Chris Husbands and Michael Arthur
Higher education is changing – and at a dizzying speed. Universities now operate on a global canvas, and reputations are made (and lost) on a worldwide scale. Around the world, measures of quality – however imperfect, flawed and downright misleading they may be – drive student preferences, funders’ decision-making and government strategies. At the same time, local impact remains equally important: all universities exist in communities, but as those communities become more diverse and demanding, the pressures on universities intensify. It’s easy to despair at the pace and scale of these challenges, but adapting to change can be bracing too. New challenges bring new possibilities and new horizons. It’s against this background that after a good deal of thought and careful planning we have decided to merge the IOE and UCL, creating academic opportunities for both partners. The merger will take effect from 2 December.
About the IOE
The IOE was established at the beginning of the 20th century. Initially set up to train teachers for the rapidly developing schools of London, it was from the very beginning international in outlook. Over the next hundred years it expanded its role and remit enormously, so that at the beginning of Read more ›
Picture credit: Kimberly Warner/BRAVO Youth Orchestras
El Sistema, the Venezuelan music education programme that claims to transform lives through intensive participation in orchestra and choir, has again been in the news. In a preview to his forthcoming book based on a year of ethnographic fieldwork in Venezuela, Geoff Baker questions whether the social change claims can really be supported with evidence and critiques the pedagogy that underpins El Sistema. Baker’s book promises to add a critical perspective to a growing body of research, evaluation and theoretical critiques reviewed and summarised in our recent international review of evidence relating to El Sistema and Sistema-inspired programmes. Read more ›
For several years, the outstanding success of London Challenge has been a beacon for school improvers across the nation and beyond. The marked improvement in the performance of London secondary schools in the decade after 2002 has been a clear indication that school systems can be significantly improved for all young people, given commitment, imagination, investment and collaboration.
London schools significantly out-perform schools across England and the best of London’s boroughs – Camden, Tower Hamlets, Hackney – perform outstandingly well. In recent months, this narrative has been unpicked. The Institute for Fiscal Studies argued that the success of London’s secondaries was an illusion caused by earlier improvements in primary schools.
Now, in a more direct assault, Simon Burgess from the University of Bristol argues that it’s not the schools’ success of schools at all: London’s Read more ›