutes, projects, teams and individuals. (...) - by Ivan Couée, 17 juillet 2014 via Sauvons l'Université !

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Self-publishing an option for academics, but on periphery

Self-publishing an option for academics, but on periphery | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Self-published books are on the rise, to the dismay of onlookers who wonder what to expect from a sector where E. L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey – originally published as online fan fiction by a tiny Australian e-book company – appears to be the best of the lot. More than 391,000 self-published titles appeared in 2012, according to Bowker, the official ISBN-issuing agency for the U.S. The self-published titles appear to be selling. In 2012, a quarter of Amazon’s top 100 bestselling Kindle books had been self-published through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing service. And in 2013, readers in Britain bought 18 million self-published books, a 79 percent increase in market share compared to the year before. (...) - by Charlie Tyson, @insidehighered, July 17, 2014

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Italy's NIH gets new leadership to address fiscal crisis

Italy's NIH gets new leadership to address fiscal crisis | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

Government puts ISS into receivership after discovering €30 million budget shortfall.

The Italian government has chosen a prominent scientist to take charge of the country’s leading biomedical research institute with the goal of improving its precarious financial situation. But some researchers at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) are worried that implementing the needed fiscal reforms will also result in curtailing programs and cutting staff. (...) by Marta Paterlini, Science, 17 July 2014

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How Open is Finnish Higher Education?

How Open is Finnish Higher Education? | Higher Education and academic research | Scoop.it

I had been sufficiently impressed by the work of some Finnish geographers, though I knew little about the Nordic country’s higher education system before I accepted the position of postdoctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki in December 2007.

I had been bent on visiting Finland for as long as I can remember. The country, its people and their culture intrigued me. Before 2008 the closest I had been to Finland was reading a school geography atlas. I spent hours studying the figures and photographs thinking that if I stared at them for long enough and longingly enough I would, by some means of teleportation, be transported into their beauty and silence.

(...) - GlobalHigherEd @insidehighered, by Kris Olds, July 14, 2014

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