Europe

Broccoli and birdsong: the shifty discourse of ‘staff well-being’

Submitted by Eliza.Compton on Sun, 19/09/2021 - 23:01
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I am pretty confident that the most frequently “deleted unread” all-staff emails at the moment are those titled “Well-being”. For the past two years, across all sectors, including higher education, these messages have proliferated like the coronavirus itself. Advice includes reminders to eat broccoli, to exercise regularly and to listen to birdsong. The latest epistle I received delivered the shattering news that “not being physically active can increase our risk of developing heart or circulatory diseases and diabetes”.

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When institutions put responsibility for wellness onto individuals, they also deflect their role in staff burnout and mental ill health, writes Madeleine Davies
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When institutions put responsibility for wellness onto individuals, they also deflect their role in staff burnout and mental ill health, writes Madeleine Davies

Eight ways your university can make research culture more open

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Fri, 17/09/2021 - 09:30
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Research often lacks full transparency and reproducibility, and poor research practices are increasingly picked up by the public, which is undermining trust in academia. Open research is research conducted with full transparency, in its design, methods and communication of outputs. Research practices that are “open” improve research quality and integrity, reuse by others and value for money. They increase public trust in research and protect against fraud.

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Parveen Yaqoob and Robert Darby share eight actions institutions can take to foster a culture of research that is more accessible, transparent and reproducible
Teaser
Parveen Yaqoob and Robert Darby share eight actions institutions can take to foster a culture of research that is more accessible, transparent and reproducible

Enhance your research through public engagement and collaboration

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Thu, 16/09/2021 - 09:30
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We all understand the value of collaboration. New experiences and perspectives from colleagues and students help to challenge our ways of thinking, driving us to create and share knowledge in more impactful ways. But collaborating with people outside your university sphere can add equal, and perhaps even more, value.

Public engagement spans activities from inspiring audiences through talks, exhibitions or festivals; consulting through surveys, focus groups or citizen juries; or shared decision-making and working with the public as partners.

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Emily Burns outlines the key considerations for shaping research around mutually beneficial public engagement and collaboration
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Emily Burns outlines the key considerations for shaping research around mutually beneficial public engagement and collaboration

Want to tear students from their phones? Learn their names

Submitted by Eliza.Compton on Thu, 16/09/2021 - 09:01
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The challenge of cultivating student attention has never been more intense than it will be in the coming academic year. Faculty have been battling the distracting power of student devices in the classroom for a decade or two, and during the pandemic the integration of screens into education has intensified. Continuous engagement with our devices over the past 18 months will likely make it more challenging for students to pull their eyes away from their screens and focus on in-person classroom activities.

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Holding students’ attention in a world of digital distractions is tough, but James Lang explains why remembering and using their names can make the task less herculean
Teaser
Holding students’ attention in a world of digital distractions is tough, but James Lang explains why remembering and using their names can make the task less herculean

Listen to this! Using podcasts for online learning

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Wed, 15/09/2021 - 09:30
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Many challenges associated with ensuring student engagement and minimising attrition when teaching online are well established in the context of postgraduate education, where remote study has long been a key component. Educational podcasts have been used successfully to address these challenges and improve postgrad student online learning experiences.

Now that many universities plan to continue hybrid and online teaching for their undergraduates, lessons can be learned from what has worked for postgrads, including examining why and how to effectively use podcasts for teaching.

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Emily O’Reilly explains why and how to use educational podcasts to supplement your online teaching
Teaser
Emily O’Reilly explains why and how to use educational podcasts to supplement your online teaching

Decolonising the curriculum – how do I get started?

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Tue, 14/09/2021 - 09:30
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If you are thinking about decolonising your curriculum and wondering where to start, do no not worry, you are in the majority. Many people are supportive of the idea in principle but are not sure what to do.

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Rowena Arshad provides pointers for any teaching academics considering how to get started on decolonising their curriculum
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Rowena Arshad provides pointers for any teaching academics considering how to get started on decolonising their curriculum

Leaders: how to build community and trust during a crisis

Submitted by dene.mullen on Tue, 14/09/2021 - 09:01
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Over the past 18 months, we’ve all heard about the unique challenges of joining a new organisation during a global pandemic. For me, joining Leeds Trinity University as vice-chancellor in November 2020, I was faced with establishing my own leadership style at a time when staff and students were working remotely, a number of our traditional touchpoints had disappeared and the goalposts seemed to be changing by the day. Here are five of the key lessons I learnt, in the hope that other university colleagues can take something from my experiences. 

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Charles Egbu, vice-chancellor of Leeds Trinity University, reflects on five key lessons he learned while taking the helm during the pandemic
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Charles Egbu, vice-chancellor of Leeds Trinity University, reflects on five key lessons he learned while taking the helm during the pandemic

Fake news, educated views and how-tos: social media for teaching and research

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Mon, 13/09/2021 - 10:00
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Social media is often seen as either the sole domain of youth or a hive of fake news. Neither gives the full story. Academics have been using social media for research and scholarship since the first tweet was tweeted. And although social media has been weaponised to influence elections and public opinion, it also serves as free-to-use, free-flowing and far-reaching academic discussion while encouraging creativity that can spark learning and inquiry.

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Terese Bird shares her ideas on how to use some of the most popular social media platforms to support your teaching and research
Teaser
Terese Bird shares her ideas on how to use some of the most popular social media platforms to support your teaching and research

The UK must act now to preserve its reputation internationally

Submitted by dene.mullen on Mon, 13/09/2021 - 09:01
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New analysis of the economic impact of international students in the UK showed that the net impact of just one cohort of international students, 2018-19, was worth nearly £26 billion to the UK economy. This was up 19 per cent since similar analysis was last conducted, in relation to the 2015-16 cohort.

Standfirst
The figures show that the UK is slowly losing its appeal to overseas students, but what can be done about it? asks Vivienne Stern
Teaser
The figures show that the UK is slowly losing its appeal to overseas students, but what can be done about it? asks Vivienne Stern

Innovative approaches to transnational education

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Fri, 10/09/2021 - 14:30
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What do we mean by innovation? In one of many definitions “innovation is the multi-stage process whereby organisations transform ideas into new or improved products, services or processes, in order to advance, compete and differentiate themselves successfully in their marketplace”.

Standfirst
Vangelis Tsiligiris outlines the key areas for innovation in the design and delivery of transnational education based on changing needs and developments in the global higher education landscape
Teaser
Vangelis Tsiligiris outlines the key areas for innovation in the design and delivery of transnational education based on changing needs and developments in the global higher education landscape