Rolul esential al Educatiei intr-o societate, activitatea cu studentii si pregatirea psihopedagogica, subiecte abordate in Studioul BZI LIVE
Joi, 12 septembrie 2019, incepand cu ora 15.00, in Studioul BZI LIVE se va discuta despre rolul esential al Educatiei intr-o societate, activitatea cu studentii, pregatirea psihopedagogica. Invitat este lect. univ. dr. Bogdan Constantin Neculau – Facultatea de Psihologie si Stiinte ale Educatiei, Director al Departamentului de Invatamant Preuniversitar din cadrul UAIC , care include si Scoala Junior a UAIC, coordonator al Centrului de invatare al Universitatii Alexandru Ioan Cuza din Iasi si membru in Biroul Senatului UAIC. Avand in vedere aceasta paleta larga de activitati esentiale in procesul educational, profesorul Neculau va detalia si analiza o serie de realitati din acest areal, proiecte derulate respectiv care urmeaza a se implementa, parteneriatul cu studentii, pregatirea si perfectionarea viitorilor dascali. De asemenea, aspecte ce vor avea in prim-plan zone ale etapelor de formare profesionala, atat a studentilor dar si al cadrelor didactice, tehnici eficiente de invatare vor mai fi elemente ce vor fi punctate de-a lungul acestei editii.
Iasul ar putea da NOUL ministru al Educatiei Nationale. Premierul Viorica Dancila a nominalizat-o pe Camelia Gavrila. Decizia FINALA ii apartine presedintelui Romaniei
Ieri, premierul Romaniei, Viorica Dancila, a nominalizat-o pe prof. dr. Camelia Gavrila, fost presedinte al Comisiei pentru învatamânt, stiinta, tineret si sport in Camera Deputatilor si fost inspector scolar general judetean la Iasi, pentru ocuparea portofoliului de la Ministerul Educatiei Nationale – MEN • Urmeaza ca presedintele tarii sa accepte sau sa refuze numirea sa • Reporterii BZI au obtinut o declaratie din partea acesteia cu privire la nominalizarea sa ca ministru al educatiei
Premierul Romaniei, Viorica Dancila, a nominalizat-o pe prof. dr. Camelia Gavrila, fost presedinte al Comisiei pentru învatamânt, stiinta, tineret si sport in Camera Deputatilor si fost inspector scolar general judetean la Iasi, pentru ocuparea portofoliului de la Ministerul Educatiei Nationale (MEN).
Conform prevederilor din Constitutie, presedintele statului, Klaus Iohannis, urmeaza sa decida daca va da decretul de numire ca ministru al Educatiei in persoana profesorului Gavrila.
De reamintit ca, dupa ce Ecaterina Andronescu a preluat cel de-al patrulea mandat de ministru al Educatiei (din care a fost demisa în urma cu o luna de premierul Viorica Dancila), prof. dr. Camelia Gavrila a devenit Coordonatoare a Departamentului pentru Educatie din cadrul PSD, aceasta fiind unul dintre principalii opozanti ai lui Andronescu în partid.
In vârsta de 58 de ani, aceasta este în prezent membu în Camera Deputatilor, ales în circumscriptia electorala nr. 24 Iasi, si detine si functia de vice-presedinte al Comisiei pentru învatamânt, stiinta, tineret si sport. Ea a condus Inspectoratul Scolar Judetean (ISJ) Iasi în trei mandate, respectiv 2012-2017, 2005-2009 si 1997-2001. Între aprilie 2009 – mai 2012, a fost director al Colegiului National „Costache Negruzzi” din Iasi, acolo unde de altfel activeaza din 1988 si pana acum, ca profesor titular de Limba si literatura româna. Între 1984-1988, a detinut functia de profesor de Limba si literatura româna/Limba engleza la Liceul „A.T. Laurian” din Botosani.
Camelia Gavrila a fost si consilier local la Iasi, în mandatele 2000-2004, 2004-2008, 2008-2012, 2012-2016, dar si viceprimar al Municipiului Iasi în 2008. De asemenea, este membru fondator al Asociatiei Profesionale a Educatorilor Liberali (APEL) si membru al Clubului Rotary, presedinte fondator al Clubului Rotary Iasi 2000. Aceasta s-a nascut la data de 22 decembrie 1961, în orasul Iasi, tatal sau fiind inginer textilist la CFS, iar mama sa profesoara de Limba româna la Liceul CFR din Iasi. Dupa absolvirea ca sefa de promotie a studiilor liceale la Liceul „Garabet Ibraileanu”, profilul de Filologie, a urmat Facultatea de Filologie din cadrul Universitatii „Alexandru Ioan Cuza” (UAIC) din Iasi, pe care a absolvit-o în 1984, la sectia Engleza-Româna, obtinând nota maxima la sustinerea lucrarii de diploma.
În anul 2001 a obtinut titlul academic de Doctor în Filologie la Universitatea „Cuza” din Iasi – cu calificativul „Magna Cum Laude”, cu teza de doctorat „Mitic si magic în opera lui Lucian Blaga”. Teza de doctorat a fost publicata sub forma de carte în 2002, la Editura Junimea.
La acest moment vorbim de o nominalizare, o ipoteza … desigur onoranta nu doar la nivel personal, ci si pentru scoala ieseana, in general.
Basel Switzerland | EPIC Drone in 4K 
Reporterii BZI au obtinut o declaratie din partea acesteia cu privire la nominalizarea sa ca ministru al educatiei: „Fiind la un final de mandat, intr-un context politic dificil, cred ca semnificative ramân urmatoarele repere: functionalitatea si predictibilitatea sistemului de învatamânt, calitatea educatiei oferite tinerilor, definitivarea arhitecturii curriculare la nivel liceal, consolidarea învatamântului profesional si tehnic, analiza atenta a evaluarilor in sistemul educational românesc (tipuri, forme, relevanta, tranzitia de la un nivel la altul, bacalaureat, evaluari de sistem), conectarea cunoasterii , a continuturilor la contexte practice, la realitatile din piata muncii.Sunt multiple provocari, dileme, interogatii, lumea nu mai are rabdare, dar in zona educatiei, dincolo de ziduri, de infrastructura, dotari si digitalizare, oamenii sunt esentiali – dezvoltarea personala si profesionala a tinerilor, competenta si daruirea profesorilor, formarea profesorilor debutanti, un mentorat autentic, clarificarea conceptului de masterat didactic, dar si implicarea comunitatilor in sustinerea unei scoli ce priveste spre secolul 21”, a declarat Camelia Gavrila.
Publicație : Bună Ziua Iași https://www.bzi.ro/iasul-ar-putea-da-noul-ministru-al-educatiei-nationale-premierul-viorica-dancila-a-nominalizat-o-pe-camelia-gavrila-decizia-finala-ii-apartine-presedintelui-romaniei-708182
Nearly two in three British universities in top 200 slip down rankings and Brexit could make it worse, experts say
Cambridge loses second position in global table as UK institutions face decline
Nearly two in three British universities in the top 200 institutions in the world have slipped down the rankings – and Brexit could damage the UK’s reputation further, experts say.
Cambridge has dropped from second to third place in the World University Rankings, while a number of leading London universities have also fallen in the global table.
Of these 28 British institutions, 18 have dropped by at least one place in the past 12 months, figures reveal.
Increasingly strong competition from Asian institutions has begun to squeeze the UK out of its traditional top spots, while limited relations with industry are letting some elite institutions down.
Japan has extended its lead over the UK on overall representation, claiming 110 places, up from 103 in 2018, after overtaking Britain as the second most represented nation in the world last year.
The University of Oxford bucked the trend and retained its top position for the fourth year in a row.
But experts warn that Brexit could see UK universities dip further in the international rankings.
Phil Baty, chief knowledge officer at THE, said: “British universities have long been able to attract the most talented academics and students from across the world, but there are signs that this is becoming more difficult ahead of Brexit.
“If the UK starts to withdraw from the international stage its position in the upper echelons of the rankings will suffer.”
The data also reveals that US still leads the way with 172 institutions in the global league table and 60 in the top 200.
Bottom of Form
The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) overtook Cambridge to take second place and the University of Chicago overtook Imperial College London to take ninth place.
Meanwhile, the University of St Andrews fell 33 places to joint 198th and Newcastle University dropped out of the elite global 200 altogether.
UK universities welcome U-turn on student visas
Higher education sector applauds reversal of Theresa May’s immigration policy
Manchester students attend their graduation ceremony. Last year, about 180,000 international students graduated from British universities with about 6,000 moving on to skilled work visas. Photograph: Alamy
The UK government’s announcement of its plans to offer extended post-study work visas for international graduates of UK universities has received an unusual response –unalloyed praise from the higher education sector.
The decision reverses one of the most contentious policies from Theresa May’s time in charge of immigration policy, which shrank the time available for overseas students to stay and work after graduating from two years to as little as four months in most cases.
For vice-chancellors gathering for the Universities UK annual conference in Birmingham this week, the reversal was greeted as a victory after seven years of lobbying for a more relaxed stance, allowing Britain to compete more effectively against the likes of Canada in attracting students.
“A piece of good news for a change!” tweeted Shearer West, the vice-chancellor of the University of Nottingham, echoing the thoughts of her peers across the country.
Interest groups, including the CBI and the Campaign for Science and Engineering (Case), were also quick to applaud the announcement.
“This is terrific news,” said Sarah Main, Case’s executive director. “Having had a meagre offer for the last seven years, the UK has just returned to an internationally competitive offer for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Some of the UK’s biggest companies talk of the ‘war for talent’ in areas such as AI. The UK has just raised its game.”
Last year, about 180,000 international students graduated from British universities with about 6,000 moving on to skilled work visas.
Paul Blomfield, the Labour MP who co-chairs the all-party parliamentary group for international students, also said he was delighted by the change, for which his group has repeatedly called since 2012.
“The next step would be to remove barriers in visa application processes and in particular to review the credibility interviews which allow Home Office staff to block applications on the basis of questions which no UK student could be expected to answer,” said Blomfield.
But Blomfield, Main and others called for more detail about how the new regime would operate. Rather than allowing graduates to stay as of right, as Canada does, the new “immigration route” would require graduates to apply again for the extra two years. If they did find permanent work in that time they would need to apply for a further visa to stay.
The announcement was reported widely in India, where there has been a steep fall in the number of international students coming to the UK since the two-year post-study allowance was ended.
In 2010-11, when May described the two-year period as “too generous”, there were more than 50,000 Indian international students in he UK. But applications slumped after the new rule and other changes were brought in. Last year, there were just 22,000 students from India after strenuous efforts by the UK government and universities to increase recruitment.
Sir Dominic Asquith, the British high commissioner to India, said: “This exciting announcement will help ensure that the UK remains one of the best destinations for students across the world.”
The government said it planned to introduce the change for students starting on courses from the 2020-21 academic year, giving universities time to crank up their marketing campaigns.
But current students say that it is unfair that they should have to miss out. Matt Mottaghian, an international student completing a masters degree at the University of Lancaster, said he had to go to great lengths to apply for an entrepreneurship visa in order to stay in the UK.
“Offering this only to students from next year makes current students in the country feel even more abandoned,” Mottaghian said. “I truly believe that fairness tells us that such law should apply to all current students too, which will then make them a huge success for the British economy.”
YouGov released a snap poll of 2,000 British adults that showed support for the change. Forty-six per cent said they were in favour of the extension to two years while 26% were opposed, and 28% said they did not know. Support was strongest among Labour and Lib Dem voters, while Conservative supporters were split, with 37% for and 35% against.
Publicație : The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/sep/11/uk-universities-welcome-u-turn-on-student-visas
UK work visas for foreign students: all you need to know
What is the government proposing and why has its immigration policy changed?
What is the government proposing?
Students will need to have successfully completed a degree from a trusted UK university or higher education provider with a proven track record in upholding immigration checks and other rules on studying in the UK.
There will be no limit on the number of students who can apply for the new graduate route. Those on the scheme will be able to switch to the skilled work route if they find a job that meets the skill requirement of the route.
How many international students come to the UK?
Last year, British universities educated about 460,000 international students, not including those from the EU. The government aims to increase the number to 600,000 over the next 10 years.
What was the previous policy?
Currently, graduates with bachelor’s or master’s degrees are allowed to look for work for only four months. The government’s immigration white paper proposed to extend this period to six months – so the new scheme goes further.
The current policy was introduced by the then home secretary, Theresa May, in 2012. She said the two-year post-study work visa was “too generous” and tightened the rules amid a push to meet the government’s target of reducing net migration to the tens of thousands – a goal never met by May as home secretary or prime minister. Boris Johnson scrapped the target when he became prime minister in July.
Why has the government changed the policy?
There has been a push from the business and education sectors to relax the rules for international students. This was supported in recent years by several former and current cabinet members, including the former home secretary Sajid Javid. The issue of student work visas was reportedly a regular point of contention between May and some members of her cabinet.
The new government defines its approach to post-Brexit immigration as wanting to attract the “best and brightest” with a focus on so-called skilled migration. This latest scheme fits into that narrative. Some surveys have shown that Britons are more accepting of migrants with professional qualifications, ready-made job offers and study placements and cynicism towards migrants is focused on those without firm offers and so-called low-skilled workers, as well asylum seekers and refugees.
How has the change to the policy been received?
The announcement was greeted with enthusiasm by the education sector and business, which is braced for a fall in the number of students and prospective employees from the EU when freedom of movement comes to an end after Brexit.
Alistair Jarvis, the chief executive of Universities UK, said the previous visa regime put the UK at a “competitive disadvantage” in recruiting international students.
“The introduction of a two-year post-study work visa is something Universities UK has long campaigned for and we strongly welcome this policy change, which will put us back where we belong as a first-choice study destination,” he said.
“Not only will a wide range of employers now benefit from access to talented graduates from around the world, these students hold lifelong links with the UK.”
Jasmine Whitbread, the chief executive of London First, a pro-business campaign group, said: “Universities and businesses alike will welcome this commonsense move, which will ensure that we retain global brainpower.”
Publicație : The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/sep/11/uk-work-visas-for-foreign-students-all-you-need-to-know
How green is my university?
Academia has gone green in a big way in recent years, but some doubt whether it will make much difference to the planet. Nick Mayo speaks to scholars and students to assess the sector’s environmental record
Freshers are beginning to fill up northern hemisphere university campuses once again as academics return to their offices to welcome incoming students. Business as usual, it would seem.
Or maybe not. On 20 September, young people across the world will join a global climate strike, walking out of schools, colleges and universities to protest against environmental harm. The actions will be repeated the following Friday and the young strikers want adults to join them to “sound the alarm and show politicians that business as usual is no longer an option”.
The campaigner behind the movement, teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg, has sailed across the Atlantic to deliver her message to the UN Climate Action Summit on 23 September.
And the UN secretary-general, António Guterres, is apparently listening. He wants world leaders to arrive in New York armed with “concrete, realistic plans” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.
But how are universities to play their part in tackling this climate emergency? And is what they are doing radical enough? Most experts interviewed by Times Higher Education feel that universities can and should do more, particularly by becoming role models for wider society in their own environmental policies and targets.
Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University, says that higher education institutions are ideally placed to make a difference. Every important social movement of the past half-century or so has “begun on college campuses”, he says, mentioning the civil rights, free speech and anti-apartheid movements.
When Penn State takes a “leadership position” on an issue like climate change “it really speaks to a very broad constituency and that is true for flagship universities around the country and so that’s why it is important in terms of leadership and setting an example for people to follow”, he says.
More broadly, universities must “sound the alarm” about the climate emergency, says William Syddall, head of environmental sustainability at UNSW Sydney, which will be powered entirely by renewable energy from next year thanks to its own solar farm.
“And it has been sounding for a long time now, as the science points to a more and more clear consensus and a more urgent case for action,” says Syddall.
In addition to research and advocacy, universities have a duty to “teach our future leaders, who are going to be advocates of sustainability and take action on sustainability”, he adds.
Setting an example to others with eye-catching environmental policies seems to be the most popular way to teach these lessons. From January, Sydney’s Australian cousin, the University of Newcastle, will also rely 100 per cent on renewable energies, while its main campus now includes ecological conservation zones and freshwater wetland areas.
Alex Zelinsky, Newcastle’s vice-chancellor and president, says universities in all countries are “change agents” and are there to “lead society forward into where we need to go: you have got to walk the talk and lead the way”.
In the UK, Joy Carter, vice-chancellor of the University of Winchester, agrees. In July, she claimed that higher education institutions are “sleepwalking into a major environmental disaster, with the future of humanity at stake”.
Universities that have taken up the baton include Goldsmiths, University of London, which made headlines last month as it banned the sale of beef products from campus food outlets as part of a bid to become carbon neutral within six years. The University of Gloucestershire came top of the People & Planet University League, which ranks the environmental and ethical performance of UK universities. Last year, the university announced total fossil fuel divestment, and its director of sustainability, Alex Ryan, says the “educational mission is right at the heart” of its sustainability strategy. She wants students to leave Gloucestershire equipped to “make a difference” in whatever role they go on to in their lives.
Similarly, at Keele University, which declared a climate emergency in May and has a target to be carbon neutral by 2030, Mark Ormerod, the deputy vice-chancellor, says the institution tries to embed sustainability in “absolutely everything we do”, from research to teaching to catering. “We also embed it in the curriculum of every single programme, whether it’s history, business management, nursing or midwifery,” he adds.
The university is taking part in a trial, which will see hydrogen injected into its natural gas network, and has recently got planning permission for a solar farm.
UK universities take “climate change very seriously and are working hard to decrease their carbon footprints”, says Universities UK. They are investing in energy-saving technologies, finding sustainable supply chains and focusing on greater energy efficiency, including greener and more sustainable buildings. Many have set their own targets for carbon reduction.
But there is still so much more UK universities can do, says Jamie Agombar, head of sustainability at the National Union of Students (NUS).
They should be doing more to reduce their own carbon emissions, ensuring that students, regardless of what they are studying, understand about sustainable development and the climate emergency, divesting from investments in fossil fuels, reinvesting in renewables and putting their acres of land to good use by planting trees.
Senior leadership, who often do not see climate change as a priority, are “out of step with the young people who are really worried about what the climate emergency and ecological crisis will mean for their futures”, Agombar feels. From 1 October, the NUS sustainability team will become a separate charity, Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS), reflecting its growth in size and the importance of its mission.
Topping the THE University Impact Rankings for climate action this year was Canada’s University of British Columbia. The institution is on track to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 67 per cent by 2021, as it heads towards carbon neutrality by 2050. It has reduced campus water consumption by 50 per cent since 1999, and reduced natural gas consumption by 30 per cent in the past five years.
John Madden, director of sustainability and engineering at British Columbia, says that as “anchor institutions in their communities”, universities are in a “unique position” to take action on climate change.
However, Cameron Hepburn, a professor of environmental economics and director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford, insists that efforts to cut universities’ own carbon emissions on campus miss the point when global emissions of CO2 are 35 billion tonnes a year.
Rather it is their research and education that matter. “Mass education [is required] – a university like Oxford needs to be educating the world. Our impact on the world through our knowledge and teaching is just so much greater than what’s happening on campus,” says Hepburn.
For Jeffrey Sachs, a world-renowned professor of economics and director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, the main role of universities should be to help the world to “chart the pathway to zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050”.
“In this regard, many academic researchers are very hard at work, but universities as institutions are not yet doing enough,” he adds.
The question of research and education funding in the area of climate change “remains highly pertinent”, says Sachs. “Here, universities should work with governments, businesses and foundations to increase their flow of research support to high-priority areas of zero-carbon engineering, public policy, ecology, jurisprudence, public regulation, etc.”
A paper published in the Journal of Cleaner Production in 2017 looks at the barriers to climate change research at universities.
Resources of research institutions can be stretched by the complexity of climate modelling, for example, which requires “extremely powerful (and thus expensive) computer technology”, it says.
The need for interdisciplinary approaches also creates barriers, as departments “tend to be set up around traditional subjects”.
Government priorities, meanwhile, can mean that climate change research is “vulnerable to the politics of the day”. And because it is such a political issue, climate change research “attracts significant scrutiny and attention”, making “communicating research highly challenging”.
Climate change research needs to be more “widely communicated” with a move away from publishing in specialist journals towards using research findings to “influence public discussions” about climate change, the study concludes.
Fiona Goodwin, director of operations and planning at the EAUC, the environmental and sustainability champion within further and higher education in the UK and Ireland, agrees that research needs to break out of the “academic bubble, out of the journals”.
For Penn State’s Mann, an internationally recognised climate scientist, communicating to the wider public is vital. But such communication efforts face “a stiff headwind in the form of a concerted effort by vested interests, fossil fuel interests and conservative groups that have funded a massive disinformation effort to confuse the public and to confuse the policymakers and to sow distrust [of] the scientists”.
“Probably the main obstacle to furthering university-based research and outreach is the war against universities and science that is being waged by politicians in the pay of polluting interests,” he adds.
Columbia’s Sachs agrees that the problem in the US and in many other fossil fuel-producing countries is the “money made from fossil fuels, and the ways that the money corrupts politics. Add in Trump’s disordered mind and we have a dire crisis in US politics.”
In Australia, too, the government is “not convinced of the need for strong action on climate change”, says UNSW’s Syddall. “Universities can play a role in hopefully informing people, informing governments, informing policy, so that they do begin to take stronger action on climate change, because we just don’t have time for another political cycle of inaction.”
For Oxford’s Hepburn it is “incumbent upon those of us in leadership positions in universities to put the science out there”.
In his case, this means going into rooms full of climate deniers and engaging with them, or sitting on the advisory board of Shell Oil, “which I know a lot of my students think is the enemy but if you are not there critiquing and making the point internally to these companies that they have got to transition very quickly then you are not doing justice to your role and your responsibility”.
Other barriers stopping universities from doing more include financial pressures, short-term thinking, and lack of guidance and regulation from government and sector bodies.
The EAUC’s Goodwin says it is “almost a backward step” that the UK’s Office for Students has announced plans to make voluntary the currently mandatory collecting of universities’ estate management records, which includes reporting on their carbon emissions.
Likewise, Hannah Smith, who runs the People & Planet University League, views it as “perverse really that the government are going in the opposite direction when all around them there is this huge groundswell of people power” around the climate emergency.
Gloucestershire’s Ryan feels there has been a “dropping of the ball” by sector agencies since the new student fees regime was introduced in the UK. Sector bodies like the OfS need to “incentivise universities and hold our feet to the fire”, she adds. The OfS says it is “committed to being a low burden regulator” and currently “does not have a regulatory need for the data within the estates management record. It is not an OfS requirement for providers to have carbon management plans. However, in our terms and conditions for funding in 2019-20, we state that providers should use capital funding in ways that will improve environmental sustainability, such as reducing carbon emissions.”
Goodwin is not willing to “sit around and wait for government or OfS or whoever to wake up to this” so the EAUC are calling a Climate Crisis Summit in October, which is going to bring together “all of the leading sector agencies to develop our own framework and our own targets for universities and colleges”.
British Columbia’s Madden agrees that it is as a “collective” that universities can “really drive the climate agenda”.
To that end, his institution is a member of the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3), a collection of 20 leading universities from across the US, Canada and Mexico, representing more than 4 million students.
Similarly, in an effort to promote the collective power of universities to take action, presidents from 48 institutions across the globe signed commitments to tackle global challenges including climate change and cleaner energy at the U7+ Summit held in Paris in July.
The same month, in New York, networks representing more than 7,000 higher and further education institutions from six continents announced that they are declaring a climate emergency, and agreed to undertake a three-point plan to help address the crisis.
But is what is being done radical enough?
Alison Green doesn’t think so and has quit her six-figure salary “dream job” as pro vice-chancellor at the UK’s online Arden University in order to concentrate on trying to address the climate breakdown.
“For me, it was where could I best place my energies in order to be effective,” explains Green, who is now co-director of Transition Lab, a “‘do-tank’ as opposed to a thinktank”, which is calling on universities to take more action on climate.
“It seemed to me it’s a now or never moment. Business as usual was just completely off the table for me,” she adds.
“We are in a climate emergency, and when one is in an emergency situation and the alarm bells are ringing, then one must take proportionate, appropriate action. We can’t kick the can down the road with this one, we simply cannot continue with a business as usual model.”
It is too late to waste any more time on “cuddly, soft, little local quality of life stuff”. Instead, “emergency medicine” is needed. He thinks the green movement has to “get off its purist high horse and face reality” and universities should focus research on large-scale solutions, such as geoengineering.
Columbia’s Sachs agrees that time is of the essence, saying: “We are in dire straits, after having squandered a quarter century since the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) went into force.”
“There are no known geoengineering solutions that are safe, prudent and true answers at scale, though there are some aspects of geoengineering (such as carbon capture and storage) that will play some role. On the other hand, there are many detailed and cogent analyses showing how we could end the dependence on fossil fuels and stop net emissions from land use changes.
Of the geoengineering solutions available, one is “pretty dangerous and that is interfering with the radiation coming in from the sun”, according to Oxford’s Hepburn.
Another option is large-scale carbon dioxide removal, “which I would characterise as a necessary set of emergency measures that we need to be properly exploring at this stage. The best ones are those that take existing natural processes and speed them up.”
Mann views geoengineering as a “very dangerous prospect” with “potential unintended consequences of massive interference with our planetary environment”. He also thinks “it provides an excuse for those who don’t favour the hard but necessary work of decarbonising our economy”.
“It’s easy for them to say we don’t need to do that; we can still continue to burn fossil fuel; we will just engage in some other massive planetary-scale manipulation of our environment in the hope that it will somehow offset the effect of global warming,” Mann says.
“That is a recipe for disaster, and so I for one am very concerned about some of the discussions these days, which seem to be moving in the direction of support for not just the study of but the implementation of geoengineering. I think that is a very dangerous road to go down.”
But Hepburn finds this kind of argument to be “fundamentally wrong”, and “highly dangerous”, because “we are at a point where it’s very, very difficult to keep temperatures from rising above one and a half degrees without taking CO2 out of the atmosphere”.
“It is not some kind of get out of jail [free] card. We needed to do the mitigation, we still need to do the mitigation, and because we haven’t done it early enough, we now also need to do the carbon dioxide removal.”
One issue that has received a lot of recent attention is the carbon footprint caused by academics attending conferences and international students flying into campuses from around the globe.
The issue of business travel was a “taboo topic in a lot of places”, so the roundtable was set up in order to talk about it and share knowledge and data, he says.
“It is one of the biggest carbon emitters that we have as a university, in Edinburgh certainly, and I think it will be the same for a lot of institutions, so if we don’t address business travel then we won’t hit our target of carbon neutral by 2040 for sure.”
Pickering stresses the importance of collective action on the issue. “If one institution was to just say ‘no business travel is going to happen ever again’ then that would just be a detriment to that one institution, so it’s about how we change the sector so that no institution loses out.”
UNSW Sydney has travel expenses policies that require people to travel in economy, for example, as the higher classes have a much higher carbon intensity, says Syddall. “But we are looking to strengthen that with a sustainable travel guideline and to improve our virtual conferencing and video conferencing facilities and start promoting those a bit better to our staff, making sure they are aware of these facilities.”
Transition Lab’s Green understands that the networking benefits of conference attendance are “important” to academics “but increasingly I actually don’t believe that that networking cannot be done online or via other means. That isn’t to say there should never ever be flying to conferences, but it has to be scrutinised and we have to ask ourselves is this justifiable and is it too much?”
Gloucestershire’s Ryan feels that “every individual academic, as a citizen and as a professional, should be questioning the necessity and the value of the air travel they are making. But, on the other side, academic conferences and exchanges can be incredibly important for building the kind of global networks and collaborations that actually can lead to more equitable research projects and implementation in different societies across the globe.”
For Penn State’s Mann, it is “somewhat misplaced” to put the focus and onus on the individual academic flying to conferences.
“We are a product of our environment and we are a product of the constraints of our environment and if we have policies that incentivise renewable energy and then incentivise a shift from activities which involve the burning of carbon then people will move in that direction,” he says.
While we should do “everything we can in our everyday lives to minimise our carbon footprint”, we “should not operate under the misapprehension that that is the solution to the problem. The solution to the problem is policies that collectively move everybody in that direction.”
Sachs feels that efforts to reduce the carbon footprint from academic conferences and international student mobility “can play a role in public awareness and in strengthened moral commitment. But they are not the scaled technological answers needed to reduce today’s roughly 35 billion tonnes per year of energy-related CO2 emissions down to net zero by 2050.”
The carbon footprint from high-fee-paying international students jetting in is a tricky one for universities to confront. In a study published in the Journal of Cleaner Production earlier this year, Robin Shields, associate professor in higher education management at the University of Bath, examines the environmental impact of international student mobility.
The results of the study indicate that greenhouse gas emissions associated with it were between 14.01 and 38.54 megatons of CO2 equivalent per year in 2014, increasing from between 7.24 and 18.96 megatons in 1999.
The lower estimate is comparable to the national annual emissions of Jamaica (15.47 megatons) and the upper to Tunisia (39.72 megatons), the study says.
While emissions associated with international student mobility “are substantial and growing”, the emissions per student are decreasing, which Shields puts down largely to increasing regionalisation, as a growing share of international students remain relatively close to their home country.
He also points to the benefits of international student mobility, including “intercultural awareness, international cooperation and knowledge transfer”. And for NUS’ Agombar, the cost of the carbon footprint of a student coming to the UK to study is outweighed by the benefits of the education they will receive, including on sustainability: “The transformative effect of education is worth people using carbon for this purpose,” he adds.
Moreover, demonstrating green credentials may now be more of a commercial necessity than a luxury, particularly when it comes to attracting students, whose commitment to environmental issues is illustrated by their mass participation in climate strikes. Even international students themselves buy into the green ethic; according to a survey of almost 250 international students by Western Union Business Solutions, unveiled at THE’s World Academic Summit in Zurich this week, 58 per cent would boycott a university if it had bad sustainability credentials.
Vivienne Stern, the director of Universities UK International, says she has been involved in “more and more” conversations about how you can have a “kind of low-carbon international strategy. I think that there are lots of opportunities being opened up by technology that allow people to spend time studying for a UK degree but without actually physically travelling to the UK.”
“And we have seen very strong growth in transnational education and that will be a trend to watch because institutions and individuals are going to become more and more sensitive to the carbon footprint of internationalisation.”
“Having said that,” Stern adds, “I still believe there is a huge value to spending time in another system. It is important for UK graduates, as well as…important for international graduates to come and enjoy being in the UK, surrounded by our academic environment. We probably will never absolutely replace that.”
For a long time, Jem Bendell was happy to accept the received wisdom about climate change.
Professor of sustainability leadership at the University of Cumbria since 2012, he had previously worked with a range of universities, charities and United Nations agencies on projects relating to health, the environment and social justice. What they all had in common was the framework of sustainable development, which he defines as the belief that “we could somehow balance and integrate social, environmental and economic concerns as long as we were smarter and committed to doing so”.
After beginning to have doubts, however, Bendell decided to take a sabbatical for the academic year 2017-18 and spent several months looking seriously at climate science for the first time since he finished his Cambridge geography degree in 1995. Where previously he had “taken the analyses of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as authoritative”, he now began to see them as “very compromised” – and designed to “keep people in the room rather than running for the hills”. By March 2018, he had concluded that “disruption to society was not just probable, but inevitable, and most likely everywhere”. He also became increasingly convinced of “the dimensions of denial in my profession”.
Although sustainable development has “collapsed for [him] as an idea”, Bendell still believes that “we need to cut carbon emissions and draw down carbon emissions from the atmosphere, as fast as possible” – as “a last-ditch attempt to slow down climate change, not to stop it…There’s so much heating already locked into the system…Don’t pretend [we can] stop what’s already upon us: the weather which is destabilising and affecting agriculture. That is here and it’s getting worse, whatever we do, and we need to talk about how to prepare, how we deal with it emotionally.”
Reaching such a disturbing conclusion called into question Bendell’s “whole identity and sense of self-worth”. He got actively involved in Extinction Rebellion and has now reached agreement with Cumbria to go down to 35 per cent of a full-time role so he can “focus entirely on climate-adaptation research, teaching and outreach”.
But although he still operates within the academy, Bendell has become impatient with the pace of research and publication, and the many papers in his field that typically conclude, as he puts it, “If we don’t change, then we’re screwed” – rather than frankly acknowledging that “We’re screwed.”
Some of this came to a head when he wrote an article setting out his current thinking titled “Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating Climate Tragedy”. Though he submitted it to Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Bendell felt unable to provide the rewrites requested by the referees and published it instead as an occasional paper for the Institute of Leadership and Sustainability Business, which he had founded at Cumbria. The published version includes a tragicomic account of his correspondence with SAMPJ, which reveals just how far he has gone beyond the norms of his discipline in both style and content.
While a referee had criticised him for not identifying a “research question or gap” based on the current state of the literature, Bendell pointed out in reply that “the article is challenging the basis of the field…there are no articles in either SAMPJ or Organisation and Environment that explore implications for business practice or policy of a near-term inevitable collapse due to environmental catastrophe…”
There was a similar disagreement about how academic articles should be written. In arguing that “disruptive and uncontrollable levels of climate change [would] bring starvation, destruction, migration, disease and war”, Bendell had deliberately adopted a personal and emotional tone: “You will become malnourished. You won’t know whether to stay or go. You will fear being violently killed before starving to death.” One referee commented that “the language used is not appropriate for a scholarly article”.
Whether or not it breaches academic etiquette, Bendell’s “deep adaptation” paper has attracted much interest (with over half a million downloads) and caused a great deal of understandable distress. He is keen to keep engaging with the people he has affected and therefore set up the Deep Adaption Forum, whose thousand members include over a hundred researchers.
Meanwhile, in order to avoid the worst-case scenarios, Bendell wants us to look, for example, at how “we [in the UK] could produce more of our own food, no matter what the weather, have policies ready in case prices go through the roof, consider what contemporary food rationing looks like. We need to have that ready to go.” Other challenges relate to “energy security” and “maintaining payment systems for international trade”.
Alongside such practical issues, Bendell stresses the need for “more compassionate and curious ways of responding, rather than just grabbing a gun and saying ‘We have to be ruthless now and not care about the poor or the refugees’”. More surprisingly, perhaps, he also believes that embracing a sense of despair about the human future can be a “spiritual invitation” to ask ourselves “deep, deep questions”.
In abandoning the paradigm that shaped most of his earlier career, Bendell has set out an agenda that raises the deepest of questions not only for climate scientists but for us all.
Publicație : The Times https://www.timeshighereducation.com/features/how-green-my-university
Clean break’ Brexit plan triggers fears for EU research deal
Shift in alignment towards US sparks doubts over Horizon Europe association
Boris Johnson’s apparent desire for a “clean break” Brexit and wish to align with the US rather than the European Union have sparked fears that the UK may opt against joining the bloc’s next research programme.
The resignation as universities minister of Jo Johnson, who campaigned for Remain in the EU referendum, has added to fears about the government’s position on negotiating access to Horizon Europe, which starts in January 2021.
Joining the programme is likely to require the UK to pay the EU more than €7 billion (£6.2 billion) over the course of the seven-year programme, and could be jeopardised by a no-deal Brexit that poisons UK-EU relations.
Sir Chris Husbands, vice-chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, suggested a broader shift under the Boris Johnson government towards looser alignment with the EU on issues such as defence could mean a “massive pivot away from a common regulatory framework, a common research base”.
Jo Johnson “may have started to realise that the chances of holding the sector in the European research space after a Boris Johnson Brexit were looking pretty slim”, he said. “And I think that’s a massive, massive challenge for us.”
Assurances that the UK government will seek association to the EU’s research programme date back to Theresa May’s government, and have “not come in the last six weeks from central government”, Sir Chris said. “The increasing sense is that what government wants to look for is a clean break.”
Gordon Marsden, Labour’s shadow universities minister, criticised the government’s failure to “produce anything…that would keep the sector feeling less apprehensive about a no-deal Brexit”.
“If no deal means our relationships with the EU end in discord and ugliness and we’re obliged to put more, or all, our eggs in the US basket, we become much less attractive as a global link mechanism” in research, Mr Marsden added.
But Lord Willetts, a former Conservative universities minister who backs a second EU referendum, said that there was “still a strand of pragmatism in the Conservative government” and there were “Brexiteers who can still see the value of research links to Europe and attracting students from around the world”.
“The paradox is that although a lot of us in the university and research community are worried about a hard Brexit, when it comes to universities and science the Boris Johnson government is actually quite pro; in many ways more pro than Theresa [May],” Lord Willetts said.
Jo Johnson announced that he would also stand down as an MP at the next election following a purge of moderate Tory MPs who opposed a no-deal Brexit. He said that serving in his brother’s government created an “unresolvable tension” between “family loyalty and the national interest”.
Future gazer: resist research fads and focus on strengths instead
Australian report warns against fetish for interdisciplinarity, citing increasing specialisation of subfields
Universities have been urged to resist the lure of fast-buck research fads, including a temptation to abandon disciplinary silos, as the political and intellectual drivers of funding become increasingly volatile.
Research strategist Thomas Barlow says that universities must instead cultivate their research strengths as scientific subfields flit in and out of fashion.
In a report profiling the research landscape over the next two decades, commissioned by UNSW Sydney, Dr Barlow warns against “rolling with every latest bandwagon”. Administrators must learn to distinguish fleeting trends from enduring “intellectual waves”, he says.
Some waves will be brief and others long-lived, he says, pointing out that publications on human cloning skyrocketed in the 1990s only to almost vanish in subsequent years. Embryonic stem cell research experienced a similar peak early this decade, with CRISPR genetic editing technology the latest big thing.
The challenge for decision-makers is separating someone who has “merely leapt on a bandwagon” from the person driving it, the report says. “It can be as advantageous to create fashions as to follow them,” it insists.
While governments are “unwieldy and slow to change, they can dramatically shift their priorities over time”, the report adds. It cites the escalating proportion of targeted Australian government research dedicated to health, the environment and energy – and corresponding declines in the share of spending on industry, agriculture and defence – during the “peace and prosperity” of the past two decades.
But Dr Barlow forecasted more shifts as lobbyists demanded investment in other fields, or geopolitical changes triggered new calls for defence research spending. Accelerating technological development “will have an impact on the speed with which concepts come in and out of fashion”, he told Times Higher Education.
“Governments are very susceptible to groupthink. If something becomes very topical, they can move quickly behind it. Suddenly everybody thinks, ‘there’s all this funding in this area, I have to be involved’,” he said.
“That’s not going to work for everyone. When something is funded via what’s essentially a political process, there’s never a guarantee that the most meritocratic people end up being funded. Sometimes you’re better off sticking to what you know you’re good at and waiting for the wheel to point in your direction – or, perhaps optimally, to get out there and advocate for the things you believe in.”
Dr Barlow also cautioned against excessive interdisciplinarity. He said that approaches portrayed as multidisciplinary often involved different subfields of the same disciplines, as the research landscape became “increasingly balkanised”.
He said that there was evidence of limited increase in multidisciplinarity, particularly in areas where policy imperatives required scientists to work with social scientists, such as climate change. But suggestions of an interdisciplinary “revolution” were contradicted by a renewed trend of disciplines splitting into subfields.
“Within each discipline there’s fragmentation, sometimes to the point where people within a discipline struggle to communicate with one another,” he said.
The report predicts that North America will maintain its lead over East Asia in high-impact research, but Europe’s influence will decline. Global research literature will double by 2040 while fragmenting along national and linguistic lines, spawning new research quality metrics and underlining the need for universities to specialise.
Work functions will also specialise, with fewer than one in three Australian academics having roles that combine teaching and research by 2040, the report predicts. And the biggest research breakthroughs in every field, possibly including humanities, will be driven by research groups that harness automation and computation “to shift their research operations onto an industrial scale”.
UK rival to ERC would be poor substitute, says Oxford v-c
Ministers considering report outlining possibility of setting up domestic alternative post-Brexit
The vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford has warned that a UK domestic rival to the European Research Council, which could be set up after Brexit, would be a poor substitute.
Writing in Times Higher Education, Louise Richardson says that “no national replacement scheme could ever have the status” of the European Union’s research framework programmes.
The UK is unlikely to be able to access the EU’s funding schemes, including the highly prestigious ERC, if it leaves the bloc without a deal. Even if it does strike an agreement, lengthy negotiations on UK association to the next programme, Horizon Europe, could leave the country on the outside when it launches in January 2021.
The Westminster government had tasked Sir Adrian Smith, the former vice-chancellor of the University of London, with investigating whether the UK could establish a domestic alternative to the ERC, open to British-based and international researchers.
THE understands that Sir Adrian’s report was submitted to ministers in July and was due to be published this month, although the political crisis in Westminster might delay this.
In her THE article, Professor Richardson says that the UK “must ensure that we can continue to participate in European research post-Brexit”.
EU research funding is worth £1 billion annually to UK universities, while ERC grant holders are among the world’s best scientists. The UK is the most successful country in securing competitive European funding, winning 21 per cent of all ERC grants.
“European research funding has been central to the success of UK universities,” Professor Richardson writes. “If access to the ERC were lost, no national replacement scheme could ever have the status, the breadth of vision or the lengthy time horizons of the multilateral system carefully developed over decades by the EU.”
Some politicians have presented Brexit as an opportunity for UK universities to build stronger links with institutions outside the bloc, but Professor Richardson says that these “can only supplement, and never supplant, the dense network of research partnerships Oxford has across the EU”.
Professor Richardson also criticises Labour’s plans to abolish tuition fees in England “without a hint of where the £12.2 billion cost of maintaining the current unit of resource would come from”.
“We face ever-escalating costs of pensions, salaries and responding to regulatory requirements,” Professor Richardson writes. “We simply cannot sustain our position if our funding declines as our costs increase.”
Brexit: Londres va permettre aux étudiants étrangers de rester deux ans après leur diplôme
Le gouvernement britannique a décidé de permettre aux étudiants étrangers de rester deux années supplémentaires sur son territoire après leurs études, malgré le Brexit. L’objectif est de «garder les talents».
Londres tente de dissiper les inquiétudes. Alors qu’il est toujours impossible de savoir quand le Royaume-Uni quittera l’Union Européenne ni sous quelle forme, le gouvernement britannique a décidé de permettre aux étudiants étrangers de rester deux ans sur son territoire une fois obtenu leur diplôme afin de retenir les «meilleurs talents» après le Brexit.
Il s’agit ainsi de «recruter et garder les meilleurs talents internationaux», mais également de favoriser de «futures avancées dans les sciences, la technologie, la recherche», a déclaré la ministre des Entreprises et de l’Industrie Andrea Leadsom à la radio BBC.
«Nous prévoyons d’augmenter le nombre des étudiants étrangers de 30%, pour arriver à 600.000 d’ici à 2030», a précisé Mme Leadsom, «et l’un des moyens d’y parvenir est de leur permettre de travailler deux ans après l’obtention de leur diplôme car c’est dans l’intérêt du Royaume-Uni d’attirer les meilleurs et les plus brillants du monde entier».
La ministre a insisté sur «l’ambition» de son pays après le Brexit: «En quittant l’Union européenne, ce sera au gouvernement de définir notre politique migratoire», a-t-elle poursuivi, soulignant que «plutôt que d’être ouvert à la seule libre circulation avec l’UE, le Royaume-Uni va pouvoir profiter d’un vivier de talents mondial. C’est pour nous un avantage formidable».
Actuellement, les étudiants étrangers peuvent rester jusqu’à quatre mois après la fin de leur parcours. Les nouvelles règles doivent entrer en vigueur pour les étudiants qui commenceront leur cursus l’année prochaine. Parmi ces règles si le Royaume-Uni sort de l’Union européenne, il n’y aura plus de programme Erasmus tel qu’il est aujourd’hui établi, mais de nouveaux partenariats à redéfinir. Une procédure a déjà été engagée pour que les étudiants actuellement en Erasmus au Royaume-Uni puissent finir leur année universitaire 2019-2020 sans être impactés.
Università, tre italiane tra le migliori 200 al mondo
La Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, la Normale di Pisa e Bologna guadagnano posizioni nella classifica Times Higher Education. L’Europa tiene, ma deve fare i conti con la scalata di atenei statunitensi e asiatici
Continua, anche se a piccoli passi, la scalata degli atenei italiani alla prestigiosa classifica Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Con il successo portato a casa ancora una volta dalle eccellenze pisane, la Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna e la Normale, e dall’Università di Bologna: si confermano sul podio degli atenei italiani e guadagnano posizioni tra le migliori duecento università del mondo.
L’edizione 2020 è stata diffusa oggi dalla rivista britannica indipendente, specializzata nella valutazione dei sistemi universitari internazionali. I due atenei pisani sono saliti rispettivamente di quattro e nove gradini, classificandosi alla 149a posizione (Sant’Anna) e alla 152a (Normale), mentre l’Alma Mater è balzata dalla posizione 180 alla 168: una crescita di dodici posti. „E’ un risultato che mi fa molto piacere, anche se i ranking offrono per forza di cose una visione parziale della complessità di un ateneo”, dichiara il rettore Francesco Ubertini. „In questi ultimi anni abbiamo lavorato molto per rendere l’Alma Mater sempre più un punto di riferimento a livello internazionale, mettendo in campo iniziative per rinnovare e promuovere la trasmissione del sapere a tutti i livelli”.
Tra i primi trecento atenei al mondo anche l’Università di Padova, Vita-Salute San Raffaele e La Sapienza di Roma. Tra il numero 301-350 ci sono la Statale di Milano, il Politecnico di Milano e l’Università di Trento. Sono 45 gli atenei italiani (due in più dell’anno scorso) su un totale di 1.396 università di 92 Paesi, valutate per insegnamento, trasferimento tecnologico, ricerca, impatto delle citazioni scientifiche e internazionalizzazione dello staff accademico.
L’Italia è così il terzo Paese europeo più rappresentato in classifica insieme alla Spagna, e l’ottavo a livello mondiale. „E’ incoraggiante vedere le migliori università italiane in posizioni di forza nella top 200 – commenta Ellie Bothwell, curatrice della classifica -, ma per far prosperare l’educazione superiore italiana è necessario che questi miglioramenti si vedano in tutte le università, da Nord a Sud, e non solo in un piccolo numero di istituzioni selezionate. In particolare le università italiane devono migliorare l’ambiente di apprendimento e di ricerca”. Un nodo che chiama in causa gli investimenti. Ed è indubbio che nella gara internazionale il nostro Paese corre con un sistema accademico sottofinanziato.
Ma chi sono i primi dieci atenei al mondo? Oxford è in testa per il quarto anno consecutivo, seguita al secondo posto dal California Institute of Technology, che risale dalla quinta posizione. La medaglia di bronzo va ancora alla Gran Bretagna con l’Università di Cambridge. Seguono Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Princeton, Harvard, Yale, l’Università di Chicago e l’Imperial College di Londra.
La concorrenza si fa sentire. L’Europa è il continente più rappresentato nella top 200, con oltre la metà degli atenei in classifica, anche se molti dei suoi istituti hanno perso posizioni a causa di università in ascesa in Asia e negli Stati Uniti. Un esempio? Una delle scalate più poderose è stata fatta dall’Iran, che con quaranta università ha sorpassato Australia, Francia, Russia e Taiwan. Il Brasile con 46 istituti ha superato Italia e Spagna, mentre il Giappone è il Paese più rappresentato per l’Asia e il secondo al mondo dopo gli Stati Uniti.