From the 10th – 13th February 2015, UNIKE will organise a conference, Transforming Higher Education in the Asia-Pacific Rim and Europe, at the University of Auckland.
This conference will explore: What is the place of universities in the emerging ‘ecology’ of higher education systems that straddle industry, government and the public sphere? How are universities negotiating the different demands placed upon them to compete in the global knowledge economy? What new subjects and spaces have emerged under the new conditions of existence for universities? How are academics, students, managers and policy makers making sense of these changes, and in what alternative ways?
The organisers invite papers that address the following themes:
1: Higher Education and the (New) Knowledge Economies: Perspectives from the Asia-Pacific and Europe
2: Beyond the University in Ruins: The Transformation of Higher Education
3: ‘Under New Management’? New Universities, New Stakeholders
4: Alternative Futures for Higher Education
See here for more details.
UNIKE is a four year EU funded research project and initial training network. Eurodoc is an associate partner in the project.
Recent years have seen drastic cuts in funding for researchers in Portugal. Last year the number of research projects approved by the Foundation for Science and Technology fell by over 65%. As many as 50% of Portugal’s research centres may struggle to survive in future, with many now receiving no funding and others receiving funding far below the previous level (some receiving less than 10% of their previous funding).
This situation, combined with the general lack of long term strategy for research in Portugal, has placed many of the country’s researchers in difficult positions. Many researchers are already poorly paid and have no access to social security benefits. This situation will likely worsen their conditions, thereby weakening the attractiveness of Portugal’s research system, and further contributing to the emigration of highly skilled young people.
Eurodoc’s Portuguese member ABIC (The Portuguese Association of Grant-holding Researchers) is campaigning against these funding cuts and for a general improvement of the position of science and scientific workers in Portugal. A number of initiatives have been organised to promote the value of science for Portuguese society and highlight the important work done by the country’s scientific workers. The campaign aims to promote a different science policy in Portugal, and guarantee dignified working conditions for all researchers.
Eurodoc offers its support to ABIC’s initiative, and encourages everyone to sign their open letter and support the campaign.
Vitae, in collaboration with Nature Jobs, is conducting a project that aims to understand how research staff transition from academic research into other employment sectors. The project aims to understand why and how these individuals left academia, and provide information to others looking for non-academic, and non-research careers.
A survey has been developed to gather stories from researchers who have made the switch. If you have moved from an academic research post into a or non-research job in academia, or into another job outside academia, then we encourage you to fill out the survey.
Eurodoc is greatly concerned with the situation in Norway, where the Norwegian authorities have been refusing to grant or renew visas to Iranian nationals. Some doctoral candidates, who have been accepted on doctoral programmes, have been denied visas, and others who have already started work on their PhD, and produced research results, have been refused extensions of their residence permits.
International sanctions against Iran are being used as an excuse to prevent highly skilled and highly educated Iranians from working in the country, even in research areas not remotely related to potential hazards. A similar policy was introduced in the Netherlands in the spring of 2013. Fortunately, after numerous complaints by both Dutch and Iranian nationals, this policy change was quickly reversed.
Eurodoc considers that these practices set a dangerous precedent, and urges the Norwegian immigration authorities to reconsider their decisions to deport and refuse visas to Iranian nationals. Eurodoc considers that ordinary citizens, be they Iranian or other, should not be held to account for the actions of their government. Eurodoc believes that hardworking scientists should not be denied the opportunities available to them in Norway’s research system, and that these sorts of international science collaborations are important to help draw people together.
Finally, Eurodoc expresses its support to the “Stop Educational Discrimination Against Iranians” initiative.
Eurodoc has signed a memorandum of understanding with ICoRSA (the International Consortium of Research Staff Associations). Both organisations share similar visions for the future of the European Research Area, and the place of Researchers in it.
Eurodoc looks forward to its future collaboration with ICoRSA, working to give researchers a greater voice in Europe.