We Need a Free Education, and I Don't Just Mean No Fees

Daisy Hughes | Posted 27.03.2015 | UK Universities & Education
Daisy Hughes

An education system that actively choses to value the voices, practices and methodologies of privilege is damaging to everyone involved, but particularly to students from marginalised groups. The need for a free education comes directly out of this: education should be a source of liberation, not oppression.

Academia in Crisis - Liberal Bias Threatens the Integrity of Our Research

Mahmood Naji | Posted 13.03.2015 | UK Universities & Education
Mahmood Naji

Crisis may seem a little alarmist. Maybe it is, but probably not. The Enlightment taught us that there exists no better way for us to accrue knowledge about the world than the dispassionate, evidence-driven approach of the scientific method and, conversely, no bigger obstacle to progress than ideology and dogma.

Review: 'The Uses and Abuses of History' by Margaret MacMillan

James Snell | Posted 17.02.2015 | UK Politics
James Snell

This book is not perfect, certainly, and I would advise anyone short on time to leave out the final fifty pages entirely - nothing of any great value would be missed. But, regardless of these criticisms, any work of historical theory which is written as well as this one is certainly worth looking at and - maybe with caution, in this particular case - taking to heart.

Why we Need to Revolutionise our Study of Cities

Dirk Jan van den Berg | Posted 11.02.2015 | UK Tech
Dirk Jan van den Berg

One of the key questions academics face with this agenda is whether there are limits we will have to heed with urbanisation. Or in other words, can the expansion of cities be a linear scaling driven by the number its inhabitants.

The 'Cambridge Experience': 'Unique' Doesn't Always Mean Good

Daisy Hughes | Posted 23.03.2015 | UK Universities & Education
Daisy Hughes

The reality is that Cambridge is hard, and for many people it is too hard. I don't mean 'hard' here in an academic sense. Of course it is hard in this way, and rightly so. I mean hard in the sense that the overly and unnecessarily stressful way in which Cambridge is set up means that it is hard simply to exist here.

The Value of Motivation in Academia

Aslihan Agaoglu | Posted 11.01.2015 | UK Universities & Education
Aslihan Agaoglu

From time to time, my career in the academia reminds me of my grandmother's cooking. She has the ability to make strange mixture of random ingredients come together and make for a delicious dish. On several occasions when I asked my grandmother how this phenomenon occurs, she lowered her voice and said, "There is a secret ingredient."

16 Ways to Survive a PhD

Sarah Crook | Posted 01.11.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Sarah Crook

It's officially the start of a new academic year, which means it's time for a fresh batch of PhD candidates to enter the weird and wonderful world of doctoral research (I mean it; it really is wonderful). These are some of the techniques I've used over the last two years, and will rely on to pull me through the final twelve months of researching, writing, and revising.

Confirmed: Economists Are Liars

Josiah Mortimer | Posted 24.09.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Josiah Mortimer

'Ninety-four percent [of economists] report having engaged in at least one unaccepted research practice,' from plagiarism to ignoring contrary evidence, skewing data and not reading their sources. Basically, all economsits are liars.

Syntax, Semantics, and Naked Emperors: Lessons Students Can Learn From an Academic Hoax

Amir Dastmalchian | Posted 15.07.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Amir Dastmalchian

Research students at the esteemed Massachusetts Institute of Technology have devised a computer programme which automatically writes academic papers. ...

Only a Yes Vote Can Preserve Scotland's "Right to Offer Free Education"

Professor Joe Goldblatt | Posted 19.04.2014 | UK Politics
Professor Joe Goldblatt

Scotland has nearly 250,000 students enrolled in further and higher education. These students currently, and according to the current government policy, will receive free tuition throughout their lives.

MOOCs, SPOCs, and LAPs: The Evolving World of Education

Anton Dominique | Posted 22.02.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Anton Dominique

Not long after educational providers and students alike clocked on to the fast-rising and game-changing trend of free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) programmes, it quickly expanded to factor in the option of paid MOOCs, otherwise known as MOOC+.

More PhDs Is Not the Right Response to the Cuts in Education - Stop Destroying the Academic Job Market

George Iordanou | Posted 28.01.2014 | UK Universities & Education
George Iordanou

The two traditional reasons for the destruction of the academic job market are attributed to the marketisation of education and to the government cuts in the Humanities and in the Social Sciences. Although these are the causes of the crisis, the structural damage is done by the reaction of the departments to the new status quo.

Politics Lecturers and the Art of Oratory

Dr Andrew Crines | Posted 26.09.2013 | UK Politics
Dr Andrew Crines

I would like to posit a few ideas on how an awareness of rhetorical and oratorical techniques can improve politics lectures. This is by no means a comprehensive discussion of either but is simply a very brief discussion of how classical techniques - that are used by political scientists to scrutinise political leaders - can also have relevance for politics lecturers.

How Arts and Humanities Can Influence Public Policy

Jules Evans | Posted 20.04.2013 | UK Universities & Education
Jules Evans

As one civil servant told us, ministers are extremely busy and rarely get time to read a newspaper article, let alone a research paper. They want any 'action points' to be clearly expressed in a two-page document.

Ideas Matter

Dr Tyrone Pitsis | Posted 20.01.2013 | UK Universities & Education
Dr Tyrone Pitsis

Social science research is about knowledge, or what I prefer to call the materialisation and seeding of ideas. Lots of ideas flourish, both good ideas and bad ideas, and in social science we have plenty of good and bad ideas which are sustained.

Admissions Chaos?

Dave Phoenix | Posted 13.11.2012 | UK Universities & Education
Dave Phoenix

To some extent the Government will have achieved its goals. The HE sector will be smaller with fewer choosing to go to University. This will clearly benefit the Treasury and BIS given their concerns over the cost of the student loans system.

Journalism vs Academics: Time for a Truce

Jamie Thunder | Posted 01.09.2012 | UK
Jamie Thunder

Poynter had an interesting post earlier this week on a study about errors in news reports. The researchers looked at 2,000 stories in the Swiss and Italian press, and contacted people quoted in those stories.

Harry Potter and the Ivory Tower: Children's Literature and Academia

B.J. Epstein | Posted 22.07.2012 | Home
B.J. Epstein

But many view children's literature as beneath them. If it's not for 'grownups', it's not worthwhile. But, wait, here's a sneaky little problem: what about all the 'grownups' who read and enjoy Rowling's work and other children's books? Shouldn't we explore why these works appeals to adults who are apparently supposed to know better?

Why are There so Few Women Bloggers?

Dr Duncan Green | Posted 01.05.2012 | UK Tech
Dr Duncan Green

Last week I had an exchange with Tom Murphy, organiser of the ABBAs online poll to find the best aid blogs, on the issue of gender and blogging.

What Makes a Place a Great Home for Technology Innovation?

Kevin Jones | Posted 28.04.2012 | UK Tech
Kevin Jones

The government's TechCityUK initiative has been making headlines with its aim to rapidly grow the cluster of start-ups in London's Old Street area - dubbed 'Silicon Roundabout' - into a world-class hub for technology innovation.

Students Are Waking Up to Slipping Standards - And Universities Need to Take Notice

Helen Crane | Posted 27.03.2012 | UK Universities & Education
Helen Crane

The problems within the higher education system are multiple, and these need to be considered if we are to expect students to willingly put themselves in three times more debt. The pool of 18-year-old with the financial support to go to university on a whim without a concern for its relative value will be vastly reduced.

Relocation, Relocation, Relocation: the Rise of the Peripatetic Academic

Emma Jackson | Posted 28.02.2012 | UK Universities & Education
Emma Jackson

I feel like the interview is going well. One of the panel looks down at my CV. He reads my address and postcode 'London N8, that's Crouch End'. He looks up 'Would you move to Glasgow?'

You Are What You Read

Akala | Posted 11.02.2012 | Home

If writing is a process of crystallisation, reading is quite the opposite, that is, a process of the most spectacular transformation. It was reading that transformed a young man from Stratford Upon-Avon with no formal university education into the most revered writer in the English language.