Okay, I wasn’t going to say anything, but now so much seems to be kicking off in HE that I’m going to mention it and explain what I’m up to…
First off, TheUniversityBlog is going to return to a much more regular posting schedule in a couple of weeks. Secondly, with a number of recent life changes, I have been taking a break on a number of levels…with limited success. 🙂
I was meant to be spending a month or so relaxing and spending very little time online, very little time researching, very little time writing, and very little time doing anything much HE related. I planned to keep up to date with what’s happening, but not do much else.
That hasn’t really happened. I’ve been working on a number of projects and I’ve even posted a few things here in the last month (as you’ve probably seen). I suppose it suggests I’m happy with what I’m doing, but it’s still naughty when I promised myself a complete break before digging in full on…Anyway, I will be back with a smile in a couple of weeks with more information, advice, comment, and the like. Get ready!
However, there’s been a load of negative (grrrr!) developments of great importance to students in the last couple of days. Given the magnitude of what’s been going on, I thought I should at least mention these right now. So here goes (with links to further info):
1. Student maintenance grants and loans will be frozen in 2010/11, but tuition fees are increasing by 2.04%. Tuition fee loans will increase to cover the new cost of fees, but that’s no consolation.
2. Graduate job prospects are looking their bleakest in years as top employers cut jobs and competition is more fierce.
3. Prospective students are less likely to find a place in this year’s Clearing, after the number of available places is cut. This is bad news at a time when more people than ever want to study in HE.
4. Some university Vice Chancellors have made shocking comments in a research paper that Times Higher Education has seen. One of the most controversial for students being:
“We all know that education is a commodity that can be bought and sold, often at a very high price. So universities are busy doing that – charging students a large amount of money to study in England because it is a popular destination. Branding and marketing take the front seat, and education is in the back.”
From these stories, it’s clear that things are uncertain right now, whether you’re a current student, prospective student, or recent graduate. But it’s certainly worth keeping an eye on. If there are any major developments, I’ll let you know. And expect a better ongoing flow of information in a couple of weeks’ time.
Seems like I chose a bad time to chill out. Let’s see if I really do last two weeks before getting totally stuck in with the blog…and beyond!