Leadership and strategy

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”.

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

Standfirst
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

How to ensure your mentorship programme isn’t one of the (many) bad ones

Submitted by dene.mullen on Fri, 17/09/2021 - 09:01
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Many early career researchers hear mentoring spoken of in hushed, reverential tones. It is, they’re told, something that changes people’s lives (professionally, at least).

Unfortunately, in many cases, it’s never something they experience firsthand.

Standfirst
Structured mentorship programmes offer a non-judgemental setting in which to ask those pesky questions whose answers shape careers, says Lia Paola Zambetti
Teaser
Structured mentorship programmes offer a non-judgemental setting in which to ask those pesky questions whose answers shape careers, says Lia Paola Zambetti

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. 

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

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

How a community of practice can foster virtual collaboration

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Thu, 09/09/2021 - 09:30
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Globalisation and technological developments are changing the private and working lives of students and educators. It is now essential to be able to use technology to collaborate in culturally diverse international teams. Collaborative designs such as online co-teaching or peer learning can support this development. But how can we foster virtual collaboration within and across higher education institutions?

Standfirst
Eugene Schulz and Dagmar Willems share insights and takeaway lessons from creating a community of practice for higher education instructors to develop virtual exchanges with international partners
Teaser
Eugene Schulz and Dagmar Willems share insights and takeaway lessons from creating a community of practice for higher education instructors to develop virtual exchanges with international partners

The dos and don’ts for setting up an international campus

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Thu, 09/09/2021 - 08:30
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It’s not enough to simply find four walls, put up a shiny new university sign and expect international students to find their way to your pop-up learning centre or campus abroad. Investments of time, capital and, most importantly, care and consideration must be made at each step along the way to develop a successful overseas campus.

Standfirst
Tobias Kliem offers insight on what to prioritise and what to avoid when setting up a branch campus overseas
Teaser
Tobias Kliem offers insight on what to prioritise and what to avoid when setting up a branch campus overseas

University leaders need to demonstrate an adaptive mindset

Submitted by dene.mullen on Wed, 08/09/2021 - 09:01
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It’s annual accounts season at universities. Up and down the land, a handful of university colleagues will have been straining their eyes on spreadsheets and bringing together the narrative that tells a story of how their university has performed over the past year.

Standfirst
With huge change ahead, leaders must be brave and accept that the right decisions may not always deliver the best spreadsheet results, say Alasdair Blair and Sarah Jones
Teaser
With huge change ahead, leaders must be brave and accept that the right decisions may not always deliver the best spreadsheet results, say Alasdair Blair and Sarah Jones

THE Podcast: Bridging higher education’s new digital divide

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Thu, 02/09/2021 - 09:00
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Podcast
Standfirst
Lauren Herckis from Carnegie Mellon University discusses her research into the new digital divide in ed-tech knowledge and pedagogical training among faculty and how universities can work to fill it
Teaser
Lauren Herckis from Carnegie Mellon University discusses her research into the new digital divide in ed-tech knowledge and pedagogical training among faculty and how universities can work to fill it

Developing research skills post-pandemic: creating space for reflection and conversation

Submitted by miranda.prynne on Thu, 26/08/2021 - 10:00
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We are all navigating the post-pandemic higher education landscape as novices, figuring out what new skills are needed. For researchers, this centres around how to successfully engage with a world emerging from Covid-19 and develop their research capabilities. So how might institutions create an environment where skills development can be based on authentic reflections, conversations and practice?

Standfirst
Three research advisers share advice on how institutions should support researchers to develop their professional skills and confidence post-pandemic
Teaser
Three research advisers share advice on how institutions should support researchers to develop their professional skills and confidence post-pandemic