University starts from scratch in exile

Times Higher Education - Mon, 26/12/2016 - 01:00

One of Ukraine’s most highly regarded institutions has decamped to a new home 100km away to escape fighting in the war-torn region close to Russian border

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Baylor fires football coach Art Briles and re-assigns president Kenneth Starr

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 26/05/2016 - 18:12
  • Baptist university in Texas rocked by sexual assault scandal
  • School shakes up leadership after report finds serious failures

Baylor University announced on Thursday that it has suspended football coach Art Briles with the intent to fire him, and has re-assigned president Kenneth Starr to a separate role, as America’s biggest Baptist school attempts to deal with a high-profile sexual assault scandal that has rocked campus.

Briles, 60, will be fired. Starr has been demoted from his role as university president, but will remain a professor at Baylor’s law school and has been given the position of chancellor. Athletic director Ian McCaw has been placed on probation.

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University examiners stage mass resignation over pay offer

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 26/05/2016 - 18:12

More than 1,000 academics quit roles as external examiners following two-day strike over 1.1% pay offer

More than 1,000 academics have resigned from their roles as external examiners in universities across the UK, in an escalation of this week’s industrial action over pay.

The mass resignation threatens to disrupt exam marking in universities this summer when boards meet to discuss challenged marks, with more widespread disruption expected at the start of the next academic year.

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Why we are resigning as external examiners | Letters

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 26/05/2016 - 17:22

We write as external examiners whose role is to assure the quality of higher education courses at universities and colleges across the UK, but who have decided to resign in order to support the campaign for fair pay in our sector. We have resigned because, while as senior academics we believe our role in underpinning the quality of education provided to students is vital, we are all too aware of the unfairness of the current pay policies of our universities and their impact on staff and their students.

We have watched with sadness the pay of academic and professional staff fall in real terms by 14.5% since 2009; we have seen the numbers of casual staff proliferate; and seen universities do little or nothing to reduce the shocking gender pay gap despite having a collective surplus of £1.85bn. Yet the final straw for many of us is the contention by our employers that the latest final pay offer of 1.1% is “at the limits of what can be afforded” when at the same time we discover that university leaders have themselves received an average pay increase of 6.1%. The blatant hypocrisy of this position is breathtaking.

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Exam regulator clamps down on re-marks

BBC - Thu, 26/05/2016 - 15:56
Exam regulator Ofqual is clamping down on the rules for re-marks to end the 'unfair advantage' gained by schools which want lots of tests reviewed.
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Exam appeals change could make it tougher to challenge results

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 26/05/2016 - 14:36

GCSE, AS and A-level examiners will only act on clear marking errors after complaints too many students received boosted grades

Students sitting GCSEs, AS-levels and A-levels this summer could find it harder to successfully appeal against results following changes to the rules governing exam remarks and appeals.

The exam regulator Ofqual said too many students had been getting extra marks, and possibly a higher grade as a result, after requesting an exam remark when the original mark was “perfectly appropriate”.

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What's your experience of student debt?

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 26/05/2016 - 14:06

Simon Crowther, whose letter to his MP went viral after it revealed interest charges of £180 a month, says he felt cheated by high rates on his loan

A letter sent by graduate Simon Crowther to his MP detailing the rapid growth of his student loan since he left university has gone viral. Crowther claims that his loan grew to £41,976 by the end of March, after accruing interest charges of up to £180 a month. He wrote that he and his fellow students “feel we have been cheated by a government who encouraged many of us to undertake higher education, despite trebling the cost of attending university”. Crowther argues that most students have no idea what they are signing up for when they borrow money. Do you agree?

If you’re still struggling to pay off your student loan years after borrowing the money, or have noticed rapid interest rates, tell us about it. What do you think of the way student loans are handled? Are the terms clear? What warnings should be issued on taking out such loans? How has the way they’re sold changed in the last few years? Tell us your thoughts by filling out the form below.

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Student loan mis-sold, says graduate

BBC - Thu, 26/05/2016 - 13:51
A graduate's complaint that his student debt has risen by £1,800 in interest in the year since he left university goes viral.
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Wales has 'teacher recruitment problem'

BBC - Thu, 26/05/2016 - 11:18
Wales is struggling to meet its target for recruiting new trainee secondary teachers, new figures show.
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I helped the quietest child in class break her silence on abuse

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 26/05/2016 - 10:00

It’s easy to dismiss quiet behaviour as good behaviour – but it could be a warning sign of a child at risk. I’ve learned always to trust my intuition

When I helped out at a children’s activity centre we were trained relentlessly to spot the signs of child abuse. Often the signs are subtle – shoes too small with toes clenched inside or callouses on young feet; regular complaints of a sore stomach when actually no breakfast or dinner was provided; handwriting never good enough, or lies told to avoid being reprimanded.

But life is far more a series of little events that could be mistaken for anything and passed off as day to day. Warning signs for children at risk can be well hidden not only from our view but also from theirs.

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Online learning to cut tuition fees

BBC - Thu, 26/05/2016 - 08:06
A UK online university network is claiming a "breakthrough moment" as students can cut the cost of a Russell Group degree by studying part of it online.
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Students! Your lecturers are on strike because they are struggling to survive

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 26/05/2016 - 07:00

I know you want feedback on your essay, but I’m underpaid, sleep-deprived and wondering how I’ll pay my rent

The current University and College Union (UCU) strike means that thousands people in various roles in higher and further education will join the picket line or simply won’t turn up for work today. This is likely to affect you, the ordinary students, as your tutors will be unavailable, your queries will remain unanswered and your essays unmarked.

Related: Working as a casual? Zip your lip and do as you're told

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Refugee is Children's Word of the Year

BBC - Thu, 26/05/2016 - 02:42
Refugee has been announced as Children's Word of the Year after appearing in hundreds of short stories written by young people for Radio 2's 500 Words competition.
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Teacher 'caused' last-minute exam change

BBC - Thu, 26/05/2016 - 00:17
A teacher who allegedly told students what to expect in the Higher English exam sparked a near-emergency at the exams agency, BBC Scotland understands.
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Moocs to earn degree credits for first time in UK at two universities

The Guardian Unlimited - Thu, 26/05/2016 - 00:01

Students will be able to use Moocs – massive open online courses – to gain accreditation towards final qualification

Two major UK universities are to offer massive open online courses – or Moocs – which for the first time will earn credits that count towards a final degree, it has been announced.

In what is being billed as an important step towards widening access to higher education, students will be able to take part of a degree through an online course and gain formal accreditation towards their final qualification.

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Exam stress 'among teen suicide causes'

BBC - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 22:14
Exam pressures and physical health problems, like acne, are major contributory factors in the suicides of young people, according to new research.
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Swiss ruling overturns Muslim pupils' handshake exemption

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 19:16

School had allowed two brothers to refuse to shake teachers’ hands after they said touching opposite sex was against beliefs

Religious belief is no excuse for refusing to shake a teacher’s hand, authorities in a northern Swiss region have ruled, reversing a school’s decision to grant exemptions for Muslim pupils unwilling to touch the opposite sex.

Parents of pupils who refuse to shake a teacher’s hand at schools in the northern canton of Basel-Country could now face fines of up to 5,000 Swiss francs (£3,400), regional education authorities said on Wednesday.

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Graduate whose loan grew by £1,800 in one year says students were misled

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 18:53

Simon Crowther, whose letter to his MP went viral after it showed an interest of £180 a month, says he trusted the government to keep interest rates low

A graduate whose letter to his MP went viral after it detailed how his student loan had grown by more than £1,800 in the year since he left university has said he and his contemporaries did not understand what they were signing up to when they took out the financing.

Related: Jeremy Corbyn launches battle to stop tuition fee cap being lifted

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Student suicide figures increase

BBC - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 18:23
Student suicides have risen to their highest level since at least 2007, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.
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Richard Hamilton obituary

The Guardian Unlimited - Wed, 25/05/2016 - 17:56

My father, Richard Hamilton, who has died aged 97, made an extraordinary contribution to education over his lifetime as a teacher. His upbringing in an impoverished Scottish mining community forged his lifelong principles of socialism and pacifism. At the outbreak of the second world war, his pacifism resulted in exemption from military service and a wholehearted endorsement from the tribunal to carry on his chosen profession of teaching.

He was born in Leith and brought up in Musselburgh. His father, also called Richard, was a miner and his mother, Isabella (nee Taylor), was a cook in domestic service. At the local village school Richard’s headteacher recognised his academic potential; a transfer to grammar school followed, then Edinburgh University where, with financial aid from a Miners’ Welfare scholarship, he gained a first in English. At school Richard was introduced to Socrates and the classics, both of which forever permeated his ideals and his unfaltering belief in the value of education to society at large.

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