Tuition fees reach £8,679.20 average among universities posting price lists. Education Guardian, 18 April 2011.
Almost three quarters of universities will set their tuition fees at the £9,000 limit. David Willetts insists that by shifting HE funding from teaching grant to tuition fees it opens universities to more competition. He also said that it was unlikely that universities would charge the higher £9,000 fee. However, David Willetts insists that if students look closely at the fee structure most students would be paying less after bursaries had been taken into account. Universities have until the 19 April to put their plans to the Government’s access watchdog.
Degree classification is unfair to many students. Education Guardian, 18 April 2011.
Opinion: Professor Nigel Seaton, senior deputy vice-chancellor, University of Surrey.
Whilst students, parents and employers accept the grading system for degrees as a measure of academic achievement, the system has serious flaws according to Professor Nigel Seaton. Professor Seaton argues that the difference between a 2:1 and a 2:2 could amount to little more than one or two per cent and as such shows little difference in achievement. He also cites academic judgment which could award students with 58 per cent a 2:1qeven though the marks are below the 60 per cent threshold. Many employers, when looking at student’s achievement see little more than 2:1 or 2:2 and pay no attention to the students overall abilities.
Art schools face uncertain financial future. Education Guardian, 19 April 2011.
The big London art universities are facing a major financial crisis. Universities which specialise in arts are facing severe cuts, in the case of the University of the Arts (London) this will be as much as £50 million in public funding. The cuts are forcing the universities to re-structure their courses, look overseas for students, offer foundation degrees and increase their post-graduate profiles.
Get a degree by 'blended learning'. Education Guardian, 19 April 2011.
Blended learning is a description of a course where distance learning has built in features to allow on line tutoring from lecturers often using modern technology such as SKYPE. It is a fast growing system which allows degrees to be taken part time with more support from tutors than would be expected from an ordinary distance learning course.
Fair access: charity shows government how it's done. Education Guardian, 19 April 2011.
Villiers Park Educational Trust is a specialist charity working with gifted and talented pupils. It has however, changed part of its focus to concentrate on gifted and talented pupils who are disadvantaged through a programme known as the scholars programme. The programme has 240 pupils from years 10 to13 drawn from disadvantaged areas of Swindon, Hastings and Bexhill. Schools and colleges involved in the scheme say that it has boosted pupil’s confidence and made them believe that they can apply to top universities to study for a degree.
Vocation, vocation: fears over post-92 cuts to humanities. THE, 21 April 2011.
Post-1992 universities are more heavily affected by the government's decision to withdraw the teaching grant from all but science, technology, engineering and mathematics. What has followed government decisions is a spate of course and school closures which could seriously jeapordise the future of the arts, humanities and social sciences at new universities. Universities are also fearful that the arts subjects will not be available to poorer students. As an example of the closures London Metropolitan University, is to scrap subjects such as history, philosophy, performing arts and Caribbean studies.
Fees turmoil blamed as students drag heels over 2011 offers. THE, 21 April 2011.
The number of applicants to universities is down by 12 per cent from last year and the number accepting provisional offers is down by 20 per cent. Proof, according to some university representatives that the new fees regime is making applicants think carefully before accepting places.
Sharing information on fees 'might be illegal', says UUK. THE, 21 April 2011.
Universities UK (UUK) has warned that sharing information on tuition fees might be breaking competition law and hence be illegal. Legal advice is that universities should "consider very carefully...the sharing of information, and the nature of the discussions they are able to have with colleagues from other institutions".
Our first duty is to the future, not to government, rectors say. THE, 21 April 2011.
José María Sanz Martínez, rector of the Autonomous University of Madrid, has told delegates at the European University Association's conference that institutions of higher education were the primary source of talent, creativity and research skills - "critical resources to any economy, and particularly to the knowledge economy we have now". It is his opinion that European universities are losing their global position because of government pressure to diversify and focus instead of on the work they are established to do.
Digital stairways need wheelchair ramps, too. THE, 21 April 2011.
Tara Brabazon explains how she has developed her teaching strategies to cope with the numerous disabilities suffered by some of her students have.
(We do not normally comment on articles but this is well worth reading.)
Features in this week’s THE.
Ariel casts out Caliban, covers John Bramhall, Bishop of Derry’s, discussion on why Bonobos with their social graces are a better model for human origins than other apes. See also Leader "Ape market or come together?"
Leading Questions: Matthew Reisz reports on a French debate on how to cultivate leadership qualities in MBA students.
The Arts. THE, 21 April 2011
Alex Danchev, professor of international relations at the University of Nottingham, reports on the Joan Miró exhibition “The Ladder of Escape” showing at the Tate Modern, London, until 11 September. This week’s film review by Duncan Wu is “Cedar Rapids”, to be released in the UK on 29 April. Gary Day’s TV slot is “The Great Estate: The Rise and Fall of the Council House”, BBC Four’s programme screened on the 14 April.
Training quango’s budget is slashed by over £200m. TES, 22 April 2011.
Edexcel moves to keep BTECs in league tables. TES, 22 April 2011.
Burden of freedom weighs on colleges in post-EMA era. TES, 22 April 2011.
Tears at test time: deprived teens revolt over pen-and-paper exams. TES, FE Focus, 22 April 2011.
Training providers working with disadvantaged teenagers are reporting that their charges are walking out of examinations Changes brought about by the move to functional skills tests have forced teenagers to take part in written examinations rather than the less formal online tests. Colleges are saying that they are not seeing the same problem over tests which Alison Wolf reported* as having major flaws.
Employers could thwart apprenticeship drive. TES, Fe Focus, 22 April 2011.
Government fails to deliver on promise of unified careers advice. TES, FE Focus, 22 April 2011.
Schools are not informing students of FE options, colleges say. TES, FE Focus, 22 April 2011.