Digital Scholarship debate

A structured debate, held at 2pm on Mon 20 June in the Jennie Lee Building, The Open University, on the following motion:

“In the next decade, digital scholarship (in open journals, blogs, and social media) will achieve the same status in academic settings as traditional scholarship.”

Martin Weller is presenting the pro argument for 5-10 minutes, followed by Rob Farrow presenting the con argument. Then 5 minutes’ response, open to the floor for 30 minutes, and then the vote. Jude Fransman is chairing.

This is a dress rehearsal for a similar debate planned for ED-MEDIA. There were a little over a dozen members of the audience. There’s a survey monkey poll to vote on the answer.

These are my liveblog notes.
246/365 - When I ruled the world (Explored!)
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Commentary on New College of the Humanities

Something of a rocky debut for the New College of the Humanities (NCH @NewCollegeH), then – it seems that my instant reaction was mild by comparison to many others.

I’ve some points of accuracy to make, in an attempt to clear up a few things. And then I’d like to quote one commentator in particular at some length, because the quotes sum up much of my own view.

Mr. Grumpy Potato
This photo, (CC) BY-SA banger1977 on Flickr, is intended to illustrate a relevant facial expression in a lighthearted way and must not be interpreted as a suggestion that any of the people involved resemble a potato in any other way.

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New College of the Humanities

Well, it certainly is interesting times in UK Higher Education provision.

Today’s news is the emergence of a New College of the Humanities, with a professoriate of (15) academic stars, led by Professor AC Grayling, who will become its first Master when it opens to students in 2012:

A new British college aiming to rival Oxford and Cambridge has been launched by leading academics. [BBC]

They are aiming high – with fees of £18,000 a year, three times the ‘normal’ rate of £6,000. They are, of course, a private, for-profit company, with significant investment behind them. The inspiration is unabashedly from US elite liberal arts institutions. It’s going to be small and selective: they’re looking for three As at A level … and people who can spare £54k plus living expenses.

This appears to be yet another instalment of less than perfect policy coherence in UK academia. Hot on the heels of the Prime Minister very publicly blocking the Minister’s floating of the possibility of paying for ‘off quota’ places … a new venture emerges where you can do just that.  So you can’t buy a place at university … unless you’re able to pay twice the maximum cap on fee loans. I can’t see how this can possibly do anything other than reduce social mobility.

Sorry... Got to go now!

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