Tuesday, June 24, 2008

News items

A lot of interesting chatter in the higher education media of late and probably time to return to this blog's tradition of picking up on a few interesting stories to trigger some debate and head scratching amongst colleagues.

(1) A study in England, reported in the Times Higher shows a direct correlation between school performance and achievement at university, reiterating that tackling school level achievement is the key to widening access into higher education.

(2) A Professor of Human Resources at the University of Glamorgan strongly argues that "Performance Management is a waste of time." He claims that the key to successful leadership is not such approaches as have been used in recent times in HE, but rather that 'authentic leadership' is achieved through "transparency, optimism and displays of confidence in staff." A related detailed report (by David Guest and Michael Clinton) from the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education contains the following two conclusions:

In terms of HR initiatives:

"Most HR directors rated their own university to be above average in all respects compared with other universities."

"There was no direct association between any measures of HR activities in universities and a range of standard indicators of university performance including financial indicators."

(3) There has been continued debate about plagiarism, standards and international students and the latest article is in today's Education Guardian.

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