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    Improving the lack of racial diversity amongst academic staff: will the Race Equality Charter make a difference?

Improving the lack of racial diversity amongst academic staff: will the Race Equality Charter make a difference?

The numbers on diversity in academia are discouraging. There are currently only 70 black professors in the UK; of these, only 17 of are female. As part of ongoing efforts to address these disappointing numbers, the Race Equality Charter mark was recently introduced by the Equality Challenge Unit. But will it make academia more diverse? Kalwant Bhopal explains how the process works and writes […]

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February 5th, 2016|Higher Education|2 Comments|
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    Student evaluations of teaching are not only unreliable, they are significantly biased against female instructors.

Student evaluations of teaching are not only unreliable, they are significantly biased against female instructors.

A series of studies across countries and disciplines in higher education confirm that student evaluations of teaching (SET) are significantly correlated with instructor gender, with students regularly rating female instructors lower than male peers. Anne Boring, Kellie Ottoboni and Philip B. Stark argue the findings warrant serious attention in light of increasing pressure on universities to measure teaching effectiveness. Given the unreliability […]

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    How to think like a neoliberal: Can every decision and choice really be conceived as a market decision?

How to think like a neoliberal: Can every decision and choice really be conceived as a market decision?

Kean Birch reflects on a classroom exercise introducing students to the reach of market-driven actions in everyday life. He finds the exercise is also helpful for his own engagement with an intellectual tradition with which he disagrees. According to Hayek, Friedman and Becker, every decision and choice can be conceived as a market decision. But in the process of negotiating and renegotiating every action in […]

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    The moral baseline of social media policies: Institutions and scholars need to examine practices with a critical eye

The moral baseline of social media policies: Institutions and scholars need to examine practices with a critical eye

Although scholars are often encouraged to promote their research online, institutional recognition of networked scholarship often appears to be as much about control and surveillance as about integrating public scholarship into academic criteria for success. George Veletsianos argues staff members, faculty, and administrators need to work together to devise forward-thinking policies that take into account the complex realities present in […]

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    An election propelled by academia? Blurring the lines between political science and politics in Spain

An election propelled by academia? Blurring the lines between political science and politics in Spain

The recent Spanish general election has proven to be fertile ground for interactions between politics and academia. Tena Prelec and Stuart Brown single out two phenomena that have developed in Spain: the progressive engagement of precariously-paid junior scholars in politics, and a thriving community of young academic commentators which supplements, and in some cases supplants, the work of the mainstream media.

The results of the Spanish elections on […]

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    Universities need to hone their argument for staying in the EU

Universities need to hone their argument for staying in the EU

Emran Mian looks at four arguments that British universities have so far mustered for staying in the EU – and says universities must engage further, detail by detail, with the Eurosceptic rebuttals to these arguments. Even in universities the support for staying in the EU is soft. There is still time for universities to construct better arguments.

A referendum on […]

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Spending Review brings good news for science.

The government’s recognition of the value of the UK research budget in the Spending Review is good news for science and good news for the economy. Romesh Vaitilingam argues new knowledge and innovative ideas generated by research – whether done in the public or private sector – are key drivers of productivity growth. But without public investment, society as […]

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    Peer review of teaching and the TEF – We need more than a tick-box exercise to improve the quality of teaching.

Peer review of teaching and the TEF – We need more than a tick-box exercise to improve the quality of teaching.

Improving teaching in universities is a worthy aim, but how will the Teaching Excellence Framework recognise and reward quality? Marty Chamberlain looks at how teaching is currently assessed. Peer review of teaching tends to operate superficially when it is decoupled from formal staff development and employee feedback processes. Further complicating matters, in professions underpinned by tacit knowledge, experts tend to rely on personal and […]

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    Addressing societal challenges: Joined-up research funding could facilitate innovation and engagement.

Addressing societal challenges: Joined-up research funding could facilitate innovation and engagement.

With changes looming for research councils and research funding as a whole, John Goddard looks at what a more joined-up research council driven by societal challenges would mean for the social sciences. Universities are going to have to increase their capacity to support engagement with society. The social science community therefore needs to actively enter into the fray locally and […]

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    The effect of NSS scores and league tables on student demand and university application rates is relatively small.

The effect of NSS scores and league tables on student demand and university application rates is relatively small.

As competition for student recruitment continues to intensify, policymakers and administrators are encouraging an emphasis on ‘student experience’. The National Student Survey (NSS) scores are one indicator that attempts to measure this. But do students really take any notice of NSS scores in making their university choices? Stephen Gibbons shares findings which suggest the effect of changes in NSS scores on […]

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    Reading List: Teaching excellence and the proposed changes to the higher education landscape #HEgreenpaper

Reading List: Teaching excellence and the proposed changes to the higher education landscape #HEgreenpaper

The government have published the highly anticipated consultation document on the future of UK higher education titled “Fulfilling Our Potential: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice” which outlines key changes for the sector including the Teaching Excellence Framework, an Office for Students, and tweaks to research funding and assessment. Here we have compiled pieces previously featured on the LSE Impact […]

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    When are journal metrics useful? A balanced call for the contextualized and transparent use of all publication metrics

When are journal metrics useful? A balanced call for the contextualized and transparent use of all publication metrics

The Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) has yet to achieve widespread institutional support in the UK. Elizabeth Gadd digs further into the slow uptake. Although there is growing acceptance that the Journal Impact Factor is subject to significant limitations, DORA feels rather negative in tone: an anti-journal metric tirade. There may be times when a journal metric, sensibly used, is […]

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    Anonymising UCAS forms is only a first step towards fair and discrimination-free university admissions

Anonymising UCAS forms is only a first step towards fair and discrimination-free university admissions

The Prime Minister recently pledged to make university admissions ‘name-blind’, responding to statistics which showed a significant racial imbalance in terms of who is admitted to university, with obvious implications for social mobility, fairness, and access to higher education. Steven Jones argues that while this idea is in many ways sensible, it overlooks other more significant barriers when considering widening […]

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    Without a balance between research and teaching, there will be nothing “higher” about UK education.

Without a balance between research and teaching, there will be nothing “higher” about UK education.

There are a surge of rumours circulating over how higher education will be affected by the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review at the end of the November. Responding to the latest suggestions, Martin Eve writes below directly to Jo Johnson, the Minister for Universities and Science. Whilst there are many causes for concern outlined, of particular concern is the emphasis put on teaching at […]

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    Addressing anxiety in the teaching room: Innovative techniques to enhance mathematics and statistics education.

Addressing anxiety in the teaching room: Innovative techniques to enhance mathematics and statistics education.

Mathematics and statistics anxiety is one of the major challenges involved in communicating complex mathematical concepts to non-specialists. Meena Kotecha reports back from a recent conference where educators and researchers presented on how they have addressed the issue of anxiety in the classroom. Individual learning requirements need to be carefully considered in order to promote a climate that is […]

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    Making Open Access work: Clustering analysis of academic discourse suggests OA is still grappling with controversy.

Making Open Access work: Clustering analysis of academic discourse suggests OA is still grappling with controversy.

Open Access Week starts this Monday 19th October. In the run-up, Stephen Pinfield provides an overview of eighteen propositions on open access identified through an extensive analysis of the discourse. Key elements remain controversial. Particularly in relation to quality, researchers continue to view open access publishing with disinterest, suspicion and scepticism. It is clear that whilst OA has come a long […]

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Higher university fees reduce applications and attendance

Filipa Sá uses the variation in the level of university fees between England and Scotland over time to measure the effect of fees on university applications, course choice and attendance. She finds that applications decrease by about 1.6% for a £1,000 increase in fees and courses that lead to lower salaries and lower employment rates after graduation are more sensitive to […]

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    Jo Johnson’s rhetoric around the Teaching Excellence Framework reveals looming challenges for Higher Education.

Jo Johnson’s rhetoric around the Teaching Excellence Framework reveals looming challenges for Higher Education.

Steven Jones takes a closer look at the metaphors of the market and the linguistics of blame, searching for clues about whether the government’s long-awaited Green Paper will offer a Teaching Excellence Framework that divides the sector further or begins to build bridges. Keeping the Higher Education sector on side remains the TEF’s biggest challenge.

This piece originally appeared on […]

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    Exploring the publishing model of the Open Library of Humanities: A view from Latin America

Exploring the publishing model of the Open Library of Humanities: A view from Latin America

This week marks the launch of the greatly anticipated open access mega-journal, the Open Library of Humanities. Francisco Osorio provides a brief overview of what sets this journal project apart from the rest and how the new funding model offers an economic, social and technological platform for the humanities and social sciences to transition to open access. At the heart […]

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