Monthly Archives: July 2015

The outcome of assessment

Perhaps because we have come to assess businesses through the “bottom line,” that is, through numbers, we have begun to feel that everything can and should be quantifiable. We put grades on restaurants, as though a spot check can really tell us how safe the food is to eat (it can’t). We put grades on […] … learn more→

The fringe is coming to town

I love this time of year in Edinburgh. The weather, of course, remains its usual disgraceful self: high winds with on-and-off rain the past few days. The gap between the David Hume Tower and the business school still funnels the wind into gusts that can lift small-framed people off their feet. In May this year […] … learn more→

Succeeding as a ‘non traditional’ student

This post is about the challenges of undertaking a part time doctorate, whilst working full time in a non-academic setting where I felt isolated from a learning environment. In particular it is focussed on how I tried to maintain momentum and motivation. I offer some suggestions about what worked for me, and hope that people […] … learn more→

There’s a new mood of determination in Africa’s universities

Great things are happening in African universities. There is a new mood of determination in higher education institutions across the continent, from South Africa to Ghana to Uganda and in many places in between. Special metrics are being developed to measure African universities\’ performances in the global higher education landscape. Some institutions have turned themselves […] … learn more→

What to know about the Honeybee crisis

What are bees good for? A lot more than honey, chapstick, and matriarchal role models. Whether you fear bees for their sting or envy their stripes, the familiar buzzing of queen-mandated pollination is a natural and necessary part of life. Bees keep crops healthy, our salads delicious, and agricultural industries thriving. As such, bees are […] … learn more→

In praise of Federal loans for College

The outcry over the growing burden of Stafford student loans is loud and getting louder. A recent Wall Street Journal article characterized it as \”a hot issue in the 2016 presidential race as contenders float proposals that rethink what college should cost and who should foot the bill.\” Those proposals are likely to involve recommended […] … learn more→

Academic freedom, freedom of speech, and the far right

In a number of instances, I have been told that many on the Far Right are every bit as concerned about constraints on academic freedom as Progressives are. When I have pointed out that most of the attacks on academic freedom seem to have come from Far Right political figures and commentators who are responding […] … learn more→

7 bad ideas of Higher Education (only 7?)

A recent article on Inside Higher Education lists, supposedly, 7 seriously bad ideas in higher education today. The article starts off well with an awesome quote from an expert: \”Seriously bad ideas, I’d argue, have a life of their own. And they rule our world.” Paul Krugman, from Seriously Bad Ideas. Considering this guy’s kooky […] … learn more→

Investment tips for people without Higher Education

An autodidact is someone who educates him or herself. This is the lifelong learner, the bookworm. You find autodidacts in all kinds of places – and they’re not always the most outwardly successful or overachieving. The self-taught and self-teaching tend to be interested in life itself, not in achievement for its own sake, though there […] … learn more→

Building a better discussion

My research on teaching and learning in higher education began when I was hired as a graduate assistant at the Searle Center for Teaching Excellence, at Northwestern University, back in the late 1990s. The center had a large library room with tall bookcases lining one wall and deep filing cabinets against another. Within those cabinets […] … learn more→