Tag Archives: mark thompson

When it’s three o’clock in New York, it’s still 1938 in London – Weeknote #274 – 31st May 2024

Shorter week this week with the Bank Holiday. Decided to work in our London office this week and do some more field research into the Intelligent Campus.

Wrote a blog post on attendance after reading a Guardian article on the subject.

It would appear that the remote teaching during covid is continuing to have an impact on attendance at in-person teaching. Alongside the cost of living crisis, rising costs, the need to work, and interestingly a perception by students that attendance at in-person sessions was unlikely to benefit their learning and their grades.

I had to answer some clarification questions in relation to Invitation to tender we have out.

Undertook some preparation for Senior Education and Student Experience group meeting. I am probably going to repeat the session we did in March.

Continued with some leadership training I am doing.

Have been creating and writing out IC monthly newsletter for June.

Listened to the THE Podcast, specifically the interview with Mark Thompson, professor of digital economy at the University of Exeter.

In this interview, conducted at the Digital Universities UK event at Exeter, Thompson shares his concern that the sector is drifting away from its true north of research, teaching and impact (he uses Jeff Bezos’ idea of “day one”), citing statistics that less than 40 per cent of university staff are academics. He suggests reasons for this and talks about the need for leadership at institutional and government level and the prisoner’s dilemma of whole-sector transformation.

It was an interesting interview, and there is a related article.

UK universities should rip up a lot of their “back-end nonsense”, tackle managerial bloat and stop shelling out for different versions of the same technology to allow them to return to their core missions and heavily invest in academic jobs, according to an influential professor who has helped to pioneer a new approach to digital infrastructure in the public sector.

This echoes much of my work in this space. I am not sure the sector could achieve the 20% saving, but I do think there is room for savings.