ACU Insights #6


ACU Insights #6 - November 2013

In this issue…

Re-appraising the value of international students

It has long been recognised that international students, and internationalisation more generally, have far more to offer a university and its community than a boost to the financial balance sheets, although this clearly remains important. The new International Education Strategy of the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), while emphasising the economic value of international students, gives welcome prominence to the broader value and benefits they bring. This reflects the position of some recent studies, among them the Wider Benefits of International Higher Education in the UK, and the Universities’ Scotland report: Richer for it: The social, cultural and educational impact international students have on Scotland. Read more

Is research assessment reflecting trends toward interdisciplinary research?

The interest in interdisciplinarity in higher education has increased as ways of learning and doing research have become more flexible. At the same time, and in contrast, the assessment and evaluation of what higher education does is often structured and formalised around defined subject areas. What therefore are the implications for what universities do, particularly in research achievement and strength? How can research which reaches out beyond boundaries of individual subjects or disciplines be judged effectively and rewarded? Specifically what is the experience and practice of different countries now that research assessment frameworks are being developed and, particularly recently, reviewed? Read more

Strengthening systems for research uptake in Africa

We are all aware of the growing imperative to measure and rank the performance of universities, both nationally and internationally. Increasingly this is translating into growing pressure to demonstrate the impact of their research, in terms of visibility, influence and use. The impact of research on development is an area that is gaining prominence among universities in the global South. The recently held Symposium of the Developing Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa (DRUSSA) Initiative highlighted the efforts being made by participating universities in developing their strategic and systemic approaches to research communication, use and impact. Read more

ACU news

Other news


View other issues of ACU Insights

The authors Laura Dyson, Nick Mulhern and Liam Roberts are always pleased to receive feedback on the usefulness and content of the ACU Insights briefing, as well as news on developments in HE which might be of wider interest. They can be contacted at