Category: Higher Education

What’s the purpose of university? Your answer may depend on how much it costs you

Achala Gupta discusses findings from the Eurostudents project in this repost, detailing how student perceptions of the value and purpose of higher education reflect levels of marketisation in different European higher education systems. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the university sector under greater scrutiny. In some cases, this has prompted new conversations about the purpose … Continued

Academia meets Romancelandia: Or, what scholars can learn from romance writers

Christine Larson argues that when faced with digital disruption, academics have much to learn from the writers of Romance fiction. Notably, the way in which their adoption of an open-elite organizational structure, has enabled Romance writers to successfully and equitably adapt to new forms of digital communication. The power of romance burns bright this year. … Continued

The COVID-safe university is an opportunity to end the default ableism of academia

Universities and academic institutions are making radical changes in an attempt to make their spaces and practices COVID-safe. In this post, Dr Stuart Read, Dr Anne Parfitt and Dr Tanvir Bush, put forward that this restructuring of academia presents a clear and present opportunity to expand inclusivity in academia and to redress the ableism currently … Continued

What will the legacy of the COVID-19 pandemic be for Early Career Researchers?

David Nicholas discusses the challenges facing early career researchers as a result of the pandemic and outlines how a new longitudinal, qualitative study involving 160 Early Career Researchers (ECRs) from 8 countries will seek to understand how they fare over the next two years. In something of an oxymoron, we often look to new generations … Continued

Rewarding contributions to research culture is part of building a better university

Elizabeth Adams and Tanita Casci discuss how they developed and implemented awards for contributions to research culture at the University of Glasgow and how this can contribute to higher education institutions’ overall strategies to build better research cultures. Higher Education has many awards for teaching and learning, and increasingly for other aspects of academic roles … Continued

Book Review: Experiences of Academics from a Working-Class Heritage by Carole Binns

In Experiences of Academics from a Working-Class Heritage, Carole Binns draws on interviews with fourteen tenured academics from a working-class background to reveal the complexities faced by individuals who have experienced social mobility in academia. Suggesting that a diversification of the academic workforce could be a valuable addition to the widening participation agenda, this book contributes to understanding … Continued

The problem with accessibility checklists

Accessibility checklists are increasingly becoming offered as ways to improve inclusivity in Higher Education. However, they rely on the presumption that those delivering education and thus using them have no accessibility needs of their own. Moreover, in seeking to codify what counts as inclusivity, many students’ requirements get overlooked. In this post, Dr Kelsie Acton … Continued

Inconclusion

To launch AcWriMonth2020, William Pooley takes an alternative approach to the usual ‘how-to’ blog format for academic writing. An avid reader of conclusions, with an aversion to writing them, the author presents an altogether inconclusive reflection on the form and function of the conclusion.    Is there anything worse than writing conclusions? Even beginnings are easier, I find, than … Continued

Thanks to academics, Parliament has greater access than ever before to research evidence and expertise

Whilst much of the focus on policy impact and knowledge exchange is on what researchers need to do, there is less coverage of how much academics have done. This risks painting a picture that there is little knowledge exchange (KE) going on between researchers and policy institutions, and that it is particularly difficult to do. … Continued

Moving beyond the talk: Universities must become anti-racist

In 2016, Dr Akile Ahmet wrote a piece for the LSE Impact Blog entitled ‘We need to speak about race’: Examining the barriers to full and equal participation in university life’. Nearly five years on, she reflects on the state of Black and minority ethnic representation and inclusion in Higher Education. She finds that whilst … Continued