• Education

    Microcredentials don’t stack up, academics warn

    Micro-degrees are “gig credentials for the gig economy”, exacerbating the tenuous existence of struggling workers and turning universities into job coaching services that save companies money on their in-house training, according to two academics. Leesa Wheelahan and Gavin Moodie have delivered a scathing assessment of an educational trend that is sweeping the world. The University of Toronto researchers say that microcredentials are fractured qualifications that abet the fracturing of formal employment through casualisation, Uber and food delivery apps. Writing in the journal Higher Education, they say microcredentials reframe universities as “an instrument of microeconomic change” to serve market needs. “Their potential to underpin contingent, precarious work is greatest for those who…

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  • Jobs

    Journal papers, grants, jobs … as rejections pile up, it’s not enough to tell academics to ‘suck it up’

    Most academics regularly submit papers and compete for grants and promotions. These endeavours are necessary for their success but often end in rejection. Responses to rejection in academia have typically been individually focused. Most discussions of the topic describe what academics themselves can do to cope with rejection. For example, in a watershed tweet in 2017, Nick Hopwood posted a picture of his office wall papered with rejection letters. Academics were encouraged to celebrate rather than commiserate rejection, spawning the #NormaliseRejection hashtag. Read more: Please reject me: a survivor’s guide to ‘publish or perish’ But, as we explored in our recent paper, persistent rejection is problematic, and focusing on the…

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  • Exchange Student

    Former Eramus exchange students and academics bemoan the program’s end in the UK following Brexit

    Twenty-three-year-old law student Hashi Mohamed arrived in Saint-Étienne, France, in the summer of 2005, on an Erasmus program. The project allows young Europeans to study in another EU country for a year with funding from the EU Commission. Mohamed, who came to Britain at the age of 9 as a Somali refugee, says the year in Saint-Étienne changed him. “It fundamentally transformed the way I see the world, the way I see myself, the way I see my future prospects and just the way I think as well.” Hashi Mohamed, lawyer and author, former Erasmus student  “It fundamentally transformed the way I see the world, the way I see myself, the…

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  • Exchange Student

    Fresh Asian border restrictions frustrate academics and students

    Hopes among scholars and students that Asian borders would reopen in early 2021 have been dashed, as new travel restrictions were announced over the holidays.   While the changes were sparked by a new Covid variant, they also go beyond limiting only UK and South African entrants and could keep international students off campuses for many more months.   Japan, which already had prohibitive border controls, barred non-resident foreigners from entering on 28 December and stopped all visa applications until at least the end of January, although some students already enrolled at universities will be exempt. Hong Kong, which had been open to foreign students since the beginning of the pandemic, clamped down on 25 December. Entrants from outside greater China now must pay for…

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