Looking back: Review of Registrarism 2016

Image: Shutterstock

It’s that time of year when everyone reviews everything that’s happened in the previous 12 months. I thought therefore that, given how much extraordinary and disturbing news there has been in 2016, it would be an opportunity to look at some of the diversions which have appeared here in Registrarism this year.

That’s my excuse anyway.

But first, let’s consider the more serious and mildly topical material.

Regulation, regulation, regulation

Image: IKON
Image: IKON

Higher education has been the focus for new legislation this year which we obviously just can’t get enough of. Regulation just seems to grow and grow as I noted back in May and this was very much in evidence in the White Paper. The proposed new quality assessment model remained a cause for concern and the whole approach to quality in the new regulatory framework looked hugely problematic.

By the end of the year, the Green Paper had turned White and then into the Higher Education and Research Bill which, as of now, is in the Lords where it is likely to be amended. As a helpful contribution, I recently offered some thoughts on the treatment of academic standards in the Bill and a few suggestions for amendment

In more nostalgic vein it seems timely to revisit the background to the work 20 years ago of the Joint Planning Group which led to the establishment of the Quality Assurance Agency among other things.

Governance gubbins

Governance challenges have been very much in the news this year including a particularly high profile crisis in the USA. Higher education remains an under-researched topic and one worthy of further discussion as noted in this post and this more recent one on Governance with a capital G (rather than just governance).

Regular features

And then of course there were the regular posts on notable academic honours in Now That’s What I call an Honorary Graduate, yet more rankings nonsense with this space-based one being a particular favourite and not to forget some new bonkers or niche courses.

And of course there is the first instalment of the very best of the best of True Crime on Campus.

true-crime-wonkhe-scrabblew

Odds and sods

Then there is the usual largely tangential HE commentary such as this on made up universities, some observations on university farms and one of my regular gripes about Freedom of Information and universities.
And let’s not forget the scary clown crisis on university campuses from earlier in the year.

Typical nonsense

In addition to all of that stuff there was the usual nonsense such as this HE book advice, the forgotten bands of higher education, Vice-Chancellor Desert Island Discs and the launch of the new ControversHE website.

So that’s it from this look back bore. Roll on 2017.

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