Tails of the Unexpected

There is a strong sense of vocation in some professions, notably the law, medicine, teaching and the church. Others amount to a similar fundamental desire through a particular talent or propensity such as writers, chefs, musicians, sportsmen, designers or dancers. The decision to enter some professions does not usually demand a definitive aptitude or even, […]

National Admissions Policy

The current state of universities is intriguing. For the first time in around fifteen years a purely intellectual education for everyone is being aggressively questioned. Or at least it is in the UK. France and Germany are increasing state funding for young people to learn at the highest level and although there are difficulties, the […]

The British Library and UK Higher Education

Changing landscapes The British Library operates many services that support the Higher Education sector. It now works in a financial climate that is likely to alter fundamentally within the next three to five years as teaching funding for the arts and humanities begins to affect students’ decisions to progress with postgraduate degrees. The student population […]

The Final Piece

The future university is often termed in the singular. Similarly, the future of libraries assumes a common destiny, as if all libraries, all universities were the same to begin with. This of course, is not the case. Each one is a different piece in the jigsaw that forms the education sector. Universities in the future […]


It is difficult to see the truth when it hides behind well-groomed intelligence. David Willetts, the UK’s minister for universities is the considerate, clever face of a government which either does know what it is doing, and if so should be honest about it, or doesn’t know what it is doing, and if so should […]

New Guillotine of the Masses

Ai Weiwei ‘A society lacking individual consciousness is truly gloomy and cold, and widespread abandonment will cause the very last green leaf to wither; it is capable of extinguishing the very last candle.’ Ai Weiwei Ai Weiwei is the most significant living Chinese artist. He is also one of the world’s most influential designers, architects […]

Times Higher Education – Research Access

I wanted to post a copy of an interview I did with the Times Higher Education Supplement last week on the blog. The text is by Paul Jump at the THES and it raises some interesting angles on the future of institutional repositories, the international infrastructure in place for the deposit of open access articles […]

To Google or Not to Google

The search giant, Google has strategically been digitising books for a number of years now. Of the ten million or so completed, around two million are in the public domain and six million are embargoed by copyright. This article deliberately excludes historic and special collections in considering contemporary themes in mass digitisation. That is a […]