By

Becca Bashford
Words by Susan Bruce with Kelli Rudolph.  Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart, generally so illuminating on the multiple topics they discuss in their podcast The Rest is Politics, were less informative than they usually are in their 13 December discussion of the US House Education and Workforce committee hearing of 5/12/2023 wherein the Presidents of...
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The Office for Students (OfS) is currently caught up in the crossfire of a government-inspired ‘culture-war’ on universities. This has included passage of the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act in May 2023 to address an alleged ‘no platforming’ of right-wing and gender-critical speakers.  The OfS has now published its proposals for an independent complaints...
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Professor Karl Leydecker Senior Vice Principal  Aberdeen University 26 November 2023   Dear Karl It has been a few years since we saw each other last when I left the University of Kent in the summer of 2007 to become professor of German in Swansea shortly after you arrived to head up the School of...
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Interview conducted by Sean McMahon Academic staff do the work that defines a university: teaching, scholarship and research. But too often in British universities the voices of academics are marginalised by undemocratic forms of governance. Top-down, unaccountable, corporate-style management has increasingly replaced collegial decision-making, stifling the autonomy of academics and impeding rather than facilitating academic...
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PRESS RELEASE: 19.07.23 “Government proposals to cap the student numbers on what they define as ‘low value degrees’ show once again the limits of market-driven thinking when applied to education.  The value of a university degree can manifest itself in many ways after graduation and over a longer term than metrics deployed by the Office...
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Words by G.R Evans, Emeritus Professor of Medieval Theology, University of Cambridge and author of discussions of university governance and Histories of Oxford and Cambridge.   Unvisited information? Staff and students may not ask themselves how their university or other provider of their higher education is run until they encounter a difficulty.  In many years...
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Questions concerning what should be believed, what should be done, and why, are unavoidable dimensions of a recognisably human life; and the arts and humanities in particular illuminate the conduct and predicaments of such a life […] to study the humanities, then, is to gather resources for learning how to live well, and – more...
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Last year, the Council for the Defence of British Universities circulated a survey amongst its members regarding the management and governance arrangements at their higher education institutions. After two call outs, the survey amassed 81 responses.  This blog details the results of the survey and features some notable responses to the open answer sections. Following...
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Words by Matthew Smith,  joint runner up in the CDBU Essay Prize Competition 2022. I am a historian, but I’ve been spending the last few months playing the lottery.  Not a lottery that can put money in my bank account, but a lottery that can put money in my research account.  That’s right, the funding...
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In September this year, The Council for the Defence of British Universities (CDBU) and Professor Paul Baines (University of Leicester) co-organised a cross-party policy workshop to discuss and debate the role of universities in building the society and economy of the future.  After two years of global political, social and financial instability due to the consequences...
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