Courses delivered over the internet and part-time study give a degree of flexibility to fit in with students’ lifestyles
Full-time, part-time, online, or a mix of all three – the variety of postgraduate study options can be bewildering. This wide choice, however, does give scope to suit prospective students’ differing circumstances and lifestyles.
While traditional campus-based courses remain the most popular, there is an increasing interest in online study, with its flexibility and easy access. Edinburgh University’s head of submissions, Iain Sutherland, says that online courses are proving particularly attractive to those students who may have family and work commitments.Continue reading...
Going back to university may seem daunting, but the rewards are worth it
Age is not a barrier when it comes to learning. About 40% of mature students studying at university are over the age of 30, some in their 50s and 60s. Many have mortgages, families and are in full-time employment.
Although the prospect of returning to education, essay writing and mixing with younger students can seem daunting, having a few extra years on your peers can be a distinct advantage. Ucas says that universities are happy to accept older students as most arrive with high levels of enthusiasm, commitment and additional life experience.Continue reading...
Thanks in part to the BBC wildlife series, there has been a sea change in the popularity of marine biology courses and the study of the world’s oceans
When she was just 12 years old, an impressionable Cathy Lucas, now associate professor in marine biology at the University of Southampton, met Sir David Attenborough. He’d come to talk to students about his 1979 landmark wildlife series Life on Earth. “I thrust him my copy of his book to sign. He inspired me to go on and study zoology.”
Just back from a research trip to Saudi Arabia, she’s since spent years investigating what makes jellyfish tick – programme makers at the BBC’s latest natural history series Blue Planet II sought her expertise for a segment. Although jellyfish have been around for at least 500m years, they’ve remained the poor relation of marine life, often misrepresented as freakish, alien blobs, says Lucas.Continue reading...
Die ersten Absolventinnen des "Kita-Master" bekommen Zeugnisse. Studiengangsleiter Jürgen Schwier erläutert, warum die neue Ausbildung gebraucht wird.
Academia should be collaborative, not competitive. So why do I feel like some junior colleagues are rushing to tear each other’s work apart online?
I had always imagined academia to be a collegial environment. I pictured teams of researchers putting heads together to solve real-world problems, collaborating on new discoveries. After completing my PhD, I realised it was more about academics competing against each other for grants and jobs. Even then, I thought optimistically that our shared experiences of unsuccessful applications might bond us together. But a recent experience online has confirmed for me that, actually, it’s a dog-eat-dog world out there.
Earlier this year, I published a book based on my research but aimed at the general reader to supplement my income from academic work. A few months after publication, I was idly scrolling through the Facebook page for an academic group I’m a member of, and caught sight of my name on a new post. It was from a young academic researcher, publicly proclaiming that my book was “useless”. Another researcher responded, and what started as an attack based on my book’s lack of endnotes – which they viewed as unacademic – descended into a personal attack on me.Continue reading...
Public appointments commissioner says row that led to Young’s resignation highlights need for greater due diligence
An inquiry has been launched into the “serious failing” of appointing Toby Young to the board of the Office for Students without studying his long history of incendiary comments, the commissioner for public appointments has said.
Peter Riddell revealed that the Office for Students (OfS) interview panel’s report to ministers “made no mention of Mr Young’s history of controversial comments and use of social media”.
For the second time in recent weeks, you describe the “paying back” of student loans as though this is something positive, even though “barely half … will ever get paid back” (Peter Scott: Toby Young is a symptom of universities’ Faustian pact, 9 January; Sonia Sodha: I once marched against tuition fees. Now I see their worth, 29 December).
But this is misleading. First, the loans are gradually being sold off at significant discounts, so only a small proportion of whatever is recovered will actually return to government coffers. More importantly, money that is repaid as though a tax by graduates cannot also be spent in the local community. Thus the equivalent amount is lost to the economy. In practice, the cash has already been “invested” in salaries and fancy buildings; the recovery process simply piles on austerity.
Dr Mark Ellis
Der Regensburger Philosoph Günter Fröhlich will seinen Fall nun vors Verwaltungsgericht bringen.
Figures for 2016-17 also show a fall in mature and part-time students since the introduction of £9,000 fees
More than 100,000 students graduated with top honours from British universities last summer, according to official data which also showed a steep slump in the numbers of part-time and mature students entering higher education.
The percentage graduating from university with first-class degrees rose to 26%, or more than one in four overall, show figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency for 2016-17, continuing a trend of annual increases in the number getting top honours.Continue reading...
A new code aims to move the media spotlight away from vice-chancellor pay by increasing transparency. But to work, the overhaul must be radical
- Mike Ratcliffe is director of academic and student affairs at Oxford Brookes University
High vice-chancellor pay has captured the public imagination this year. This isn’t a new issue: there’s been an escalator effect for years, linking senior pay to rising tuition fees, while pay for the rest of staff remains static. Suddenly, subject to public scrutiny, universities have been forced to take action with a new voluntary code asking them to justify senior pay over 8.5 times the institution’s average salary. But first, remuneration committees will have to take a long, hard look at themselves and tackle the processes that have led to swelling salaries.
How did we get to this point? As the executive head of the university, vice-chancellors are answerable to their governors, who are normally a mix of internal and external members. A subset of those governors form a remuneration committee and this is where the problems with pay-setting start.Continue reading...
Wednesbury Oak Academy would only allow pupils whose parents had paid a voluntary contribution play with sports equipment at lunchtime
A primary school has been accused of segregating children in the playground based on whether or not their parents had contributed towards the cost of sports equipment.
Those whose parents had paid for the footballs, skipping ropes and other items were allowed to play with them at lunchtimes, while those whose parents had not were excluded from the games organised by a member of staff.Continue reading...
With universities desperate to fill places, applicants may wonder how important the Ucas form really is
For students in year 12 it is probably the hardest thing they’ve had to sell: themselves. Blood, sweat, toil and – in many cases – school, parental and financial help goes into writing the Ucas personal statement. But with the cap on student numbers lifted and universities desperate to fill places, will anyone actually read them?
In the past, it was largely admissions tutors working in departments reviewing personal statements. But as applications have increased – some universities get over 45,000 applicants per year – many institutions now employ external “professional selectors” to do the job for them. As a result, although some universities do scrutinise them carefully, many statements won’t even make it through an initial paper sift, according to Paul Teulon, director of admissions at King’s College London. Others are simply looked at for an “overall sense check”.Continue reading...