A global tertiary education expert has argued that governments should focus on creating better higher education systems rather than making more top-ranked universities.
Times Higher Education have published their University Workplace Survey 2015. The results show that while the majority of university staff have a high level of job satisfaction, a lot of academics feel under too much pressure. Overall, academics are less satisfied in their roles than in the 2014 survey, whereas employees in support or professional roles are actually more satisfied. However, it seems that universities don’t value their employees’ opinions as much as they should, and there are also issues with university pensions.
In an effort to make sure private higher education providers contribute to, not detract from Britain’s reputation for excellent higher education, Universities minister Greg Clark says that they will face tougher quality standards. For example, they will need to register their students with the appropriate qualifications body before they can claim student support.
Traditionally, the academic world has been dominated by men, with women struggling to be seen as equals. A new group of women are campaigning to turn things around…
Charlotte von Bulow, Chief Executive of Crossfields Institute:
“Dr Selina Todd has written an interesting article about the lack of equality in universities. She is introducing the readers to the initiative ‘Woman in the Humanities,’ which sets out to explore how gender, ethics and politics of gender identity plays out in the world of humanities academia www.torch.ox.ac.uk/womenandhumanities. The article talks about recurring situations that woman academics face within the current university system. I ask myself: can we expect to experience real change if the system itself doesn’t change? I believe not. Post-structualism touched the issue in the sixties, seventies and eighties and facilitated some movement but we did not see a fundamental change to the system as a result. Equality is therefore still an add-on to the current system we have (a policy, really), rather than embedded in it. Dr Todd’s article raises two questions for me: 1) what does a system look like where equality is embedded, rather than an add-on and 2) if we work on the premise that we (women) are part of the problem, what is our role in the change process?”
FutureLearn, the UK’s first online-only learning platform, recently reached the 1 million mark for enrolments. As more people are looking to learn in this way, universities may need to incorporate new technologies into their teaching methods.
If we are so keen for universities to be different, why are they being forced to meet the same guidelines? The Guardian’s Estelle Morris reminisces about a bygone era of polytechnics and institutes of science/technology, and wonders why universities are having to now all “jump through the same hoops”…