Notes for a Friday

Notes for a Friday

This is a short collection of things that have caught my eye this week.

  1. This is an interesting article from Inside Higher Ed on how Covid 19 threatens the diversity of institutions in the higher education system of the USA. It is, as expected, the smaller institutions most at risk of closure. So diversity in an HE marketised system doesn’t necessarily enhance the resilience of that system. If smaller institutions are more vulnerable anyway, should governments intervene to maintain system diversity – and that’s an argument currently going on in the UK (or England at least)? Wouldn’t it be more effective and efficient for governments to ‘intervene’ to ensure newer or more specialist smaller institutions are robust and sustainable in ‘normal’ years rather than waiting for a crisis to avoid market concentration/ monopolisation. So why rely on market mechanisms in higher education at all?
  1. A good quote from @timkastelle on academic power structures:

Universities should be at the forefront of a socially just democratic society, & to do this we have to change real structures of control & power. We have a choice… continue to celebrate rituals of rebellion or engage in acts of transformative change.” >

Original Tweet is here.
  1. A good Twitter thread from Tim Fawns here, really clearly articulating the point that online teaching involves really rethinking how engaging with students is understood. in particular, we should shift focus from the timetabled synchronous session to designing for many different opportunities for students to contribute. Student community occurs as much, or more, in the spaces between formal classroom settings and this is true for all educational contexts and we should design courses accordingly.

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