Patricia Faasse & Barend van der Meulen ~ Voor iedereen een universiteit


studentenHet huidige Nederlandse systeem met dertien universiteiten, die allemaal hetzelfde doen en willen, heeft zijn langste tijd gehad. Het wordt tijd voor een omslag van ‘een universiteit voor iedereen’, naar ‘iedereen zijn universiteit.’ Dat stellen Patricia Faasse en Barend van der Meulen van het Rathenau Instituut, in een essay over de toekomst van de universiteiten.

Het rommelt, bromt en stormt aan de universiteit. Dat is misschien van alle tijden, maar de afgelopen jaren was de kritiek hevig en kwam ze opeens van alle kanten tegelijk. Van binnenuit, door onderzoekers, die meenden dat de universiteiten zich teveel met zichzelf en rankings bezig hielden en te weinig met maatschappelijk relevant onderzoek. Van buitenaf, door werkgeversvereniging VNO-NCW en de toenmalige minister van Economische Zaken Maxime Verhagen, die vonden dat de universiteiten hun onderzoek meer moesten afstemmen op de Nederlandse industrie. Van adviseurs, die vonden dat het hoger onderwijs te homogeen was en meer ruimte moest laten voor differentiatie en ambitie. Van studenten, die het rendementsdenken aan de kaak stelden en pleitten voor meer aandacht voor echte kwaliteit en voor meer inspraak. En vanuit het buitenland: daar vinden dezelfde discussies plaats. Kortom, niemand lijkt nog tevreden met één van de oudste instituties van onze samenleving.

Wat is er aan de hand? Waarom staat de universiteit zo ter discussie?

Lees verder: https://rathenaunl.wordpress.com/voor-iedereen-een-universiteit/

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Adele Thomas ~ Forget Plagiarism: There’s A New And Bigger Threat To Academic Integrity


CompKeyboardAcademic plagiarism is no longer just sloppy “cut and paste” jobs or students cribbing large chunks of an assignment from a friend’s earlier essay on the same topic. These days, students can simply visit any of a number of paper or essay mills that litter the internet and buy a completed assignment to present as their own.
These shadowy businesses are not going away anytime soon. Paper mills can’t be easily policed or shut down by legislation. And there’s a trickier issue at play here: they provide a service that an alarming number of students will happily use.
Managing this newest form of academic deceit will require hard work from established academia and a renewed commitment to integrity from university communities.

‘Shadow scholar’
In November 2010, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article that rocked the academic world. Its anonymous author confessed to having written more than 5 000 pages of scholarly work a year on behalf of university students. Ethics was among the many issues this author had tackled for clients.

The practice continues five years on. At a  conference about plagiarism held in the Czech Republic in June 2015, one speaker revealed that up to 22% of students in some Australian undergraduate programmes had admitted to buying or intending to buy assignments on the internet.

Read more: http://mg.co.za/article/2015-08-19-forget-plagiarism-theres-a-new-and-bigger-threat-to-academic-integrity/

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Jozien Wijkhuijs ~ Dutch Universities Start Their Elsevier Boycott Plan


“We are entering a new era in publications”, said Koen Becking, chairman of the Executive Board of Tilburg University in October. On behalf of the Dutch universities, he and his colleague Gerard Meijer negotiate with scientific publishers about an open access policy. They managed to achieve agreements with some publishers, but not with the biggest one, Elsevier. Today, they start their plan to boycott Elsevier.

Read more: https://universonline.nl/elsevier-boycott-plan

 

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Index On Censorship – Vicky Baker ~ Is Academic Freedom Being Eroded?


CoverSummer2015-395What is the state of academic freedom in 2015? Index on Censorship magazine’s summer 2015 issue takes a global vantage point to explore all the current threats – governmental, economic and social – faced by students, teachers and academics.

In the UK and US, offence and extremism are being used to shut down debates, prompting the adoption of “no-platforming” and “trigger-warnings”.  In Turkey, an exam question relating to the Kurdish movement led to death threats for one historian. In Ireland, there are concerns over the restraints of corporate-sponsored research. In Mexico, students are being abducted and protests quashed. Plus we have reports on Ukraine, China and Belarus, on how education is expected to toe an official line.

Also in this issue: Sir Harold Evans, AC Grayling, Tom Holland and Xinran present their free-speech heroes. Ken Saro-Wiwa Junior introduces a previously unpublished letter from his activist father, 20 years after he was executed by the Nigerian state, and Raymond Joseph reports on the dangers faced by Africa’s environmental journalists today. Comedian Samm Farai Monro, aka Comrade Fatso, looks at the rise of Zimbabwean satire; Matthew Parris interviews former UK attorney general Dominic Grieve; Italian journalist Cristina Marconi speaks to Marina Litvinienko, wife of the murdered KGB agent Alexander; and Konstanty Gebert looks at why the Polish Catholic church is upset by Winnie the Pooh and his non-specific gender.

Our culture section presents exclusive new short stories by exiled writers Hamid Ismailov (Uzbekistan) and Ak Welaspar (Turkmenistan), and poetry by Musa Okwonga and Angolan journalist Rafael Marques de Morais.  Plus there’s artwork from Martin Rowson, Bangladeshi cartoonist Tanmoy and Eva Bee, and a cover by Ben Jennings.

Read more: https://www.indexoncensorship.org/academic-freedom

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Rachael Jolley ~ From Ukraine To The UK, Academic Freedom Is Under Threat


nsnewlogo_2014When Resat Baris Ünlü sat down to write an exam question for his students, he didn’t suspect that the consequences would include death threats on his life.
Ünlü, a modern historian who teaches at Ankara University, asked his students a question on the 1978 Kurdistan manifesto written by Abdullah Öcalan.
But when a Turkish newspaper found out about the content of the exam question it was suggested that academics were supporting “terrorist activities” and hiding behind “the cloak of freedom of expression”.
Since the newspaper article, Ünlü has received multiple threats on his life.

This is just one incident from many around the world that we have charted in a special report about to be published in Index on Censorship magazine, that show the variety of threats to the principle that academic life is about presenting, debating and reviewing different attitudes and evidence from a multitude of sources without fear of harm.

Read more: http://www.newstatesman.com/academic-freedom

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James Pringle ~ Do Open Access Journals Have Impact?


logo_natureAt Thomson ISI, we have followed debates over Open Access to scholarly literature with great interest. This is partly because our mission, best incarnated today in the Web of Science®, is to help researchers find and access quality, relevant information wherever it is published. It is also because the journal-level metrics, such as the Impact Factor and Immediacy Index, for which Thomson ISI has become known, have assumed importance in these discussions.

Some assert (as readers of Nature are no doubt aware) that too much importance is sometimes given to these measures. Few would contest that they have an important place in the current debate. The Impact Factor is often referenced both in recent contributions to this Nature ‘Focus’ and in other forums. Researchers often ask, ‘If I publish in an Open Access journal, will my work be cited?’

I have personally been asked many times what the ‘ISI position’ is on Open Access. This is in some ways a curious question, given our mission – I am rarely asked what our ‘position’ is in regard to publishing by society publishers, or commercial houses, or advertising-supported trade magazines. The answer is simply that if it results in high-quality information of use to scholars, we will cover it in our databases; if not, we will not.

Read more: http://www.nature.com/accessdebate/

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