Adventures in academic bureaucracy

So, I’ve just accepted an external examiner role at a university in Yorkshire. As part of the paperwork, they’re asking for passport photos of yours truly, signed by my University’s HR department. They haven’t said why; it could be to satisfy UKBA, or it could be to assure themselves that I am a member of academic staff at my place. I’ve spoken to our HR, and they’re as bemused as I am, to the point of showing a marked an understandable unwillingness to sign the photos. Of course, given that we’re now down to one part-time HR officer in the… Read More »Adventures in academic bureaucracy

Sic transit gloria LMU

Following some irregularities, the UK Border Agency has revoked London Metropolitan University‘s visa license. Not only can the university no longer recruit overseas (non-EU) students (a major source of income for all UK universities, and one of the few things that stops them from going bankrupt), but their existing overseas students have been told that they have sixty days to find alternative visa sponsors or they will be deported. LMU have estimated their annual income from overseas students at around £30M, about 20% of their total income. They currently have over 2000 overseas students.

New Year Honours List

Unlike the rest of my friends list, I’m not (primarily) going to be posting about Terry’s knighthood (although that is nonetheless very good news). Instead, I’m posting about Wendy Hall, my former PhD supervisor, who has been made a Dame in the New Years Honours list. Jolly good news, and much deserved.

The Joy of Exams

We’ve got a pretty good exams process here, though things sometimes fall through the cracks. What should happen is that (as someone running a module) you write your exam about four weeks into the semester. The exam goes to an internal moderator who looks it over, checks it for errors, and checks that it correctly assesses whether the students have met the learning outcomes for the module. The exam also goes to the leader for the degree programme (for computer science, that’s me) who checks all of the exam papers for overlaps. The internal moderator sends their comments back to… Read More »The Joy of Exams

A question of manners

So, what is the correct response when your senior colleague comes into your office with a half-bottle of undrinkable Cava that he then proceeds to spray over your ceiling, walls, whiteboard, chair, and floor? Especially when his response is to giggle like a maniac? This was before 9am, by the way. My office now smells of stale cava…

An imperfect world

Dammit. I would have got a perfect 5.0 on my teaching evaluation from my students, had one of them not given me a 4 (good) instead of a 5 (very good). I shall have to be satisfied with a near-perfect 4.89.