27 iulie 2019
80 de studenţi din 16 ţări au fost în aceste zile la Şcoala de Vară JASSY. În ce a constat?
Peste 80 de studenţi din 16 ţări au participat în această lună la Şcoala de Vară JASSY (a Journey through hArd sciences, economicS, Social sciences and the tourism industrY), organizată de Universitatea „Alexandru Ioan Cuza“ (UAIC).
Din cei 84 de cursanţi, opt au fost de la liceele ieşene, restul fiind din Austria, Belgia, Bulgaria, Canada, Cehia, Egipt, Filipine, Franţa, Germania, Iran, Kazakhstan, Republica Moldova, Coreea de Sud, Rusia şi Ucraina. Fiecare cursant a urmat unul dintre modulele interdisciplinare oferite de 62 de cadre didactice ale UAIC: Hard Sciences unveiled: an Interdisciplinary Tour, Strategic Human Resource Management, Finance and Risk Management, Eastern Europe: Cultural Frames, Identities and Social-Political Perspectives, Tourism at the Eastern Border of the EU. Interdisciplinary Training for Tour Guides.
Astfel, aceştia au studiat mai multe despre modele matematică în Ştiinţele Vieţii, inteligenţa artificială, aplicaţii ale teoriei probabilităţii sau au aflat cum să realizeze o analiză strategică profesionistă. „Pachetul de cursuri oferit în cadrul modulului de Finance and Risk Management le-a înlesnit participanţilor formarea unei imagini de ansamblu asupra managementului eficient al diferitelor tipuri de riscuri – de piaţă, de credit, operaţional, de lichiditate, în asigurări – conform cerinţelor stabilite de instituţii de top care emit şi eliberează certificări în managementul riscului“, au precizat reprezentanţii UAIC. Pe lângă cursuri, au mai fost şi alte activităţi precum iniţierea în kayaking, practica observării păsărilor, interpretarea hărţii celeste, turul ghidat al oraşului Iaşi, vizite la mănăstirile din Bucovina, muzee, tehnici de degustare de vinuri.
Publicație : Ziarul de Iași
Punct final al admiterii la Iaşi: 823 de dosare depuse pe 640 de locuri la buget la USMV
Acestea s-au încheiat ieri şi la USAMV. Locurile bugetate s-au ocupat la aproape toate specializările
823 de dosare depuse pe 640 de locuri la buget şi 295 la taxă este rezumatul admiterii de la Universitatea de Ştiinţe Agricole şi Medicină Veterinară „Ion Ionescu“ de la Brad, ultima universitate care încheie admiterea de vară. În total, 348 de dosare au fost depuse pe 275 de locuri la buget la Facultatea de Agricultură, în timp ce la Facultatea de Zootehnie au fost 199 de dosare pe 144 de locuri, iar la Facultatea de Medicină Veterinară – 191 de dosare.
Cenuşăreasa admiterii de la USAMV a fost Facultatea de Horticultură, care şi-a ocupat cu greu jumătate din locurile scoase la buget: 85 de dosare pe 132 de locuri bugetate. La specializarea Ingineria Mediului de la această facultate au fost 14 dosare pe 30 de locuri, iar la nou-introdusa Biotehnologii agricole, doar 2 dosare pe cele 25 de locuri la buget. Cele mai mari concurenţe au fost la Ingineria şi managementul afacerilor agricole, de la Facultatea de Agricultură, unde au fost 1,93 de candidaţi pe un loc, şi la Inginerie produselor alimentare de la Facultatea de Zootehnie, de 2,23 de candidaţi pe un loc.
Există 34 de dosare depuse pe locurile cu taxă în valută de la Facultatea de Medicină Veterinară, pe linia de predare în limba engleză, iar la locurile bugetate, cu predare în limba română, situaţia s-a mai îmbunătăţit faţă de anul trecut, fiind 157 de dosare pe 93 de locuri bugetate, în condiţiile în care în trecut concurenţa trecea de 3 candidaţi pe un loc, dar de anul trecut s-a introdus examen scris, test-grilă, similar cu cele desfăşurate la UMF. Au mai existat specializări care nu şi-au ocupat integral locurile la buget, cum ar fi cele de pe domeniul Agronomie – 119 de dosare pe 132 de locuri bugetate, sau domeniul Zootehniei, cu 256 de dosare pe 55 de locuri, însă reprezentanţii universităţii sunt convinşi că în sesiunea din toamnă a admiterii vor completa locurile rămase libere la buget. În ceea ce priveşte studiile de master, au existat 452 de dosare depuse pe 430 de locuri, toate facultăţile, mai puţin Medicina Veterinară, care nu organizează programe de master separat, ocupându-şi integral locurile la buget în momentul de faţă.
Publicație : Ziarul de Iași
Cifre record la sesiunea de vara a admiterii din 2019, la Universitatea Tehnica din Iasi! Cei mai multi candidati din ultimii 12 ani
Universitatea Tehnica (TUIASI) „Gheorghe Asachi” din Iasi a înregistrat anul acesta cel mai mare numar de candidati din ultimii 12 ani la sesiunea de admitere din vara pentru ciclul de licenta. Peste 3.600 de dosare au fost depuse la cele 11 facultati ale universitatii, inclusiv pe locurile destinate candidatilor români de pretutindeni. Pentru cei care vin din Republica Moldova au fost pregatite cu 70 la suta mai multe locuri cu bursa anul acesta, decât anul trecut.
În ceea ce priveste studiile de master, au fost aproape 1.500 de candidati pe cele 1.588 de locuri la buget, cu 15 la suta mai multi decât anul trecut, iar conducerea universitatii ia deja în calcul transmiterea unei solicitari catre Ministerul Educatiei Nationale (MEN) pentru suplimentarea locurilor atât la licenta, cât si la master. Se poate determina cu exactitate numarul de candidati, si nu doar cel de dosare depuse, în urma sistemului unic de admitere creat si implementat de TUIASI, în care un absolvent de Bacalaureat poate sa candideze pentru oricâte specializari doreste din cadrul celor 11 facultati ale universitatii, depunând un singur dosar si platind o singura taxa de admitere. Situatia înscrierilor a putut fi urmarita în timp real atât la licenta, cât si la master, pe o platforma pusa la dispozitie si publicului la adresele www.admitere2019.tuiasi.ro si www.admitere2019-mastere.tuiasi.ro, platforma pe care vor fi afisate si rezultatele admiterii începând cu ziua de vineri, 26 iulie 2019.
Rectorul universitatii, prof. univ. dr. ing. Dan Cascaval, explica faptul ca importanta acestui numar record de candidati trebuie pusa si în contextul în care exista o pronuntata scadere demografica în rândul populatiei cu vârsta de 18 ani si o rata de promovare la examenul de Bacalaureat, în unitati relative si absolute, aproape identica cu cea de anul trecut.
„În acest an am reusit sa avem un numar de 3.600 de candidati la studiile de licenta, cu 25 la suta mai mare decât anul trecut si cu circa 15 la suta mai mare decât în anul 2017, un an de referinta pentru ultimii 10 ani. Consider ca este demn de subliniat faptul ca acest rezultat se datoreaza cresterii atractivitatii tuturor facultatilor din universitate, nu doar a celor «clasic» atractive. Astfel, comparativ cu anul trecut, numarul candidatilor a crescut cu 600, în conditiile în care numarul celor care s-au înscris la Facultatea de Automatica si Calculatoare, de exemplu, a crescut cu doar 45. În mod evident, strategia de promovare a universitatii noastre, coroborata cu marirea, declarata în mediile oficiale, a cererii de ingineri la nivelul întregii tari si cel al Uniunii Europene, a determinat îndreptarea atentiei absolventilor de liceu catre facultatile cu profil tehnic. Si absolut toate facultatile au înregistrat o crestere a numarului de candidati comparativ cu 2018”, a precizat rectorul Cascaval.
Acesta a specificat ca s-a observat si un reviriment al interesului tinerilor fata de ciclul de al doilea din sistemul Bologna, cel de master, remarcându-se o crestere cu 15 la suta a numarului de înscrisi comparativ cu perioada similara a anului trecut, în contextul în care studiile de master cunosc la nivel national o usoara pierdere a atractivitatii. „Aceasta este justificata de dorinta tinerilor de a se angaja, de a câstiga bani, imediat dupa finalizarea ciclului de licenta. Noi am simtit mai acut aceasta evolutie în 2018, cu atât mai mult cu cât majoritatea angajatorilor nu sustin continuarea dezvoltarii profesionale prin studiile de master. În acest moment avem o crestere cu aproape 15 la suta a numarului de înscrisi fata de anul trecut. Practic, toate facultatile merg în linie, înaintea sesiunii de admitere din septembrie având între 70 si 115 la suta gradul de ocupare al locurilor la master. Atât la studiile de master, cât si la cele de licenta, sunt sigur ca vom solicita ministerului suplimentarea locurilor bugetate alocate”, a mai punctat rectorul TUIASI.
Un alt record al admiterii de anul acesta vine dupa eforturile de promovare internationala a studiilor la Universitatea Tehnica din Iasi prin participarea la prestigioase târguri internationale din Asia pâna în America. Anul acesta exista deja 200 de candidati din tari non-UE în conditiile în care perioada de înscriere se va încheia pe 15 august, anul trecut fiind doar 130.
„La acestia se adauga candidatii din Republica Moldova, 500 la studiile de licenta si master. Mai mult, avem semnale serioase ca în a doua sesiune de admitere vor exista din nou numeroase solicitari din aceasta directie. Este o evolutie care, de asemenea, ne obliga sa solicitam ministerului suplimentarea locurilor alocate”, a conchis prof. univ. dr. ing. Dan Cascaval. Sesiunea de toamna de admitere la TUIASI va avea loc în perioada 9-19 septembrie, numarul de locuri disponibile, la taxa si la buget, urmând a fi stabilit dupa perioada de confirmare a înscrierilor.
Publicație : Bumă Ziua Iași
Israel’s restrictions on international academics at Palestinian universities must be opposed
In the context of all the privations Palestinians suffer, international academic isolation is a terrible thing indeed, says David Palumbo-Liu
Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that “education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms”, such as the right to justice and freedom of expression.
Israel is signed up to that declaration, yet, as reported in Times Higher Education and elsewhere, it has made it harder and harder for international scholars to teach at Palestinian universities, driving one institution to launch legal action.
Israeli journalist Amira Hass asserts that Israel’s creation of a Kafkaesque bureaucratic nightmare for any international scholar wishing to teach at a Palestinian university is part of the larger logic of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, which involves an “onslaught against the Palestinian people [that] is multisystemic”. That logic involves the continual denial of basic human rights to the Palestinians, including the right to education. Indeed, an attack on the right to education is an attack on the ensemble of rights that allow individuals to participate fully in the world.
The reason that international scholars are important to any university, in any part of the world, is that they provide unique perspectives emanating from different cultures and places, and enrich the intellectual conversation among students and faculty. International scholars help train those students for global citizenship and, in turn, those students help visiting scholars to understand their country and culture better.
A statement from the Committee on Academic Freedom of the US-based Middle East Studies Association addresses all of these issues. It asserts that Israel’s actions “imperil the right of Palestinians to education, isolate the Palestinian community from the rest of the world, and may eventually cause severe harm to the educational and employment opportunities of the next generation of Palestinian students.”
This is more than simple harassment. These actions are intended to show the deep reach of the Israeli state into all aspects of Palestinian life. In this case, it is interference with whatever semblance of normal functioning Palestinian universities might have. It sends the message that Israel does not want international scholars in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and that if one wants to travel there to teach, Israel will make that as hard as possible.
The picture is quite different for international scholars coming to teach at Israeli universities. In another article, Hass notes: “There is a clear and convenient Interior Ministry procedure for hiring foreign academics by Israeli universities. For West Bank universities, there is no parallel procedure – and it must be an Israeli one, because Israel controls the borders and determines who enters the Palestinian enclaves.”
It is precisely this “lack of parallels” that indicates the dramatically uneven situation for Palestinians – in terms not only of education but all aspects of everyday life, including the hopes young people might have for the future.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Israel in 1991, recognises the importance of childhood as a crucial time for growth and development. It also recognises childhood as a time of increased vulnerability. The organisation Defense for Children International-Palestine reports that in its 2014 attack on Gaza, Israel damaged more than 200 schools, and completely destroyed 29 others. In that attack, more than 1,000 Palestinian children were permanently disabled, and the World Health Organization has reported a massive mental health crisis among children in Gaza.
While the denial of visas to international scholars might seem a small inconvenience by comparison, put into the context of the overall weakened conditions of Palestinian schools and universities, as well as the totality of deprivation the Palestinians suffer under, it is a terrible thing indeed. The international community, especially the international academic community, needs to wake up.
Publicație : The Times
China to eclipse US as Australia’s pre-eminent research collaborator
New analysis charts 40-fold increase in quantity of co-authored papers and 100-fold surge in quality
China is on the verge of becoming Australia’s most prominent research partner after journal articles co-written by academics in the two countries surged in quantity and quality.
An analysis has concluded that China will this year overtake the US in the production of scientific papers co-authored with Australian researchers. Rather than a change of guard, the milestone heralds the emergence of a “complementary” partner focused largely on different scientific fields, it suggests.
However, the analysis, by the Australia-China Relations Institute (ACRI) at the University of Technology Sydney, warns that the partnership could be undermined by security and ethical concerns, funding pressures on Australian universities and restrictions on academic freedom in China.
Despite the growing importance of collaboration with China, the paper says, “the future trajectory is uncertain”.
ACRI’s acting director, James Laurenceson, who led the analysis, said universities’ reliance on international tuition fees was a major source of uncertainty. “To work with the best in the world, you’ve got to have researchers that measure up,” he explained.
“We’ve been able to afford salaries for leading researchers largely by using student income to cross-subsidise [their] work. We’ve had big increases in university revenues driven by international students, particularly Chinese students. If those numbers levelled off or went into reverse, that game would be up.”
The paper also highlights worries that Australian academics working with China could inadvertently leak military secrets. Although Australian universities have complied with legislation against the export of defence technologies, the paper notes, the legislation does not prevent foreign academics and doctoral students from learning about these technologies while they are in Australia.
The ACRI paper says collaboration could also be undermined by the “deteriorating conditions for academic inquiry in China”, exemplified in web censorship and the Chinese Communist Party’s “intensifying ideological and political control” of universities.
The paper adds that China is struggling to retain its own top researchers even despite its Thousand Talents Plan and other “ambitious” efforts to entice expatriate academics back home.
The paper says the surge in collaboration with China has not occurred at the US’ expense, as the proportion of Australian papers with US co-authors grew from about 2,400 articles in 1998 – 11 per cent of Australia’s total output – to 11,800, or 16 per cent in 2018.
But papers co-written with Chinese academics multiplied from about 250 in 1998 to 10,700 last year, increasing their share of Australian output from 1 per cent to 15 per cent. China overtook the UK in 2017 to become Australia’s second most important international collaborator, and it is on track to surpass the US this year.
According to the ACRI analysis, 389 Chinese-Australian papers were among the most cited 1 per cent of articles in their fields in 2018, up from just four in 1998. On this measure, China ranks as Australia’s fourth most important partner for high-quality research and is “on the cusp” of beating Germany into third place.
The paper says China is not simply supplanting the US as Australia’s key research partner. It says joint research with China occurs largely in fields in which Australia does not collaborate much with the US, areas such as materials science, engineering, computer science and maths.
Nicholas Fisk, deputy vice-chancellor for research at UNSW Australia, said similar trends were evident at his university.
Professor Fisk added that UNSW now earned as much from China as it did from the US in research contracts and industry grants. “We’re in the same time zone,” he said. “They give us huge intellectual capital, resources and a market for academic commerce.”
He said research was international, and Australia’s focus was undergoing “a shift from the old world to the new world”.
Publicație : The Times
29 iulie 2019
Oportunitate de angajare, pe un domeniu interesant, pentru absolventii Universitatii „Cuza” din Iasi
Universitatea „Alexandru Ioan Cuza” (UAIC) din Iasi lanseaza o oportunitate deosebita de angajare pentru absolventii institutiei. Acestia arata ca Educativa, un grup de intreprinderi sociale care dezvolta proiecte în domeniul educational si ofera tinerilor români oportunitati de dezvoltare personala si profesionala, cauta colegi din randul absolventilor de la UAIC. Este vorba despre posturi de consilieri educationali sau manager relatii publice.
De precizat ca Educativa organizeaza cel mai mare târg international de universitati din Europa de Sud–Est, ofera serviciul gratuit de consiliere pentru studii în strainatate, serviciul de consiliere pentru aplicarea la universitati de top din întreaga lume si proiectul de promovare a oportunitatilor de studiu si bursa în Statele Unite ale Americii (SUA) si de consiliere personalizata pentru accesarea lor.
Publicație : Bună Ziua Iași
Care sunt MEDIILE de intrare la Admiterea 2019, organizata de Universitatea Tehnica si cea de Stiinte Agricole din Iasi! VEZI AICI TOATE DETALIILE
Atat Universitatea Tehnica – TUIASI „Gheorghe Asachi”, cat si cea de Stiinte Agricole si Medicina Veterinara – USAMV „Ion Ionescu de la Brad” din Iasi au publicat, la finalul saptamanii trecute, rezultatele sesiunii de vara a Admiterii 2019 • Cele doua institutii au avut o crestere semnificativa, fata de anii trecuti, atat ca numar de candidati, dar si la nivelul ultimelor medii de intrare pe locurile bugetate la programe de licenta
Si universitatile: Tehnica (TUIASI) „Gheorghe Asachi„, respectiv cea de Stiinte Agricole si Medicina Veterinara (USAMV) „Ion Ionescu” de la Brad din Iasi au publicat oficial, la sfarsitul saptamanii trecute, rezultatele Admiterii 2019, sesiunea de vara.
Astfel, la TUIASI, anul acesta s-a inregistrat cel mai mare numar de candidati din ultimii 12 ani, pentru ciclul de licenta. Peste 3.600 de dosare au fost depuse la cele 11 facultati ale universitatii, inclusiv pe locurile destinate candidatilor romani de pretutindeni. Pentru cei care vin din Republica Moldova au fost pregatite cu 70 la suta mai multe locuri cu bursa anul acesta, decat anul trecut. In ceea ce priveste studiile de master, au fost aproape 1.500 de candidati pe cele 1.588 de locuri la buget, cu 15 la suta mai multi decat anul trecut.
Care au fost primele si ultimele medii de admitere, la buget – licenta, la cele 11 facultati de la Politehnica
Pe de alta parte, primele si ultimele medii de admitere, la buget – licenta, la cele 11 facultati de la Politehnica sunt: la Arhitectura „G.M. Cantacuzino”, prima a fost 9.52, iar ultima 7.79 (aici a avut loc si un test scris pentru admitere – n.r.), la Automatica si Calculatoare (AC), la specializarea Calculatoare si tehnologia informatiei, primii candidati au fost admisi automat avand in vedere ca au fost olimpici in acest domeniu, in timp ce ultima medie la buget a fost 7.68.
Pe de alta parte, la specializarea Ingineria sistemelor (Automatica si Informatica Aplicata), prima medie la buget a fost 9.10, iar ultima 8.40. La Facultatea de Inginerie Chimica si Protectia Mediului, prima medie a fost ZECE, iar ultima 7.46; la Facultatea de Constructii si Instalatii, doi olimpici au fost admisi, dupa care urmatoarea medie a fost 9.51, iar ultima 7.11, la specializarea Ingineria instalatiilor. La Facultatea de Constructii de Masini si Management Industrial, specializarea Inginerie industriala, primul intrat a fost un olimpic, urmat de un candidat cu media 10, ultima fiind 6.20; la specializarea Inginerie mecanica, prima medie a fost 9.30, iar ultima 6.50; la specializarea Inginerie si management, primele trei medii de intrare au fost de ZECE, iar ultima 6.10.
La Facultatea de Electronica, Telecomunicatii si Tehnologia Informatiei, primii admisi la buget au fost olimpici, iar urmatoarele medii au fost de 9.96 si 9.91, in timp ce ultima a fost de 8.51.
La Facultatea de Inginerie Electrica, Energetica si Informatica Aplicata, la specializarea Inginerie electrica, primii sase admisi au fost olimpici urmati de un candidat cu media 9.90, ultima fiind 7.60. La specializarea Inginerie energetica, primii doi candidati au fost olimpici, iar urmatoarea medie a fost 9.43.
La specializarea Inginerie si management, primul intrat a fost olimpic, iar a doua medie a fost 9.66, in timp ce ultima a fost 7.30. La Facultatea de Hidrotehnica, Geodezie si Ingineria Mediului, la specializarea Ingineria mediului, prima medie a fost 8.33, iar ultima 6.83. La specializarea Inginerie civila, prima medie a fost 9.31, iar ultima 6.35.
La specializarea Inginerie geodezica, prima medie a fost 9.58, iar ultima 7.10. La Facultatea de Mecanica, specializarea Ingineria autovehiculelor, prima a fost 9.76, iar ultima 7.61. La specializarea Inginerie mecanica, prima a fost 8.86, iar ultima 6.63, iar la specializarea Mecatronica si robotica, prima medie a fost de 9.38, iar ultima de 6.55. La Facultatea de Stiinta si Ingineria Materialelor, specializarea Ingineria materialelor, prima medie a fost 9.98, iar ultima de 6.38; la specializarea Inginerie industriala, prima medie a fost de 9.71, iar ultima de 6.10; la specializarea Inginerie mecanica, prima medie a fost de 9.51, iar ultima de 6.38.
In final, la Facultatea de Design Industrial si Managementul Afacerilor, la specializarea Inginerie chimica, prima medie a fost de 8.64, iar ultima medie a fost 5.75, iar la specializarea Inginerie si management, prima medie a fost 8.70, in timp ce ultima a fost de 6.05.
Care au fost primele si ultimele medii, la licenta-buget, la cele patru facultati de la USAMV Iasi
Pe de alta parte, Universitatea de Stiinte Agricole si Medicina Veterinara (USAMV) „Ion Ionescu de la Brad” a afisat listele cu cei admisi pe cele peste 1.500 de locuri la Admiterea din iulie 2019, atât pentru studii de licenta, cât si pentru master. Aici, numarul total de locuri aprobat de catre Ministerul Educatiei Nationale (MEN) pentru absolventii de liceu este de 975, dintre care 670 locuri sunt de la buget, iar 305 locuri sunt la taxa. Important de precizat este faptul ca 25 de locuri de la buget sunt prevazute pentru absolventii liceelor din mediul rural.
În ceea ce priveste studiile de masterat, absolventii de facultate au la dispozitie 544 de locuri, dintre care 430 sunt de la buget. Astfel, la Facultatea de Agricultura, primele si ultimele medii (buget licenta) au fost: la specializarea Agronomie, 9.87 prima, iar ultima 5.92, la specializarea Inginerie si management în agricultura si dezvoltare rurala, prima fost de 9.40, iar ultima 7.82, la specializarea Ingineria produselor alimentare, prima medie a fost 9.77, iar ultima 7.50, iar la specializare Biologie, prima medie a fost 9.52, iar ultima 6.60. La Facultatea de Horticultura, specializarea Horticultura, prima medie a fost 9.62, iar ultima 5.00, la specializarea Ingineria mediului, prima medie a fost 9.15, iar ultima 6.67, la specializarea Biotehnologii, prima a fost de 8.65, iar ultima 5.00.
La Facultatea de Zootehnie, specializarea Zootehnie, prima medie a fost de 9.15, iar ultima 6.47, la specializarea Inginerie si management in agricultura si dezvoltare rurala, prima medie a fost 9.70, iar ultima 8.02, in timp ce la specializarea Ingineria produselor alimentare, prima medie a fost 9.85, iar ultima 8.45. La Facultatea de Medicina veterinara, specializarea Medicina veterinara, prima medie a fost 9.72, iar ultima 7.21.
Publicație : Bună Ziua Iași
Social mobility is not just about moving to richer areas
Students from poorer regions who enter their local workforce after graduation should also be celebrated, says Sir David Bell
Credit where credit is due. The UK Department for Education’s recent publication of graduate earnings data by region was a welcome example of ministers and officials responding positively to constructive comment from the sector.
Usefully, too, there is an invitation to participate in the next phase of thinking around the publication of institution-by-institution data.
Much of the concern about the Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) dataset has focused on the perceived unfairness of making unadjusted pay comparisons between universities in different parts of the country. Given the high-stakes nature of this information in terms of rating universities’ contributions to social mobility, contextualisation is obviously important.
However, there is a wider debate to be had about social mobility and geography. Too often, discussion of social mobility focuses on students, usually 18-year-olds, from poorer areas having the opportunity to move away to attend high-tariff institutions – quite possibly never to return.
Underpinning that can be an arrogant assumption that some places are better than others – and not just for earnings – when it comes to living and working. But conflating social mobility with regional mobility risks masking the crucially important work that more locally focused universities play in enhancing their students’ life chances.
Two weeks ago, for instance, the University of Sunderland saw through its first cohort of nursing graduates. They all live locally and vary in age. Many have family, work and life commitments that mean they can’t just get up and leave, even if they wanted to. But every one of them has improved their life chances significantly by acquiring a highly valued professional qualification – all of them have secured nursing jobs in the city.
Or what about teachers? A full 97 per cent of Sunderland’s initial teacher education graduates stay in the north east. It would be a disaster for the region if they didn’t, so we need to welcome and endorse their commitment.
Data show that in 2017-18, just 31 per cent of people working in Sunderland were employed in professional or managerial roles, compared with 39 per cent for the wider region and 46 per cent across the UK as a whole. If post-Brexit Britain is to be a success, more people in places such as Sunderland need to be available to work in such roles, and not to think of themselves as failing to “get on” if they stick around after graduation.
Indeed, the very fact that Sunderland is opening a new medical school is testament to the government’s recognition that there are so-called “cold spots” for doctor retention, not least in specialisms such as general practice and psychiatry.
As someone who has had a highly mobile career in the UK and beyond, I realise that I might be accused of pulling up the ladder of opportunity after me in calling for students to stay local. I would be the last person to deny others the right to choose where they live and what they do. I see the risk of mobility as being the preserve of the wealthy, further exacerbating social divisions. I recognise, too, that the concept of education is connected to the idea of widening horizons and moving beyond your previous experiences.
However, and not for the first time, I worry that many of those working in higher education – and in politics, for that matter – assume that their highly mobile lifestyle is the norm. You don’t have to buy the whole “citizens of somewhere/citizens of nowhere” rhetoric to think that we have not paid enough attention to the value of people going to university in the places they were brought up.
A lot of the existing evidence on the rich social mobility experience of graduates who stay local is powerful but largely anecdotal. We do need harder data to improve our understanding of the life premium added, for both the individual and the community.
But we all know that allegiance to home, family, community and place can be more powerful motives than a rootless pursuit of “opportunities” and salary hikes. The students who feel those pulls will never fall into the trap of knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing.
Publicație : The Times
10 dos and don’ts for universities on open days
Mimi Thebo has gone from being an academic working university open days to a parent attending them. Here are her tips to make them a success
I can’t count how many open days I’ve worked in nearly 20 years as a lecturer. But this summer I’ve seen things from the prospective student’s side.
Firstly, a bit of background. My daughter is predicted three A* at A-level, has many interests and no clear career goal. We looked at 12 universities and attended subject talks in ancient history, criminology, law, philosophy, psychology and zoology at Oxbridge, Russell Group, 1960s and post-1992 universities.
We travelled by electric car, which meant some very early mornings and late nights with charging times factored in. We also had hotel bills and meals out: it’s been a significant investment in time and money. Needless to say, I rapidly evolved into a canny consumer of open day visits.
So here are my top 10 dos and don’ts for universities to keep in mind for open days:
- Signage: have some. Signs on the roads and a few arrows from car parks or bus stops can help everyone arrive happy and excited, instead of worried they have come on the wrong day to the wrong campus. If shuttle or parking services are free on open days, put up signs stating so. One university stationed student ambassadors in the car parks with giveaway maps – very thoughtful.
Don’t, however, have student ambassadors become the signs. One urban university sorted signage problems by fitting ambassadors with giant tear-drop marketing banners. These sprouted from their backs in large steel-framed harnesses. It didn’t exactly scream respect for the student population.
- Do show off any green credentials. Recycling bins, vegan food options, un-mown areas, solar panels, living roofs, etc., were big pluses for my daughter. She turned up her nose at an extremely prestigious programme because the campus had no recycling, no vegan sarnies and the pavements were thick with cigarette butts.
Don’t pretend that the climate catastrophe and Brexit are not happening and that prospective students will be studying and graduating in today’s economic landscape. Students and parents seemed to prefer university staff who were frank but upbeat about upcoming challenges.
- Do give lecturers cheat sheets with typical offers, employment statistics, etc. These are always the first questions asked and current information should be to hand. Do not apologise for module options not being available every academic year – explain that your staff will at times be working on their 4* research and leave it at that. Students get it.
- Don’t put your dullest or most ill-prepared lecturers on open day duty. I saw amazing talks, but also some right shockers. One philosophy lecturer was late, hadn’t showered, talked down to us, was dull and ended with some casual sexism. The scope and breadth of his failure was awe-inspiring. A very nervous law lecturer was knowledgeable, but had a totally flat delivery. Even with free coffee in hand, I found myself getting sleepy.
The best speakers were research staff with administrative roles as admissions officers for the degree or department. This seemed a good way to ensure that effective open day staff received workload credit for their service.
- Do think about people with undisclosed disabilities. Free shuttle buses on the day are excellent dos. A four-storey parking garage with no lift or a quarter-mile walk up a steep hill to the check-in station are big don’ts. Ensure lifts and disabled loos work without keys on the day and are clearly signposted.
If someone is sitting on the end of a row in a busy lecture, they might need to sit there. Don’t insist they move in, just ask them to let in others.
Don’t joke about unfitness in talks. Fitness is not always a choice.
- Don’t insist on online registration or require it on the day. My daughter was outraged by her wasted time. Especially in urban environments, don’t have zero security on the day – or at least provide signage about “normal” security measures that have been suspended.
- Accommodation: don’t do a one size fits all approach or assume all students are party animals. Do talk about quiet blocks, college ethos, etc. Please ensure quiet blocks aren’t also the most expensive accommodation. Poor students can value sleep and study time just as highly as rich students.
- Let your students show off. My daughter was charmed by a pole dancing society that she felt showed body positivity and inclusivity. She also liked a house plant society, watched cheerleaders, chatted with student ambassadors, valued talking to students on subject tables, and loved it when students took questions in the subject talks.
- Don’t talk a good game about inclusivity, but have all-white student ambassadors and fill all your cafe sandwiches with pork. These are bright kids and they will notice. They will also notice Eurocentric curricula and all-white reading lists.
Many open days are in June and July – mentions of pride events mean a great deal to many prospective students.
- Do keep enthusiastically communicating the benefits of higher education. Our open day tour helped my daughter decide her degree, made her feel more confident about money matters and gave her a feel for where she would be most happy. As a sector, we nailed it.
Publicație : The Times
Nobelist backs internal review for papers, ‘trust’ scores for scientists
The ‘best’ scientists lack time for peer review, and academics should be rated for ‘worthy’ papers, argues Dan Shechtman
Academics should have their university colleagues review their papers before submitting them to journals, a Nobel laureate has argued, because this is a surer way to avoid damaging scientific “blunders”.
In 2011, Dan Shechtman won the prize in chemistry for discovering quasicrystals, structures that do not repeat themselves, overturning a long-held assumption about crystals.
It took him two years to get the results published in a peer-reviewed journal, only to met by scepticism from some when his paper appeared in 1984. He was branded a “quasi-scientist” by Nobel laureate Linus Pauling, but ultimately hailed as having made a major breakthrough.
Now distinguished professor emeritus at Technion Israel Institute of Technology and distinguished professor at Iowa State University, he said he was “100 per cent sure” that he was right when he sent his quasicrystal discovery to a journal because it had been through a rare system of internal peer review at the US-based National Bureau of Standards (NBS), the institute where he was based at the time.
“Our monitoring system of bad science is not working very well,” Professor Shechtman told Times Higher Education at the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting, an annual conference for prizewinners and young scientists held in southern Germany in July.
The problem lies with the fact that peer review tends to be done solely through journals, he said, which send out articles under consideration to other specialists in the field.
“But the best scientists do not have time for this [peer-reviewing others’ papers],” he argued, “so the ones who have time for it…are not necessarily the best experts.”
This is why papers need to go through an extra layer of internal scrutiny before they are even submitted to journals, Professor Shechtman recommended. Colleagues check his papers before they ever leave the institute, he explained, and he does the same for them.
“They will make my paper better. I don’t have to pay anything, I don’t have to put their names on my paper,” he said. This system is “very good”, but is in use “only in very few institutes around the world”, he added.
The NBS – now called the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) – still requires a “thorough internal review before publication”, a spokeswoman confirmed. An author’s work is reviewed by two “technical experts” from NIST staff as well as their entire chain of command, sometimes all the way up to the lab director, she explained.
The point is to make sure that information disseminated by NIST is “presented in a clear, complete and unbiased manner”, the spokeswoman said. Reviewers verify that a paper’s conclusions are supported by the data and observations, but they also polish the writing – by reducing the use of acronyms, ensuring that tables and figures are clear, and checking grammar and spelling, she added.
Such a system “can be copied” by other research institutes, said Professor Shechtman. He did, however, acknowledge that scientists might not want to upset their colleagues by being too hard on their work. “People are not perfect,” he said.
Nor does internal review guarantee that all your colleagues will back you in the face of post-publication criticism. One early sceptic of Professor Shechtman’s quasicrystal work was his own team leader at the NBS, who told him to quit.
In his presentation to scientists at Lindau, Professor Shechtman focused on incidents of “scientific blunder” – supposedly big discoveries that caught the attention of the public but turned out to be illusory under further scrutiny.
Speaking to THE, he suggested creating a numerical “trust credit” score for scientists, and giving academics higher ratings if they repeatedly publish “worthy” papers.
Relying on a scientist’s “reputation”, as most people do now, is “illusive because there is no number of the reputation”, he said.
Criminal consequences were needed for scientists who commit research misconduct, he added.
“There is no legal system to judge crooks in science. You can do nothing if somebody publishes results that are not only bad science, but forged science.” At the moment, he explained: “You can cheat and cheat and cheat, and even if you are caught nothing will happen to you.”
Publicație : The Times
Australian education fund ‘missed out on hundreds of millions’
As Labor hands EIF potential lifeline, ex-chair of its board says money could insulate HE against international income risks
Government dithering has squandered hundreds of millions of dollars in potential earnings from Australia’s dormant research infrastructure funding scheme, according to the investment banker who used to guide spending from the Education Investment Fund (EIF).
And Phil Clark said that rather than redirecting the EIF’s remaining A$3.9 billion (£2.2 billion) into a scheme for flood and fire victims, the government should use the money to help insulate universities from a potentially catastrophic loss of international tuition income.
“Cross-subsidisation of research funding through international students is a time bomb,” said Mr Clark, who chaired the EIF advisory board until its disbandment in 2014. “You’re talking up to A$5 billion a year.
“If the Chinese wake up on Monday and say no more students go to Australia, the wages bill for the researchers is still going to be there. How are [universities] going to pay it? That’s the sort of area I’d like to see [the Australian government] at least thinking about.”
Initially worth A$6.5 billion, the EIF bankrolled A$4.2 billion of new research and teaching infrastructure and is credited with helping Australia avoid recession during the global financial downturn last decade.
The Coalition decided to close the EIF in 2014 and has tried to transfer its unallocated funds into the Asset Recycling Fund – a failed attempt to incentivise the states to spend more on infrastructure – and subsequently the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Both moves were blocked in the Senate. But the government’s latest plan – to divert EIF funds into an Emergency Response Fund announced in this year’s April budget – appears more likely to succeed after the opposition Labor Party decided not to thwart the closure of another major infrastructure funding scheme, which is often bracketed with the EIF.
The Building Australia Fund (BAF) was established at the same time as the EIF, and has also been slated for closure several times. On 22 July Labor objected to the axing of the BAF to bankroll a drought relief scheme but decided not to vote against the change.
A spokeswoman for shadow education minister Tanya Plibersek said that this did not mean the EIF was destined for similar treatment. “Labor will be considering the Emergency Response Fund and its financing if or when the government brings it to Parliament,” she said.
Mr Clark said that it would be a “pity” to wind up the EIF. And he was scathing of its management since the 2014 decision to abolish it.
He said that the money, parked in a “super fund with a cash investment mandate”, had earned less than 1 per cent compared with returns of between 6 and 11 per cent under previous management arrangements. “The money’s been sitting there doing nothing – it’s a shocking example of waste. They should make up their minds and get on with it.”
Mr Clark said that he was relatively “relaxed” about funding for research infrastructure after previous prime minister Malcolm Turnbull allocated A$4 billion for long-term investment. But he said that he would like to see about half the EIF retained in the research sector to bring the total outlay closer to the A$6.6 billion that he found would be needed in a 2015 review.
And he said that relying on international education to fund research was too risky: “Anything can happen – currency fluctuation, geopolitics, changes to immigration regulation, students getting mugged in a park in Melbourne. It’s not a model that makes a lot of commercial sense if you look at it as a businessman.”
Publicație : The Times
New £13 million cancer centre to drive ‘fundamental shift’ in research
Institute of Cancer Research and Imperial College London join forces to bring insights from physics, AI and data into cancer science
A new £13 million interdisciplinary centre bringing together the Institute of Cancer Research and Imperial College Londonaims to drive a “fundamental shift in how cancer research is done”, bringing insights from physicists and data scientists into the field.
The Cancer Research UK Convergence Science Centre is to be announced on 29 July.
The idea behind the new centre is to integrate the knowledge, methods and expertise from different scientific disciplines including physics, data science, AI, engineering, biological science and medicine.
It is hoped that such a collaborative approach will speed up scientific discovery and innovation in the field and create new treatments and technologies to help people with cancer.
Iain Foulkes, executive director for research and innovation at Cancer Research UK, told Times Higher Education that the charity has been a “traditional funder for cancer research”, funding cancer biologists and clinicians and so on.
But many of the big challenges in cancer research – from surgery to application of artificial intelligence to early detection of cancer – are “amenable to” engineers, physical scientists, physicists and chemists, he added.
“We believe that they can bring in their insights and very different technologies, but also very different ways of approaching the problem,” said Dr Foulkes.
“So the vision really is to combine the strength of approach that the physicists and engineers bring with that of the cancer biologists.
“And we have got real strength in cancer biology at the ICR, we have got real strength in bioengineering and physics at Imperial, so we think we are going to be able to tackle questions in very different ways than perhaps we have traditionally.
“And we think that will give us new insights into prevention, detection and ultimately treatment of cancer.”
The centre will be under the leadership of renowned cancer experts Lord Darzi of Imperial and Park Workman of the ICR.
It will also provide specialist training and multidisciplinary PhD programmes “to help shape the next generation of cancer researchers”.
Professor Darzi said that by “creating a new generation of convergent scientists, we’re opening the door to new tools, devices and algorithms that we could never have imagined before”.
“We need to train people who are multilingual, who can speak the language of physics and can speak the language of biology,” added Dr Foulkes.
Dr Foulkes thinks that convergence science will become “the norm”.
“I think we will see a fundamental shift in how cancer research is done,” he added.
In one project, a team of biologists, physicists, engineers and clinicians are exploring whether ultrasound could be adapted to destroy pancreatic tumours located deep in the body.
The team will use tightly focused, high-frequency sound waves to target and break apart cancer cells with the help of „microbubbles”.
In another project, researchers are fine-tuning a technique to look at the activation of immune cells within a tumour, in real time.
Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, Michelle Mitchell, said that bringing in “fresh ideas from outside the traditional cancer research space” will help “scale the hurdles that have prevented treatment breakthroughs in the past and secure the future for more people with cancer”.
Publicație : The Times