A few items in the press since my last update:
(1) Yesterday's Education Guardian reported on a recent survey of class and study time across universities, revealing the disparity from institution to institution in terms of the numbers of hours scheduled for teaching. It would seem that students will receive more face-to-face teaching in smaller groups in the newer, rather than the older "traditional" universities, in addition to having more of their teaching and tutoring provided by academic staff, instead of postgraduate students.
(2) Phil Baty of the Times Higher reports that a survey of the Higher Education Academy's Teaching and Learning Subject networks shows that over 70% of academic staff believe that higher education has lost its role as the "critic and conscience of society" amongst other findings that generally present a very depressing perspective on the changes in the sector in the UK: maximising intake numbers, dropping quality, taking the "joy out of learning", etc.
(3) St. Andrews University has courted controversy by awarding an honorary degree to Mohammad Khatami, the ex-President of Iran.
(4) The Irish Higher Education Authority and the Department of Education has announced the awards under its Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF). I'm pleased to note that many of the projects supported by our institution have been funded, but there's plenty scope for even more innovation next time round!!
(5) HEAnet - Irish Higher Education's national internet service provider is holding its annual conference next week in Kilkenny (9th and 10th November) with a range of presentations and invited keynotes.
(6) The Community Knowledge Initiative's new series of "keynote" seminars kicks off on Tuesday 14th November with a presentation by Dr. Garret FitzGerald on "Civic Republicanism and Public Morality". This promises to be a fascinating series of events with guests such as Mary Davis (Chair of the Taskforce on Active Citizenship), Alan Rusbridger (Editor of the Guardian), etc.
(7) The Duke Digital Initiative has published its latest annual report and has an executive summary in the form of an mp4/quicktime file that you can watch here.