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University starts from scratch in exile

Times Higher Education - Mon, 12/26/2016 - 01:00

One of Ukraine’s most highly regarded institutions has decamped to a new home 100km away to escape fighting in the war-torn region close to Russian border

London 2012 vs Rio 2016

Nus Org - Fri, 08/26/2016 - 17:43

Four years on, how do the sustainability objectives of London 2012 compare to that of the Rio 2016 games?

Categories: NUS news

The importance of international students

Nus Org - Thu, 08/25/2016 - 12:50

Following the news that Theresa May is set to further scrutinise student Visas in an effort to reduce immigration, recent University of Leeds grad Dominic Celica takes a look at the contribution international students make to the UK.

Categories: NUS news

The city that never sleeps

Nus Org - Tue, 08/23/2016 - 18:01

The launch of London Underground's Night Tube service this weekend shows London is stepping up its game to become a more vibrant 'city that never sleeps'.

Categories: NUS news

NUS wants YOU! #nusjournos

Nus Org - Thu, 08/18/2016 - 10:00

We are recruiting paid student journalists. We know that you are shaping the future of education and want to represent the realities of your lives through news articles.

Categories: NUS news

Double Jeopardy: 47% of 2015 graduates moved back in with parents

Nus Org - Wed, 08/17/2016 - 10:57

Almost half of the first set of university graduates who paid £9,000 tuition fees have moved back in with their parents to save money, according to new NUS research published today.

Categories: NUS news

Why haven’t British students ever heard of European Voluntary Service?

Nus Org - Tue, 08/16/2016 - 16:00

It’s 8am and already nearly 30 degrees. The bus meanders through a mountainous landscape shaded in lush greens and cool blues. Instead of the common British pigeon, black and white stalks grace roadside fields. Their large twigged nests defy physics, sitting precariously atop village lampposts. Beside me a group of schoolchildren sing Romanian songs joyfully. I am volunteering on a European citizenship project for children in Romania. I am a European Voluntary Service (EVS) participant!

Categories: NUS news

Young Voters Rally in Norwich for Brexit Protest

Nus Org - Mon, 08/15/2016 - 14:55

Over 1,000 people have protested outside Norwich City Hall in the wake of the EU referendum. The 7 July protest was organised by University of East Anglia (UEA) students Emily Cutler and Tom Johnston, both 20.

Categories: NUS news

The latest from our Summer of Student Innovation design sprint

JISC news - Fri, 08/12/2016 - 13:13
12 August 2016

This year's four-day-long design sprint from the Summer of Student Innovation was a huge success. We hear from winners past and present at the design sprint, and Justin Haylock tells us about this year's winning ideas, and what the teams have been up to at the event (including playing with Lego).

Categories: Universities

How the University of Gloucestershire is using learning analytics

JISC news - Mon, 08/08/2016 - 11:04
8 August 2016

Jisc’s effective learning analytics project aims to help colleges and universities better analyse and understand their data, and use this to improve retention and attainment. This includes building a national learning analytics service for the sector and a student app that puts the power in their hands, by tracking their learning activity and allowing them to maximise their learning potential.

The University of Gloucestershire is one of the institutions piloting the student app. We speak to Dr Nick Moore, director of IT services for the university, about the interest in learning analytics and why they're working with Jisc.

Categories: Universities

GCSE results and subject choices predict final A-level score, say UCAS

Nus Org - Fri, 08/05/2016 - 13:26

A new UCAS report shines a light on the key predictors of whether a university applicant reaches their predicted grades.

Categories: NUS news

A weekend in Paris

Nus Org - Thu, 08/04/2016 - 11:30

Earlier this year, Eurostar had a drop in sales as a result of the attacks in Paris and Brussels. Naturally, they slashed their prices to encourage people to use their services. I was one of them.

Categories: NUS news

Ulster University KeepCup

Nus Org - Wed, 08/03/2016 - 11:15

Concerns are being mounted on the efforts made to reduce the usage of disposable cups inside catering outlets on Ulster University campuses.

Categories: NUS news

NUS Awards 2016: winners announced

Nus Org - Tue, 08/02/2016 - 18:12

This year we received over 295 nominations from 112 students’ unions across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales for our NUS Awards 2016 and we can now announce this year’s winners.

Categories: NUS news

Stern review of REF underlines need for open, robust research information infrastructure

JISC news - Tue, 08/02/2016 - 17:29
3 August 2016

Reducing the burden of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) through open data and metrics is a key theme of the Stern Review – creating a momentous opportunity to improve the quality, sharing and reuse of data by enhancing the research information infrastructure underpinning it.

The recommendation states that, ‘where possible, REF data and metrics should be open, standardised and combinable with other research funders’ data collection processes in order to streamline data collection requirements and reduce the cost of compiling and submitting information’.

Jisc welcomes the recommendations to move the REF forward, based on community consensus and evidence submitted to the consultation. In particular we believe that the most appropriate, long-term and sustainable approach to reducing the burden of research assessment is to enhance the UK’s research information infrastructure to make it open, robust and interoperable, and are working with the community towards this aim.

Running throughout the review were recommendations relating to the use of metrics and indicators for assessment. Alternative indicators were acknowledged as being able to effectively complement the continuing, central role of peer review: and that as more open, consistent and relevant data is made available, this in turn will provide better quality datasets, intelligence, and benchmarking across different disciplines and domains.

Jisc too recognises this opportunity, while being fully aware of the complexities in adopting a judicious use of metrics. Experimentation through our research and development projects on business intelligence and research metrics and indicators will help contribute towards this understanding and support more transparent, evidenced approaches with data and metrics.   

Linda Naughton, our head of research, said:

“It’s highly encouraging that the review recognises the potential for gaining more value from the data and the need for open, interoperable information systems. In the consultation we strongly made the case for improving the infrastructure that supports research information management – something that was previously identified in last year’s The Metric Tide report, where Jisc is named as playing a lead role.”

Rachel Bruce, our deputy chief innovation officer, added:

“The heterogeneity of the UK’s research sector produces a rich and diverse range of impacts, but it also creates operational challenges, with multiple approaches being adopted at the technical level to the management of administrative data.

Our vision for a fully interoperable, national research information infrastructure – underpinned by open research data and open access to research outputs – would enable the UK to maximise the impact of its world-class research. Further, we could expect this to support more intelligent research analytics into the UK’s research base, leading to improved insights and better strategic decision-making at the institutional and national level.”  

Jisc has long been an enabler of research excellence. We offer a number of services to the community, including a co-ordinated portfolio of open access services to help researchers meet funder requirements and improve the discovery, usage and impact of research outputs, as well as various solutions that support interoperability and open standards, such as the unique open researcher identifier, ORCID, which we offer through a national consortium in the UK, and are working on other identifiers, such as those for the research organisation.

We are also working with the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Research Councils UK (RCUK), Universities UK (UUK) and Wellcome Trust to move forward a UK Forum for Responsible Research Metrics – first proposed in The Metric Tide, and mentioned in the Stern Review as having an important role to play in addressing data issues. Through the forum the intention is to effectively support the diverse qualities and impacts of research, by working with stakeholders to ensure data infrastructure and best practice develops to support the community.

Categories: Universities

Leading names from BBC, Buzzfeed, VICE the Guardian and Sky News announced for Student Media Summit

Nus Org - Mon, 08/01/2016 - 16:10

Hannah Strange, Rebecca Nicolson, Michael Crick, Adam Boulton and many more leading industry professionals are set to appear at our free event which takes place on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 August.

Categories: NUS news

Policy Responses

Nus Org - Mon, 08/01/2016 - 12:19

On this page you can browse all NUS policy responses published in the past few years.

Categories: NUS news

Concordat on open research data launched

JISC news - Thu, 07/28/2016 - 10:18
28 July 2016

Four of the UK’s leading research organisations - Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Research Councils UK (RCUK), Universities UK (UUK) and Wellcome Trust - have today launched a concordat that proposes a series of clear and practical principles for working with research data.

The Concordat on Open Research Data has been developed by a UK multi-stakeholder group - Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), RCUK, Newcastle University, UUK, HEFCE, University of Warwick, Research Information Network, Springer Nature, British Library, Wellcome Trust, University of Essex, The Russell Group and Jisc - and is a set of expectations of best practice reflecting the needs of the research community.

This concordat will help to ensure that research data gathered and generated by members of the UK research community is made openly available for use by others wherever possible; in a manner consistent with relevant legal, ethical, disciplinary and regulatory frameworks and norms, and with due regard to the costs involved.

The ten principles include:

  • Importance of developing data skills
  • Importance of ensuring data underlying publications is accessible by publication date
  • Rights of data creators to reasonable first use
  • Expectations of data users to acknowledge use of others’ data

While there are four initial signatories to the concordat, there has been wider consultation with the research community and their feedback and input helped shape the final text. The Concordat on Open Research Data is open for other organisations and groups to sign up to over time. Interested parties can contact alexandra.saxon@rcuk.ac.uk.

David Sweeney, director of research, education and knowledge exchange, HEFCE, said: 

“Open research data has the potential to deliver substantial benefits to research and to wider society. Open data will reveal new research avenues, and deliver innovative new technologies and services that will improve our lives.

Achieving open data is not easy; there are substantial challenges ahead which will require the commitment of everyone involved in research. This concordat is an important step towards securing this commitment. I would now encourage all those involved in research to sign up to the principles and engage with this agenda.”

Prof. Duncan Wingham, chief executive of NERC and RCUK open data champion, said: 

“RCUK welcomes the Open Data Concordat and the focus that the core principles bring to ensuring that the data resulting from the research that we fund is as open as possible.

By ensuring good practice around the open use and reuse of data, where appropriate, we can ensure that research brings optimum benefits to the long term prosperity and wellbeing of the UK and to the world.”

Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of UUK, continued: 

“Open research data has the potential to deliver significant benefits for society by enhancing the impact of our world-class research base. Universities UK welcomes this concordat, which sets out the aspirations of the research community while recognising the costs and challenges that must be addressed if we are to realise these benefits.

By supporting the concordat, universities and other research organisations can help ensure that the UK remains at the cutting edge of science and research.” 

Nicola Perrin, head of policy at Wellcome Trust, added: 

“The Concordat sets out core principles to guide the research community in ensuring that research data can be accessed and used in ways that will accelerate discovery and maximise benefits to society. Importantly, it recognises that not all research data can be shared openly, and that there is a need for all researchers to plan how they will manage and share data as an integral part of planning their research.”  

Open research data is the next step in achieving the UK’s open science ambitions and will help improve cooperation and strengthen the UK’s position as a global science leader. 

Categories: Universities

Jisc boosts Janet network

JISC news - Wed, 07/27/2016 - 12:03
27 July 2016

Jisc is upgrading its Janet network, to triple capacity across parts of the network over the next three years.  

Today the Janet network serves 18 million users worldwide and provides UK research and education with a reliable, high capacity, world-class network, enabling national and international communication and collaboration.

The upgrade will see the core network capacity across some paths increased from 200Gb to 600Gb, improving potential access to distance learning and web-based educational resources while continuing to provide organisations, students, researchers, academics and staff with an efficient, high-speed network that enables effective collaboration.

The Janet network upgrade has been made possible by funding that Jisc secured from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS), the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the funding councils in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The change will offer organisations greater capacity and more flexibility to ensure that present and future needs are met. It will support new business models like the surge in data intensive research, analytics, media-rich teaching, the growth of satellite campuses and the increase in cross-organisational and industry collaborations.

As the government pushes for more collaboration between universities and for the sharing of big data, the Janet network update will support academics so they can continue to access, store and share their research with peers and partnering organisations. The extended capacity will, for example, allow universities across the world to share petabytes of research data every day. To put this into context, a single petabyte is enough to store the DNA of the entire US population and clone them twice1.

The upgrade will also play a major role in improving the student experience. The Janet network will make video-based teaching, group working and online interactions between students and lecturers more effective and seamless. The added capacity will also support a larger number of technology options, allowing students and staff to log in anywhere at any time and connect their own devices to the network. 

The investment follows continued growth in data traffic across the Janet network. Data traffic has consistently doubled every two and a half years since 2010, with the demand being driven by a considerable rise in the use of cloud-based services. A recent survey conducted by Jisc revealed that 69% of institutions are either planning to adopt cloud resources, or have already done so.

Tim Kidd, executive director of Jisc technologies, said:

"An increasing culture of change and innovation within higher and further education organisations, along with a surge in cross-organisational collaboration and access to open educational resources, have all contributed to the increased data traffic across the Janet network.

“We believe that the upgrade will be instrumental in keeping UK research competitive on a global scale and enable high end collaborations across a wide range of projects which support things like medical research, all of which are making great contributions and advancements for mankind.

“The improvement will mean that researchers can have access to facilities like high performance computing which will speed up data heavy activities and carry out high-quality collaborations in real time.  They will also feel more confident when bidding for grants as they know they have the right infrastructure in place to support projects.”

The Janet network’s capacity is reviewed and upgraded on a regular basis, in line with current trends, policy requirements and technological advancements, to ensure it continues to meet the objectives of connected organisations.

Categories: Universities

United for Education: NUS and UCU announce national demonstration

Nus Org - Fri, 07/22/2016 - 13:29

Students and academics set to rally for free, accessible and quality further and higher education this November.

Categories: NUS news

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