Category: Higher Education

Is doing a PhD bad for your mental health?

Poor mental health amongst PhD researchers is increasingly being recognised as an issue within higher education institutions. However, there continues to be unanswered questions relating to the propensity and causality of poor mental health amongst PhD…

2021 In Review: Living and Working in Academia

  Throughout 2021 universities and higher education institutions have faced the immediate challenge of COVID-19, whilst at the same time long term trends continue to disrupt and reconfigure the sector. This annual review brings together a selectio…

Despite the focus on Russell Group institutions as drivers of social mobility, it is actually universities outside this group that are contributing most strongly to social mobility

Carl Cullinane discusses how individual universities are contributing to social mobility, and finds that gaps in access are hugely variable depending on university selectivity. The most selective universities admitted comparatively low numbers from les…

Neurodiversity in Academia: The Autistic advantage in qualitative research

Across society, higher education and research, neurodivergent people face barriers to working and achieving their aims. In this post, Helen Kara and Aimee Grant, draw on their experience to discuss how being Autistic has enhanced their approaches to qu…

Defending a PhD thesis is an emotional moment candidates and supervisors should be prepared for

The PhD defence, or viva, is significant academic rite of passage, which as well as marking the culmination of years of study, can also be a highly charged emotional moment. Drawing on years of collecting accounts of PhD defences on her blog and her re…

What COVID-19 should teach us about being disabled, chronically ill and/or neurodivergent in higher education

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic a significant and influential body of academic research had begun to take shape around the experience of ableism within the academy. In this post, Nicole Brown reflects on how the pandemic has made this work more relevant…

Universities, Economic Development and ‘Levelling Up’ – How can universities make a positive impact on their local areas?

Based on the findings of a recent report into the ways in which higher education institutions contribute to the development of their local regions. Mark Tewdwr-Jones and Louise Kempton, discuss the complexity of aligning the goals of higher education t…

Facebook, the metaverse and the monetisation of higher education

Following the recent announcement by Facebook of its pivot towards developing a metaverse, John Preston, considers the role it may play in education and the potential it holds for the further monetisation and marketisation of higher education.  The met…

Higher Education Science Fictions – How fictional narratives can shape AI futures in the academy

AI is poised to reshape many sectors of our society and economy including higher education. However, the character of this future is often imagined from within particular academic silos or through what technologies can do rather than proven need. In th…

Time, Finances, Confidence, Knowledge – Research communicators should be attentive to the resource inequalities inherent to academia

Funding for research communication is a growing feature of grant applications and whilst digital scholarship may have started as an individual undertaking, it is now a mainstream and, in some instances, commercial activity. Commenting on how research c…