35 results
Date Name

Is the sector at risk of snooping on students?

As the Government’s Investigatory Powers Bill, or ‘Snoopers Charter’ as it has come to be known, passes through Parliament Eric Bohms considers the potential implications for the sector.

Universities on screen

TV adverts for universities can be expensive and perhaps rather predictable. Unofficial ones are a bit more interesting.

On influence inside universities

A dozen thoughts about internal influence in universities. Comprises a bit of a random collection of thoughts on a subject about which the author can claim no special expertise.

Dialogue through technology

Dorm Room Diplomacy Intrigued to learn about the activities of an organisation called Dorm Room Diplomacy which gets groups of students together from around the world, via videoconferencing, to engage in dialogue aimed at promoting greater international understanding:   Founded by students at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009, Dorm Room Diplomacy fosters intercultural dialogue… read more

Urgent: save those emails

Do we need to preserve Vice-Chancellors’ emails? A diverting essay in Inside Higher Ed has a call for the preservation of presidential email: …boards of trustees should act – with a sense of urgency. They might begin by appointing a task force, composed of professional historians, lawyers, board members, and administrators, to recommend procedures for… read more

Guidance or directive?

Easy finance A new statement from HEFCE advises universities how to make financial information more visible to students. But is it advice, guidance, assistance or in fact a clear directive? New guidance aims to help universities and colleges in England present information about income and expenditure on their web-sites in a way that is transparent… read more

What are academic bloggers up to?

What are academic bloggers blogging about? And why? A great article for the Guardian Higher Education Network by Pat Thomson ( @ThomsonPat )  and Inger Mewburn ( @thesiswhisperer ) on bloggers in higher education. The piece is a summary of an article in a special edition of Studies in Higher Education and the longer one is well… read more

An engaging app for students?

Possibly. But it’s a tough sell. The Chronicle of Higher Education has a story on a new app which claims to offer faster outreach to students. But will it catch on? The app, Student Engauge, is part of a larger trend toward mobile outreach, as colleges seek ways to engage with students who often don’t… read more

Communicating science. Though improv.

A surprising source of help with communicating science A great story in The Chronicle of Higher Education on an accolade for Alan Alda for his contribution to helping scientists communicate In New York City this week, Mr. Alda is being honored at the university’s celebrity fund-raising gala for his central role in creating Stony Brook’s… read more

Broadcasting university performance

Very public reports on institutional performance. Accessible university performance data. Rather impressed by this Performance Tracker which is concerned with reporting in a very accessible way on the progress of Michigan’s public universities:   The achievement of Michigan’s public universities is a critical factor as we look to participate in the knowledge economy of tomorrow…. read more

Marketing inflation

Increasing marketing spend in universities – real or hype? Inside Higher Ed features a report on a recent conference on marketing in higher education which featured some bold predictions about the money UK universities will be spending in the brave new market place. Discussion focused on whether we would see levels of spending of up… read more

Banning key Twitter words for athletes

Vocabulary tightening for student athletes using Twitter It seems that, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education, two universities are to bar athletes from using hundreds of words on Twitter. Monitoring social media postings by athletes is, apparently, quite normal but this goes even further: The University of Louisville flags 406 words or slang expressions… read more

Another university league table variation

A league table of universties’ social media ‘visibility’ Econsultancy have published a league table of Russell Group universities’ social media profiles or their ‘visibility’: The visibility score we use here is based on the total number of links a web domain has scored on the six social sites, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Delicious and StumbleUpon,… read more

Finding the good stuff

Social media can be overwhelming… And this can make finding the really good stuff really rather difficult. The Schumpeter column in The Economist has an interesting take on this. Most commentary on social media ignores an obvious truth—that the value of things is largely determined by their rarity. The more people tweet, the less attention… read more

ICO: private email accounts are subject to FOI

New regulatory joy from the Information Commissioner’s Office The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published some exciting new guidance making it clear that information held in private email accounts is subject to the Freedom of Information Act: Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham said: “It should not come as a surprise to public authorities to have the… read more

A checkup call from the top

Valuable student support measure or a bit of a gesture? In addition to spending what must be a huge amount over the past few months on advertising in the trade press, Boston University has undertaken another big investment, according to The Boston Globe, checking up on new students: With new students wrapping up their first… read more

A “hyperwired” freshers’ week?

Freshers! Come and try a new kind of learning laboratory The Chronicle of Higher Education has a fascinating freshers’ week piece on a very different kind of learning lab, within the setting of a student dorm: Students moving into a newly renovated dormitory at the University of Kentucky signed up for a hyperwired college experience:… read more

UK: Swedish Registrars Seminar 2011

2011 UK: Swedish Registrars Seminar This event, held in September at the University of Cardiff, was the latest in long series of biennial seminars, alternating venues between the UK and Sweden and I was privileged to be invited to attend as one of the dozen or so UK delegates. The seminars started, I think, about… read more

The difficulties of leading via Twitter

A Cautionary Tale: “A College Unfriends Its Social-Networking President” The Chronicle of Higher Education carries a fascinating story about a new breed of institutional leader seeking to engage through twitter. Unfortunately, not everyone at the college seems to be fully bought in: John Maeda, president of the Rhode Island School of Design, may be the… read more

Twitter banality = academic credibility?

 Professors With Personal Tweets Get High Credibility Marks A piece in The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on an experiment at a US college to investigate students’ views of their teachers’ use of Twitter. The article also highlights a number of academics using Twitter in creative ways to support their teaching. It’s a small and… read more

Replacing Textbooks With iPads

Another interesting experiment Story in the Chronicle of Higher Education about an interesting experiment at University of Notre Dame where they have tried replacing textbooks with iPads: It was quieter this past fall in Corey Angst’s project-management course at the University of Notre Dame, but it wasn’t because he and his students were talking less…. read more

Lawrence on University College Nottingham

A controversial piece from D H Lawrence More of Lawrence on Nottingham is available here but this entertaining piece is a highlight. Not exactly what you’d want to use in promotional material though. ‘Nottingham’s New University’ in Pansies (1929) In Nottingham, that dismal town where I went to school and college, they’ve built a new university… read more

Providing information that helps students with HE choices

New consultation on providing information that helps students make the right higher education choices HEFCE has launched a consultation on information for prospective students: Schools, colleges, universities, student unions and a wide range of other bodies are being asked to comment on the information that higher education (HE) providers publish to help prospective students choose… read more

Universities spending millions on ‘inadequate’ websites

Money down the drain? A report in the Telegraph highlights significant spending by universities on website redesigns which seems to deliver less than spectacular results: Using Freedom of Information legislation the Telegraph discovered eight examples of universities spending between £100,000 and £280,000 on one-off website redesigns, as much as five times higher than the average… read more

Twitter in Higher Education 2010

Report on the use of Twitter in Higher Education 2010 Interesting report on Twitter in HE which includes a survey on academic staff use. Is Twitter a powerful learning tool or a colossal waste of time? It depends whom you ask. In its second annual survey on the popular micro-blogging technology, Faculty Focus found a… read more

Consumer crackdown on ‘Mickey Mouse’ courses

“Consumer crackdown on ‘Mickey Mouse’ courses by showing future prospects” Excited Daily Mail story on ‘Mickey Mouse’ courses: Degree courses will be rated for teaching quality, salary prospects, tuition time and value for money under plans to unleash ‘consumer power’ on universities. Poor quality ‘Mickey Mouse’ courses will be exposed on a website – similar… read more

Admission Officials’ Tweets – Students Not Interested

Another social media disconnect? According to a report in The Chronicle, Admission Officials’ Tweets are not being noticed by prospective students: Colleges are ramping up efforts to connect with prospective students through Twitter—but students aren’t interested, a new study says. Evidence has shown that teenagers rely on college visits and Web sites to learn about… read more

Facebook for Scientists?

Researchers need networks too A report in the Chronicle notes: A $12.2-million federal stimulus grant from the National Institutes of Health will finance a network some are calling a Facebook for scientists. Several universities, including Cornell University and the University of Florida, will develop the network over the next two years in the hopes of… read more