Monthly Archives: August 2016

How to make your university’s website great

How to make your university’s website great

The transformation of a university website is all about technology, isn’t it? You might think so, but you’d be wrong. I lead a team that transformed the external-facing web presence at London South Bank University. We took a sprawling mess of disparate domains, comprising 286,000 poorly performing pages, and turned it into a site that […] … learn more→

Supervisors can do a lot more to support PhD students

Supervisors can do a lot more to support PhD students

A growing literature exists on the emotional issues faced by undergraduates, but far less attention has been paid to the psychological needs of postgraduates in general and doctoral students in particular. Some PhD students thoroughly enjoy three or four years of personal growth and intellectual maturation. Too often, however, the experience is blighted by anxiety […] … learn more→

This little-known pioneering educator put coding in the classroom

This little-known pioneering educator put coding in the classroom

A man who was arguably the most influential educator of the last 50 years – though he was not widely known to the American public – died on July 31. A respected mathematician and early pioneer of artificial intelligence, Seymour Papert was 88. His career presaged much of today’s focus on education in science, technology, […] … learn more→

Cheap alternatives to Wordpress

Cheap alternatives to WordPress

WordPress is a mainstay of the ‘net; in fact, some estimates suggest that as many as a quarter of all current websites might rely on the wordpress framework. But the truth is that sometimes WordPress doesn’t fit the bill, and especially with the release of the most recent wordpress version and notable incompatibility issues cropping […] … learn more→

Podcasts can drive debate and break down academia’s ivory towers

Podcasts can drive debate and break down academia’s ivory towers

Not all of South Africa’s student protests in the past 18 months have happened in the streets or on campuses. A generation of “digital natives” has masterfully used hashtags – #feesmustfall; #Rhodesmustfall; #asinamali; #RUReferenceList – tweets and blogs alongside various forms of direct action like marches and protests. This has helped to bring important debates […] … learn more→

The educated underclass speaks out

The educated underclass speaks out

Most people have this idealized view of a professor in higher education, thanks to Indiana Jones: few hours teaching worshipful students, good pay, and a generally cushy life with enough time off to go around the world looting tombs. The reality is far different. If Indiana Jones were a typical professor in today’s higher education, […] … learn more→

Headhunters are an invaluable part of the recruitment process

Headhunters are an invaluable part of the recruitment process

Lazy, costly and positively harmful. Why on earth would a university consider using headhunters to fill a senior position? As a human resources director who regularly uses headhunters to help fill senior academic and managerial positions (“administrative”? Please, we are not in the 1970s), I can think of several reasons why. The “Heineken effect”. Headhunters […] … learn more→

How overseas degrees could offer UK students the best of both worlds post Brexit

How overseas degrees could offer UK students the best of both worlds post Brexit

Studying abroad has long seemed like an attractive option for many UK students, and it’s not hard to see why. Along with cheaper fees, and the opportunity to learn a new language, it is the chance to experience a new culture, and leave behind the notoriously rubbish British weather. But of course with Brexit on […] … learn more→

Universities must 'think like business leaders' in face of financial cuts

Universities must ‘think like business leaders’ in face of financial cuts

The University of California at Berkeley’s announcement earlier this year that it faces a budget deficit greater than $150 million sounded an alarm through American academia, and rightfully so. The realisation that one of the nation’s most prestigious public universities faces such a staggering shortfall should serve as a warning for administrators everywhere. It should […] … learn more→

How to get into a PhD program

How to get into a PhD program

Imagine my constant surprise, seven years later, at how much still remains unsaid about doing a thesis – even about the basics, such as how to get into a PhD program. Consider this letter which, eerily, happened to land in my inbox just as I was preparing my pitch for prospective students for ANU Open […] … learn more→