'academia' Category

  • Student Outcomes Metrics

    October 20, 2015

    In the last couple of months I’ve been busy writing a response to HEFCE’s plans for changing the “quality assurance” system in UK higher education. The outcomes are blogged here and here at the Disorder of Things. An open letter against the use of “student outcomes” metrics as a proxy measure of teaching quality – […]

  • The Perpetual Financial Crisis of UK Higher Education

    July 23, 2015

    A piece I originally wrote for The Disorder of Things has been reposted by Times Higher Education here. My favourite paragraphs as a teaser: The peculiarity of the UK Higher Education system is that it combines the worst aspects of the market with the worst aspects of the state. With increasing marketisation, we see fluctuations […]

  • USS Under Attack: Take Action

    September 9, 2014

    The following is an excerpt from a UCU Left briefing document about the latest (completely unjustified) employer attack on academics’ pensions. It ends with various draft motions for branches to pass. If you’re a UCU member, please take appropriate action. LJ. PS: “I told you so” is rarely a useful political comment, but many of […]

  • Tristram Hunt crossing UCU picket lines

    February 11, 2014

    I am extensively quoted on the front page of the Morning Star today, in my capacity as a UCU activist. The encounter with Dr Hunt was, sadly, exactly as described – save that I don’t think anyone was actually ‘shocked’ (and I never said they were).   UPDATE: the story went viral during the day. […]

  • Politics & IR Journal Rankings

    July 30, 2013

    Generally, I think journals rankings are a ludicrous idea, for reasons too obvious and tedious to go into right now. However, as many will know, HEFCE has recently issued a consultation on open access requirements for any post-2014 REF. I am trying to gauge how far the leading journals in the Politics and IR fields […]

  • Myanmar: a new future through higher education?

    May 10, 2013

    Yesterday I participated in a ‘Myanmar-UK policy dialogue’ organised by the British Council entitled ‘Myanmar: a new future through higher education?’ This got quite a lot of coverage yesterday because the keynote address was given remotely by Aung San Suu Kyi who asked for Britain’s help in reconstructing Myanmar’s dilapidated university system (BBC, Times Higher, […]

  • Academic Experts and Democratic Policy-Making

    October 4, 2011

    A freedom of information (FOI) request by tobacco giant Philip Morris for the data behind an academic study on teenage smoking habits recently caused considerable outcry. Naturally, the company was seen as trying to subvert the research for its own nefarious purposes and Stirling University consequently resisted. They should not have. Not because FOI itself […]

  • Libya and the LSE

    March 4, 2011

    After intensifying pressure and days of media speculation, the director of the London School of Economics, Sir Howard Davies, has finally resigned over his institution’s controversial links with the Libyan regime. He was doubtless right to go, having made grave errors of judgement that severely damaged the LSE’s reputation, seeing it branded the ‘Libyan School […]

  • Qualifications: What Universities Really Want From Pupils

    February 28, 2011

    I am quoted in a piece in today’s Financial Times on what universities want students to be able to do when they arrive at university: Lee Jones, a politics lecturer at Queen Mary, University of London, runs a first-year undergraduate course on power and the state specifically designed to help students learn basic writing and […]

  • Global Uncertainties

    March 14, 2010

    I spent this Wednesday at Redland Green high school in Bristol as part of a joint project between the Research Councils UK and the Institute of Ideas’ Debating Matters competition called ‘Global Uncertainties‘. Debating Matters is a national 6th-form debating competition which I’ve been judging since 2007. RCUK is interested in stimulating debate around core […]

 
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