Higher Education Reform

Blog posts and resources relating to reform in higher education. To start a new discussion on HE reform issues, visit the forum via the above link.

How-to-be-a-Happy-Academic-cover

Book Review: How to be a Happy Academic

In ‘How to be a Happy Academic: A Guide to Being Effective in Research, Writing and Teaching,’ Alex Clark and Bailey Sousa aim to support fellow academic workers at all career stages to become more efficient, successful and happier through focusing on fostering good habits over and above talent or skills. Eddy Li welcomes this insider perspective on seeing, doing and – most importantly – taming academic work, even if it leaves open the question of how exactly we measure and define “success”.

1 year ago
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Social Science Research Council

Collaboration Imbues SSRC’s ‘To Secure Knowledge’ Report

In launching its first-ever task force report on Monday, the 95-year-old Social Science Research Council made clear it gets by with a little help from its friends. Collaboration, said sociologist Alondra Nelson Nelson, the president of the SSRC, is the byword of the report, To Secure Knowledge: Social Science Partnerships for the Common Good.

1 year ago
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Crowd-Sourcing As a Complement to Peer Review

A new process developed by Princeton’s Matthew Salganik for reviewing academic manuscripts allows the world at large to examine and weigh in on a book at the same time the manuscript is undergoing peer review.

1 year ago
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How Will Universities Cope With Brexit Britain’s Resurgent Nationalism?

As Brexit Britain appears headed straight for a chaotic exit from the European Union, its universities are raising questions about their future with growing alarm. The consequences which post-Brexit nationalism will have for universities, students, and scholars are hardly being discussed at all.

1 year ago
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Camouflage choices

Arbitrary Choices and the Politics of Sociological Enquiry

Arbitrary choices –all those political considerations that twist and constrain scholarship without adding to it in intellectually meaningful ways — are rife in contemporary academic sociology, says our Daniel Nehring. Tired of trying to pointlessly argue against them in hopes they disappear, he asks that we make these choices explicit and visible.

2 years ago
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Who Might Address Research Candidates’ Off-the-Charts Stress?

Graduate research candidates are the powerhouse of research in universities, yet many have reported feelings of isolation, burnout, and career uncertainty. Karen Barry reports on a study of Australian research candidates which found that increasing numbers are suffering from heightened levels of depression, anxiety, and stress, often citing reasons related to academia’s general work processes, such as writing or publishing research or maintaining motivation while working alone on a single topic.

2 years ago
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stack of academic journals

Literature Reviews Are Already Broken, So Let’s Kill Them

The literature review is a staple of the scholarly article. But when reviews misrepresent previous studies or suggest there’s a paucity of information when there isn’t, doesn’t,this degrade the knowledge base? Richard P. Phelps argues that, given the difficulty of verifying an author’s claims during peer review, it is best that journals drop the requirement for a literature review in scholarly articles.

2 years ago
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education for all sign

Mariya Ivancheva: ‘At Stake is the Future of Public Higher Education’

Anthropologist and sociologist Mariya Ivancheva has viewed modern higher education from a number of global perches, whether in Eastern Europe or South Africa, the strapped Bolivarian University of Venezuela, and in Ireland and the UK. Her vantages have left her no fan of the neoliberal reforms — or perhaps, ‘reforms’ — that characterize western-influences higher education.

2 years ago
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Ewan Mackenzie: ‘A Sense of Hope for Achieving Broader Change’

In this second of a series of interviews conducted by Social Science Space’s Daniel Nehring, Ewan Mackenzie explains why he joined the May 4 ‘Reclaiming’ event at Newcastle, discusses hallmarks of the modern academic institutions and details some of the events that lead him to believe in both resilience and resistance.

2 years ago
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Research Must Try to Influence Change

There is no doubt that good communications and framing research for your audience is important to influencing policy and having impact. But shouldn’t we be aiming higher than producing and packaging research that simply meets the demands of policy actors? James Georgalakis argues that research and researchers need to challenge dominant paradigms and expose inconvenient truths.

2 years ago
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