Times Higher Education

Articles from No. 2036, February 9

A-Level Gold Standard Is Tarnished: All Hail the IB, the True Jewel in the Crown
Wellington master urges v-cs to support 'tougher' International Baccalaureate. Jack Grove writes.Gaining three A grades at A level has become "embarrassingly easy", the head teacher of a leading private school has claimed.Writing in Times Higher Education...
A Peek Behind the Bamboo Curtain
Impressions of an 'unknowable' China at the end of the Cultural Revolution fascinate Kerry Brown.Travels in ChinaBy Roland BarthesPolity, 240pp, Pounds 16.99ISBN 9780745650807Published 13 December 2011In 1974, China's Cultural Revolution was grinding...
Appointments
University for the Creative ArtsMagdalene OdundoA renowned potter has been made a patron of the National Society for Education in Art and Design. Magdalene Odundo, professor of ceramics at the University for the Creative Arts, said the appointment tallied...
Browning, Victorian Poetics and the Romantic Legacy: Challenging the Personal Voice
Browning, Victorian Poetics and the Romantic Legacy: Challenging the Personal Voice. By Britta Martens. Ashgate, 300pp, Pounds 55.00 and Pounds 66.00. ISBN 9781409423034 and 23041 (e-book). Published 15 August 2011Robert Browning remains an important...
Campus Links with Terrorism 'Overstated'
Links between terrorism and universities have been overstated, a committee of MPs has concluded, but some institutions are guilty of complacency on the issue.A report published this week by the Home Affairs Select Committee, Roots of Violent Radicalisation,...
Campus Round-Up
University of ExeterTrading placesA student and senior administrator saw what life was like on the other side of the fence as part of a two-day shadowing scheme. Imogen Sanders, a third-year English student at the University of Exeter, and Janice Kay,...
Confidence and Consent
Transparency and accountability underpin plans to reform Scottish governance, explains Ferdinand von Prondzynski.There is an interesting, if disturbing, paradox within higher education in the developed world. Many key performance indicators suggest that...
Democracy under Attack: How the Media Distort Policy and Politics
Democracy under Attack: How the Media Distort Policy and Politics. By Malcolm Dean. Policy Press, 432pp, Pounds 19.99. ISBN 9781847428486. Published 9 November 2011This is virtually a social history of modern Britain, told by someone who should know...
Diary
LondonHer Maj: 60 Years of Unofficial Portraits of the QueenAs late as the 1950s, it was still unusual for the monarchy to be depicted in cartoons. To celebrate the Diamond Jubilee, the Cartoon Museum is mounting an exhibition (until 8 April) to track...
Do Not Throw That IB Pearl Away, Richer Than the Impoverished A Level
Anthony Seldon's plea to v-cs: stand up for the International Baccalaureate before it is too late, or the academy will suffer.Dear vice-chancellors,I know you have intense pressures and demands on your time, but you need to be aware that something serious...
Do Too Many Researchers Spoil the Outcome?
Researchers in business and management are much more communicative than those in pure mathematics or foreign languages.This is the implication of an academic paper that identifies the ideal upper size limit for research groups.The paper, "Critical masses...
Elsevier Defends Stance O N Anti-Open-Access Bill
The journal publisher Elsevier has hit back after being pilloried for supporting an anti-open-access bill in the US Congress.A row has been rumbling along for weeks over the publisher's support for the Research Works Act introduced to Congress in December...
Everything to Declare
Oxford has stolen a march on the rest of the sector by exposing its graduate destinations to detailed scrutiny - exploding a few myths in the process. Simon Baker investigates.While arguments have raged about the hike in tuition fees, with thousands...
Fees Iniquity Offers Firms an Opportunity
As per your coverage, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service has published its annual figures on applications grouped by subject and region ("Crisis, what crisis? Fall in applicants meets with indifference", 2 February). Among the multiple...
From Where I Sit - Cultural Revolutions
As the Year of the Dragon begins, many Chinese university graduates have decided to return to major cities: the very cities they previously fled for their home towns because of cut-throat competition for jobs and exorbitant living costs.The return of...
Grant Winners
LEVERHULME TRUSTResearch Project GrantsBasic sciencesAward winner: David TsiklauriInstitution: Queen Mary, University of LondonValue: Pounds 157,750Advanced model of solar radio bursts via plasma kinetic simulationAward winner: Duncan MackayInstitution:...
High on Nature, Low on Nurture
Moshe Zeidner finds an analysis of Jewish success scores well on IQ but downplays social factors.The Chosen People: A Study of Jewish Intelligence and AchievementBy Richard LynnWashington Summit Publishers408pp, $27.99ISBN 9781593680367Published 5 September...
How Literature Changes the Way We Think
How Literature Changes the Way We Think. By Michael Mack. Continuum, 208pp. Pounds 55.00 and Pounds 17.99. ISBN 9781441103208 and 19148. Published 2 February 2012The "medical humanities", the area in which the author, Michael Mack, now works, is a fairly...
If Student Feedback Stings, Go Looking for More
For lecturers who pay attention to such websites, a poor rating denoted by an unhappy face next to their name on the US-based website RateMyProfessor.com can be both a professional and personal blow.However, rather than dismissing the site, a new research...
'I'm NOT a Banker' - V-C
Our vice-chancellor has described attempts to compare his own Pounds 347,599 pay packet with that enjoyed by top bankers as "grossly misleading".He told our reporter, Keith Ponting (30), that he was aware of the recent report into Scottish university...
Individual Course Fees May Be Used for Distribution of 'Margin' Places
Review of student-place allocations as institutions face cut of up to 14 per cent. Simon Baker reports.The government is considering changing its method of allocating thousands of cut-price student places following concerns over the "polarising" effect...
In Praise of Slow
The unflinching, fleshy landscapes of Lucian Freud's intensely powerful works are a feast for the senses, argues Alex Danchev.Lucian Freud PortraitsNational Portrait Gallery, LondonUntil 27 MayModern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas 1 July to 28 OctoberLucian...
Knight Who Came in from Gove's Realm No Stranger to outside View
High-profile debut in the academy holds no fear for Reading's v-c. Interview by Jack Grove."I'm not here as a technocrat," insisted former government education chief Sir David Bell, leaning back on the sofa in the vice-chancellor's office at the University...
London Met Vows 'Ethical' Fee Shift
Non-EU postgraduates to pay same price as home students in sweeping reforms. Jack Grove reports.Domestic and international students will pay the same postgraduate fees at London Metropolitan University under new reforms.The fee of about Pounds 8,000...
Long, Cold Financial Winter Lies Ahead for Europe's Academy
Austerity's icy grip may cause permanent damage to sectors in Spain, Italy and Ireland. Jack Grove writes.More economic gloom has been forecast for 2012, with the eurozone's debt troubles set to deepen.So what does the constant drip of bad news items...
New ERA Heral Ds Circulation Boost for European Research
Commissioner accelerates plan to ease flow of EU researchers and funding. Paul Jump reports.Commentators have welcomed a promise by the European commissioner for research, innovation and science to fast-track implementation of the European Research Area...
News in Brief
Research misconductBulfone-Paus report under wrapsGermany's University of Lubeck has declined to release a long-awaited report into allegations of research misconduct against two of its professors, who are also affiliated with the University of Manchester....
Not a Pretty Sight
Social workers are much maligned, says Gary Day, but all they do is try to help those who need it most.Apparently bankers have a rival for the title of most hated profession: social workers. This was the extraordinary claim made in the first of the three-part...
Obituary - Janet Folkes, 1959-2012
Both as an engineer and a world record-breaking balloonist, Janet Folkes was a high-flyer.Born on 20 July 1959, Dr Folkes grew up in Nottingham and studied at the University College of Wales Aberystwyth for her undergraduate degree in chemistry and geology,...
Oeuvre D'amour Is Lost in Translation
Sasha Roseneil is unswayed by a chronicle of intimacy that fails to reach the heart of the matter.The Curious History of LoveBy Jean-Claude Kaufmann, translated by Helen MorrisonPolity Press200pp, Pounds 50.00 and Pounds 14.99ISBN 9780745651538 and 1545Published...
Prepare to Repel Plans, There Be 'Piracy' on the Horizon
Coalition desire to expand range of copyright-free material angers academics. Matthew Reisz reports.Academic authors have claimed that proposed changes to copyright "add insult to injury" and amount to officially sanctioned "piracy".Under the current...
Pseuds' Corner
Baffled by the ease with which titles promising to turn world history on its head have won huge audiences despite defying logic and lacking proof, Daniel Melia laboured to divine the hidden secrets that allow anyone to identify truly 'bad books'.The...
Publish and Let Your Peers Be the Judges
Open-access online journal will speed release of data and encourage feedback. Paul Jump writes.A radical open-access journal is to be launched that will rely entirely on post-publication peer review.F1000 Research is the latest initiative by the Faculty...
Relaxing the Rules of Attraction
Sarah Toulalan lauds a look at how carnal crime and punishment gave way to a stress on private consent.The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual RevolutionBy Faramerz DabhoiwalaAllen Lane, 496pp, Pounds 25.00ISBN 9781846144929Published 2 February...
Research Intelligence - REF, Get Set and Go, Final Rules in Hand
As 2014 race begins, reports Paul Jump, maternity provision is the only big change from draft document.The dreaded assessment season was formally kicked off last week by the publication of the final version of the panel criteria and working methods for...
Schoolboy Errors
Open letter to David Delpy, chief executive, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research CouncilDear David,I was shocked to read the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council press release, "New investment aims to establish the UK as a global...
Scotland's University Chiefs Cool on Governance Review
Limited support for proposals on elected chairs and gender quotas. David Matthews writes.Scottish principals have questioned the wisdom of proposed changes to university governing boards, including elected chairs and a quota of 40 per cent women.The...
Searing Honesty
Jon Baldwin has left for Australia, but he has a few home truths to impart from abroad about the mess the UK academy is in.My career in higher education administration and management began in 1984 when I was appointed to the Faculty of Humanities at...
Seeing Red over Green Blindness
The immigration minister's aversion to the evidence for the value of foreign students sadly sums up Home Office attitudes.It was with extraordinary audacity that Damian Green, the immigration minister, last week questioned the value of the UK's international...
Stake Recipe
John Lewis' values: a palatable hit for a divided sector, argues Sally Feldman.I'm about to make a start on my school's business plan, which along with my financial forecast will present a sensitivity analysis, an assessment of options and scenarios,...
Stuck on the Sidelines
The University and College Union's decision to suspend its industrial action while negotiations take place over the Universities Superannuation Scheme in the pre-1992 sector is unwelcome. While the union's USS conference in London last month voted to...
The One and the Many: Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context
The One and the Many: Contemporary Collaborative Art in a Global Context. By Grant H. Keste. r Duke University Press. 320pp, Pounds 70.00 and Pounds 16.99 . ISBN 9780822349723 and 9877 . Published 30 November 2011Perhaps it is the loneliness of the studio...
The Pick - Exploring New Worlds of Sound
Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival 2012Plymouth University, 10-12 FebruaryFrom a remix of a movement from Beethoven's Symphony No 7 to a quartet inspired by the landscape of Cornwall and three pieces by an iPad trio, this year's Peninsula Arts...
THE Scholarly Web
Weekly transmissions from the blogosphere.Twenty years after polytechnics were turned into universities, plans for a new Irish institution have reignited debate about university status.It was reported last month that the Irish minister for education,...
The Week in Higher Education
Everybody enjoys a good old-fashioned academic spat, and Geoffrey Hill, professor of poetry at the University of Oxford, has obliged by picking a fight with the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. Professor Hill said on 31 January that "so much of the popular...
Things That Go Clunk in the Night
Will Brooker is disappointed by an old-fashioned ghost tale that lacks the spirit of its superior source.The Woman in BlackDirected by James WatkinsStarring Daniel Radcliffe, Ciaran Hinds, Janet McTeer and Liz WhiteReleased in the UK on 10 FebruaryCrythin...
Two-Horse Race to Set Union's Direction amid Heavy Going
General secretary candidates represent political debate over UCU's future. John Morgan reports.The 120,000-plus members of the University and College Union receive their ballot papers this week to elect their general secretary - but how will their choice...
Visa Policy's Results: More McJobs, Fewer Departments?
British Council director tells John Morgan that crackdown endangers sector's economic benefits.The organisation charged with promoting British education overseas has rounded on the government over its student-visa changes, calling for an "urgent review"...
What Are You Reading?
A weekly look over the shoulders of our scholar-reviewers.Roger Brown, professor of higher education policy, Liverpool Hope University, is reading A Manifesto for the Public University (Bloomsbury Academic, 2011), edited by John Holmwood. "This collection...
Whole New Ballgame
Regarding your recent news story, "Double bind and binary line menace for Welsh post-92s" (2 February): may I add the following important elements to the picture presented by the article?- The purpose of the reallocation of student numbers is to ensure...
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