Wednesday, August 29, 2007

brief reports

Busy times as the new academic year approaches. Earlier and earlier it would seem. As soon as students are getting their CAO offers they're trundling through the doors of our establishment to enrol and get started. Anyway, brief update from the week's HE news:

(1) The 'mickey mouse' debate in the UK has started up again, with a fairly right-wing group called the "Taxpayers' Alliance" complaining about the advent of degree programmes such as Derby University's "Culinary Arts and Adventure Tourism" course and Glamorgan University's "Science: Fiction and Culture" programme as examples of the rot setting in in HE. - Article in the Times Higher.

(2) The Guardian reports that the government in Iran is insisting on details of all academic trips abroad in a security clampdown.

(3) SCONUL, the Society of College, National and University Libraries has reported that modern students visit liraries a lot less than their counterparts of a decade ago. Hardly a suprise given technological advances, but does raise interesting questions not just about the nature of the academic library and its role in studies but also perhaps about cultural perspectives and the importance of 'place'. After all, is something lost when that communal space is under-appreciated?

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