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The Society for Research into Higher Education

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The Future of Global HE: more (than) research is needed

By Rob Cuthbert

A high-level Symposium on the Future of Global HE in London on 7 September offered much food for thought, but only those with elitist tastes would have come away completely satisfied. The Symposium assembled a stellar cast, but the narrow HE perspective of most contributors made for a well-meaning dialogue contained within and between some of the world’s self-styled elite universities, which account for only a small proportion of the rapidly expanding global student population.

There were many fine words about the need to respect teaching as well as research, the need to ensure service to society at all levels from local to global, to promote universities’ key role in protecting freedom of expression and the integrity of ideas, and to rethink higher education’s core business as digital technologies continue to transform possibilities for learning. So far, so good. Continue reading

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Policy and Funding in Australia : If you repeat something often enough, can it become ‘the truth’?

By Marcia Devlin

In his poem, ‘The Hunting of the Snark’, Lewis Carroll points out that if you repeat something often enough, it can become ‘the truth’.

     ‘Just the place for a Snark!’ the Bellman cried,

As he landed his crew with care;

Supporting each man on top of the tide

                                                    By a finger entwined in his hair.

                                                    Just the place for a Snark! I have said it twice:

                                                    That alone should encourage the crew.

                                                    Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:

                                                   What I tell you three times is true.’

I wonder whether some Australian media commentators and politicians have a copy of this poem next to their beds. It is possible that this poem is where they got the idea to repeat statements and assumptions related to a connection between low Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) scores and lower university education standards over and over again until they become accepted, unquestioned knowledge. Continue reading