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Tightening-up, On Campus, And At The Work Desk

  • March 1st, 2009
  • Posted by EUEditor

students-brussels-2007.jpgStudent representatives in Europe are sceptical about a plan for rating universities to determine which may be “best”; and at work, employers are not being wholly friendly towards Facebook.


The European Students Union (ESU) says it doubts that the system proposed by the European Commission for evaluating universities will bring any benefit to its members.

The EC wants a comparative system that takes into account a spread of criteria including teaching standards, innovation, community outreach, internationalisation of the curriculum and research achievements.

The Brussels-based European Voice says part of its motivation is to provide an alternative to the two main rating systems – the Shanghai Jiao Tong, and Times Higher Education – as those have been emphasising well-endowered research programs; and not giving many higher grades to the universities in Europe.

The notion of a rating system is in step with the accountability drive accompanying the so-called “Bologna process” reforms, which are standardising European Higher Education, and providing a shake-up as well.

For instance there are new demands for a stronger record on “completions”, wanting more students and their academic supervisors to shake-a-leg, to get their research projects done on schedule.

The ESU has complained students were not consulted about the changes, in a democratic way.


Away from campus and in the workforce, an online poll by the Australian telecom 3Mobile shows many employers are tired of staff spending time on social networking sites at their work stations — putting bans on such popular activity.

That’s said to be happening with 20% of workers in the United Kingdom, and 10-12% in France, Germany and Spain.

Australian bosses are tougher, according to this poll, (or their employees more prone to be distracted facing up to Facebook), with more than half being told: “keep it turned off”.


Elizabeth Allen, “Tell your fiend to get back to work”, Courier Mail, Brisbane, 19.2.09, p 7.

Ian Mundell, “Student anger at plan for university rankings”, European Voice, Brussels, 5.2.09, p21.

Picture: Australian students in the EU, 2007