• Donald_Manson_working_as_an_employee_of_the_Marconi_Company
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    Five Minutes with Trish Greenhalgh: “We need to be clear that research impact isn’t a single dimension.”

Five Minutes with Trish Greenhalgh: “We need to be clear that research impact isn’t a single dimension.”

Trish Greenhalgh is currently Dean for Research Impact at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry. In discussion with Managing Editor Sierra Williams she discusses the nature of academic impact and the remit of her appointment. She finds that many academics still have a naïve and overly rationalistic view of how their work might link with policy. Drawing on the […]

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    Performance funding policies in higher education have had little effect on student outcomes.

Performance funding policies in higher education have had little effect on student outcomes.

Performance and cost efficiency concerns have taken center stage in discussions about the funding and oversight of public universities in recent years. One of the primary manifestations of these concerns is the rise of performance funding policies, or policies that seek to directly link state appropriations to the outcomes institutions generate for students.  In a study of over 500 […]

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    ‘Robbins Rebooted’ details Labour’s approach to boosting technical skills and regional growth through higher education

‘Robbins Rebooted’ details Labour’s approach to boosting technical skills and regional growth through higher education

Shadow Higher Education Minister Liam Byrne MP has released Robbins Rebooted, a pamphlet on the importance of higher education to the UK’s national life and economic future. Nick Hillman, Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) welcomes the pamphlet as a clear articulation of Labour’s vision for maintaining a world-class higher education sector, even if ambiguity remains over hard figures and clear […]

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    The role of the Research Funding Officer in building robust and dynamic foundations for impact.

The role of the Research Funding Officer in building robust and dynamic foundations for impact.

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 […]

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    Immigration, Citizenship and Education: Should students be exempt?

Immigration, Citizenship and Education: Should students be exempt?

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 […]

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    Capturing the value of university-business collaboration in education requires flexible approach to measurement tools

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 […]

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    The Open Educational Resources Impact Map: researching impact through openness and collaboration.

The Open Educational Resources Impact Map: researching impact through openness and collaboration.

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 […]

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    Twitter and blogs are not add-ons to academic research, but a simple reflection of the passion that underpins it.

Twitter and blogs are not add-ons to academic research, but a simple reflection of the passion that underpins it.

The role of the academic humanist has always been a public one – however mediated through teaching and publication, argues Tim Hitchcock. As central means to participate in public conversations, Twitter and blogging just make good academic sense. Hitchcock looks at how these new platforms are facilitating academic collaboration, teaching and public engagement. What starts as a blog, ends as an academic […]

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    Will David Willetts be remembered for progressive push for Open Access or pernicious effects of neoliberal academy?

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 […]

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    Book Review: The War on Learning: Gaining Ground in the Digital University

Book Review: The War on Learning: Gaining Ground in the Digital University

In The War on Learning, Elizabeth Losh analyses recent trends in post-secondary education and the rhetoric around them. In an effort to identify educational technologies that might actually work, she looks at strategies including MOOCs, the gamification of subject matter, remix pedagogy, video lectures, and educational virtual worlds. Losh’s work is valuable reading for students and parents trying to make sense of when current […]

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    Research impact on policy-making is often understood in instrumentalist terms, but more often plays symbolic role.

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 […]

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    Higher Education community responds to cabinet reshuffle, but it is too soon to foretell David Willetts’ legacy.

Higher Education community responds to cabinet reshuffle, but it is too soon to foretell David Willetts’ legacy.

Following David Willetts’ resignation as part of the UK government’s cabinet reshuffle, Greg Clark MP has today been announced as the new Minister for Universities and Science. Steven Jones looks at the flurry of comment taking place on Twitter about the reshuffle, the government’s higher education initiatives over the past four years, and what might prove to be the lasting legacy of […]

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    Disruption disrupted? As innovation comes to academia, scholars look to challenge Christensen’s compelling theory.

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 […]

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    The rejection of metrics for the REF does not take account of existing problems of determining research quality.

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 […]

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    Performance-based research assessment is narrowing and impoverishing the university in New Zealand, UK and Denmark.

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 […]

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    The FIRST Act’s demand for relevance at the expense of replication puts the entire scientific enterprise at risk.

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 […]

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    A modest proposal to solve the problem of peer review: Treat evaluation as an in-house publishing function.

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 […]

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    Reflections on the contemporary university: Reading List for Governing Academic Life #GAL2014

Reflections on the contemporary university: Reading List for Governing Academic Life #GAL2014

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. […]

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    Five Minutes with Anne Barron and Mary Evans: “Academics seldom have the opportunity to discuss issues about their profession”

Five Minutes with Anne Barron and Mary Evans: “Academics seldom have the opportunity to discuss issues about their profession”

To mark the thirtieth anniversary of the death of social theorist Michel Foucault, Anne Barron and Mary Evans have organised a conference in late June for academics to reflect on his legacy in relation to higher education. Governing Academic Life will create an interdisciplinary space to discuss the public university, neoliberalism, academic publishing, and assessment measurement. Managing Editor Sierra Williams […]

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