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    Increasing involvement of private finance in Higher Ed will have lasting consequences for stability of the sector.

Increasing involvement of private finance in Higher Ed will have lasting consequences for stability of the sector.

Changes in higher education policy are altering the way academic institutions are functioning in Britain. Andrew McGettigan takes a look at the implications of new funding mechanisms for higher education and writes that new methods of debt issuance will increase the financial fragility of academic institutions. Furthermore, due to the increase in students accessing loans, governments will soon be forced to […]

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    HEFCE announces Open Access policy for the next REF in the UK: Why this Open Access policy will be a game-changer.

HEFCE announces Open Access policy for the next REF in the UK: Why this Open Access policy will be a game-changer.

With the final consultation period now over, the Open Access policy for the next REF has been released. Alma Swan looks at the rollout which requires the deposit of articles into repositories and finds this is pragmatic but good policymaking. With that simple requirement, the culture in British universities can be shifted towards open access. Swan also notes areas where […]

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    Business education can revive itself by building links with the public sector and embracing policy relevance.

Business education can revive itself by building links with the public sector and embracing policy relevance.

Business schools have operated under the same pedagogical model for the past 30 years, making them a prime target for innovation. Mark Esposito pinpoints the emergence of a possible nexus between business schools and policy makers – a connection yet to be fully explored but with massive potential to help address complex problems of the future. While private and public […]

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    Open data sheds light on how universities are minority providers of commissioned research to government.

Open data sheds light on how universities are minority providers of commissioned research to government.

Anyone under the impression that universities are the dominant suppliers to government of commissioned research, advice, and knowledge, think again. Open data on government spending shows the relative dominance of other suppliers and mediators of knowledge to government – not least the private sector and think tanks. Simon Bastow presents some preliminary government-wide data.

Moves towards more transparent and open […]

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    BIS report on UK Research Councils: Drop in income sees fewer researchers supported but more knowledge created.

BIS report on UK Research Councils: Drop in income sees fewer researchers supported but more knowledge created.

Jane Tinkler breaks down the key findings from the UK government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) report on the impact of research council funding over the last year. With income cuts playing a significant role, the number of principal investigators and research fellowships with research council funding have both gone down. Interestingly, output productivity of funded researchers has actually […]

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    What do policymakers want from researchers? Blogs, elevator pitches and good old fashioned press mentions.

What do policymakers want from researchers? Blogs, elevator pitches and good old fashioned press mentions.

Duncan Green provides short and sweet translations of some of the key findings from a recent survey looking at how US policymakers use and value international studies research. The findings point to the importance of blogging, but also to the sustained influence of traditional print media. The future of evidence-informed networks may require a more engaged look at what policymakers […]

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Do we need more scientists in Parliament? Voting behaviour suggests they make little difference.

There is one scientist in the current House of Commons, and only a handful more with any kind of scientific background. This fact is frequently used to illustrate Parliament’s apparent inability to bring about evidence-based policymaking. However, as Mark Goodwin argues, parliamentarians with scientific backgrounds don’t tend to vote any differently from other MPs, suggesting that either efforts to improve the number […]

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The policy world and academia offer widely different opportunities for early career researchers.

The research career offers a variety of opportunities across sectors. Rachel Glennerster weighs up the differences between the policy world and academia for early career researchers looking at their options. Whilst both may be intellectually challenging environments, the reward structures, collaborative potential and research scope are substantially different and personal preferences of these variations may play a big role in […]

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‘Value for money’ rhetoric in higher education undermines the value of knowledge in society.

Over the past 15 years, reiterated across successive governments, the concept of value for money has been internalised throughout the higher education sector. Joanna Williams outlines the reasons why it is problematic to use student choice and value for money as a means of holding universities to account. Universities should be concerned with knowledge not skills; and intellectual capital not economic capital. Seeing the […]

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It’s the Neoliberalism, Stupid: Why instrumentalist arguments for Open Access, Open Data, and Open Science are not enough.

The Open Movement has made impressive strides in the past year, but do these strides stand for reform or are they just symptomatic of the further expansion and entrenchment of neoliberalism? Eric Kansa argues that it is time for the movement to broaden its long-term strategy to tackle the needs for wider reform in the financing and organization of research and education and […]

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Launch event for “The Impact of the Social Sciences: How Academics and their Research Make a Difference” – 29 January 2014

Engaged Social Science:  Impacts and Use of Research in the UK
Book Launch and Panel Discussion
Wednesday 29 January 2014
London School of Economics, Holborn
6:30 to 8:00pm followed by a drinks reception
Book tickets online here [SOLD OUT but tune-in to the Google Hangout live stream]
The LSE Public Policy Group and SAGE would like to invite you to panel discussion to mark the launch […]

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There is a lack of durable mechanisms to connect the Professional Service Sector to academic research.

Drawing from interviews with partners in the professional service sector, Gordon Clubb investigates the opportunities and barriers facing the take-up of academic research. There is an interest in this sector to engage with academic research, there are resources to fund it, and it could have a substantial impact on business. However, weak cross-sector relationships and clashing institutional norms mean the benefits […]

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“Nudging” researchers toward Gold Open Access will delay the shift to wider access of research.

UK research is being conceived by the UK Government as if it were primarily an investment in the journal publishing industry rather than in research productivity and impact, argues Stevan Harnad. Since the new UK open access policy was announced, more and longer embargoes have been adopted by publishers. Rather than a focus on revenue streams, more attention should be […]

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The marketisation of our universities is fragmenting the academic workforce at the students’ expense.

Business criteria, not education or the public good, drive what marketised universities do, writes Luke Martell. Universities are restructuring for the new era, ploughing money into marketing and glitzy buildings, designed to appeal to applicants as much as function for those that use them. It’s a revolution in what the university’s about, and a counter-revolution is needed. This originally appeared on LSE British Politics and Policy […]

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As the REF submission period ends, mismatched publishing incentives signal challenging times ahead in academia.

Academics are frequently subject to new types of evaluations. November marks the end of the submission process for the UK funding council’s evaluation, the Research Excellence Framework (REF). John Hudson discusses some of the shortcomings of the REF and the methods individual papers are ranked. New evaluations and requirements change the incentives of economists and can affect their research – sometimes […]

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Finch Group reviews progress in implementing open access transition amid ongoing criticisms.

The working group which first released the Finch Report on expanding access to published research in June 2012 has issued a new progress update. Following the UK government’s unilateral acceptance of these recommendations, criticisms have mounted against this so-called ‘push for Gold Open Access’. Stevan Harnad responds below to the new document from the Finch Group (hereafter referred to as Finch […]

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The availability of open data and new trends in data visualisation will transform how we understand our cities.

Due to the increasing availability of large urban datasets, it is now becoming easier to produce online visualisations that capture and help interpret the complex spatial dynamics of cities. Duncan A. Smith argues that as further open datasets are made available, a much wider range of interests and user groups are set to be represented and explored. These urban cartography projects […]

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Five recommendations for maximising the relevance of social science research for policy-making in the big data era

The quantity and influence of generalisable data presents challenges and opportunities for public policy making. Helen Margetts discusses how social scientists can help policy-makers in this changed environment, ensuring that social science research remains relevant, and warns that social science concerns or questions may be increasingly ignored if ‘big data’ education and training is left completely in the hands of […]

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This work by LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported.