Feed aggregator

Student journalists invited to enter annual Human Rights Awards

Nus Org - 4 hours 57 min ago

Amnesty International is inviting student journalists from colleges and universities across the UK to enter for a chance to win the Amnesty International Student Media Award, which is run in collaboration with NUS and the Observer newspaper. 

Categories: NUS news

We did it! No fracking in Lancashire.

Nus Org - 11 hours 37 min ago

Following the fantastic campaign win against fracking in Lancashire earlier this week, UCLan student A.D. tells us about their reaction to the historic decision not to frack.

Categories: NUS news

Live from Leeds - Jisc Connect More

JISC news - Wed, 07/01/2015 - 15:00
1 July 2015

In this podcast Will Allen, head of Jisc North, is at the Jisc Connect More regional event in Leeds. The event offers delegates from aross the education sector, the chance to come together to find out about the latest technology and how it can be used in education.

Categories: Universities

Researchers offered 95% accuracy on publisher open access policies

JISC news - Fri, 06/26/2015 - 15:44
2 July 2015

SHERPA/FACT, the funders and author’s compliance tool, has been found to be more than 95% accurate when checking publisher policies against funder mandates for open access – significantly higher than even experienced repository managers.

A study by the SHERPA/FACT advisory group compared the information provided by SHERPA/FACT with a control made up of members of UKCoRR (United Kingdom Council of Research Repositories), who manually checked the policies.

Where a discrepancy was identified between the two sets of data, the advisory group made an investigation into which returned the correct result, and found that SHERPA/FACT was correct in almost all of the cases, against 57% of the time for human checking.

For researchers, this should come as clear evidence that SHERPA/FACT can provide accurate results on journal and funder policy alignment on open access, better enabling them to decide where to publish their research outputs to meet funder requirements.

Neil Jacobs, head of scholarly communication support, Jisc, said:

“The transition to open access is exactly that: a transition from an established way of doing things to something completely different. As with any major change, there will understandably be barriers to overcome as people and organisations familiarise themselves with the new world.

"With this in mind it’s hugely positive that SHERPA/FACT has been proven to operate at such a high level of accuracy. It gives assurances that this technology is able to clarify journal and funder policies and help researchers make informed decisions about where they should be publishing, as well as saving time and effort in understanding where discrepancies may lie.”

Mark Thorley, chair of RCUK Research Outputs Network, said:

“I am pleased that an independent test has validated that the information in FACT is highly accurate.  The Research Councils support FACT as the authoritative source of information to check if a journal is compliant with the RCUK policy on open access.  We hope that all those that we fund will use FACT as the most efficient and accurate way to check journal compliance with our OA policy."

Richard Mollet, chief executive of the Publishers Association stated:

“Clarity in communication of open access policies is clearly vital if researchers are to have confidence that they are complying with funder mandates. Publishers will continue to work with the SHERPA/FACT team to identify ways of better elucidating the sometimes nuanced licence conditions.”

The study was commissioned by the SHERPA/FACT Advisory Board – which includes representatives from UKCoRR, Jisc, Wellcome Trust, Research Councils UK (RCUK), CRC Nottingham, Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Publishers Association and SCONUL.

SHERPA/FACT works by syndicating information on journal policies on open access and reviewing this against the funding requirements of RCUK and Wellcome Trust. It draws this information from the SHERPA/RoMEO and SHERPA/JULIET databases respectively.

Funded by RCUK, Wellcome Trust and Jisc, SHERPA/FACT is developed and maintained by the Centre for Research Communications (CRC) at the University of Nottingham. To see the full data and study methodology, visit Figshare. 

Visit our scholarly communications blog for more information and regular updates.

Categories: Universities

Scotland's universities proud to produce graduates with the best record of professional level jobs in the UK

Universities Scotland news - Thu, 06/25/2015 - 13:52
Data published today, 25 June 2015, by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) on Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education in the United Kingdom for the academic year 2013/14 showed that graduates from Scotland's 19 higher education institutions have the best record of professional level jobs in the UK.Today's figures also show:The proportion of those in graduate level jobs was four per cent higher than their peers in the rest of the UK at 73 per cent (compared to the UK average of 68 per cent). Graduates from Scottish universities had the highest rate of positive destinations in the UK (work and/or further study) at 89.9 per cent compared to the UK average 88.8 per cent.Graduates from Scottish universities had the highest mean average starting salaries in the UK at £22,500, compared to the UK average of £21,500). Data published today, 25 June 2015, by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) on Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education in the United Kingdom for the academic year 2013/14 showed that graduates from Scotland's 19 higher education institutions have the best record of professional level jobs in the UK.Today's figures also show:The proportion of those in graduate level jobs was four per cent higher than their peers in the rest of the UK at 73 per cent (compared to the UK average of 68 per cent). Graduates from Scottish universities had the highest rate of positive destinations in the UK (work and/or further study) at 89.9 per cent compared to the UK average 88.8 per cent.Graduates from Scottish universities had the highest mean average starting salaries in the UK at £22,500, compared to the UK average of £21,500).A spokesperson for Universities Scotland said:"Today's figures are great news for Scotland's students and particularly those graduating this summer as once again Scottish graduates have higher levels of positive destinations of work or further study than the UK average. Of those that go straight into work it is so encouraging to see that Scotland is better than the UK average for the proportion going straight into graduate level jobs at 73 per cent. This builds on last year's figures and marks the impact of a university experience in Scotland that is very focussed on employability and on developing graduates with well-rounded skill sets."Scotland's universities are very proud of their record on graduate employability and this continues to be a real priority with time and investment in employability strategies. Universities are working closely with employers to design courses and create work placement opportunities for students, so that we are producing skilled graduates and a strong talent pool for Scotland to fill jobs and attract more businesses to invest in the country." NotesThe full data set for graduate destinations can be found on the HESA website here: Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education in the United Kingdom for the academic year 2013/14.Due to the changes in the DLHE survey, it is not possible to reliably compare data before 2011/12.
Categories: Universities

Summer of Student Innovation 2015 - technology startup winners announced

JISC news - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 17:07
25 June 2015

In this podcast, Owen White, one the judges of the technology start-ups category of Jisc’s 2015 Summer of Student Innovation competition, tells us about the winning applicants. Read the original blog post.

Categories: Universities

Summer of Student Innovation 2015 - technology startup winners announced

JISC news - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 17:07
25 June 2015

In this podcast, Owen White, one the judges of the technology start-ups category of Jisc’s 2015 Summer of Student Innovation competition, tells us about the winning applicants. Read the original blog post.

Categories: Universities

Jisc to retire Jorum and refresh its open educational resources offer

JISC news - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 11:05
24 June 2015

After 13 years delivering and sharing content to support teaching practitioners across higher education, further education and skills, Jisc will be retiring its Jorum service in September 2016. 

Keith Cole, executive director Jisc digital resources said:

“After careful consideration and to meet the needs of our users we are refreshing our open educational resources approach.

Over the coming months Jisc will be testing and looking into the possibility of: bringing together existing resources and enabling educators to discuss, rate and use items within their own environments; building on our customers and users’ views that they are looking for forums and engagement spaces to be able to share resources peer to peer; and developing and making continual professional development for practitioners available.

We are exploring the desire from our customers to use a Jisc App and Content store, which will still be free to access, a digital platform where our customers can blog, share and discuss challenges and solutions as well as a further education online academy. The idea behind these different approaches is to develop digital literacy and confidence in using technology, bring together existing resources and allow crowdsourcing to promote the sharing of ideas and resource amongst the education and research community.

These changes are in response to the changing digital demands of our community. It is clear that Jorum has helped the sector take great strides towards understanding the potential and also the real challenges to sharing and discovering open educational resources.

We have consulted with stakeholders, users and the Jorum technical team who agree that with the evolution of apps and platforms which give greater user functionality and interactivity a next generation version will be welcomed.

We will now be working to archive the 16,000 resources available through Jorum and ensure that quality content is moved into our new platforms.”

For more information on our open educational resources offer contact our customer services team on 0203 006 6077.

Categories: Universities

Jisc to retire Jorum and refresh its open educational resources offer

JISC news - Wed, 06/24/2015 - 11:05
24 June 2015

After 13 years delivering and sharing content to support teaching practitioners across higher education, further education and skills, Jisc will be retiring its Jorum service in September 2016. 

Keith Cole, executive director Jisc digital resources said:

“After careful consideration and to meet the needs of our users we are refreshing our open educational resources approach.

Over the coming months Jisc will be testing and looking into the possibility of: bringing together existing resources and enabling educators to discuss, rate and use items within their own environments; building on our customers and users’ views that they are looking for forums and engagement spaces to be able to share resources peer to peer; and developing and making continual professional development for practitioners available.

We are exploring the desire from our customers to use a Jisc App and Content store, which will still be free to access, a digital platform where our customers can blog, share and discuss challenges and solutions as well as a further education online academy. The idea behind these different approaches is to develop digital literacy and confidence in using technology, bring together existing resources and allow crowdsourcing to promote the sharing of ideas and resource amongst the education and research community.

These changes are in response to the changing digital demands of our community. It is clear that Jorum has helped the sector take great strides towards understanding the potential and also the real challenges to sharing and discovering open educational resources.

We have consulted with stakeholders, users and the Jorum technical team who agree that with the evolution of apps and platforms which give greater user functionality and interactivity a next generation version will be welcomed.

We will now be working to archive the 16,000 resources available through Jorum and ensure that quality content is moved into our new platforms.”

For more information on our open educational resources offer contact our customer services team on 0203 006 6077.

Categories: Universities

National consortium for ORCID set to improve UK research visibility and collaboration

JISC news - Mon, 06/22/2015 - 13:22
23 June 2015

ORCID – a researcher identifier solution which enables a wide range of improvements to the scholarly communications ecosystem – will now be offered to UK higher education institutions through a national consortium arrangement operated by Jisc.

The agreement, negotiated by Jisc Collections, will enable universities to benefit from reduced ORCID membership costs and enhanced technical support. This should accelerate adoption and provide a smoother path to ORCID integration for UK universities.

It will ultimately help to transform the management, re-use, and efficiency of the UK research output by improving the integration of research systems and processes, and enhancing data quality. 

More than 50 UK universities have expressed an interest in joining an ORCID consortium in 2015, with a further 22 saying they intend to join at a later stage.

Rachel Bruce, deputy chief innovation officer, Jisc, said:

“Previously it has not been possible to easily associate valuable research outputs - be they patents or papers – with their authors, collaborators and institutions. This has led to extremely inefficient research management and difficulty in identifying what has been produced.

The result? Ineffective reporting and sharing of research, which impacts on both individual researcher’s and universities’ profiles.

Wider adoption and use of ORCID is the solution, helping the UK continue to deliver a first-class research system and offering other benefits, such as additional cost savings and efficiencies.”

Acting as a hub that connects with institutional, funder, publisher, and other researcher identifier systems, ORCID supports the reuse of data through the automation of processes and data exchange.

Feedback from a recent pilot study with eight UK universities showed that organisations that have adopted ORCID expect to see measurable efficiency improvements within two years of implementation - especially in internal data quality, streamlining of publications management, and enhanced reporting to funders – with accrued benefits increasing steadily over the following three to four years.

The importance of this endeavour to research is also demonstrated by the increasing number of funders requesting ORCID identifiers on grant applications. The Wellcome Trust will make ORCID a mandatory requirement from August 2015, while both HEFCE and Research Councils UK (RCUK) have shown high levels of support for the initiative.

In addition, the envisaged enhancements to systems and processes integrating ORCID should also play an important role in helping universities respond to funders’ open access (OA) policies, for example as part of the next Research Excellence Framework (REF), supporting the move towards an open culture.

Universities see ORCID as a crucial service, easing the workload of their researchers in ensuring compliance with OA mandates, making research more visible and discoverable, and creating opportunities for international and cross-disciplinary collaboration.

With the launch of the consortium, underpinned by increasing buy-in at a policy, as well as practical, level, the adoption of ORCID in the UK has reached a tipping point. Rachel Bruce continued,

“As part of our work with UK universities and funders, there is now a consensus that ORCID is the optimal researcher identifier system. These discussions have also identified a strong demand for Jisc to establish a UK consortium to ensure that the inherent benefits of widespread ORCID adoption are realised.

I’m extremely pleased we are now able to offer this arrangement that will contribute to better research information management in the UK.”

ORCID is a global, open, not-for-profit, community-driven effort developed closely with and for the research community.

ORCID provides additional use cases and detailed documentation on implementation in university or research institution research information systems.

Josh Brown, ORCID’s regional director for Europe, said,

“This agreement is a tremendous step forward for ORCID and all our partners in the UK. We are very excited to welcome the new members and integrations to our global community.

As well as webinars and workshops to help UK HEIs to make the most of this opportunity, we will be helping to develop new services for researchers and research data via our European projects and Jisc’s research data spring.”

To find out how to sign up for national consortium membership visit the Jisc Collections website.

Categories: Universities

National consortium for ORCID set to improve UK research visibility and collaboration

JISC news - Mon, 06/22/2015 - 13:22
23 June 2015

ORCID – a researcher identifier solution which enables a wide range of improvements to the scholarly communications ecosystem – will now be offered to UK higher education institutions through a national consortium arrangement operated by Jisc.

The agreement, negotiated by Jisc Collections, will enable universities to benefit from reduced ORCID membership costs and enhanced technical support. This should accelerate adoption and provide a smoother path to ORCID integration for UK universities.

It will ultimately help to transform the management, re-use, and efficiency of the UK research output by improving the integration of research systems and processes, and enhancing data quality. 

More than 50 UK universities have expressed an interest in joining an ORCID consortium in 2015, with a further 22 saying they intend to join at a later stage.

Rachel Bruce, deputy chief innovation officer, Jisc, said:

“Previously it has not been possible to easily associate valuable research outputs - be they patents or papers – with their authors, collaborators and institutions. This has led to extremely inefficient research management and difficulty in identifying what has been produced.

The result? Ineffective reporting and sharing of research, which impacts on both individual researcher’s and universities’ profiles.

Wider adoption and use of ORCID is the solution, helping the UK continue to deliver a first-class research system and offering other benefits, such as additional cost savings and efficiencies.”

Acting as a hub that connects with institutional, funder, publisher, and other researcher identifier systems, ORCID supports the reuse of data through the automation of processes and data exchange.

Feedback from a recent pilot study with eight UK universities showed that organisations that have adopted ORCID expect to see measurable efficiency improvements within two years of implementation - especially in internal data quality, streamlining of publications management, and enhanced reporting to funders – with accrued benefits increasing steadily over the following three to four years.

The importance of this endeavor to research is also demonstrated by the increasing number of funders requesting ORCID identifiers on grant applications. The Wellcome Trust will make ORCID a mandatory requirement from August 2015, while both HEFCE and Research Councils UK (RCUK) have shown high levels of support for the initiative.

In addition, the envisaged enhancements to systems and processes integrating ORCID should also play an important role in helping universities respond to funders’ open access (OA) policies, for example as part of the next Research Excellence Framework (REF), supporting the move towards an open culture.

Universities see ORCID as a crucial service, easing the workload of their researchers in ensuring compliance with OA mandates, making research more visible and discoverable, and creating opportunities for international and cross-disciplinary collaboration.

With the launch of the consortium, underpinned by increasing buy-in at a policy, as well as practical, level, the adoption of ORCID in the UK has reached a tipping point. Rachel Bruce continued,

“As part of our work with UK universities and funders, there is now a consensus that ORCID is the optimal researcher identifier system. These discussions have also identified a strong demand for Jisc to establish a UK consortium to ensure that the inherent benefits of widespread ORCID adoption are realised.

I’m extremely pleased we are now able to offer this arrangement that will contribute to better research information management in the UK.”

ORCID is a global, open, not-for-profit, community-driven effort developed closely with and for the research community.

ORCID provides additional use cases and detailed documentation on implementation in university or research institution research information systems.

Josh Brown, ORCID’s regional director for Europe, said,

“This agreement is a tremendous step forward for ORCID and all our partners in the UK. We are very excited to welcome the new members and integrations to our global community.

As well as webinars and workshops to help UK HEIs to make the most of this opportunity, we will be helping to develop new services for researchers and research data via our European projects and Jisc’s research data spring.”

To find out how to sign up for national consortium membership visit the Jisc Collections website.

Categories: Universities

Apprentices scoop funding to develop new digital technologies

JISC news - Mon, 06/22/2015 - 10:18
22 June 2015

Teams of apprentices from Training 2000 and Sparsholt College have been named as winners of a national competition to come up with ideas for new digital tools and apps for work-based learning.

Both teams have been given £20,000 funding and will receive support from Jisc experts and the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) after winning the apprentice-led ideas category in the Summer of Student Innovation, an annual competition that gives learners the chance to create solutions that could change the education and training landscape forever.

The winning ideas are Licence to Learn and Connected Apprentice.

Licence to Learn is a game-based app designed by a group of apprentices at Training 2000, a UK training association for business apprentices. It offers a more creative and entertaining way of studying by gamifying revision and rewarding students with incentives such as free drinks, prizes and vouchers for successfully completing tasks.

Connected Apprentice is a social networking-type platform from learners at Sparsholt College in Hampshire, which allows apprentices, employers and learning providers to connect and communicate with each other. It is thought this should help reduce apprenticeship drop-out rates by allowing them to easily ask questions and get support.

Jisc and AELP will also work to support the projects at a series of workshops to help make them a reality before inviting both teams to present at the AELP Technology Conference in November.

Paul Bailey, senior co-design manager, Jisc said:

“The apprentice-led ideas challenge was created to go direct to apprentices and trainees, to find out how they think technology can improve their learning experiences and help them develop tangible solutions.

The two winning groups both evidenced excellent understanding of some of the major issues facing apprentices today. They put forward innovative ideas using digital technologies which could offer real benefits to apprentices, employers and learning providers.

The next stage will involve working closely with the successful teams to help hone their products. I look forward to seeing how their concepts develop over the coming months.”

Chris Swingler, AELP associate said:

“This is the first year apprentices have been invited to submit their ideas to the Jisc challenge and we’ve been delighted with the range of innovative and creative ideas from all the teams clearly demonstrating how effective technology based tools and aids can support their learning experience and benefit the whole sector. 

AELP is looking forward to working with the winning teams to develop their ideas further and to showcase the projects later in the year.”

The winners will be announced at the AELP national conference, which takes place on 22 and 23 June.

For more information visit the Summer of Student Innovation web pages.

Categories: Universities

Apprentices scoop funding to develop new digital technologies

JISC news - Mon, 06/22/2015 - 10:18
22 June 2015

Teams of apprentices from Training 2000 and Sparsholt College have been named as winners of a national competition to come up with ideas for new digital tools and apps for work-based learning.

Both teams have been given £20,000 funding and will receive support from Jisc experts and the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) after winning the apprentice-led ideas category in the Summer of Student Innovation, an annual competition that gives learners the chance to create solutions that could change the education and training landscape forever.

The winning ideas are Licence to Learn and Connected Apprentice.

Licence to Learn is a game-based app designed by a group of apprentices at Training 2000, a UK training association for business apprentices. It offers a more creative and entertaining way of studying by gamifying revision and rewarding students with incentives such as free drinks, prizes and vouchers for successfully completing tasks.

Connected Apprentice is a social networking-type platform from learners at Sparsholt College in Hampshire, which allows apprentices, employers and learning providers to connect and communicate with each other. It is thought this should help reduce apprenticeship drop-out rates by allowing them to easily ask questions and get support.

Jisc and AELP will also work to support the projects at a series of workshops? to help make them a reality before inviting both teams to present at the AELP Technology Conference in November – anything else?

Paul Bailey, senior co-design manager, Jisc said:

“The apprentice-led ideas challenge was created to go direct to apprentices and trainees, to find out how they think technology can improve their learning experiences and help them develop tangible solutions.

The two winning groups both evidenced excellent understanding of some of the major issues facing apprentices today. They put forward innovative ideas using digital technologies which could offer real benefits to apprentices, employers and learning providers.

The next stage will involve working closely with the successful teams to help hone their products. I look forward to seeing how their concepts develop over the coming months.”

Chris Swingler, AELP associate said:

“This is the first year apprentices have been invited to submit their ideas to the Jisc challenge and we’ve been delighted with the range of innovative and creative ideas from all the teams clearly demonstrating how effective technology based tools and aids can support their learning experience and benefit the whole sector. 

AELP is looking forward to working with the winning teams to develop their ideas further and to showcase the projects later in the year.”

The winners will be announced at the AELP national conference, which takes place on 22 and 23 June.

For more information visit the Summer of Student Innovation web pages.

Categories: Universities

The Open University named ‘Digital Innovators’ in leadership awards

JISC news - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 15:45
19 June 2015

A project by The Open University that’s revolutionising the production and use of audio/visual material was last night named a winner in the Times Higher Leadership and Management Awards 2015, at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

The university won in the Digital Innovation of the Year category – which celebrates excellent use of digital technology to improve the administration or management of an institution, sponsored by Jisc – for its flagship production portal.

The portal has been designed to make it easier to discover and re-use material, while also simplifying the workflow associated with re-use, such as costings and rights clearances.

Approximately 200 production staff use the cloud-based production portal to manage the vast body of audio/visual material available to students and the general public. Over 40 years’ worth of the university’s archive material has now been migrated to the portal, and more than 2,000 projects and 38,000 third party clearances logged.

Martin Hamilton, futurist at Jisc and judge of the award, said:

“Rights management for audio/visual content is a major issue for all institutions, given the enormous growth of digital media in teaching and learning.

It’s great to see how The Open University has exploited technology to simplify these processes and also control the risk of litigation and reputational damage that might arise from inappropriate re-use of third party material.”

The judging panel was particularly impressed with the rights management aspects of the portal – an issue that was becoming increasingly important for universities delivering online content and MOOCs.

Martin added:

“At Jisc we are seeing institutions moving more and more towards online education and blended learning. The production portal has great potential for transferability, across both higher and further education.”

Alma Hales, head of intellectual property at The Open University said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have won the Digital Innovation of the Year award, and to have our production portal recognised by the sector as a game-changer.

As a world-leader in flexible distance learning, with over 40 years of video and sound content, the portal has provided The Open University with an invaluable way to both organise our content and to track our intellectual property.”

Visit the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards website to see the full list of winners.

Categories: Universities

The Open University named ‘Digital Innovators’ in leadership awards

JISC news - Thu, 06/18/2015 - 15:45
19 June 2015

A project by The Open University that’s revolutionising the production and use of audio/visual material was last night named a winner in the Times Higher Leadership and Management Awards 2015, at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

The university won in the Digital Innovation of the Year category – which celebrates excellent use of digital technology to improve the administration or management of an institution, sponsored by Jisc – for its flagship production portal.

The portal has been designed to make it easier to discover and re-use material, while also simplifying the workflow associated with re-use, such as costings and rights clearances.

Approximately 200 production staff use the cloud-based production portal to manage the vast body of audio/visual material available to students and the general public. Over 40 years’ worth of the university’s archive material has now been migrated to the portal, and more than 2,000 projects and 38,000 third party clearances logged.

Martin Hamilton, futurist at Jisc and judge of the award, said:

“Rights management for audio/visual content is a major issue for all institutions, given the enormous growth of digital media in teaching and learning.

It’s great to see how The Open University has exploited technology to simplify these processes and also control the risk of litigation and reputational damage that might arise from inappropriate re-use of third party material.”

The judging panel was particularly impressed with the rights management aspects of the portal – an issue that was becoming increasingly important for universities delivering online content and MOOCs.

Martin added:

“At Jisc we are seeing institutions moving more and more towards online education and blended learning. The production portal has great potential for transferability, across both higher and further education.”

Alma Hales, head of intellectual property at The Open University said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have won the Digital Innovation of the Year award, and to have our production portal recognised by the sector as a game-changer.

As a world-leader in flexible distance learning, with over 40 years of video and sound content, the portal has provided The Open University with an invaluable way to both organise our content and to track our intellectual property.”

Visit the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards website to see the full list of winners.

Categories: Universities

Enhancing student services with digital engagement

JISC news - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 16:14
17 June 2015

This week, Eric Stoller, student affairs and technology blogger for Inside Higher Ed, returns for his second guest podcast and blog on how effective use of social media can improve the student experience. Read the original blog post.

Categories: Universities

Enhancing student services with digital engagement

JISC news - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 16:14
17 June 2015

This week, Eric Stoller, student affairs and technology blogger for Inside Higher Ed, returns for his second guest podcast and blog on how effective use of social media can improve the student experience. Read the original blog post.

Categories: Universities

Good governance remains the priority for Principals as a new bill on HE governance is introduced

Universities Scotland news - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 11:08
As a new Bill on higher education governance is introduced to Holyrood today (Wednesday 17 June) university leaders said their priority would be working with politicians and stakeholders to ensure the final legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament is consistent with good governance with strong lines of accountability. Universities Scotland will give the Bill close scrutiny to ensure this.The Scottish Government's Bill, introduced to Parliament by Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, would enable Scottish Ministers to make regulations on how the Chairs of governing bodies should be appointed, including the possibility of election. The Bill provides for trades union, graduate and student association representatives on governing bodies. It extends the current statutory definition of academic freedom and makes provision about the size and composition of academic boards or senates.Scotland's universities are committed to transparency, accountability and inclusion in their governance. Staff and students already serve as members of the governing body at every institution and currently play a key role in the transparent and external process for the appointment of the Chair. As a new Bill on higher education governance is introduced to Holyrood today (Wednesday 17 June) university leaders said their priority would be working with politicians and stakeholders to ensure the final legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament is consistent with good governance with strong lines of accountability. Universities Scotland will give the Bill close scrutiny to ensure this.The Scottish Government's Bill, introduced to Parliament by Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, would enable Scottish Ministers to make regulations on how the Chairs of governing bodies should be appointed, including the possibility of election. The Bill provides for trades union, graduate and student association representatives on governing bodies. It extends the current statutory definition of academic freedom and makes provision about the size and composition of academic boards or senates.Scotland's universities are committed to transparency, accountability and inclusion in their governance. Staff and students already serve as members of the governing body at every institution and currently play a key role in the transparent and external process for the appointment of the Chair.Universities will focus particularly closely on two provisions within the Bill as it passes through Parliament; the proposals for the appointment of the Chair of the governing body and the proposal to extend governing body membership to people appointed by interest groups. On the appointment of the Chair, the proposals (at section 1 (1) and 1 (2) of the Bill) would be a significant transfer of powers from institutions to the Scottish Government as the drafting of the Bill puts the process for appointing a Chair at the discretion of Ministers.Universities Scotland welcomes the opportunity for further exploration of the issues before regulations are made. University leaders will work hard with Scottish Government and other stakeholders to find a way forward that both attracts diverse candidates who want to serve as chairs of court and allows for them to be selected in a way that commands the full confidence of the governing body.Universities want to see the continuation of strong lines of accountability between the membership of the governing body and the Chair. At present the governing body has the power to appoint, review performance and dismiss the Chair. A move to elections by any constituency other than the members of the governing body would threaten to weaken this strong line of accountability. There is potential for confusion and muddled accountability if the chair is elected on the basis of policies or promises that are opposed by the governing body.At present all members of the governing body, including staff, students, independent members and senior management have to act in the best interests of the institution. The Bill's intention to extend membership to representatives of interest groups introduces a potential conflict if these members serve simply as representatives of an interest group rather than bearing responsibility for the good governance of the institution.Universities Scotland will be seeking absolute clarity that all members of the governing body bear the same collective responsibility for the good governance and success of the institution.Commenting on the HE Governance Bill, Professor Sir Pete Downes, Convener of Universities Scotland and Principal of the University of Dundee said:"Universities believe we have a strong system of effective, inclusive and accountable governance in place. It is a system that is open to evolution and improvement. There is clear evidence of this evolution in the many changes that have been delivered with the support of staff and students in the last couple of years. "Any and all change to our governance methods must be to strengthen the core values of good governance such as accountability and objectivity. We intend to work with the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament to ensure that the proposals in the bill achieve that aim. Careful amendments will be needed to avoid the risk that lines of accountability are weakened or the objectivity of governors is compromised."Our current system of governance puts staff, students and independent members from Scotland's business and civic sectors at the heart of universities' strategic decision-making. That's as it should be as universities are here to serve a diverse range of communities. That provides a range of valuable perspectives - but ultimately every member of the governing body needs to take responsibility for decisions that promote the institution's success. It's also why you need an effective Chair with the full confidence of the governing body. "Universities don't want to see these lines of accountability and objectivity weakened and want to work with Parliament and Government to ensure this."In 2013 a new Scottish Code of Good HE Governance was introduced and implemented by Scotland's 19 higher education institutions. In under two years the Code has been responsible for over 350 progressive changes across the sector. The Chair at every institution is now appointed through a process of external and transparent recruitment with staff and student involvement in the selection committee.Six of the last seven appointments to the role of Chair have been women. Earlier this year Chairs of university courts committed to work towards securing a 40:40:20 gender balance amongst the independent members of court with a review of progress to take place in 2018.As the time of its introduction, Lord Smith of Kelvin who chaired the Steering Group for the Code of HE Governance promised a review of its effectiveness after three years. This is due to take place in 2016.
Categories: Universities

Andrew Cormack awarded Vietsch Foundation medal of honour

JISC news - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 10:09
18 June 2015

Today, the first Vietsch Foundation medals of honour have been awarded to Andrew Cormack, chief regulatory adviser at Jisc and Roland Hedberg, senior researcher at the University of Umeå in Sweden.

They were honoured for outstanding contributions during their careers to the development of the internet:

  • Andrew Cormack, for his role in advancing trust and security within the European research and education sector
  • Roland Hedberg, for his activities in the specification and development of essential components of current Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructures (AAI), a cornerstone of secure access to websites, applications and data

The medals were presented during the closing plenary session of TNC, the major European conference on research and education networking that is organised annually by GÉANT.

Creative Commons attribution information Andrew Cormack©Andrew CormackAll rights reserved Andrew Cormack

Andrew Cormack, chief regulatory adviser at Jisc, contributed to the establishment of TF-CSIRT, the European forum for security incident response. More recently, his interest in legal matters put him in the unique position to bring together computer security and legal disciplines.

Andrew was instrumental in the creation of the successful TRANSITS course on security incident response, which has trained more than 500 individuals in Europe and many more around the world, meaning the internet is a more secure place.

Roland Hedberg is a senior researcher at the University of Umeå in Sweden. Roland has played a key role in contributing his expertise from the research and education networking community to standard industry deployments of federated identity management, an essential component of AAI.

He developed the OpenID Connect conformance test suite, which was adopted by the OpenID Foundation and became the de facto reference implementation. OpenID Connect is a new standard, only a year old, but it sees good traction and is rapidly becoming the protocol to use for protecting web-based application.

Valentino Cavalli, chair of the board of trustees of the Vietsch Foundation, which promotes the research and development of advanced Internet technology for scientific research and higher education, said,

“it was a tough choice for the board to make, amongst the number of nominations received for this year’s medal, but there was very little hesitation in recognising the equal value of Andrew’s and Roland’s work. They were also both directly involved in the activities of TERENA, the organisation that was shaped by the late Karel Vietsch, and both had the opportunity to work with him.

The results of their work are reaching different sectors and environments, and it is a thrilling opportunity for the Vietsch Foundation to be able to make itself known in those communities.”

Tim Kidd, executive director of Jisc technologies comments:

“I am delighted that Andrew has been recognised by the Vietsch Foundation for his outstanding contribution to the development of the Internet. At Jisc we believe that our education and research communities deserve the highest standard of help and support to ensure that they can truly take advantage of new technologies.

Andrew’s work has been fundamental in ensuring that academics, researchers and students can use the internet as safely as possible.”

Categories: Universities

Andrew Cormack awarded Vietsch Foundation medal of honour

JISC news - Wed, 06/17/2015 - 10:09
18 June 2015

Today, the first Vietsch Foundation medals of honour have been awarded to Andrew Cormack, chief regulatory adviser at Jisc and Roland Hedberg, senior researcher at the University of Umeå in Sweden.

They were honoured for outstanding contributions during their careers to the development of the internet:

  • Andrew Cormack, for his role in advancing trust and security within the European research and education sector
  • Roland Hedberg, for his activities in the specification and development of essential components of current Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructures (AAI), a cornerstone of secure access to websites, applications and data

The medals were presented during the closing plenary session of TNC, the major European conference on research and education networking that is organised annually by GÉANT.

Creative Commons attribution information Andrew Cormack©Andrew CormackAll rights reserved Andrew Cormack

Andrew Cormack, chief regulatory adviser at Jisc, contributed to the establishment of TF-CSIRT, the European forum for security incident response. More recently, his interest in legal matters put him in the unique position to bring together computer security and legal disciplines.

Andrew was instrumental in the creation of the successful TRANSITS course on security incident response, which has trained more than 500 individuals in Europe and many more around the world, meaning the internet is a more secure place.

Roland Hedberg is a senior researcher at the University of Umeå in Sweden. Roland has played a key role in contributing his expertise from the research and education networking community to standard industry deployments of federated identity management, an essential component of AAI.

He developed the OpenID Connect conformance test suite, which was adopted by the OpenID Foundation and became the de facto reference implementation. OpenID Connect is a new standard, only a year old, but it sees good traction and is rapidly becoming the protocol to use for protecting web-based application.

Valentino Cavalli, chair of the board of trustees of the Vietsch Foundation, which promotes the research and development of advanced Internet technology for scientific research and higher education, said,

“it was a tough choice for the board to make, amongst the number of nominations received for this year’s medal, but there was very little hesitation in recognising the equal value of Andrew’s and Roland’s work. They were also both directly involved in the activities of TERENA, the organisation that was shaped by the late Karel Vietsch, and both had the opportunity to work with him.

The results of their work are reaching different sectors and environments, and it is a thrilling opportunity for the Vietsch Foundation to be able to make itself known in those communities.”

Tim Kidd, executive director of Jisc technologies comments:

“I am delighted that Andrew has been recognised by the Vietsch Foundation for his outstanding contribution to the development of the Internet. At Jisc we believe that our education and research communities deserve the highest standard of help and support to ensure that they can truly take advantage of new technologies.

Andrew’s work has been fundamental in ensuring that academics, researchers and students can use the internet as safely as possible.”

Categories: Universities

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