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Thousands to march for climate change

Nus Org - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 18:30

On Sunday 21st September 2014 at 12.30pm, thousands of people will take to the streets of London – and around the world – to demand that our governments take climate change seriously.

Categories: NUS news

NUS Black Students' Officer Malia Bouattia wins #EightWomen award

Nus Org - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 12:49

Malia Bouattia has been voted a winner of Media Diversified’s #EightWomen awards.

Categories: NUS news

Universities Scotland responds to the result of the referendum on Scottish independence

Universities Scotland news - Fri, 09/19/2014 - 08:05
Responding to the result of the referendum on Scottish independence, as declared on 19 September 2014, Professor Pete Downes, the Convener of Universities Scotland, said: “The electorate has made its choice and we fully respect the decision they have made for Scotland’s future. “The university sector is proud to be rooted firmly in Scotland and to be a central part of the nation’s economic, social and cultural wellbeing. Universities are ambitious for Scotland’s success under any constitutional settlement, and we intend to continue to compete amongst the world’s best for our teaching, our research and the attraction of talent. “We do not believe in standing still, nor do we see the outcome of this referendum in those terms. We will continue to work closely with the Scottish and UK Governments to secure the best possible funding and policy environment for our higher education institutions, in the interests of Scotland’s success.” ENDS Responding to the result of the referendum on Scottish independence, as declared on 19 September 2014, Professor Pete Downes, the Convener of Universities Scotland, said:“The electorate has made its choice and we fully respect the decision they have made for Scotland’s future.“The university sector is proud to be rooted firmly in Scotland and to be a central part of the nation’s economic, social and cultural wellbeing. Universities are ambitious for Scotland’s success under any constitutional settlement, and we intend to continue to compete amongst the world’s best for our teaching, our research and the attraction of talent.“We do not believe in standing still, nor do we see the outcome of this referendum in those terms. We will continue to work closely with the Scottish and UK Governments to secure the best possible funding and policy environment for our higher education institutions, in the interests of Scotland’s success.”ENDS
Categories: Universities

Students participate in #studentsvote campaign

Nus Org - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 18:55

Today, students have been taking part in our selfie competition between students’ associations. With thousands of students voting in the Referendum, they have also been taking pictures with #studentsvote stickers and sharing them on social media.

Categories: NUS news

Students vote in Scottish Independence Referendum

Nus Org - Thu, 09/18/2014 - 10:00

Today, millions of people in Scotland will cast their vote to decide whether Scotland should become an independent country.

Categories: NUS news

Jisc announces ‘community opportunity’ for new online interactive resources

JISC news - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 15:43
18 September 2014

Jisc is inviting proposals from training providers in the further education (FE) and skills sector, in England, to develop new online interactive resources for apprentices.

We are looking for bids between £5K and £30K, with over £400,000 available in total for development of learning content.

The new interactive resources created during this opportunity will enable providers to move towards a more blended learning offer. This is a high priority at present as providers are now required to measure the amount of online and blended delivery they offer as part of the FELTAG report.

Jisc is inviting proposals from a number of vocational areas:

  • Automotive engineer

  • Broadcast / digital media production

  • Broadcast engineer

  • Business administration

  • Classroom assistant / childcare

  • Construction / bricklayer

  • Creative industries / theatre tech / scenery workshops

  • Creative industries / fashion / upholstery

  • Food / live events

  • Hairdresser

  • Health and social care

  • Horticulture / heritage sector

  • Laboratory technician

  • Logistics

  • Plumber

  • Rural / land-based

Successful proposals will have to demonstrate considerations of metadata, ‘curriculum mapping’ and Creative Commons licences are an integral part of the proposal to ensure the resources are discoverable, relevant and recyclable.

The aim is that these online interactive resources will help to improve access to and exploitation of open educational resources (OERs). The commissioned content will be deposited on the national repository for open educational resources, Jorum and made available for teachers and learners to share and exploit.

Ruth Hansford, manager of the interactive learning resources for skills project at Jisc, says:

“There is a time-honoured teacher tradition of spending evenings creating learning materials, taking them into work and swapping them over the photocopier. But how do teachers in the FE and skills sector locate and exploit suitable learning content in the digital age?

We’re offering the possibility to create varied and high-quality multimedia and interactive content which will be available to all in the sector.”

The deadline for proposals is Thursday 16 October 2014 at midday. If you have any questions please contact Ruth Hansford, r.hansford@jisc-collections.ac.uk

Categories: Universities

Invitation for project submissions for interactive learning resources

JISC Funding Opportunities - Wed, 09/17/2014 - 12:27

Jisc is seeking to expand its offer to learners in the further education and skills sector. It is inviting project submissions for the creation of open-access learning resources aimed at apprentices funded by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and based primarily in the workplace. 

Our invitation for interactive learning resources provides the perfect opportunity for the skills sector in England to move towards one of FELTAG’s recommendations for ‘blended learning’.

Consultation with practitioners, managers and students shows that teacher-generated learning content is widely used in the sector, but is not widely shared. By sharing open educational resources online, teachers can save preparation time, they can create bespoke learning content for their learners’ specific needs, and they can learn from their peers about how to integrate e-learning into their practice. Through the creation and sharing of high-quality learning content, teachers can also help raise the profile of their organisations. 

About this opportunity

Jisc are looking for proposals for high-quality online content that is discoverable, relevant and recyclable

Jisc would like to build on the success of our Hairdressing Training which is widely used and is a collection of online multimedia and interactive learning content mapped to specific learning outcomes for trainees.

This invitation for project submissions is aimed at practitioners in other specific vocational area in the further education and skills sector in England, working in collaboration with students, e-learning technologists and other colleagues. 

Funding amount available

Content projects worth between £5,000 and £30,000 (more or less in exceptional circumstances).

Criteria

Registered as a SFA provider and based in England.

Targeted vocational areas

This invitation for project submissions is focused on a number of targeted vocational areas as detailed within the invitation for project submissions document (we would however be happy to discuss proposals in other areas provided they meet the criteria).

Application process

There is no form to be completed. Applicants should submit a Word document or PDF with the title ‘ILRS proposal’ plus training provider name and vocational area(s) covered. Applications should be sent to Ruth Hansford, r.hansford@jisc-collections.ac.uk.

Deadline

Project proposals should be received by 16 October 2014.

Find out more

If you have any questions regarding the invitation for project submissions for interactive learning resources, please contact Ruth Hansford, project manager,  r.hansford@jisc-collections.ac.uk.

Download full details (PDF)

Categories: Universities

National strategy team tackling 'lad culture' launches new pilot scheme

Nus Org - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 11:17

As new research from NUS reveals one in four students have experienced unwelcome sexual advances, Toni Pearce announces a new scheme to tackle 'lad culture' on campus.

Categories: NUS news

NUS research reveals one in four students suffer unwelcome sexual advances

Nus Org - Mon, 09/15/2014 - 10:00

NUS President, Toni Pearce today called on UK universities to join NUS in its work on tackling lad culture on UK campuses. The call comes as new research reveals that one in four students (26 per cent) have suffered unwelcome sexual advances, defined as inappropriate touching and groping.

Categories: NUS news

NUS and students force Government u-turn on cuts to Disabled Students' Allowance

Nus Org - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 12:46

NUS is congratulating students across the country for their incredible campaigning work, following a ministerial announcement this morning that the proposed reforms to the disabled students’ allowance will now not be happening this year.

Categories: NUS news

Test your knowledge with the 'I Prefer 30' quiz

Nus Org - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 17:31

We’ve partnered with the ‘I Prefer 30’ campaign to run an Eco-quiz to raise awareness of things you can do to reduce your impact on the environment – including washing your clothes at 30oc!

Categories: NUS news

Universities Scotland announces Convener for 2014/16

Universities Scotland news - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 16:55
With the start of the new academic year upon us, Universities Scotland, the body which represents Scotland's 19 higher education institutions, today (4 September) has announced the election, by his peers, of Professor Pete Downes as its Convener for a second term for the period 1 August 2014 to 31 July 2016. It was also confirmed that Professor Petra Wend, Principal of Queen Margaret University Edinburgh, has been elected as Vice-Convener, also for a second term and for the same period.Professor Downes is Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee and has previously led Universities Scotland's Research and Knowledge Committee. As Convener for the past two years, Professor Downes has overseen a period in which the Post-16 Education (Scotland) Act, a major piece of legislation affecting higher education, passed through the Scottish Parliament, and has brought his own personal commitment and enthusiasm for widening access and creating opportunities for people of all backgrounds and for universities' contribution to enhancing Scotland's innovative potential to the role. It is with the last two years' experience that Professor Downes will approach the upcoming challenges of the next two, including; working to ensure universities' priorities are met whatever the outcome of the Scottish independence referendum; the results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014; securing public investment in Scotland's universities in the Scottish Government's next spending round in 2015; and working with all political parties before and after the 2016 Scottish General Election. With the start of the new academic year upon us, Universities Scotland, the body which represents Scotland's 19 higher education institutions, today (4 September) has announced the election, by his peers, of Professor Pete Downes as its Convener for a second term for the period 1 August 2014 to 31 July 2016. It was also confirmed that Professor Petra Wend, Principal of Queen Margaret University Edinburgh, has been elected as Vice-Convener, also for a second term and for the same period. Professor Downes is Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee and has previously led Universities Scotland's Research and Knowledge Committee. As Convener for the past two years, Professor Downes has overseen a period in which the Post-16 Education (Scotland) Act, a major piece of legislation affecting higher education, passed through the Scottish Parliament, and has brought his own personal commitment and enthusiasm for widening access and creating opportunities for people of all backgrounds and for universities' contribution to enhancing Scotland's innovative potential to the role. It is with the last two years' experience that Professor Downes will approach the upcoming challenges of the next two, including; working to ensure universities' priorities are met whatever the outcome of the Scottish independence referendum; the results of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014; securing public investment in Scotland's universities in the Scottish Government's next spending round in 2015; and working with all political parties before and after the 2016 Scottish General Election. Universities Scotland's Director, Alastair Sim, said:"I am delighted that Professor Downes is willing to undertake a second term in this role as our universities continue to deliver for Scotland's people and the economy. The Universities Scotland team looks forward to continuing to work with him and Professor Wend as Vice-Convener."Professor Downes, Convener of Universities Scotland, said:"I relish the opportunities the next two years will bring in terms of ensuring we secure the right public policies that allow our institutions to flourish at home and internationally. We have a strong and diverse sector in Scotland and there is a great deal of confidence in our sector's ability to deliver, as we've seen with record student numbers, and the highest student satisfaction, the best graduate employment levels in the UK, more businesses investing in Scotland because of our research and graduate strengths, and more spin-out companies being created from Scottish institutions. We will continue to deliver for Scotland."
Categories: Universities

Digging into Data phase two evaluation

JISC Funding Opportunities - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 11:29

Jisc is seeking to commission a robust and independent formative evaluation report to help guide the future direction of the Digging into Data Challenge.

Jisc (on behalf of Jisc, ESRC and AHRC) invites tenders for an evaluation of the Digging into Data Challenge (DiD2) focussing on phase two and emergent lessons from phase three.

Download full details (PDF)

The aim of the evaluation is to produce a report which:

  1. Evaluate the objectives of DiD2 and explores whether they have been met through the DiD2 projects;
  2. Assesses whether the recommendations from the CLIR report have been delivered through the DiD2 projects and are likely to be met through DiD3 and its current cohort of projects;
  3. Captures the advantages gained and lessons learned from projects to date (DiD2 and DiD3) including examples of the benefits of international collaboration;
  4. Looks forward to phase four of the Digging into Data Challenge and how this can fit in with the strategy and requirements of ESRC, AHRC and Jisc including analysing how a fourth phase could relate to other investments in the big data and analytics area that are underway or planned to support education and research.

The deadline for tenders is 12noon UK time on 6 October 2014.

The final work under this contract should be completed by 23 January 2015.

It is expected that this work will require approximately up to 50 days effort.

For more information visit the Digging into Data phase three blog or contact Christopher Brown.

Categories: Universities

Help build the Research and Education Space

JISC news - Thu, 09/04/2014 - 10:22
4 September 2014

The BBC calls on developers, publishers, digital agencies and startups to help students, teachers and researchers get the most out of online educational resources.

Working with the British Universities Film & Video Council (BUFVC) and Jisc, the BBC is looking to fund the development of software applications which will improve learning and study by facilitating access to a vast range of online resources which have been licensed for educational use.

The funding comes through the BBC Connected Studio team and is the latest stage of the Research and Education Space (RES), a three-year programme of activity which aims to bring together an extensive catalogue of publicly held resources which can be used as the basis for educational software, learning resources, classroom teaching aids and research tools.

Drawing on material from libraries, museums, galleries and broadcasters, RES will provide a platform for developers and publishers to build new products, tools and services with the aim of enhancing education and research.  A preview version of the RES open platform, Acropolis, is now available and the RES Connected Studio will bring developers, publishers, digital agencies and startups together to work on ideas and prototypes for RES-based tools, some of which will be funded as pilots and assessed by the BBC. 

As RES is a partnership between Jisc, the BUFVC and the BBC, it will cover material relevant to education and research at all levels, from primary schools to post-doctoral research.

Tony Ageh, controller of archive development and digital public space at the BBC, said: 

“We’re really excited about what developers might produce when they get access to the RES catalogue, and the Connected Studio has a track record of encouraging innovation around the latest technologies.

We want the best people coming up with the best ideas, so we can really explore the potential of RES in education.”

Ben Showers, Jisc’s head of scholarly and library futures, added:

"This is a wonderful opportunity for anyone who wants to really make a difference to educators and their students in the UK and beyond.  

We know that the most innovative ideas could come from inside or outside our schools and universities, so we welcome applications from all talented individual developers or teams that have experience of creating this kind of content."

The BBC has released a creative brief that gives more detail about the types of proposals it is looking for, and is inviting developers to register for the BBC Connected Studio Briefing, which is taking place at Shoreditch Village Hall at 17:30 on 4 September 2014. This will explain the process in detail and the information from the briefing will be posted online on 5 September 2014. 

RES is an open platform that anyone can work with, and the briefing will provide the background information needed to develop applications, but will also be relevant for those who are not part of the Connected Studio process. 

Categories: Universities

UK research secures new national data centre

JISC news - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 12:37
4 September 2014

Research in the UK has been given a boost this week as specialist data centre provider, Infinity, has secured a five year framework agreement with Janet, the UK’s national research and education network, provided by Jisc.

The deal sees the creation of a Jisc data centre to support the requirements for academic research and will be the first shared data centre for medical and academic research in the UK. The funding of approximately £900,000 to make the facility happen has been provided by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

At launch, in September 2014, the Jisc data centre will house the IT of a consortium of six of the UK’s most successful scientific and academic organisations. 

    
Tim Marshall, executive director Jisc technologies and CEO Janet said:

“By having the shared data centre users can access off-site data storage and services. This world-leading facility will mean that users can consolidate their sensitive data in one safe environment and increase collaboration, whilst saving money both in terms of their operational costs and by not having to repeatedly procure facilities. 

The data centre will be connected to the Janet network core and part of its backbone, therefore facilitating access, reducing costs and meeting the bandwidth requirements of large data sets. As space becomes premium on campus this is a significant step on the journey to the cloud and already indications are that this will be a major breakthrough for the UK education and research community.”

Infinity will operate the data centre at its flagship Slough data centre in the UK. The design combines a traditional three tier datacentre with a flexible range of low to high power rack densities and an aggregated discount pricing structure across all organisations using the service, ensuring that the infrastructure is workload focused and value driven. This is the first large scale example of high performance computer environments being placed in an outsourced co-location facility. 

Stuart Sutton, Infinity’s CEO, says:

“Infinity is immensely proud to be selected as the best in class data centre provider for the development of this nationally important facility.  The work that the education and research sectors do can be life changing and the technology used will further the UK’s position as a global leader in medical and academic research. We are extremely pleased to be a part of that.  

The creation of an unsurpassed community of interest for the education and research sectors here at Infinity Slough is a fantastic opportunity for us and something that we are very excited about.  Infinity’s flexible and innovative approach to data centre services was key to securing this deal.

This is a great example of Infinity’s opinion that the outsourced DC market is no longer a place for property transactions – it is a flexible, scalable, partnership that delivers an important component to the overall IT solution. We look forward to working collaboratively with Jisc.”

The new Jisc data centre which will grow to more than 800 racks’ capacity will be a significant enabler in achieving its aims of improving the speed and quality of UK research. This will allow the community to share large swathes of data, helping to push the traditional boundaries of teaching, learning and research methods. For researchers, the high capacity of the Janet network backbone allows the linking of large data storage and high performance computing facilities at national and international levels.

The initial Jisc partners are: University College London (UCL), Kings College London, The Sanger Institute, The Francis Crick Institute, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).  The consortium firmly believes the initial community of six customers will grow over time, as the number of institutions, both nationally and internationally see the importance of a shared data centre and the benefits of IT clustering as integral to future UK research.

For universities and colleges interested in finding out about how they can make the most of the Jisc data centre please contact 0300 300 2212 or visit our web pages.

Categories: Universities

New mobile app to benefit student hairdressers

JISC news - Tue, 09/02/2014 - 12:13
12 September 2014

Hairdressing students and their lecturers will now be able to access Jisc's pioneering Hairdressing Training videos any time, anywhere through their mobile. 

From today the award-winning service Hairdressing Training will be available as a mobile app. The app showcases the existing portfolio of hairdressing and barbering training videos developed by Mimas, a part of Jisc.

There are many benefits to mobile learning. Research by the former Learning and Skills Network (LSN)1 has found that the use of mobile technologies in work-based and vocational learning contexts can result in increased:

  • engagement with the topic
  • flexibility of learning
  • learner retention and achievement
  • personalisation of learning
  • access to learning resources

To maximise these benefits further the videos included in the app were created by those who teach NVQ/SVQ Levels 1-3 in further education in the UK, ensuring accuracy for learning and teaching. 

The app is an easy way to view over 60 educational hairdressing training and barbering video tutorials – all mapped to the NVQ curriculum. Users will be able to save their favourite videos to a playlist and even share them socially. The videos are organised into different categories, making searching simple, and new content will be added when available. 

Susanne Boyle, senior manager for learning, teaching and professional skills at Mimas, a part of Jisc, says:

"The Hairdressing Training service is a mature and highly valued service. It is much-loved and well-used and has grown over the years, with training videos amassing 1000s of hits on YouTube. It’s predominantly used by further education teachers and students but also by those who work in salons, both in the UK and abroad.

The launch of the mobile app is another exciting development and offers our users the benefits of flexible access 24/7, supplying quality resources at their fingertips."

Lorraine Estelle, Jisc’s executive director digital resources and divisional CEO of Jisc Collections, said:

“Our vision is to ensure that learners and teachers realise the benefits of mobile technology by delivering content onto any device, at any time and anywhere. This app is an important step in realising this vision and improving the student experience.”

Currently the app has been optimised for use on mobile devices only. A version for iPads and other handheld tablets may be looked at in the future.

The Hairdressing Training app is available to download for iOS devices from the Apple Store and for Android devices from Google Play

Footnotes
Categories: Universities

400 colleges gain access to free e-textbooks

JISC news - Fri, 08/29/2014 - 15:25
1 September 2014

Jisc offers over 400 colleges free access to a new collection of curriculum focused e-textbooks through e-books for FE

E-books for FE will be benefiting UK further education providers by offering access to additional new suite of 162 e-textbooks. These books will supplement over 200 other e-textbooks previously acquired.

The new collection has been chosen using feedback from customers to ensure the new books are of the highest possible value to their users and focus in supporting the curriculum across a variety of subjects.

E-books for FE provides further education colleges in the UK with access to a collection of e-textbooks on a platform that offers functionality suitable for the needs of the community. The new collection will be available to colleges free of charge for another two years from 1 September 2014 until 31 August 2016.

Catherine John, FE licensing manager of Jisc Collections, says:

“We have been working closely with our FE members to ensure that we procure content that is relevant, titles selected are based around curricula, and also the most current editions. The platform offers learners the opportunity to access content at any time and from any location allowing them to carry out their work when it suits them, which is key as part of a modern learning system.

“The previous top title in e-books for FE, BTEC Level 3 National Business Student Book 1, has been accessed in over 165,000 user sessions in a single year demonstrating the value students are gaining from the content.”

E-books for FE does not only save users time and money, but also supports distance learning. Neil Prior, head of e-learning at BCA tells us:

“We find e-textbooks to be a valuable resource that enables us to provide 24/7 access to the awarding bodies learning resources that accompany the qualifications. To do this in the traditional manner would be vastly expensive and difficult to facilitate. The feedback from students and staff is very positive. In fact we are actively increasing our premium e-book provision on the basis that it provided far better value for money.” 

For those further education providers who do not currently have access to the content that is freely offered by e-books for FE, please subscribe by placing an order at the Jisc Collections website.

Categories: Universities

Endsleigh launches new adaptable product to address evolving needs of students

Nus Org - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 15:58

Endsleigh, the number one student gadget insurance provider, has launched a new product designed to cater for the evolving needs of students as they transition from student to graduate to young professional.

Categories: NUS news

New report shows international students welcome in Britain

Nus Org - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 12:18

NUS International Students' Officer Shreya Paudel explains international students are perceived to be beneficial to the UK in the eyes of the general public, according to new research.

Categories: NUS news

Students gather for the NUS and Amnesty International Student Media Summit

Nus Org - Fri, 08/22/2014 - 18:00

The two-day event aimed at student aspiring to careers in media and journalism brought together some of the industry's most prominent speakers such as Emily Maitlis, Evan Davis and Owen Jones.

Categories: NUS news

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