The Research Funding Officer role is increasingly fundamental to impact, growing in importance as bidding becomes more competitive and the impact stakes get higher. Casper Hitchins and Julie Bayley argue that the dramatic elevation of impact in funding applications demands more insightful planning. Focus at the funding application stage not only generates more competitive bids, but also secures resources for […]
Lord Heseltine has called to question the UK government’s approach to counting non-EU students in its net immigration figures and has argued instead that foreign students should be excluded from government plans to cut net immigration to the UK. Higher Education is a thriving sector largely due to the diverse student body to which it seek to cater. Increasingly restricted immigration […]
Capturing the value of university-business collaboration in education requires flexible approach to measurement tools
Co-operation between businesses and universities is now firmly on the agenda. However, co-operation in the field of education plays something of a runner-up to co-operation in the field of research, particularly when it comes to valuing and measuring the outcomes of this. Adrian Healy recently led an exploratory study for the European Commission’s Directorate General of Education and Culture, examining […]
Much sharing and use of open educational resources (OER) is relatively informal, difficult to observe, and part of a wider pattern of open activity. What the open education movement needs is a way to draw together disparate fragments of evidence into a coherent analytic framework. Rob Farrow provides background on a project devoted to consolidating efforts of OER practitioners […]
Will David Willetts be remembered for progressive push for Open Access or pernicious effects of neoliberal academy?
Now that the cabinet reshuffle news has settled and Greg Clark MP, the new Minister for Universities, Science, and Cities has begun his tenure, we asked for further reflections on the positions taken by previous minister David Willetts. David Prosser covers the dramatic influence Willetts had on open access legislation and momentum in the UK. Lee Jones instead emphasises the escalation […]
Research impact on policy-making is often understood in instrumentalist terms, but more often plays symbolic role.
The idea that research should have an impact on policy is premised on an instrumentalist, or problem-solving theory of research utilisation: namely, that research is valued by policy-makers as a means of adjusting their outputs. Yet Christina Boswell’s research has shown that expert knowledge is just as likely to be valued for its symbolic function: as a means of […]
Disruption disrupted? As innovation comes to academia, scholars look to challenge Christensen’s compelling theory.
‘Disruptive Innovation’ has become a more practical than theoretical debate in higher education all while criticism mounts over the theory’s scholarly merits. In the midst of high-profile interrogation by academics, Eric Van de Velde reflects on his experience of the value of Christensen’s concept of disruption for information sharing and technological advancement in the scholarly community. The episode also poses […]
The rejection of metrics for the REF does not take account of existing problems of determining research quality.
Amidst heavy scepticism over the role of metrics in research assessments, Martin Smith wonders whether the flaws of the current system have been fully recognised. There is no system of research assessment that is perfect and peer review may well be a better, although problematic, measure of quality than metrics. But the REF has become disproportionate. The question that arises […]
Performance-based research assessment is narrowing and impoverishing the university in New Zealand, UK and Denmark.
Susan Wright, Bruce Curtis, Lisa Lucas and Susan Robertson provide a basic outline of their working paper on how performance-based research assessment frameworks in different countries operate and govern academic life. They find that assessment methods steer academic effort away from wider purposes of the university, enhance the powers of leaders, propagate unsubstantiated myths of meritocracy, and demand conformity. But the latest […]
The FIRST Act’s demand for relevance at the expense of replication puts the entire scientific enterprise at risk.
The United States’ controversial FIRST Act would have profound implications for how social science research is managed and its funding allocated. David Takeuchi argues that even if the act doesn’t pass, it is clear that politicians are demanding more of a say in federally funded research. While a push to ensure research remains relevant can be a good thing, scientists and […]
Impact Round-Up 21st June: Universities as big business, coding the future, and openings in knowledge production.
Managing Editor Sierra Williams presents a round-up of popular stories from around the web on higher education, academic impact, and trends in scholarly communication.
Dorothy Bishop calls out the management decisions at King’s College London that could lead to redundancies for academic staff in order to improve its bottom line in The University as big business: The case of King’s College London.
Traditionally a university was […]
A modest proposal to solve the problem of peer review: Treat evaluation as an in-house publishing function.
Peer review is under constant scrutiny due to its failure to adapt to a more effective model in the digital age. Steve Fuller argues that academic evaluation proceeds much too slowly for the quite simple reason that academics are valued mainly for being productive and not evaluative. It may be the job of publishers to rescue the academic brand […]
Changes to higher education, the role of neo-liberalism in academic life and the various social forces shaping researcher identity and practice are all set to be discussed and interrogated at the Governing Academic Life conference 25-26 June. To kick-start discussion ahead of the event we’ve pulled together a range of resources here on the topics to be explored over the two days. […]
The growth of the science PR industry has resulted in an overly exaggerated presentation of research findings.
Science journalism is not immune to the budget crisis facing newsrooms more widely. With smaller staffs and tighter budgets, more science reporting is being done through press releases, many of which tend to exaggerate original research. Alasdair Taylor highlights some current research on the communication of research findings. Even in the BBC up to 75% of science stories were sourced directly from […]
Business schools strive to connect academic research to real-world practice. But Terence Tse and Mark Esposito find many institutions are failing to overcome academic silos in order to prepare students for the changing demands of the business world. Standardisation of curricula for accreditation limits the adaptability needed to teach the skillsets employers need and in many cases ivory tower expertise […]
Five minutes with Steve Fuller: “The best teachers are like the best jazz artists – drawing on multiple texts simultaneously”
Mark Carrigan interviews Steve Fuller about the act of improvisation and how it shapes creativity and learning. Through improvisation, the mind is gradually freed up from reproducing past social structures. Improvisation depends on having read sufficiently what others have written to be able to create something that is interestingly new. As such, Professor Fuller finds that improvisation is one of […]