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By MELONIE FULLICK | January 18 2013

I’m a big fan of British comedies, particularly the fine tradition of political humour so well exemplified by Yes, Minister and The New Statesman. More recently, The Thick of It has become a favourite, and in one of the most squirm-inducing episodes, staff in the Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship realise that 7-and-a-half months’ […]

By MELONIE FULLICK | January 11 2013

To start out this shiny new year, we’ve already seen another example of something that has happened several times over the past 12 months: the Higher Ed News Fiasco. This time we can thank Forbes Magazine, specifically Susan Adams, for presenting us with an article about the “least stressful jobs” in the United States in […]

By MELONIE FULLICK | December 21 2012

Since this is my last post for 2012, I’ve decided to do something rather predictable and pick out what I think are five significant issues from Canadian PSE in 2012. Here they are, in no particular order: 1: Printemps érable–Québec student movement and strike. 2012 was a year of significant student activism around the world. […]

By MELONIE FULLICK | December 10 2012

Much attention has been paid to student mental health issues over the past year, and recently the level of coverage peaked with a new report from Queen’s University at the end of November (PDF here). The report came from an initiative prompted by a number of student deaths by suicide at Queen’s in 2010 and […]

By MELONIE FULLICK | November 30 2012

That’s a question that came up on Twitter last week. And while to many this sounds like a “no-brainer”–“of course education can be sold, it’s already being sold all the time!”–my thought is that the question is a lot more complex. On Twitter, with its restriction of 140 characters per post, I found it was […]

By MELONIE FULLICK | November 21 2012

Recently I presented on PhD education at HEQCO’s Learning to Earning conference in Toronto. In my contribution to the panel, I focused on disconnects or “mismatches” in PhD education and how these highlight issues that need to be resolved if doctoral programs are to be improved. The other contributors were Andrew Potter (Managing Editor of […]

By MELONIE FULLICK | November 12 2012

A few weeks ago on October 22nd, I participated in an Open Access Week event held by York University’s libraries. A deliberate attempt to generate a lively discussion, this event was titled “The Great Debate: Should the blog replace the book?”, and I was recruited to argue on the “blog side”. The other participants were […]

By MELONIE FULLICK | October 29 2012

I’m rather tired of seeing a certain kind of argument about university teaching being repeated over and over of late. In this argument, the lecture is set up as a “straw person” version of university teaching, and it’s then knocked down by assertions about the superior flexibility and convenience of the Internet and various forms […]

By MELONIE FULLICK | October 16 2012

Sometimes I find there are threads of conversation that keep coming up with friends, colleagues, and students, both in person and online. Recently one of those threads, which has also recurred in my own blog posts, is that involving the focus on skills and outcomes in university education and the apparently perpetual critique of universities’ […]

By MELONIE FULLICK | October 04 2012

Many of those of us kicking around the academic Twitterverse over the past few days have been witnessing (and participating in) an intense discussion that’s raised issues at the core of academic values and assumptions about knowledge and research. This discussion has been focused on the “ethics of live tweeting” as a practice at academic […]

By MELONIE FULLICK | September 26 2012

In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned that the Ontario government had released a discussion paper on postsecondary education in the province. Following this release the Minister for Training, Colleges and Universities, Glen Murray (MPP for Toronto Centre), has been seeking feedback on the ways in which Ontario should change its PSE system. What […]

By MELONIE FULLICK | September 21 2012

Recently, Colorado State University and Harvard University each posted job advertisements that included specific time limits on when the candidate’s PhD had been earned. Colorado’s ad requested PhDs only from 2010 or later; and Harvard’s ad read: “Applicants must have received the PhD or equivalent degree in the past three years (2009 or later), or […]

By MELONIE FULLICK | September 11 2012

Last week Leo Charbonneau over at Margin Notes blog wrote about an article in the most recent issue of Canadian magazine The Walrus, “The uses and abuses of university”. The article isn’t online yet, but my print copy arrived last week, so I was able to take a look at it. The authors, Drs. Ken […]

By MELONIE FULLICK | August 30 2012

In time for the start of the new semester, I have a bit of a tech update, in which I’ll be discussing two online tools that might be of interest to researchers and students. The first site I want to mention is Buzzdata, a data-sharing site that first came to my attention when Dr. James […]

By MELONIE FULLICK | August 24 2012

This week it’s back to Big Post-secondary Reports, and I’m going to take a look at an issue that’s been looming ever-larger on the Canadian PSE horizon this year: Canada’s position in the international education “market”, and the ways in which this is being developed and expanded actively with government support. On July 27th, a […]

By MELONIE FULLICK | August 15 2012

Today, it’s my “blogoversary”–that’s right, it’s (only!) two years since I started writing this blog regularly in August, 2010. I started the blog as a way to comment on the increasing amount of higher ed news I was reading; back then it was hosted at Blogger, and in August 2011 it “moved” to its current […]

By MELONIE FULLICK | August 10 2012

I admit it: as of yet, I simply haven’t mastered the art of skimming through a large policy report and producing a polished blog post within the same week. But now that I have a few moments free, I want to draw your attention back to the recent Ontario government paper on reforming the provincial […]

By MELONIE FULLICK | July 31 2012

For those who follow the higher education news, the week of July 16th to 22nd will stand out as one in which the term “MOOC” (Massive Open Online Courses, for the uninitiated) hit a high point as the “higher-ed buzzword of the year”. Unwitting readers have been swept up by a tidal wave of MOOC […]

By MELONIE FULLICK | July 16 2012

Today’s post is about a thread of discussion happening over in the UK, where there has been an increasing amount of debate about the role of post-secondary education in “social mobility” (hint: the argument is that universities should do more to make it happen). In a bizarrely perverse twist, one commentator even argued that universities […]

By MELONIE FULLICK | July 03 2012

Earlier this week over at Margin Notes blog, Léo Charbonneau wrote about the annual meeting of Canada’s Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. I really enjoyed this post because I think university faculty in particular — who are also teachers! — should be encouraged to get engaged with pedagogy and the scholarship of […]