srhe

The Society for Research into Higher Education

Julie Bounford UEA


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It’s about the (academic) community, stupid!

By Julie Bounford

This blog first appeared on 23 February 2014 on Julie Bounford’s personal blog at http://jebounford.net/its-about-the-academic-community-stupid/

I recently had a conversation about my doctoral research with an acquaintance I met at a dinner dance who asked, ‘what are you doing it in, what are you doing it for?’ Not an unreasonable question. I began my reply by saying that it was in the sociology of education and whilst I was conjuring up an answer to the latter question (it changes from day to day), they retorted in a jocular fashion, ‘the sociology of vegetation? You’re researching vegetables?’ The acquaintance laughed, a little uneasily. Perhaps they had misheard me.

My sense of humour is reasonably well honed but at that particular moment I was not in a frame of mind to see the joke; on them or on me. Continue reading

Ian Mc Nay


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Lies, damned lies and spin; never mind the statistics

By Ian McNay

Press reports, 31 January, on UCAS statistics on the 15 January deadline showed remarkable unanimity around telling, shall we say…not the whole truth:

–         Girls lead the way as degree applications hit record levels – Times

–         Record numbers of 18-year-olds apply to university – Telegraph

–         University applications hit record high – Guardian

The Telegraph had a second story claiming the number of applicants aged 20 and over had increased by 5%.

All this gave comfort to [English] ministers who claim that high fees have had no long term effect on applications. So, let us look at the longer term and compare the cycle for 2014 entry Continue reading