Monthly Archives: April 2009

State demands £106 million research refocus

Zoë Corbyn, Times Higher Education

Academics are bracing themselves for cuts to research programmes after the Government ordered the research councils to deliver £106 million in savings from within the science budget – money that is to be “reinvested” to “support key areas of economic potential”. This redistribution is detailed in the small print of a Budget that has been described as “extremely disappointing” for the sector, with no extra money for either science or additional student places.


Strikes on cards over pay, casuals

Bernard Lane, The Australian Higher Education Supplement

MAY Day could usher in a month of campus strikes as universities resist union demands for a 20percent pay increase and curbs on casual lecturers, the National Tertiary Education Union has warned. Staff may strike as soon as Tuesday at the University of Sydney, where vice-chancellor Michael Spence wants to bring in what he calls “teaching-focused” jobs. The NTEU complains more generally that institutions have been slow to come to the bargaining table.,25197,25400606-12332,00.html

Layoffs Introduce a College Town to Uncertainty

Karin Fisher, The Chronicle of Higher Education

One of the most popular lunch spots on a small downtown strip here is a place called Lou’s, a 62-year-old diner with a checkerboard linoleum floor, a dessert case filled with diet-busting baked goods, and, since this fall, a bailout special on the menu. On a recent day, it was a generous serving of meatloaf, with mashed potatoes and corn, for $6.95.


Bankruptcy should be a real option, argues think-tank

Melanie Newman, Times Higher Education

Policy Exchange’s call to end ‘no-fail culture’ draws mixed response. Failing universities should be allowed to go bankrupt, an influential think-tank recommends in a report to be published this week. Policy Exchange, which advocates free-market and local solutions to public-policy questions and has close links to the Conservative Party, also says that private education providers should be allowed to take over failing institutions.


Long way to the top for ranking role

Guy Healy,The Australian Higher Education Supplement

AT least four Australian universities have set ambitious targets of cracking a top 200 and even a top 50 placing in world rankings despite official moves to downplay them so all students receive a “world-class education”. Priorities set by the Rudd Government and its Bradley and Cutler higher education and innovation reviews have reversed the former Howard government’s goal of having one or two universities in the top 50 and even some in the top 10.,25197,25367147-12332,00.html


Professors’ Pay Raises Beat Inflation; So Much for the Good News

Audrey Williams, Chronicle of Higher Education

JUNE Faculty pay has been battered by the deepening national recession, but you can’t tell that from the American Association of University Professors’ new annual report on the economic status of the profession. The average salary of a full-time faculty member rose 3.4 percent in 2008-9, it says, a rate well above inflation.


‘Big Brother’-style plan to track grant winners’ output

Zoë Corbyn, Times Higher Education

Research councils assert ‘right’ to see evidence of what is produced with their cash. A “Big Brother”-style system is being planned to track precisely what academics produce with the money they win in grants, Times Higher Education has learnt.


Innovation takes a hit in recession

Guy Healy and Luke Slattery, The Australian Higher education Supplement

AUSTRALIA remained one of the worst performers in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on innovation and education and risked entering the global upswing in “very bad shape”, Cutler review panel member John Foster has warned.,25197,25334627-12332,00.html


Debt Bomb Is Ticking Loudly on Campuses

Goldie Blumenstyk, Chronicle of Higher Education

After borrowing billions, colleges rush to avert financial fallout

The end of the fiscal year usually isn’t a momentous occasion for colleges. But this June 30 could be a day of reckoning many never expected.Colleges borrowed tens of billions of dollars over the past decade to improve facilities, in some cases stretching themselves to the limit and beyond. Now the financial crisis threatens to turn that debt into a ticking bomb.


Scholars in arts accorded highest esteem in the RAE

Zoë Corbyn, Times Higher Education

There were large variations in how the “esteem” of academics was rated across different subjects in the 2008 research assessment exercise, according to an analysis by Times Higher Education.

The analysis shows that departments in the arts and humanities were more likely to earn a perfect rating from RAE judging panels for the esteem of their academics than those in the sciences.