Speculative Diction: Degrees of Certainty

In the Canadian press there was a lot of discussion about the “skills gap” in the weeks preceding the federal budget announcement, so I wrote this post (from March 27, 2013) about the way the discussion is informed by the politics of funding and the increased amount of risk that universities are expected to manage.

Speculative Diction: Perishable Goods – Universities and the measurement of educational quality [October 11 2011]

I responded in this blog post to an article in the Globe & Mail, regarding the splitting of funding for teaching and research in universities. My piece refers to the lack of adequate measures for teaching “quality” and student learning, and how this makes it impractical to attempt to link government funding to those factors, as well as the trouble with assessing “outcomes” of education in the short-term.


Guardian UK: Live Q & A, Should the higher education sector regard students as consumers? [September 20, 2011]

I participated in another Guardian UK online panel, this time on a topic I’ve thought about a fair bit (student consumerism). The online discussion is available at this link.

The “best bits” of the discussion were summarised and re-published in a Guardian article here (Thursday, November 10th).

Speculative Diction: On the Up and Up – Socioeconomic Class and Inter-Generational Change [September 19, 2011]

I wrote this post after watching the Up Series, a group of documentaries begun in 1964 and continued for every 7 years after. The series traces the personal histories of a group of children through their adulthood. I was struck by how much people’s life trajectories seem to have changed within less than 2 generations, particularly with regards to education and employment.

The latest instalment of the Up Series56 Up – was released last year (2012).

University of Venus: First Year Focus – Understanding Student Choices [September 13, 2011]

A conversation in a second-hand clothing shop provoked me to write this post, which is about the ways in which undergraduates experience the university environment when they’ve arrived right from high school. I was reminded of how easy it is to take things for granted when we’ve been working in an institution for a long time.