Academic conferences. Who pays?

August 6, 2015 / 0 comments

My friend Cate Huston has written a post about tech conferences, and the thorny question of who pays for speakers to attend. You can find it here: Uncomfortable Conversations About Money. I was going to write a comment on it, but then realised I had a bit more to say, so here’s a post instead….

Read more →

Best in show?

December 19, 2014 / 0 comments

One of the great things about the REF is the way every one’s a winner. Well, not everyone. But there are three different categories of stuff being measured, and two obvious choices of modifier. The things being “measured” are: Outputs: these are the actual papers Impact: this is a measure of how an institution’s research…

Read more →

5 things I hate about the REF

December 17, 2014 / 2 comments

The Research “Excellence” “Framework” is how university departments are judged on their research. It’s more than that though. It determines our funding, and it is effectively the only way that an institution can influence how much money it gets from the central funding agencies. This is in part due to the fact that under the…

Read more →

The new Department for Education

July 19, 2014 / 8 comments

Inspired by an infographic showing that all of the current education ministers went to private schools, I have just spent 10 mins on Wikipedia investigating the Higher Education experiences of the current department for education: Nicky Morgan is 41, so didn’t pay uni fees for her Jurisprudence degree from Oxford. Nick Boles is 48, so…

Read more →

Summer holidays

July 19, 2013 / 1 comment

One sure-fire way to get up an academic’s nose is to suggest that we have massive long summer holidays. There’s this misconception that we just sit around relaxing when the students aren’t here – without the normal day to day of teaching and admin, we’re just sat in the coffee room drinking pimms or something….

Read more →

Whoops! A quote

March 3, 2012 / 0 comments

“The whole question of what Britain is best at, in global terms, is an interesting one. There are four sectors in which Britain is world-class: finance, arms manufacturing, the creative arts, and higher education. Of these, the first receives strong government support, the second lavish investment and strong support, the third is largely left to…

Read more →

EU Gender Summit

November 30, 2011 / 2 comments

Earlier this month Gillian Arnold (BCSWomen chair) and I went to the EU Gender Summit in Brussels. This was the first ever gender summit, concentrating on gender issues in Science, Engineering and Technology, and it was absolutely fascinating. The real take home message to me was the power of diverse teams. I’ve heard this before…

Read more →

Funding HE in the wake of Browne

November 19, 2010 / 0 comments

The Higher education policy institute (an independent think tank) have recently published an analysis of the Browne review and the governments subsequent proposals on student funding, and it makes for interesting reading. You can read the details on the HEPI site here; the “executive summary” is fairly short and readable. The department for Business, Innovation…

Read more →