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  • How Open Data, data literacy and Linked Data will revolutionise higher education

    How Open Data, data literacy and Linked Data will revolutionise higher education

    By Derek McAuley, Hanif Rahemtulla, James Goulding and Catherine Souch – “Open Data” refers to the philosophical and methodological approach to democratising data, enabling individuals, communities and organisations to access and create value through the reuse of non-sensitive, publicly available information. This data is typically available online at no cost to citizen groups, non-governmental-organisations (NGOs) and businesses. Some view this as the logical conclusion to Freedom of Information (FoI) Acts in various countries – if citizens can ask for the […]

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  • Future trends in the information landscape

    Future trends in the information landscape

    By Alison Allden – The UK Higher Education (HE) sector relies on a complex network of information systems that underpin every aspect of academic and non-academic activity. These business information systems must support the whole learning life-cycle, including, course design, marketing, recruitment, enrolment, funding, achievement, credit transfer and alumni relations. Furthermore, there are systems that need to support the full range of research and enterprise processes within an institution. In addition to their operational role these systems produce data and […]

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  • Seizing the opportunity for online learning

    Seizing the opportunity for online learning

    By Lynne Brindley- The importance of online learning was recognised by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) which set up a Task Force in September 2009 to consider the opportunities for UK universities both nationally and internationally.  I was privileged to chair the Task Force and this short personal piece reflects on that work, which formally concluded in January 2011 with the report referenced below[1]. I have picked out some of the major recurring issues, the golden threads […]

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  • HE in FE: renaissance or reformation?

    HE in FE: renaissance or reformation?

    ByNick Davy- In the UK, higher education (HE) courses delivered by further education (FE) providers such as colleges, are presently under the spotlight as the Coalition Government grapple with the complexities of creating a more market-orientated higher education system. Speculation about the likely contents of the delayed HE White Paper is the bread and butter conversation of many a conference lunch break. However, perhaps much of this frenzied focus and speculation about the costs and structure of undergraduate general education is […]

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  • How university hinterlands can drive progression

    How university hinterlands can drive progression

    By Sue Betts and Kate Burrell – Linking London has been working as a partnership in the permeable area between higher and further education, ‘the university and college hinterland[1]’ for five years. We have worked collaboratively with as many as thirty five London higher and further education partners, to bring ‘clarity, coherence and certainty of progression’ to vocational learners. It sounds like a relatively straightforward proposition, to afford the vocational learner a similar expectation and clarity of progression that learners […]

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  • Future access to HE: a view from an ‘Independent/State School Partnership’

    Future access to HE: a view from an ‘Independent/State School Partnership’

    By Peter Rawling – In 2007 seven schools got together to form an Independent/State School Partnership (ISSP) in the Thames Valley area. The primary aims of the partnership were to raise attainment at GCSE and to raise aspirations to stay on in education at both post-16 and post-18 levels. Three of the schools already had large Sixth Forms and considerable experience of getting students into higher education, others were developing Sixth Forms and entering the UCAS process for the first […]

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  • What should the college contribution be?

    What should the college contribution be?

    By Gareth Parry – Further education (FE) colleges have long been providers of higher education in England. Today, they are seen by government as a cost-effective way of providing higher education and, along with private providers, as a necessary source of competition in a student-led funding regime and market for undergraduate places. This is one of at least four roles that governments have sought for colleges over the last quarter century. A long perspective is a rare thing in contemporary […]

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  • Institutional values and the student experience

    Institutional values and the student experience

    By Annie Gosling and Owen Gower – Who cares what the institutional structures of a university are, provided that the best student educational opportunities are preserved? Well, it may be that bureaucratic and financial structures are not isolable from the intellectual development of students. Will students have a different – worse? – educational experience if their university is privately run, or if they get a degree in two years rather than three, or if the delivery of their degree is […]

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  • Diversity in higher education and social mobility

    Diversity in higher education and social mobility

    By Matt Grist and Julia Margo – Let us introduce you to Asa (not her real name). We met Asa at a Community College in Hackney. Asa was a ‘learning advocate’, someone who represents the college to external visitors like us, and who observes lessons, carries out research and advocates on behalf of students to the college’s senior staff. Asa was a bright, focussed young woman. And she wanted to go to university. What she wanted to study was radiography. […]

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