Jisc is pleased to announce that from today, 11 December, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) has agreed to make a grant of up to £550 to universities in England that participate in the Knowledge Unlatched pilot.
This grant contribution will be used to reduce the participation fee paid by English libraries by 50%.
Knowledge Unlatched is an organisation dedicated to promoting open access for scholarly books. Their model uses the collective purchasing power of the world’s libraries to make academic books freely available to all and they are inviting libraries from around the world to participate in a pilot to trial this new model. Libraries can participate by pledging (a maximum of) £1100 to ‘unlatch’ a collection of 28 humanities and social sciences books. If at least 200 libraries from around the world sign up for the collection by 31 January 2014, these books will be made free for anyone in the world to read on an open access basis.
Libraries that participate in the pilot will receive a Knowledge Unlatched membership fee waiver until January 2016, usage data on the collection and the right to participate in Knowledge Unlatched governance. As a result of HEFCE’s grant, English libraries will be able to secure the benefits of participating in the Knowledge Unlatched Pilot by pledging a maximum of £550.
HEFCE senior policy advisor, Ben Johnson said:
“I'm delighted to be able to confirm HEFCE's support for the Knowledge Unlatched scheme. I believe this is an important pilot in testing out a potential new model for open access book publishing. The lessons that we learn from this pilot will be of prime importance in gauging both the viability of models like this in the longer term and the readiness of the scholarly book publishing world to support open access more widely.”
Jisc is managing the pledging process for UK universities and colleges and will administer grant funding for the English libraries. Full details of how to pledge can be viewed on the Jisc Collections website. Pledging will remain open until 31 January 2014.
Lorraine Estelle, Jisc’s executive director of content and discovery and divisional CEO Jisc Collections, welcomed the announcement:
“Scholarly monograph publishing is important to researchers, especially in the humanities and social sciences where the book is the main method by which they communicate their research. It is important that we explore new publishing models to support the monograph and we hope that the HEFCE grant will encourage libraries to participate in the pilot and help drive forward the future of scholarly monograph publishing.”
Frances Pinter, executive director of Knowledge Unlatched added:
“The HEFCE grant is a major contribution to helping explore new ways of reaching open access for books through cooperation between libraries and publishers that will decrease costs to institutions while at the same time bring all the benefits of open access to the world.”
Knowledge Unlatched is planning to establish a joint forum that brings together libraries and publishers in early 2014.
NUS-USI has launched its Pound in Your Pocket survey, Northern Ireland’s most detailed survey ever on student finance. Students who complete the survey will be entered into a prize draw for 10 x £50 prizes and 1 x £500 prize.
As part of our Disability History Month celebration, we will be featuring a trailblazer from Disability history each week. This week we focus on Stephen Hawking.
Forget the latest games consoles, designer handbag, or parties and drinking; it is family that is at the top of students’ Christmas lists according to research carried out by NUS.
After a two-year break the conference is taking a new guise aiming to not only showcase the best digital talent in the UK but provide ample networking opportunities.
The festival will be innovative, informative and fun, showcasing and celebrating the very best in UK digital talent by bringing together experts and providers from the higher education, further education and skills sectors to share ideas and best practice.
Robert Haymon-Collins, executive director customer experience said:
“This is an opportunity for the UK’s education and research sectors to come together, discuss real solutions, enhance the student and research experience whilst, most importantly, giving people the tools to make a positive change through digital technologies in their own organisation.”
There will be practical ideas and tips to take away and use straight away in your institution as well as thought-provoking ideas on technologies of the future.
Further information about the Jisc Digital Festival 2014 is now available on our website, including:
A full programme will be released in January 2014, and you will then have the opportunity to register for the festival sessions that you wish to attend.
The closing date for applications has now passed and funding bids are no longer being accepted.
Jisc is starting a new million pound funding programme to improve the learner experience and increase the capability and capacity of the workforce across further education and skills providers. Money will be awarded to projects which encourage, support and promote innovation within the sector.
Deadline for submissions: Friday 6 December 2013, 12:00 noon
We provide digital services for UK education and research. This grant funding gives providers in the sector the opportunity to get involved with our work and directly benefit from the products and services developed.
We are looking to fund innovative projects to:
- Integrate new technologies in learning and teaching, assessment and business activities
- Overcome barriers to the adoption and use of technology in the sector
- Develop new uses for technology or innovative adaption and rollout of technologies.
We are building on the success of previous funding, which supported 33 projects in every region of the UK. These projects were diverse and innovative including:
- Kendal College developed augmented reality learning materials which provide students taking vocational qualifications with a more visual way of learning
- An accessible version of YouTube developed by Henshaws College will enable people with learning difficulties and disabilities to use this mainstream technology independently
- British Sign Language tutors can now benefit from a bank of 100 national resources developed by Lancashire Adult Learning Service, saving them the time and effort of producing their own
- New recruits to the armed forces can start their apprenticeships online thanks to LAGAT’s (Lincolnshire training provider) online induction programme
Resources from phase one of the programme can be found by searching for 'feskills' on the Jorum website.
The sorts of things we are looking to fund include:
- Creating resources, tools or products
- Developing organisational and collaborative processes using digital technologies
- Developing apps
- Creating augmented reality resources
- Improving or adapting current technologies and resources (some already available through Jorum)
- Developing new uses for technologies
This funding will establish projects which respond to the government policies in each of the devolved nations, which are intended to improve the learner experience and meet the needs of employment across the UK.
The total funding available is £1,000,000 and the funding call offers opportunities to bid for different levels of funding ranging from £5,000 to £100,000 depending upon the scale of the project and numbers of providers involved in the areas outlined above.
Deadline for submissions is Friday 6 December 2013 at 12:00 noon.Eligibility
Bids are invited from further education and skills providers funded via the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Scottish Funding Council, the Welsh Government or the Department for Employment and Learning Northern Ireland.
The funding call document will provide further information about eligibility.Advice and guidance
For support and advice to apply for this funding you can contact your local Regional Support Centre.
If you have and specific queries related to the funding call and bidding please contact Nigel Ecclesfield, programme manager firstname.lastname@example.org or Ann Lloyd, funding and programme support office manager email@example.com.Download full details and application information (Word docx) Download the questions and answers from the online briefing event held on 7 November 2013 (PDF)
A unique online resource bringing together some 1,600 specimens of diseased human bones into a single digital collection will offer trainee medics, clinicians and medical historians around the world the chance to study in detail the effects of chronic diseases on bone.
The specimens, currently housed in major archaeological and medical collections across the UK, have been digitised and collated into a single online educational resource.
This offers the opportunity for researchers to study a wealth of specimens in one place, including samples that would otherwise be too fragile to handle. It will also be a valuable resource for students and researchers in countries that do not have access to bone collections, or where the study of real human remains is restricted.
Creative Commons attribution information Dr Andrew Wilson© University of BradfordAll rights reserved Dr Andrew Wilson
The Digitised Diseases web resource launches today at the Royal College of Surgeons in London and contains 3D models of bones affected by over 90 chronic pathological conditions. These range from common complaints such as osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis, to rare bone cancers, skeletal trauma and conditions that are often considered to be diseases of poverty in the modern world, such as tuberculosis and polio.
The resource, created by the University of Bradford and Jisc, brings together world-renowned skeletal collections including the university’s own archaeological skeletons housed in the Biological Anthropology Research Centre (BARC); historic medical specimens housed in the Hunterian Museum and the Wellcome Museum of Anatomy and Pathology at the Royal College of Surgeons in London; and human remains excavated by the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA).
The bones have been digitised using a combination of 3D laser scanning, CT and radiography, providing a unique opportunity for students and researchers all over the world to examine both the internal and external changes caused by chronic diseases. The models are accompanied by descriptions and broader clinical synopses of these conditions.
Lead researcher, Dr Andrew Wilson from the University of Bradford, said:
“This is a fantastic teaching aid. Many of the conditions included in the digital collection are still seen by clinicians around the world; however the age of these bones means that they came from individuals who were alive before effective medical therapies were available and so offer the chance to show how these diseases progress if left untreated.”
The project will safeguard fragile specimens in these collections used for teaching that have until now been susceptible to damage from handling and provide a 3D digital model in the case of archaeological remains under threat of reburial.
Paola Marchionni, programme manager at Jisc, said:
“Digitised Diseases builds on the successful pilot digitisation project - From Cemetery to Clinic - where the University of Bradford developed methods to create photo-realistic 3D digital models of bones affected by leprosy excavated from a medieval leprosy hospital in Chichester. The team has now taken this approach further by setting up new partnerships, broadening the scope of the collections to include other chronic diseases that affect the skeleton and experimenting with innovative ways of delivering these models online.
The opportunity for clinicians, trainee medics and medical historians to look back in time at archaeological remains in order to aid modern medical understanding will, we hope, prove invaluable.”
The Digitised Diseases project has been funded by Jisc and undertaken by a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the Biological Anthropology Research Centre and the Centre for Visual Computing at the University of Bradford and project partners MOLA and the Royal College of Surgeons of England in London, with further support from Pinderfields Hospital, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and Smith & Nephew. Associate partners Museum of London, Historic Scotland, National Museum of Scotland, York Archaeological Trust, Yorkshire Museum and York Minster also provided additional specimens for digitisation.
NUS today paid tribute to its honorary president, Nelson Mandela, following the announcement of his death at the age of 95.
NUS is conducting a short and confidential survey with students to find out more about their experiences of housing while they’re at university or college.
December is upon us and that means one thing - it's Christmas! Here's our Top 10 run down of some of the best Xmas tunes to see you through the festive season.
With the festive season quickly approaching, here’s a selection of the best Christmas films that you can put your feet up to this Christmas.
Last week saw the University of Central Lancashire take home the prize for outstanding ICT initiative of the year, sponsored by Jisc, at the Times Higher Education Awards 2013.
The awards, hosted this year by writer and broadcast Sandi Toksvig on the 28 November, represent a unique and high-profile opportunity to celebrate the excellence and amazing achievements of UK higher education institutions.
The University of Central Lancashire won with its Digital Shift project, which set about transforming the online learning experience of its student body with an ambitious programme of cultural change.
The university produced a set of minimum standards for integrating pedagogy and technology, which had to be met by all 350 first-year core modules. These included uploading course information; ensuring that tutors’ reading lists and key lectures were available online; allowing remote submission of assignments; and giving students the option to offer digital feedback about courses.
The project, which was introduced in 2011-12, resulted in a 136% increase in electronic coursework submissions and a 312% increase in the number of feedback reports submitted online.
The Digital Shift process has been embraced by staff, who have taken the opportunity to develop their digital skills by moving their seminars online and embracing a ‘blended’ approach to teaching. More than 4,000 staff attended academic and technology development workshops, underlining how university employees have bought into the project.
Martyn Harrow, a judge and chief executive of Jisc, said of the winners:
“The panel was very impressed with this entry and judged that the University of Central Lancashire Digital Shift project had best embraced all the criteria for the award.
It demonstrated in particular an innovative approach, and considerable skill and effort in successfully embracing both staff and students in the process.”
Lisa Banks, the acting head of the University of Central Lancashire’s learning and information systems team which implemented the project, commented:
“We are thrilled to accept this award in recognition of our work on the Digital Shift project.
We set out to truly transform the student experience and this ambitious programme of cultural change has combined technology and teaching to leverage institutional-wide benefits for both staff and students.”
For more information about the awards and to see a list of the winners, visit the THE Awards 2013 website.
Following democratic ballots of their members in support of industrial action earlier this autumn, four higher education trade unions (UCU, UNISON, Unite and EIS) announced a one-day strike that took place on 3 December. This follows an initial day of strike action on 31 October.
As part of our Disability History Month celebration, we will be featuring a trailblazer from Disability history each week. This week we focus on Frida Kahlo.
A unique digital archive The Welsh Experience of the First World War was launched today at The College Merthyr Tydfil by Huw Lewis AM, the Welsh Government minister for education and skills.
The Welsh Experience of the First World War was developed as a collaborative initiative led by The National Library of Wales, in partnership with the Archives and Special Collections of Wales (partners are Aberystwyth University; Bangor University, Cardiff University; Swansea University; the University of Wales Trinity St David; BBC Cymru Wales, The People’s Collection, Wales, and archives and local records offices that are part of ARCW: the Archives and Records Council of Wales).
The project was funded by a £500,000 grant from the Jisc content programme as part of our work in support of education and research, and through support from the partner organisations.
Huw Lewis AM, the Welsh Government minister for education and skills said:
"For 20 years the library has been a trusted provider of digital content from its collections, based on a series of collaborative projects. The Welsh Experience of the First World War is an example of Wales-wide collaboration to create an important new digital resource and one that will prove invaluable for teaching, research, and public engagement, worldwide, free of charge, for all those interested in this important period of history.
Digital resources can unlock our past for a variety of audiences, in Wales and around the world. This very special digital archive will be widely used for education and research purposes, especially as we approach the centenary of the outbreak of World War One. It reveals the hidden history of World War One, demonstrating its effects on all aspects of Welsh life. The archive will contribute greatly to the commemorations in Wales by providing a comprehensive online facility for all sectors of education, local and family history researchers."
Paola Marchionni, Jisc’s programme manager digitisation said:
"I am delighted that Jisc have been able to support the development of this resource. It is a prime example of the benefits that digitisation can bring to researchers and the public at large by creating a virtual collection that reunites material from different physical locations. The library and its Welsh partners are providing a really valuable, openly accessible, resource that can search collections of newspapers, images, sound and archival material both in English and Welsh."
Aled Gruffydd Jones, the National Library’s chief executive and librarian said:
"The National Library is proud to have led this important and unique initiative with the Archives and Special Collections of Wales. We feel sure that this innovative new digital resource will prove invaluable for teaching, research, and public engagement."
Creative Commons attribution information World War One poster: Anibyniaeth sydd yn galw am ei dewraf dyn© Public domain via Cymru 1914 - The Welsh Experience of the First World WarNo known copyright
He added his thanks to the minister for his support and to Jisc and the partner institutions "without whom The Welsh Experience of the First World War could not be delivered."
The formal launch of the archive also marks the beginning of The National Library of Wales’ Community Partnership Initiative. This will enable more people across Wales to access the library’s extensive printed, manuscript and visual collections. The programme was announced at the event by John Griffiths AM, Welsh Government minister for culture and sport in the company of several partners from Merthyr Tydfil.
For more information on World War One resources made possible by Jisc, visit our WW1 centenary hub.
For those who feel like dipping their toe into new traditions, or for any international students missing home, here are some easy recipes to bring a touch of Thanksgiving to your student kitchen.
Edinburgh Napier University and the Royal College of Music (RCM) have linked up to demonstrate the power of the Janet network in supporting collaborative performances across remote locations.
The advanced network, whose latest edition, Janet6, was officially launched by Jisc at an event at the London Film Museum, has been designed to address future demands for high capacity connectivity. At the launch event, guests were treated to a unique musical performance which saw musicians from both the Royal College of Music, based in London, and Edinburgh Napier University playing simultaneously, in real-time, via audio video streaming.
This technological feat was achieved using LOLA (LOw LAtency Audio Visual Streaming System) technology, via the Janet network. Using state-of-the-art 100 gigabit ethernet technology, the network provides excellent bandwidth and low latency, which made the simultaneous musical performance possible.
Despite being hundreds of miles apart, three musicians performed a number of arrangements, including tango numbers by Piazzolla. The collaboration used latency of approximately 40-75ms round trip, which ensured there was no perceptible delay and the demonstration was seamless. Apart from enabling collaborative performances, LOLA has the potential to link experts from around the world for master classes and rehearsals, without the added expense of travel and time to get to remote venues. It opens up a world of possibilities for the creative industry, enabling new types of art to work in different spaces at the same time.
Tim Marshall, the executive director responsible for Jisc technology and infrastructure including Janet and the Janet6 programme, spoke about the LOLA demonstration at the launch event.
“The musical performance between the Royal College of Music and Edinburgh Napier University almost 400 miles away, was a visual manifestation of the capabilities of the new Janet network. Launching this flexible network infrastructure to the research and education sectors will encourage experimentation and ensure that ambitious projects such as this will continue. Janet6 has the power and capacity to support the UK in its quest to remain at the forefront of global innovation for years to come.”
Dr Paul Ferguson, lecturer in the School of Arts and Creative Industries at Edinburgh Napier University said:
“It was great to be involved in such an exciting project and to see the culmination of a 14 month partnership with Janet using LOLA, to such stunning effect. Having access to such a high performance network has opened our eyes to the possibility of similar projects, not just with music; we are looking to deliver simultaneous performances with dance and drama too.
None of the musicians involved with the performance at the Janet launch had used the LOLA technology before we started rehearsing. They were blown away with the fact that they could play their instruments in perfect synchronicity with others hundreds of miles away. We have just started working on a project with Janet that will link performances between Edinburgh Napier University and sites in Italy and the Czech Republic. The power of the Janet6 network will certainly continue to raise our ambitions.”
Matt Parkin, from the Royal College of Music said:
“The Royal College of Music has a history of being at the forefront of music technology – the first electronic music studio in any UK educational institution was established at the RCM in 1967 – so we’re thrilled to be working with Janet and the LOLA system because it’s another game changer. Nothing before has allowed classical musicians to actually play together over these kinds of distances. And with the quality and speed of the Janet link, they don’t have to compromise at all.
Musicians are always astonished by how transparent the Janet/LOLA connection is. You actually notice it just as much when they’re chatting together in rehearsal as when they’re playing, because unlike any previous video conference system, there is no perceptible delay at all, so it’s just like they’re in the same room. And whereas traditional ‘live links’ have relied on delays or click tracks to create an illusion of musicians playing together, audiences can now experience a truly live, synchronous performance between musicians hundreds of miles apart for the first time.
The combination of Janet and LOLA promises to revolutionise music rehearsals, teaching and performance, and opens up a host of new possibilities for collaborations which we at the RCM look forward to exploring further.”