- Mivšek, A.P., Hundley, V., van Teijlingen, E., Pahor, M., Hlebec, V. (2021) Slovenian midwifery professionalisation: Perception of midwives and related health professions, European Journal of Midwifery (forthcoming)
Congratulations to FHSS’s Prof. Jane Murphy and Victoria Lawrence on the publication of their study ‘A UK survey of nutritional care pathways for patients with COVID‐19 prior to and post‐hospital stay’ in the Journal of Human Nutrition & Dietetics .
This study examined the development of care pathways by UK dietitians to manage the post‐hospital nutritional care of patients following COVID‐19 infection and the evaluation of these pathways. Of the responses, 51% reported developing or adapting a pathway for COVID‐19 infection and 54% planned to undertake evaluation of their pathway. Despite challenges encountered, dietitians have responded rapidly and adapted to new ways of working. The paper is Open Access and co-authored with colleagues from the University of Plymouth, Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (in London), University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Glasgow & Clyde, and Imperial College London.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
This journal paper, ‘“Is it realistic?” the portrayal of pregnancy and childbirth in the media‘, was published in 2016 in the Open Access journal BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth . This interdisciplinary and cross-faculty BU paper was initially rejected by two media journals that didn’t seem to value systematic reviews as a method in their discipline. In 2016 BU funded the cost of Open Access publishing in BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth. The paper has since been cited 50 times in SCOPUS (measured 11 May 2021); it has been submitted to REF 2021 in two different Units of Assessment – Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy and Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management.
Being Open Access, the paper has reached scholars outside the health field, as it has been cited not only in many health journals but also in media journals such as Discourse & Communication, International Journal of Sport Communication or Critical Studies in Media Communication as well as in Feminist journals such as Feminism & Psychology or more Anthropological journals such a European Journal of Cultural Studies .
ResearchGate, the professional network for over 20 million scientists and researchers from all over the world, informed the authors last month (27 April 2021) that ‘“Is it realistic?” the portrayal of pregnancy and childbirth in the media‘ has been read 1,000 times.
Professor van Teijlingen believes that the success of Open Access publishing is often in the longer-term. Between a paper getting published and being cited by fellow academics can easily take some years. Funding Open Access publications is a long-term investment by BU.
Luce, A., Cash, M., Hundley, V. et al. “Is it realistic?” the portrayal of pregnancy and childbirth in the media. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 16, 40 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-016-0827-x
If you have any Open Access success stories that you would like to share, please do get in touch with email@example.com
Do you want to know more about what open access publishing means at BU and how it works? The Bournemouth University Library and Learning Support LibGuide provides a single source of information where you can find relevant topics on open access such as ‘Depositing your research’, ‘Copyright and Licenses’, ‘Open Access Funding’, ‘Predatory publishers’, so on and so forth.
So head over to the page now, and learn more about open access publishing @ BU!
We have been informed that the Wiley Jisc read and publish agreement overall fund has been drawn down more quickly than initially projected. As a result, Wiley has estimated that restrictions will need to be introduced at the end of June 2021 which limits OA publishing to UKRI/Wellcome funded articles only.
This has not yet been confirmed, and Wiley will continue to monitor the fund but this is an early warning that some sort of restrictions will be placed on the Wiley-Jisc read and publish agreement later in the year.
**Article originally published on WonkHE.com**
When Martin Eve had a stroke five years ago, paywalls prevented him researching his condition. He argues that the current system is patronising, elitist, and needs to change.
This is Martin’s view on open access publishing —
I had a stroke half a decade ago and found I couldn’t access the medical literature on my extremely rare vascular condition.
I’m a capable reader, but I couldn’t get past the paywalls – which seemed absurd, given most research is publicly funded. While I had, already, long been an open access advocate by that point, this strengthened my resolve.
The public is often underestimated. Keeping research locked behind paywalls under the assumption that most people won’t be interested in, or capable of, reading academic research is patronising.
More than half (50.2 per cent) of the UKs 18- to 30-year-olds now go to university.
These students and graduates, and many others across the population, are able readers who can navigate research materials in their field. To say that there isn’t a public appetite for academic research is a stalling technique from publishers, designed to slow progress towards full open access. What we need is easy access to scholarly output so that people, whether they’re working from home, hospital, or anywhere else, can get digital open access.
But open access does come with its challenges. As an early career researcher, I was given the conflicting choice of publishing in a prestigious venue that would advance my career, against publishing in open access journals that often don’t have an established reputation. This is a common conundrum – and, of course, many take option A.
Even though the Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) has opened the discussion about how researchers and the outputs they produce are evaluated, there’s still a lot to be done to swing perceptions of the ‘best venues’ for publishing research. Regardless of how much we want to believe that DORA has influenced how selection committees appoint researchers, if you want to get an academic job, being published in a prestigious journal can still provide a golden ticket.
While this moral quandary should not be passed to young researchers, there may be benefits to them in taking a firm stance. Early career researchers are less likely to have grants to pay for article processing charges to make their work open access compared to their senior colleagues. Early career researchers are also the ones who are inadvertently paying the extortionate subscription fees to publishers. According to data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), the amount of money UK universities fork out each year to access paywalled content from Elsevier – the largest academic publisher in the world – could pay 1,028 academic researchers a salary of £45,000 per year.
We know for-profit publishers, such as Elsevier, hold all the cards with respect to those prestigious titles. What we need are systematic “read and publish” deals that allow people to publish where they want without having to find funding for open access.
Currently, UK universities, supported by Jisc, are in negotiations with Elsevier. Working on behalf of researchers and students, universities have two core objectives: to reduce costs to levels they can sustain, and to provide full and immediate open access to UK research.
However, there are some problems – not least cost. Most libraries already pay around 30 percent of their budget to Elsevier, and price of “agreements” continue to rise. An agreement with Elsevier can only be truly “open” if universities like mine can afford to participate in them.
The current outlook for prospective researchers to secure an academic position at a university is compromised because so much money is spent propping up for-profit, commercial publishers. Rather than focusing on career damage to those who can’t publish with an Elsevier title, we should focus on the opportunity cost in hundreds of lost careers in academia.
We often say early career researchers struggle to take risks, but I did – and I was then appointed as the youngest professor of English in the UK. If you’re willing to make a stand on open access, it can create opportunities.
My passion for open access was ignited when I was a PhD student, but it hasn’t held me back in my career. Six of my seven published books are open access, and three more are in the pipeline that will be published open access. I have also secured agreement to make that first book OA retrospectively. All my conference papers are freely accessible too. I may be the humanities author with the most open access monographs in the world – and I live in this open access world because I’ve made an ethical career choice to do so.
There’s not enough focus on this worthwhile cause that benefits society. I get frustrated by people who only see the negatives of open access and just want to continue the status quo. We are already living in an open access world if you choose it.
The sector’s negotiations with Elsevier should be thought of in that spirit. The world is ready for open access, and I hope that Elsevier will catch up. Otherwise, they’ll become a relic to leave behind as we consider what we really want from research dissemination.
Prof. Mike Silk recently published his research data on ReShare, the UK Data Service’s research data repository, for his ESRC funded project ‘Sex work in the context of sports mega events: Examining the impacts of Rio 2016’.
Many funders and journals require the data supporting research publications to be deposited for long-term preservation because of its value to future research. Here’s what Prof. Silk had to say:
What’s most exciting/important about your research?
Probably centring marginalisation / inequality and ensuring visibility / voice for those who are often excluded and/or peripheral to the juggernaut of mega-events (involving as it does securitisation, sterilisation of communities, event-led urban renewal that is often a guise for further marginalisation).
What do you see as being the benefits of making your data available?
The data being available means their voices live on past the event itself. Given this particular dataset is the first of its kind, having this data available will hopefully be a useful comparator for those addressing such issues at future events (e.g., Tokyo 2020 / Paris 2024).
Any advice you would give to anyone about managing their data effectively for successful deposit?
Most important thing for me was ensuring familiarity with the UK Data Service’s ‘Plan to Share’ resource … essential to writing the bid and thereby study design. It meant data could be collected in a particular format that made it easy to deposit, as opposed to having to re-work the data at the conclusion of the project (once funding has run out!) to make it ‘shareable’! Going through this resource in advance of bid submission invariably strengthens the quality of the actual bid.
The dataset is available on request via this link:
What support is available for researchers?
The library offers guidance and support for data management from bid preparation (Data Management Plans) to deposit in BORDaR, BU’s research data repository. Visit our research data management guide or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publishing your research open access is extremely beneficial – to facilitate this, BU has a number of agreements with publishers that you can take advantage of.
Details of these agreements are now set out on a dedicated page found here.
If you have any queries, please email Open Access.
BU have successfully signed up to the BMJ Read and Publish Pilot for 2021. This means that qualifying funded research articles can be published Open Access without paying for an Article Processing Charge (APC).
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases
Archives of Disease in Childhood
Archives of Disease in Childhood: Education & Practice edition
Archives of Disease in Childhood: Fetal & Neonatal edition
BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine
BMJ Quality and Safety
British Journal of Ophthalmology
British Journal of Sports Medicine
Emergency Medicine Journal
Evidence-Based Mental Health
Journal of Clinical Pathology
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health
Journal of Medical Ethics
Journal of Medical Genetics
Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Postgraduate Medical Journal
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Postgraduate Medical Journal
Sexually Transmitted Infections
See publisher webpage for more details.
As one of the products from the HEIF6 Project, our team has developed a wide collection of digital assets to represent human anatomy. The understanding of human anatomy is vital to the delivery of healthcare. For medical students, this necessary awareness of anatomy and 3D spatial orientation is traditionally learned through cadaveric dissection. This is expensive and has practical as well as ethical constraints to available teaching time. The digital models can be used as assets for interdisciplinary research between the fields of Arts, Science and Healthcare. We welcome ideas from the BU community for proposals of novel use cases, research, grant applications and availability as teaching tools or base models for complex animation techniques.
Learn more about the available assets and how to collaborate with the Neuravatar team by contacting Dr Xiaosong Yang (email@example.com) or Dr. Rupert Page (Rupert.Page@poole.nhs.uk).
Today our chapter: Birth Systems across the World: Variations in maternity policy and services across countries was published in the renowned series of books: FIGO Continuous Textbook of Women’s Medicine . This chapter was co-authored by Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen in the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH) with Prof. Sirpa Wrede and Doctoral Researcher from the University of Helsinki (Finland) and Dr. from the European University at St. Petersburg (Russia). The chapter includes a set of recommendations for future practice.
Volume 1 is edited by Prof. Jane Sandall from King’s College London. Earlier this year Prof. Sandall was appointed as the first-ever head of midwifery research for England and one of her key focuses will be around ending racial health inequalities in maternity care.
Everything published on The Global Library of Women’s Medicine is available to everyone everywhere for free and there is no requirement to register in order to view it.
Congratulations to Dr. Pramod Regmi (Lecturer in International Health) in the Department of Nursing Sciences on today’s publication of ‘The unmet needs for modern family planning methods among postpartum women in Sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review of the literature’ . The paper in the international peer-reviewed journal Reproductive Health is co-produced with BU MSc Public Health graduate Jumaine Gahungu and Dr. Mariam Vahdaninia who left the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences in mid-2020.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Congratulations to Professor Jonathan Parker on his latest publication ‘By Dint of History: Ways in which social work is (re)defined by historical and social events‘. This interesting paper is co-authored with Magnus Frampton from the Universität Vechta in Germany and published in the international journal Social Work & Society.
Wonkhe and Pearson have collaborated to highlight what students value about remote and flexible learning aspects. The CMA have called out price fixing which may have increased the cost of good and services provided to disabled students. The Government have announced additional hardship funding to be distributed to students although we still don’t know about the methodology the OfS will use to distribute this. There’s a code for free speech proposed by Students’ Unions. And the appointment of the new Chair of the Office for Students, Lord Wharton, continues to be controversial.
The Commons Education Committee held a pre-appointment hearing with Lord James Wharton of Yarm who the Government intend to appoint to become the next chair of the Office for Students. Lord Wharton has stated he will not resign the Conservative Whip if he is appointed to the OfS (this means he will vote as directed by the Conservative party in divisions). While in practice as a Lord it is acceptable that Wharton will act according to his personal political stance, this is still unusual. Similar concerns were raised when Baroness Harding was appointed as head of NHS Test and Trace and also retained the Tory whip..
Wharton was only appointed to the House of Lords by Boris Johnson in 2020, the current Government has been recognised (and criticised) for its approach to several high level appointments (e.g. Harding and the new Chair of the BBC).
Wharton has little background or previously stated interest in education. Wonkhe have a great blog on the potential appointment, here’s a snide little snippet: If being put forward for a government-backed role makes Private Eye, you have a problem. The process itself was notably light on educational expertise and heavy on being mates with Boris, and it clearly generated a nomination where educational expertise was not the primary criteria. The same Wonkhe blog quickly gallops through the content of the Education Committee hearing – it is worth a read to understand Wharton’s priorities and areas where it seems he has some more background reading to do.
Research Professional also cover the story here:
You can read the letter from the Commissioner for Public Appointments to the Education Select Committee here (it briefly touches upon some of the controversial aspects mentioned above such as panel membership). The letter was sent in advance of the Education Committee hearing. The letter states: I note that Lord Wharton was assessed as appointable by the Panel, along with three other candidates. The choice between these appointable candidates is entirely a matter for ministers. Williamson’s (pre-hearing) letter stating Wharton as the strongest candidate is here.
Here is Dods’ summary of the Education Committee pre-appointment hearing for the OfS Chair position.
The Government’s announcement confirming who will hold the OfS Chair position can be expected imminently.
Amanda Solloway, the Science Minister, has done an interview with Research Professional in which she describes her personal experience of sexual harassment and discrimination and sets out her mission to stamp it out.
UKRI Chief Executive Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser has a blog on debunking the Einstein myth and increasing diversity of the workforce.
REF flexibility: At the end of last week the REF team provided more details on the extra support to help universities struggling to complete during lockdown:
JISC – Support research & innovation 2021-23
Towards the end of last week Jisc published their research and innovation sector strategy 2021-23, setting out their seven key theme priorities identified through their engagement with the sector. Dods summarise:
Quick News update
The Taskforce is expected to report back to the PM in April. Their findings will be considered alongside the Government’s broader economic growth and regulatory agenda. Cynics will remember the “bonfire of the quangos” under the Cameron government (this FT article reports the National Audit Office report that 285 public bodies were abolished but 184 new organsiations were created at the same time).
There was UCAS data released on 4th February.
Dods summarise the UCAS application and acceptance figures for the 2020 cycle:
There were 2,788,715 applications in this cycle – an increase on the 2019 cycle
Key findings and trends:
Given the reverses in policy (student number controls and centre-assessed grades), the controversy about unconditional offers, last this year was a pretty interesting one for admissions teams. Some of these things have implications this year too – we still have a ban on unconditional offers, and this year the impact of whatever Ofqual end up with will almost certainly ensure that there are once again more students with higher grades entering university. The Russell Group are already asking for money to help them take more students in September (again). And all this is just in time for another huge reversal of approach as the government consult on minimum entry requirements and post-qualification admissions. Catch up on our policy update from 21st January on minimum entry requirements, and you can read the PQA consultation here (it runs until May, so no rush).
HEPI has a piece from former universities minister (and former VC) Bill Rammell and education consultant Abhishek Nakhate on the ways that universities can turn knowledge of their applicants into successful recruitment.
Wonkhe also tell us that TES has an opinion piece on the opportunity in the Department for Education’s PQA consultation to uncouple university admissions from A levels completely.
On Monday Wonkhe announced the publication of a collaboration with a group of students leading students’ unions on free speech: Taking the debate forward: A new code to secure and champion freedom of speech and political diversity on campus. Wonkhe also gather together a series of information and recent content on free speech here.
Support for the new code has been given by Adam Clarke, Policy Manager, for the Russell Group. He states:
Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, announced £50 million of new hardship funding for HE providers (to be distributed by the OfS). The Government press release states: The increased financial support comes as the majority of students have been asked to continue their studies remotely, as part of measures to reduce the transmission of coronavirus…The new funding means that universities will be able to help students impacted by the pandemic, for example those facing additional costs for alternative accommodation, loss of employment, or extra costs to access their teaching online. Universities will distribute the funding and will be able to prioritise the funding to those most in need of help. The Government also stated it wanted universities to offer partial refunds for unused accommodation. No doubt the Government are hoping this will head off calls for tuition and rent refunds, at least for a few weeks. The written ministerial statement is here.
Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said:
On Wednesday Donelan made a statement to the House explaining that HE providers will have flexibility in how they distribute funding to students including to masters and international students. There was also an urgent question from Paul Blomfield in the House of Commons on Wednesday and Jim Dickinson (of Wonkhe) has live tweeted the whole debate – very funny but also rather sad.
If you can face it, you can re-read MD’s original set of late on a Friday night tweets (STUDENT MESSAGES 1- 6) that so enraged so many.
Donelan spoke on Radio 4 stating she wanted to ensure students and HE providers understood that hardship support from this funding shouldn’t be just a one-time offer, that students could return to their providers for additional help later on, where appropriate and if required.
Many organisations published their reactions to the announcement. We’ve picked out the key stakeholders who continue to call for the Government to do more:
On Thursday the Minister published yet another open letter to students (sent to universities late on Tuesday). It repeats much of the content of previous letters, including about how to complain. You can read the full text of the letter it in the Minister’s tweet here.
In an expansion of the now well established DfE practice of sending open letters to students to be shared by providers (usually arriving late at night, often on a Friday), this time in a burst of creative energy the Minister also wrote to staff at providers. BU readers can find the message here.
Social Mobility Commission
We learn the reasoning behind the move of the Commission to the Cabinet office here:
There’s a parliamentary question on the Social Mobility Commission’s report Changing gears: understanding downward social mobility setting out the Government’s approach to social mobility and it also mentions the move to the Cabinet Office.
The Social Mobility Commission published its annual review and business plan 2020 this week. They state: In this extraordinarily challenging year, we have made significant strides in influencing government policy, while making meaningful connections with employers and embarking upon an ambitious programme of activities. On the move to the Cabinet Office they state: As we prepare to move to the Cabinet Office from 1 April 2021, we look forward to taking a more influential role in addressing social and regional inequality.
The report has a timeline to highlight the key milestones in 2020 (see further below). And they summarise their achievements as:
There’s lots more detail in the report including short summaries and links to the key publications.
Disability – price fixing
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued advisory letters to some firms supplying goods and services to disabled university students, following concerns that there may have been price-fixing. The Government press release with more detail is here. Excerpts from the press release:
Wonkhe have a blog – Is a market the best way of supporting disabled students?
And the Student Loans Company have issued a statement following the CMA’s action stating they welcome the advisory action and that they take these allegations of anti-competitive behaviour within the DSA supplier base extremely seriously… Also they have already embarked on a programme of significant reforms, designed to transform the customer experience, improve the provision of DSA and to make the overall processes more efficient. These reforms will also increase transparency of pricing and increase competition thus limiting the potential for any anti-competitive behaviour. SLC has already procured an e-quotation system, which will allow more suppliers to quote for work and will increase transparency of pricing and competition.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies has published research on the crisis in lost school learning. Dods have summarised the report. The report sets out the potential long-run costs of lost schooling and finds that, as a result of the pandemic, children across the UK are likely to lose at least half a year of normal, in-person schooling. They conclude that, absent a substantial policy response, the long-run effects of this learning loss are likely to be slow-moving and substantial – arguing that, in the end, we will all be less productive, poorer, have less money to spend on public services, and we may be less happy and healthy as a result. They also say that we will probably also be more unequal, with all the social ills that come with it. Key findings:
HEPI has a blog by Gwen Morris on “Closing the attainment gap: how disadvantaged pupils have been impacted by COVID-19”
Aside from the hardship funding described above, there is more heat than light on this subject.
The APPG for Students released a report from their inquiry into tuition and accommodation costs during Covid-19 making the case for compensation. (Note – an APPG inquiry does not have the same power within Parliament as an official select committee inquiry and the Government is not compelled to respond to it.)
The APPG state the priority is to provide students with the financial assistance they need now – through an emergency hardship fund and full compensation for rents for unused accommodation due to lockdown measures. Recommendations:
Dods have an impartial and clear article on the call for refunds in The House (parliamentary) magazine. It highlights a difficult factor that the sector is fully aware of: it is unclear what shape a refund of a loan that most would never fully repay anyway would take. And other tricky elements:
Wonkhe have a review article going over it all: Someone has to give in the great tuition fees battle. Who will it be? A light read as Jim Dickinson injects some great examples in there. It covers student consent to changes in the curriculum arising from the pandemic. It concludes: Something – or more specifically, someone – has to give here. And if universities have nothing left, it’s either students or DfE. OfS wagging its finger at universities is just fence-sitting. The actual side that OfS picks in the coming battle will tell us everything we need to know both about its real priorities and its “independence“.
Wonkhe also cover a mini legal hiccup relating to the vacation (Christmas) household and their term time address.
Wonkhe report: Accommodation provider Unite has announced it will extend its 50 per cent rent discount until 8 March 2021. The extension applies automatically to students who successfully applied for the original discount.
The BBC covered a letter written by the VC’s of seven universities calling for the interest on student loans to be scrapped for 15 months to ease the pressure on graduates. I.e. from lockdown 1 to summer 2021. The BBC state that just for first year undergraduates it would cost £33 million. The Government has stated that this wouldn’t support students now, which the hardship funding they announced (in Access and Participation section) will. The Government also reminded that half of students do not fully pay back their student loan. The VC’s letter also highlighted that demands for hardship funds have increased by over 100% in some universities.
On Tuesday the petitions committee met to consider e-petitions:
Guidance: The DfE published new return to campus guidance for HE students and providers. All remains as expected:
Quick News: Meanwhile a review published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has found that the currently unregulated use of Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) products nearly quadrupled to £2.7bn during 2020 and five million people had used them since the start of the pandemic. This has been flagged as a potential student concern because: The trend of younger people moving away from products such as credit cards and towards new offerings, including unregulated BNPL products was regularly raised by respondents to the review. It calls for the market to be properly regulated as there is significant potential for consumer harm. The Treasury confirmed interest-free BNPL agreements will now be regulated by the FCA. It means that providers will need to undertake affordability checks before lending and ensure that customers are treated fairly, especially those who are vulnerable and struggling with repayments.
Parliamentary Questions: No detriment
Dods share that Times Higher Education have published the results and subsequent report of their Digital Teaching Survey, which aims to capture an overview of universities’ digital transitions in response to the pandemic, and the effect this has on students and learning outcomes. You can view the report in full here
Carried out in October and November, the survey attracted 520 self-selecting respondents. And although the majority (334) are from the UK, a total of 46 countries are represented in the responses, spread across all continents bar Antarctica. Among the findings are:
Wonkhe and Pearson published findings from their latest student experience research: Students’ experiences of study during Covid-19 and hopes for future learning and teaching and Pearson have a blog highlighting the key elements here. They work through what aspects of online and blended delivery should be retained in the short term, what are the areas for longer term strategic development, and what can be gratefully consigned to the dustbin of history.
There seems to be a consensus among university leaders of learning and teaching that while the explosion in online and blended learning of the past year didn’t come about in exactly the way the sector would have chosen, there’s now little sense in reverting back to the way things were before.
In the blog Pearson say:
And on a quality experience:
The blog also highlights (by comparison to earlier June 2020 survey) that access to feedback, support from lecturers, and access to technology and resources have all improved. Where there’s room for further investigation is in providing a consistently engaging online learning experience and bringing curriculum content to life for students.
Moving forward – continuing to teach remotely during Covid
63% would like more opportunities for interactions with other students
57% would choose more contact time with tutors
Methods to support monitoring their own progress were also highlighted. The blog states:
Only 35 per cent said they have regular indicators about how they are performing on the course. In a context where students are more isolated and have fewer opportunities to compare notes with peers or talk informally to lecturers, building opportunities for self-assessment of progress can be especially helpful to give students academic confidence and self-efficacy, especially given the finding on students’ sense of their own preparedness for formal assessment. 36 per cent said that more frequent assessments and progress reviews would make a difference to their experience.
Many of the consultations this year have potential to be transformative for the sector. BU readers can find our response to the OfS consultation on quality and standards here. You can read the UUK response here and the one from London Higher here.
As we note above, the PQA consultation is live (we are considering a BU response)
Nick Hillman makes the case that English universities need to cultivate allies – either in wider society or in Whitehall – to prepare for the coming spending review.
Equality: Advance HE published the blog Ensuring continued steps towards gender equality. And Wonkhe report: Advance HE has released the second part of its literature review investigating the prevalence of unconscious bias in teaching and learning in higher education. Bias in the Curriculum brings together best practice from across Advance HE members, recommending that an awareness of curriculum bias be built into teaching, with students invited to co-create interventions to address it.
Youth Mental Health: Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made an announcement on appointing Dr. Alex George as a Youth Mental Health Ambassador
Law Programmes: A new Wonkhe blog – A new qualification route will shape future lawyers – the introduction of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) offers law schools the chance to radically rethink their course offer.
Careers support: Wonkhe report: A report from the City and Guilds Group and Burning Glass finds that just 16 per cent of working adults understands how their skills would transfer to another career. The survey of just over 1,000 adults finds that 21 per cent lacked knowledge of work in other employment sectors, and 19 per cent described a “lack of confidence” in considering a second career. TES has the story.
Low quality courses: Wonkhe comment on a SRHE blog piece stating it explains how the ministerial complaints around standards and “low quality” courses have only become less coherent over the past ten years.
Brexit: Wonkhe reports that The European University Association has published a short briefing into the implications for universities of the final Brexit agreement. The document covers the UK’s withdrawal from the Eramus scheme, cross-border data sharing and trade in educational services, and travel and residence between the UK and the EU.
Youth Unemployment: In December 2020 the Lords Liaison Committee recommended that the House established a new special inquiry committee to consider youth unemployment, education and skills. This report set out recommendations for the Committee to address. They include:
Wellbeing: Just after we sent last week’s policy update a new report was issued by Jisc and Emerge Education Student and staff wellbeing in higher education. It suggests ways in which universities can address student mental health and wellbeing by embracing technology and embedding wellbeing practices into every aspect of university life.
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Last year October, due to over-subscription, Wiley changed their terms of agreement and only limited OA publishing to Wellcome, UKRI, Blood Cancer UK, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Parkinson’s UK and Versus Arthritis funded research only, to guarantee that all research funded will be published OA in 2020.
Since the start of the new year, this is no longer the case and the Wiley Jisc Read and Publish agreement is once again supporting all OA publishing. Please see this link for more information about this deal –
For more information and clarification, please email OpenAccess@bournemouth.ac.uk
The year 2021 started in many ways in the same way as it had ended with a country gripped in COVID-19 and a national lock down to limit the spread of the disease. It is appropriate timely that the first publication from our international collaboration, studying the health system in Nepal, focuses on COVID-19 . This academic paper forms part of our on-going study of the decentralisation of the Nepal health system. The study is run by the University of Sheffield, the University of Huddersfield and Bournemouth University in the UK and PHASE Nepal and Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences in Nepal. The study is funded by the UK Health Systems Research Initiative.
This paper was unplanned as nobody (neither in the UK or in Nepal) had heard of COVID-19 when we submitted the grant application in mid-2019. It was only when we started our project officially in April 2020 that COVID-19 had become the pandemic it is today. We took the opportunity to assess some of the early evidence on the effectiveness of the actions taken to deal with COVID-19 by the national government as well as provincial and local governments and the levels of cooperation and coordination between them.
Authors on this include BU PhD graduate Dr. Pratik Adhikary and FHSS Visiting Professor Padam Simkhada, as well as our collaborator on other funded projects, Dr. Sujan Marahatta from Manmohan Memorial Institute of Health Sciences (Nepal).
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Peer reviewing is the backbone of academic publishing. It is this peer review process to ensure that papers/publications have been vetted scientifically prior to publication by experts in the field, i.e. one’s peers. However, the process is not without its problems. One such problems is the delay in academic publishing. For example, a few days ago we published a substantive editorial on COVID-19 in Qater . When we submitted this in July 2020 the information in our editorial was very up to date, and it still was when the Qatar Medical Journal accepted it on 26th July 2020. Unfortunately, with all the incredibly rapid developments in vaccine development, approval and roll out some of the paper now reads like ‘historial data’.
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
Centre for Midwifery, Maternal & Perinatal Health (CMMPH)
Congratulations to Prof. Vanora Hundley whose article ‘Escalation triggers and expected responses in obstetric early warning systems used in UK consultant-led maternity units’ is now available Open Access online. The paper has been accepted in Resuscitation Plus. Co-authors include FHSS Visiting Faculty Prof. Gary Smith and Dr. Richard Isaacs.
The paper reports on a review of OEWS [Obstetric Early Warning Systems] charts and escalation policies across consultant-led maternity units in the UK (n = 147). OEWS charts were analysed for variation in the values of physiological parameters triggering different levels of clinical escalation. The observed variations in the trigger thresholds used in OEWS charts and the quality of information included within the accompanying escalation protocols is likely to lead to suboptimal detection and response to clinical deterioration during pregnancy and the post-partum period. The paper concludes the development of a national OEWS and escalation protocol would help to standardise care across obstetric units.