Category Archives: General Academia

Every academic to live on campus by 2020

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This satirical article on The Daily Mash made me smile today, and seemed to be begging to have a few words changed around in order to make it even more appropriate for academia. Enjoy:

Universities have revealed new measures to help you spend all your time doing work and publishing papers.

As well as radically extending university opening hours, universities will demolish your house and put your children in “permanent daycare” as part of plans to ensure all academics live on campus by 2020.

Continue reading Every academic to live on campus by 2020

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‘Battery’ PhD students to increase UK university productivity by ‘up to 75%’

By Jeff Hawkes

New plans to rejuvenate working conditions for Ph.D. students in the UK were revealed today, receiving a poor reception. The plans are being introduced due to an explosion in PhD student recruitment over the past few decades.

Picture2“It used to be that having a degree was fantastic for ones employment opportunities, but over the years the UK has allowed the value of higher education to decrease and become gradually less relevant to a candidates eventual job.  Now go-getting youngsters who want to ‘get the edge’ on their rivals are having to earn an extremely specific research doctorate in order to apply for any job earning more than minimum wage”, said social analyst Frank Bosser.

“We’re expecting that over the coming years the average Joe will need some years of teaching experience at university level in order to leave higher education with any employment prospects whatsoever”.  It’s quite a normal ‘educational inflation’ effect when there aren’t enough jobs to go around and so people by default continue to get more qualifications.  The problem is that the universities stay the same physical size, so ‘something’s gotta give’” Continue reading ‘Battery’ PhD students to increase UK university productivity by ‘up to 75%’

The truth behind that job advertisement for a lectureship/assistant professorship

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Location: Somewhere you don’t want to live
Salary: Nowhere near enough given the ridiculous number of qualifications you have
Contract type: Full-time permanent*
Interview Date: Don’t worry, you probably won’t make this stage

 *”Permanent” refers to your expected working hours on campus, NOT your job security, benefits, healthcare etc.

PhDcomic

Continue reading The truth behind that job advertisement for a lectureship/assistant professorship

Communication and education: Teach me, please; I’m willing to learn

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As I mentioned in my previous post, my research at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute secured a place for me among over two-thousand posters at the 2012 Ocean Sciences Meeting. I could talk about presenting this poster, the talks I went to, or the other activities arranged for the undergrads: including a field trip to the beautiful Great Salt Lake. I could even talk about the city itself, and walking through museums and Mormon tabernacles. However, I’d rather talk about two things I have been pondering since the conference: communication and education. Continue reading Communication and education: Teach me, please; I’m willing to learn