The age of the crap artist

The age of the crap artist

Some years ago, we arrived at the age of the “news clown.” It’s the age of realization of characters such as Philip K. Dick’s once fictional newscaster Jim-Jam Brisken, someone who runs for president in a flaming red wig. But we’re past that, now. No, not past Philip K. Dick; we’ve simply moved to another […] … learn more→

World’s oldest muscle-fibre fossil reveals the origin of legs

World’s oldest muscle-fibre fossil reveals the origin of legs

It looks like a tattered surgical stocking with legs. But this millimetre-long fossil is one of the best preserved animal fossils from the Cambrian period, 500m years ago. With no mineralised hard parts, worms like this would normally rot and decay long before the processes of fossilisation could get to work. But this exceptional one-off […] … learn more→

Why America needs the virtues of humility

Why America needs the virtues of humility

In a recent speech full of allusions to Bible verses and Christian hymns at the National Baptist Convention in Kansas City, Hillary Clinton focused on Christian humility. She acknowledged that “Humility is not something you hear much about in politics.” But, she said, it should be. Those who truly understand “the awesomeness of power and […] … learn more→

How universities can help to support student-parents

How universities can help to support student-parents

With student tuition fees in the UK increasing, part-time study for young and mature students might start to become a more viable and feasible option, particularly for those students who have children. “Student-parents” are usually working part-time, with many juggling studies, family life and maybe other caring responsibilities. This all means that student-parents might fall […] … learn more→

The wrong questions are being asked in the Sth African free higher education debate

The wrong questions are being asked in the Sth African free higher education debate

The main brief of the Commission of Inquiry into Higher Education and Training (The Fees Commission) demands that it enquires and makes findings on the feasibility of fee-free higher education in South Africa. The problem with the brief is that it is asking the wrong question. Firstly, there is no such thing as “free higher […] … learn more→

Student criticizes BLM = death threats, expulsion

Student criticizes BLM = death threats, expulsion

In Ye Olden Days of Higher Education, college was about classes during the week and partying on the weekends. You didn’t even party every weekend, since sometimes you had papers and tests, and you certainly didn’t party final exam weekend. That’s pretty much gone. Administration moved in, and the Student As Customer paradigm changed that. […] … learn more→

Shiny balls

Shiny balls

Struggling with balance isn’t new for me; I’ve always been a full-throttle, grab-life-by-the-shoulders-and-shake kind of person. So when it came to starting my PhD, saying yes to opportunities to learn and stretch myself alongside the PhD was second nature. I’ve always worked full-time while I studied so “having it all” seemed not just attractive but […] … learn more→

Coping with writing anxiety – or – learn to stroke your spider

Coping with writing anxiety – or – learn to stroke your spider

Desensitisation is a psychological term. It is used to describe a process through which a very anxious – perhaps even phobic – person gradually becomes used to the object or situation which makes them afraid. Professional support is often required for effective desensitisation. Desensitisation usually consists of three steps – developing a fear hierarchy, relaxation […] … learn more→

Under-funding, not protests, is driving South African universities down global rankings

Under-funding, not protests, is driving South African universities down global rankings

The most widely respected world university rankings have all recently published their latest results. The release of the Times Higher Education 2016-17 and Quacquarelli Symonds 2016-17 rankings have coincided with a resurgence in protests at many of South Africa’s universities. Most of South Africa’s universities have dropped down these ranking tables. Some people argue that […] … learn more→

Points-based immigration: dumped because it lets in too many of the 'right' people

Points-based immigration: dumped because it lets in too many of the ‘right’ people

The new UK prime minister, Theresa May, didn’t take long to dump the idea of a post Brexit points-based Australian immigration system once it was suggested that UK universities might find it a better way to safeguard the flow of international students. Why? Because, in Australia, immigration is actually higher per capita than it is […] … learn more→