Skip to main content

Sector News, 04 - 08 January 2010

Decisions about higher education require professional advice.  Education Guardian, 05 January 2010.

The cost of a three year degree will be in excess of £30,000. One would think that with costs like that, let alone the future of possible graduates, that the advice given to potential university entrants would be of a high level.  However, the advice students receive from schools and colleges is patchy. There are those who have had guidance for a number of years from well informed and conscientious teachers.   However, current emphasis on guidance seems to be focussed on reducing the number of young people not in employment, education or training (NEETS) rather than on deciding what A levels and degree courses students might take.  Andy Gardner, a university and career adviser in London schools has come up with a course that he believes will help teachers better advise their students.  The course, run at London South Bank University and which is worth one third of a degree, has been highly successful and is to be shortly rolled out to Manchester and Camden.

Trouble ahead on university funding.   Education Guardian, 05 January 2010.

Opinion, Tom Bewick, chief executive, Creative and Cultural Skills.

Tom Bewick believes that employers should shoulder some of the burden of university costs and that the total cost of a university education should not fall completely on the taxpayer.  By charging employers who hire graduates a 10 per cent premium on their first year’s salary the country could raise over £250 million.

Still second-class in words and pictures.  THE, 07 January 2010.

A story about the media and Government’s negative images of women in HE and the findings of a report by Hepi (Higher Education policy institute).

The bottom line is not enough: how business schools fail their students.  THE, 07 January 2010.

“Business schools are letting down their students and society by failing to offer a thorough critique of management and business practices, an expert in the field has warned”.  This is the opinion of Gerard Hanlon, director of the School of Business and Management at Queen Mary, University of London, who says that there is too much concentration on management techniques as good, instead of questioning the effectiveness of the techniques. 

Wolverhampton unveils longer study modules.  THE, 07 January 2010.

Wolverhampton University is to offer a new undergraduate portfolio in September. Longer modules will focus on three components, using digital technology, knowledge and enterprise, and awareness of ethical responsibilities.

The core connection.  THE, 07 January 2010.

Humanities lecturers have felt for some time that their subjects are under attack.  Matthew Reisz asks the question whether ‘the best that has been thought or said’ still has a place in a modern university.  To do this, Matthew reports on the thinking of Lou Marinoff professor of philosophy at the City College of New York.

See also: Leader: Factor in the human equation”.

Lifelong? Only if life's short.  THE, 07 January 2010.

Opinion: Ian Searle, chairman of Third Age Trust.

Ian Searle comments that UK education concentrates too much on the young and that the older you get the less interest is shown in your education.  He argues that with the proportion of older and younger people in Britain becoming more heavily weighted towards the older, that it should be possible to remove some funding from the young and put it towards the education of the older person.  Ian considers that training for the over 50s is minimal, a parlous state of affairs when considering that it is becoming more likely that people will have to work into their seventies in the future.

Other features in this week’s THE:

Moving words”; an article on the digitisation of newspapers at the British Library.

Turntable revolution”;   abstracts from the life of Robert Appelbaum expressing his love of music.

Ofsted told to shift focus from results to teaching.  TES, 08 January 2010.

A report published by the Commons schools select committee is damming about the quality of inspections carried out by Ofsted.  MPs have called for Ofsted to make teaching a priority, they have also accused Ofsted inspectors of having decided the grade for a school before they enter the premises by using school stats.  In addition, the MPs are unhappy about the quality of inspectors  who  were (it seems) lacking knowledge of the area they were to inspect.

Unions slam move to allow unqualified mentors to supervise masters degree.  TES, 08 January 2010.

Mentors who do not hold an equivalent qualification will be allowed to supervise the new Masters in Teaching and Learning.  Unions have criticised this decision saying that the practice will not give learners the support they require.

Scrap ‘wasteful’ Train to Gain, says think tank.  TES, FE Focus, 08 January 2010.

The Policy Exchange has said that UK’s skills policy is too focused on meeting Government qualification targets than on the delivering the skills that young people require.  “Simply Learning”, the title of the Policy Exchange’s report, recommends that the Government abandons Train to Gain.

Forum to boost staff expertise in technology.  TES, FE Focus, 08 January 2010.

Resources for those who want professional development in learning technology are likely to be made available in the near future.  The Government is planning, through Becta and LSC to extend their technology Exemplar Network.