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    The pace of academic life is not the problem—the lack of autonomy is

The pace of academic life is not the problem—the lack of autonomy is

To many disgruntled with the quantification of scholarship, its impossible demands and meaningless metrics, it is the heightened pace of academic life that is the problem. For Alison Edwards, the crux of the problem is actually a lack of autonomy. Is it time for academics to take back control? This post is inspired in part by the Impact Blog’s […]

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    The UK’s Teaching Excellence Framework does not foster the inclusion of international students as equals

The UK’s Teaching Excellence Framework does not foster the inclusion of international students as equals

Of the criticisms that have been levelled at the government’s proposed teaching excellence framework (TEF), very few have focused on what the exercise means for international students’ status in British education. Aneta Hayes argues that the absence of TEF metrics that would measure respectful engagement with international students in the classroom means nothing will be done to help their […]

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On (re)building institutional writing cultures

Pat Thomson suggests the benefits of restoring a writing-oriented organisational culture to the modern-day university. A more social, communal setting can create the conditions necessary for gaining confidence as a writer. Writing is core to our disciplines and so ought to be at the very heart of our everyday university lives. While this would certainly require institutional leadership, it also depends […]

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    Lies are fast, truth is slow: the importance of mastering the rhythms of academic life and work

Lies are fast, truth is slow: the importance of mastering the rhythms of academic life and work

In the context of Trumpism and the victory of fast emotions over the slower pace of reasoning and education, Dick Pels hails the unique perspective encouraged by science; the ability to slow down, freeze-frame, and dissect things, liberated from the demands of urgency, immediacy and publicity. However, this should not detract from the existence of temporal diversity within academic […]

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    Undergraduate researchers report only moderate knowledge of scholarly communication: they must be offered more support

Undergraduate researchers report only moderate knowledge of scholarly communication: they must be offered more support

Undergraduate students are increasingly participating in the scholarly communication process, mostly through formal research experiences. However, Catherine Fraser Riehle and Merinda Kaye Hensley, having surveyed and interviewed university students, reveal that undergraduate researchers have only moderate levels of confidence in their knowledge of scholarly communications, especially publication and access models, author and publisher rights, determining the impact of research, and […]

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    Are universities finally waking up to the value of copyright?

Are universities finally waking up to the value of copyright?

Whereas a large majority of universities have been proactive about claiming ownership of intellectual property such as patents or teaching materials, only a small percentage have been similarly assertive about copyright. However, amidst continued debate over the affordability of and access to scholarly communication, what practical attempts have been made to retain copyright within the academy rather than assign […]

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    University students are buying assignments – what could, or should, be done about it?

University students are buying assignments – what could, or should, be done about it?

‘Contract cheating’, whereby students pay companies to complete assignments on their behalf, threatens to seriously undermine higher education standards. Philip M. Newton and Michael J. Draper consider what might be done to tackle this issue, including the Quality Assurance Agency’s suggestion of deploying the UK Fraud Act (2006). While questions remains as to whether the Fraud Act is likely […]

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    Increasing REF’s impact weighting could offer incentive for institutions to address societal, economic and global challenges

Increasing REF’s impact weighting could offer incentive for institutions to address societal, economic and global challenges

Challenges posed by events such as Brexit highlight the importance of excellent research programmes. Moreover, they represent a broader context in which the next Research Excellence Framework must consider ‘impact’. But do current REF proposals go far enough towards doing this? Matthew Guest argues that there is not enough of an incentive for institutions to address heightened societal, economic […]

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    Book Review: Student Lives in Crisis: Deepening Inequality in Times of Austerity by Lorenza Antonucci

Book Review: Student Lives in Crisis: Deepening Inequality in Times of Austerity by Lorenza Antonucci

In Student Lives in Crisis: Deepening Inequality in Times of Austerity, Lorenza Antonucci examines the material inequalities that shape young people’s experiences of higher education by examining welfare provision in three European countries – England, Italy and Sweden. Heather Mew welcomes this book as an eye-opening account that shows how austerity policies are leading universities to reinforce rather than remedy […]

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    The importance of being REF-able: academic writing under pressure from a culture of counting

The importance of being REF-able: academic writing under pressure from a culture of counting

Writing is crucial to an academic’s role of producing, shaping and distributing knowledge. However, academic writing itself is increasingly being shaped by the contemporary university’s managerial practices and evaluation frameworks. Sharon McCulloch describes how her research on academics’ writing practices has revealed tensions around the ways in which managerial practices interact with academics’ individual career goals, disciplinary values and […]

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    The university challenge: what would an Intelligent Brexit look like?

The university challenge: what would an Intelligent Brexit look like?

The EU brought invaluable networks for research and collaboration to the UK. More than that, it fostered a shared democratic culture of openness and tolerance. But these links will have to change as Britain pursues a hard Brexit. Time is short, write Anne Corbett and Claire Gordon, and universities need to make the case for an ‘Intelligent Brexit’ that will […]

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    Book Review: Socrates Tenured: The Institutions of 21st-Century Philosophy by Robert Frodeman and Adam Briggle

Book Review: Socrates Tenured: The Institutions of 21st-Century Philosophy by Robert Frodeman and Adam Briggle

In Socrates Tenured: The Institutions of 21st-Century Philosophy, Robert Frodeman and Adam Briggle offer a diagnosis and remedy for the malaise currently gripping the study of philosophy, advocating a ‘field philosophy’ that aims to break free of the strictures of its disciplinary and departmental settings that have led to accusations of insularity and irrelevance. While suggesting that the authors’ claims […]

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    No longer welcome: the EU academics in Britain told to “make arrangements to leave”

No longer welcome: the EU academics in Britain told to “make arrangements to leave”

Some EU citizens living in Britain who decided to seek permanent residency after the Brexit vote are being told to make arrangements to leave. A number of these people are among the 31,000 EU academics currently working in UK universities. Colin Talbot says many are alarmed and some have already decided to leave – putting the expertise of Britain’s […]

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    Why students should not be taught general critical-thinking skills

Why students should not be taught general critical-thinking skills

It’s natural to want children and graduates to develop a set of all-purpose cognitive tools with which to navigate their way through the world. But can such things be taught? Carl Hendrick argues that general critical thinking skills cannot be so easily transferred from one context to another.

Being an air-traffic controller is not easy. At the heart of the […]

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    Developing social science identities in interdisciplinary research and education

Developing social science identities in interdisciplinary research and education

While it is no longer uncommon for social scientists to be included in research groups tackling complex problems in the natural sciences, limited understanding of the different disciplinary areas within the social sciences remains a challenge. Eric Toman describes the approach social science faculties at his university have taken to address this and also outlines how graduate training programmes […]

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A call to build an impact literate research culture

Last week, Julie Bayley spoke at the 2016 Research Impact Summit, hosted by Knowledge Translation Australia. During her presentation she discussed many of the challenges faced when introducing an impact agenda to the academic community, and how the concept of impact literacy can help. An extended version of the presentation has been made available online, but Julie outlines the key points below.

Consider impact. A […]

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    Coeducation at university was – and is – no triumph of feminism

Coeducation at university was – and is – no triumph of feminism

In the late 1960s, many elite universities suddenly welcomed women to their undergraduate student bodies. However, as Nancy Weiss Malkiel explains, this was not the consequence of a high-minded commitment to opening opportunities to women but rather one of institutional self-interest. Little wonder, then, that coeducation has failed to lead to a levelling of the playing field for men […]

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