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What do you love that's threatened by climate change?

Nus Org - 5 hours 28 min ago

We're supporting the new Climate Coalition campaign and asking: what do you love that's threatened by climate change?

Categories: NUS news

Unlimited access to 33,000 video resources now available to UK educators

JISC news - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:07
16 April 2014

Alexander Street Press has forged an agreement with Jisc to provide access to video resources for colleges and universities in the UK using the publisher’s popular evidence-based acquisition (EBA) model.

The EBA agreement gives colleges and universities in the UK the opportunity to have unlimited access to Alexander Street Press’ complete suite of academic video titles - more than 33,000 titles - for up to one year at a time. At the end of this period, university staff can use Alexander Street Press’ detailed metrics to evaluate their patrons’ most-viewed titles and select those they’d like to incorporate into their permanent collection.

Gareth Bish, UK and Ireland sales manager at Alexander Street Press said:

“We are delighted to have reached this agreement with Jisc, not only because of their dedication to providing UK institutions with market-leading academic resources for scholarly research, teaching, and learning, but also because they are highly trusted by the academic library community to negotiate license agreements for digital media via flexible business models such as this.

We are thrilled to have their support for our EBA programme. In return, as part of our commitment to driving and analysing usage, we will be working with Jisc on enhanced provision of usage statistics for academic libraries.”

This agreement is the result of heightened interest in EBA, following agreements made in 2013 with the University of Dundee and Leeds Metropolitan University, and will further pave the way for libraries worldwide to add the most highly sought-after content to their collections in a precise, cost-effective way.

Lorraine Estelle, executive director content and discovery and divisional CEO Jisc Collections, Jisc said:

“Jisc Collections is very pleased to work with Alexander Street Press on bringing this evidence based acquisition model to the attention of academic libraries. The model has worked very successfully for some libraries in the acquisition of e-books and we believe it has the same potential in the area of multimedia.”

For more information about Alexander Street Press’ evidence-based acquisition model, please contact sales@alexanderstreet.com

Categories: Universities

NUS proudly launches partnership with Global Citizen

Nus Org - Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:11

NUS is proud to launch an exclusive partnership with the new online activism platform, GlobalCitizen.org, offering a chance for you to win tickets to see your favourite artists.

Categories: NUS news

Launch of 2014 'Success in the Student Market' research report

Nus Org - Tue, 04/15/2014 - 13:00

We are proud to launch the 2014 ‘Success in the Student Market’ report.

Categories: NUS news

18-25 with opinions to share? We’d like to hear your views

Nus Org - Fri, 04/11/2014 - 13:07

COIN, the UK’s leading climate communications charity, and LSE's Grantham Institute are looking for 18-25 year olds to take part in cutting edge research on their thoughts about climate change. COIN is offering £20 worth of music vouchers (or a £20 cash donation to your group or society) for your participation.

Categories: NUS news

Toni Pearce re-elected as NUS President

Nus Org - Wed, 04/09/2014 - 12:55

Toni Pearce has been re-elected as national president of NUS at National Conference 2014. 

Categories: NUS news

NUS President Toni Pearce sets out her vision for a New Deal for the Next Generation

Nus Org - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 15:00

National President Toni Pearce has welcomed delegates to Liverpool for NUS National Conference 2014 by calling for a generation of students to take action on the challenges they face.

Categories: NUS news

Free Janet Certificates for those affected by OpenSSL 'heartbleed' bug

JISC news - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 14:42
8 April 2014

Jisc is pleased to announce that those universities and colleges affected by the Open Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) bug, dubbed 'heartbleed', will be able to obtain replacement certificates through Jisc’s Janet Certificate Service for free.

SSL allows websites to demonstrate their authenticity to users. Most universities and colleges in the UK use OpenSSL for this process. Yesterday the heartbleed bug was detected in OpenSSL. Jisc’s Janet Certificate Service provides certificates in order to authenticate your website. This service is designed to speed up the process of requesting certificates for .ac.uk and .gov.uk domains and for other domains owned by UK universities and colleges. This service normally carries a fee of up to £35.

Affected universities and colleges are advised to follow the technical advice to protect their websites issued by Jisc-funded service, computer security incident response team (CSIRT).

Tim Kidd, operations director, said:

“As a trusted advisor to the education and research sector we are pleased to be offering advice and assistance to those affected by this issue. As well as technical advice we are offering affected universities and colleges replacement certificates free of charge. Any university or college affected and requiring a replacement certificate, should contact service@ja.net.”

If you have been affected by the heartbleed bug, and as a result need to replace SSL certificates, then please visit our community group to find out how to obtain yours for free.

Categories: Universities

NUS National Conference 2014!

Nus Org - Tue, 04/08/2014 - 11:50

 NUS National Conference 2014 took place in Liverpool and you can read about all the action here.

Categories: NUS news

NUS, Amnesty and Channel 4 host #UnreportedStudents

Nus Org - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 17:47

NUS has teamed up with Channel 4’s Unreported World and Amnesty International to host a free special one-day programme for student journalists.

Categories: NUS news

We support Yashika and celebrate immigration at Open Generation

Nus Org - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 21:16

We're coming together to talk positively about immigration at Open Generation, and we're doing all we can to help Yashika go to university in the UK.

Categories: NUS news

Open access to be a requirement for UK research funding

JISC news - Fri, 03/28/2014 - 17:37
31 March 2014

Jisc today welcomed the announcement by Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Department for Employment and Learning that from 2016 they will expect all articles submitted to the Research Excellence Framework (REF), a system for assessing the quality of research, to be available by open access

This framework will be used by the HEFCE, the Scottish Funding Council, the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales and the Department for Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland to inform the selective allocation of their research funding to higher education institutions. This means that any university which applies for research funding will have to show how they support open access.

This is potentially great news for universities and researchers keen to raise their profile and their impact.  However, as with any benefit, it will require some investment on the part of the sector. 

Jisc, the Association for Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA) , Research Libraries UK (RLUK) and Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL)  have come together to help universities reduce the investment needed so that good practice and lessons can be shared between those responsible for putting the REF policy into practice. 

Lorraine Estelle, executive director of digital content and resource discovery and CEO Jisc Collections, said:

“There are few things to which universities pay more attention than the REF, so I’m delighted that Jisc is working so closely with our partners to help universities prepare for it, and gain the maximum benefit from doing so.“

Jisc works with the Open Access Implementation Group to offer a range of support and guidance which can help your university choose a model of open access which is right for your institution. We are supporting the open access implementation community with a number of Jisc-funded pathfinder projects, along with events, workshops and briefings over the next two years until the policy comes into force.  And we are working with HEFCE, the Research Councils and the Wellcome Trust to provide the Sherpa FACT service, advising authors on complying with open access policies. 

Simon Kerridge (ARMA), Stella Butler (RLUK), Sara Marsh (SCONUL) and Neil Jacobs (Jisc) agree that

“working together in this way, our organisations can reduce the burden on universities as they adopt open access in ways that best suit their missions in a diverse higher education sector”

The future of research is open access. Jisc is proud to be ensuring that institutions are involved in shaping that future and equipped to get the best out of it.

Categories: Universities

Scotland’s university performance on access and retention both make significant steps in the right direction

Universities Scotland news - Thu, 03/27/2014 - 14:13
Nearly half of the increase in Scottish domiciled entrants to Scottish universities in 2012/13 were from the most deprived 40 per cent of neighbourhoods according to new figures released by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) today. Scotland's universities saw an increase of 621 Scottish undergraduate entrants between 2011/12 and 2012/13; of these 291 were from the most deprived 40 per cent of neighbourhoods according to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD40). The SFC has published the data to coincide with the Higher Education Statistics Agency's (HESA) publication of its annual Performance Indicators for universities' widening access to underrepresented groups. The SFC data reflects the Scottish Government's concentration on SIMD as a preferred measure for recording progress on widening access. Nearly half of the increase in Scottish domiciled entrants to Scottish universities in 2012/13 were from the most deprived 40 per cent of neighbourhoods according to new figures released by the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) today. Scotland's universities saw an increase of 621 Scottish undergraduate entrants between 2011/12 and 2012/13; of these 291 were from the most deprived 40 per cent of neighbourhoods according to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD40). The SFC has published the data to coincide with the Higher Education Statistics Agency's (HESA) publication of its annual Performance Indicators for universities' widening access to underrepresented groups. The SFC data reflects the Scottish Government's concentration on SIMD as a preferred measure for recording progress on widening access.Across the sector in Scotland this increase in the intake of students from the 40 per cent most deprived areas of Scotland sees students from SIMD40 backgrounds increase from 22.5 per cent of undergraduate entrants to 23.2 per cent. This means that today's data cannot represent the further progress made on widening access since 2012/13.The intake figure reflects the sector's strong commitment to widening access to higher education. The data also pre-date the additional 700 university widening access places for SIMD40 students that were created for academic year 2013/14 as the data published today is for 2012/13.Scotland's universities have also delivered an increase in the number of students progressing into the second year of studies. HESA non-continuation data shows a decrease in the non-continuation rate of undergraduate students after the first year of entry. Scotland's universities recorded a non-continuation rate of 7.9 per cent in 2011/12, down from 8.9 per cent in 2010/11. This marks the fifth successive year that non-continuation rates have moved in the right direction in Scotland.Responding to publication of today's widening access and retention data Alastair Sim, Director, Universities Scotland, said:"Every university is deeply committed to widening access to all students with the potential to benefit from higher education. Today's figures are real proof of that as close to half of the increase in last year's undergraduate intake are students from the 40 per cent most deprived areas of Scotland. That is an additional 290 additional students from deprived neighbourhoods. It's important to remember that this increase comes a year before the additional access places created by the Scottish Government come into effect. We can expect to see a step change in next year's data."Widening access and retention go hand in hand. It's not enough to admit non-traditional students, they need to be supported to stay in and achieve successful outcomes, so it's very encouraging to see Scotland's continuation rate move in the right direction again for the fifth year in a row. This reflects a real concerted effort on the part of institutions in Scotland." At institutional level, the SFC widening access data also reflects the complexity of the challenge of widening access with varying levels of success in increasing the proportion of underrepresented students. This reflects Scotland's geo-demography which shows varying levels of deprivation across Scotland as captured by SIMD. The Glasgow region shows concentrated levels of SIMD40 neighbourhoods in contrast to Aberdeen City, Aberdeenshire and many of Scotland's remote and rural areas which do not because deprivation in these areas is not concentrated in discrete postcode areas. Universities Scotland has long pointed out the limitations of SIMD as a measure for tracking access to higher education and encourages the use of a basket of measures which are more able to reflect the full picture of universities' widening access initiatives.Notes:• The Scottish Funding Council data for Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation can be found here: http://www.sfc.ac.uk/statistics/higher_education_statistics/HE_performance_indicators/Participation_indicator_for_Scottish_HEIs.aspx• The Higher Education Statistics Agency data on under-represented groups and continuation rates can be found here: http://www.hesa.ac.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2064&Itemid=141• The Scottish Government created an additional 700 funded places for SIMD40 students from academic year 2013/14. The impact of these additional places will not be seen until next year's data.• Universities Scotland's Access All Areas Report published at the end of 2013 demonstrates over 50 different widening access initiatives delivered by Scotland's higher education institutions (HEIs). This report show cases the life-cycle approach that must be taken to widen access , creating opportunities for children and their parents from the early years, through school, college, creating second chances and opportunities for mature learners. Download the report here: http://www.universities-scotland.ac.uk/uploads/ACCESS%20ALL%20AREAS%20final.pdf 
Categories: Universities

Historical medical books database gets a boost from Jisc and Wellcome Library partnership

JISC news - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 10:33
25 March 2014

Today the Wellcome Library and Jisc are pleased to announce that they have strengthened their successful working relationship by signing a new three year agreement for the digitisation of more than 10 million pages of 19th century published works. 

These are focused on medicine and related disciplines and drawn from university and other research libraries across the UK.

The Wellcome Library is one of the world’s major resources for the study of medical history and provides access to a growing collection of resources relating to contemporary medicine and biomedical science in society.

The Wellcome Library is digitising its 19th century collections. Jisc will support the digitisation of complementary collections which are housed within universities to create a comprehensive online resource for the history of medicine and related sciences. The Wellcome Library will also provide support to allow non-university research libraries to participate in the project. Open access to all of the content will be provided across multiple platforms, including the Wellcome Library’s website, the Internet Archive and through Jisc.

By collaborating on the creation, dissemination and aggregation of digital content the charities will streamline the provision of digitised historical medical content by deploying common standards, infrastructure and best practice.

The project will significantly increase the availability of digitised text for teaching learning and research. The project is being undertaken in partnership with a number of higher education and specialist libraries, co-designed with Research Libraries UK (RLUK), and informed by an academic advisory group.

Simon Chaplin, head of the Wellcome Library said:

“We are building on the success of the US-based Medical Heritage Library, which already has over 50,000 digitised books online – our project will add significantly to this. For the Wellcome Library, this forms part of a bigger project that will digitise over 50 million pages of historic medical books, archives, manuscripts and journals by 2020.”

Stella Butler, chair of RLUK and chair of the academic advisory group for the project said:

"RLUK is delighted to be working with Jisc and the Wellcome Library on this important project which will make a step change to the availability of research resource for humanities scholars enabling important projects in areas such as medical history, ethics and the social sciences.”

Lorraine Estelle, Jisc’s executive director content and discovery and divisional CEO Jisc Collections said:

“By working with the Wellcome Library and the Internet Archive to aggregate dispersed medical collections of books and pamphlets, we are building the UK’s research capability in the most sustainable way. 

High quality digitisation allows text to be liberated from its page, and the resulting data enables new forms of research inquiry. The project also meets the increasing demand, from our customers, that traditional content should be made digital for use and reuse.”

Categories: Universities

Student officers leading the way on energy savings

Nus Org - Fri, 03/21/2014 - 20:26

Officers are leading students in saving energy across Wales, in our biggest switch-off event ever.

Categories: NUS news

Blackout tackling energy wastage on campuses

Nus Org - Fri, 03/21/2014 - 19:44

Few people are more aware of the energy we waste on campsues as the staff who look after our buildings.

As hundreds of students across Wales are saving energy across campuses in our biggest ever switch-off event, we spoke to deputy head of house services at Aberystwyth University John Williams about the positive impact he thinks Blackout is having.


Categories: NUS news

Universities Scotland welcomes positive HE Business and Community Interaction Survey results for Scotland

Universities Scotland news - Thu, 03/20/2014 - 16:49
Universities Scotland today, Thursday 20 March, welcomed the results of the HE Business and Community Interaction Survey (HE-BCI) which showed an increase in graduate start-up companies in 2012/13 compared to 2011/12.Commenting on the welcome increase in graduate start-up companies, Universities Scotland's Director, Alastair Sim, said: "Today's news that there were 152 new graduate start-up companies in 2012/13 - an increase of 20 per cent on the previous year - is indicative of the culture change taking place in Scotland's higher education sector with enterprise and entrepreneurship increasingly taking hold. Our report on graduate employability last year, Taking Pride in the Job, noted that there has been a real growth in the presence of projects and initiatives linked to enterprise and entrepreneurship in Scotland's universities to encourage students to think about self-employment and support them towards that end." Universities Scotland today, Thursday 20 March, welcomed the results of the HE Business and Community Interaction Survey (HE-BCI) which showed an increase in graduate start-up companies in 2012/13 compared to 2011/12.Commenting on the welcome increase in graduate start-up companies, Universities Scotland's Director, Alastair Sim, said: "Today's news that there were 152 new graduate start-up companies in 2012/13 - an increase of 20 per cent on the previous year - is indicative of the culture change taking place in Scotland's higher education sector with enterprise and entrepreneurship increasingly taking hold. Our report on graduate employability last year, Taking Pride in the Job, noted that there has been a real growth in the presence of projects and initiatives linked to enterprise and entrepreneurship in Scotland's universities to encourage students to think about self-employment and support them towards that end." The HE-BCI Survey also reported good news on the number of active spin-out and start-up firms from Scotland's higher education institutions (HEIs), the estimated current employment of all active firms and the income of Scottish HEIs from business and community sources in 2012/13. On the wider results of the HE-BCI Survey, Universities Scotland's Director, Alastair Sim, said: "Today's figures are good news for Scotland's economy. Last year we celebrated Scottish universities' influence in attracting business investment and jobs to Scotland, today we celebrate the university role in the creation of more indigenous companies by our staff and graduates and the fact that more of these companies are continuing to be active year on year supporting an increasing number of jobs for the Scottish workforce."Also welcome is the vote of confidence from business in Scotland's universities with an additional £16 million of income generated through business spend on activities and services including contract research and provision of Continued Professional Development. Taken together, the figures in the HE-BCI Survey show the valuable and multiple contributions of Scotland's higher education sector to sustainable economic growth in Scotland." Notes The Higher Education Business and Community Interactions (HE-BCI) Survey 2012/13 was published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) on Thursday 20 March. The HESA press release and figures for Scotland are available here: http://www.hesa.ac.uk/content/view/3166/161/Universities Scotland's 2013 report on graduate employability, Taking Pride in the Job, is available here: http://www.universities-scotland.ac.uk/uploads/TakingPrideintheJobApril13.pdf  
Categories: Universities

Freedom of Information requests received by UK universities continue to rise

JISC news - Thu, 03/20/2014 - 16:39
21 March 2014

Student coursework is not the reason behind the huge increase in the number of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests received by UK universities last year. 

On average, just seven percent of the requests came from staff, researchers and students from other institutions and only five percent from a university’s own students. These percentages are lower than they were in 2005, the first year of the survey.

That’s one of the findings revealed in the ninth annual Jisc infoNet, GuildHE and Universities UK information legislation and management survey, which was published earlier this month following the Times Higher Education (THE) who reported the increase earlier this year.

The Jisc survey is broadly in line with THE’s own survey, showing that the number of FOI requests received by UK universities has risen by 43% since 2012 and by 147% in the last five years.

The 53 universities that took part in the survey averaged 184 FOI requests each, with 426 reported by one. In 2013 universities in Yorkshire and Humberside received most, followed by those in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Universities in the East Midlands and the East received fewest.

Journalists made the most FOI requests (26%), followed by members of the public (17%) and commercial organisations (13%). The key interests were student issues and numbers, followed by financial information, and HR and staff issues.

Last year was the busiest so far for FOI requests, and also the most unpredictable, with numbers varying between an average of just 11.2 in February to 26.8 in November. Moreover, the pattern of requests seen in previous years was broken, with the final quarter being the busiest for the first time since the survey started.

Jisc infoNet researcher and analyst Teresa Tocewicz comments,

“The big upsurge in FOI requests has put an added burden on universities, especially in 2013 when it became much harder to predict when they were likely to be made.

Even so, the HE sector managed to beat their performance in 2012 by dealing with 93% of requests within the 20 working days set out in the legislation. It remains to be seen whether they will be able to sustain that high level of performance without increased resources or organisational change.”

More details about the survey are available on the Jisc infoNet website.

Categories: Universities

Jisc TechDis launch ambassador programme

JISC news - Thu, 03/20/2014 - 12:56
20 March 2014

As part of World Storytelling Day today, a new scheme on technologies for inclusion and accessibility is launching called Jisc TechDis ambassadors. 

It invites disabled learners to share stories celebrating technology, independence and individual achievement.

Sal Cooke, director of Jisc TechDis explains,

“An ambassador is someone with a disability who shares and celebrates their use of technology in learning or work. We are encouraging disabled learners (who are 16 or over) and staff to send in their personal stories. We want to know who you are, what technology you are using, what it does and how it helps you.”

The scheme provides a voice for disabled learners and a unique opportunity for them to share their specialist knowledge and skills with one another as well as with education providers across the UK. It gives us the chance to learn from them and for them to learn from one another.

Lisa Featherstone, adviser at Jisc TechDis says,

“There is a lot of discussion in the sector about bring your own device (BYOD) but very little consideration for enabling and assistive technologies within this discussion. The ambassador programme redresses this by showing how they use their devices in their own unique and personalised way.”

Ambassadors will receive an official letter and certificate for use in portfolios. In addition, their story will be published on the Jisc TechDis blog, where you can find a number of interesting and inspirational example stories.

The aim is to get a wide range of stories from both higher and further education as well as the wider skills sector. These stories will then be shared throughout May which is National Share-a-Story Month.

The short individual stories may be a video, an audio file or a written document. The scheme is inclusive; it is not a competition and the technology need not be new or innovative. It simply needs to have helped the individual.

Ambassadors are champions of technology. They are not representatives of Jisc TechDis nor do they need to ‘do’ anything on behalf of the service.

For more information, guidance and to fill out an application form, visit the Jisc TechDis website.

Categories: Universities

One in five students live in vermin infested homes

Nus Org - Wed, 03/19/2014 - 14:51

NUS has published new research ‘Homes fit for study’ which revealed that over three quarters of students have a problem with the condition of their home.

Categories: NUS news

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