News in brief - 23 January 2014

January 23, 2014

Student recruitment
Salford revises ad-spend data

Last week Times Higher Education reported that the University of Salford had trebled its spending on marketing to prospective students between 2010-11 and 2012-13. The story was accurately based on information provided by Salford under the Freedom of Information Act, and also carried a statement by the university reacting to the figures. However, on 16 January, following publication of the article, Salford contacted THE to say it had supplied incorrect figures in its FoI response owing to errors in collation. Salford apologised and provided updated figures on non-staff marketing spending. Its total marketing expenditure was £1,661,858 in 2010-11, £1,350,997 in 2011-12 and £1,320,944 in 2012-13. Combined advertising and exhibition expenditure – broadly aimed at prospective students – was £906,194 in 2010-11, £807,148 in 2011-12 and £1,064,599 in 2012-13.

European Research Council grants
Cash for Britain (and some Brits)

UK-based researchers have claimed the largest share of the European Research Council’s new consolidator grants, aimed at mid-career academics. Of the 312 awards announced in the €575 million (£478 million) scheme on 14 January, 62 (20 per cent) went to UK-based researchers. German institutions won 43 grants and French institutions 42. However, tallied by nationality, British researchers won just 31 grants, against 48 by Germans, 46 by Italians and 33 by French researchers. Women took 24 per cent of the grants.

Lords Science and Technology Committee
Are we making the right noises?

A committee of peers is to investigate whether the UK’s immigration policies send “unwelcoming messages” to non-European Union students. The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee inquiry will look at whether immigration laws are discouraging international students from opting to study in the UK, and whether immigration rules have been communicated effectively. Also raised will be the issue of routes into work for non-EU students. The enquiry will focus on science, technology, engineering and maths subjects, and the committee is asking for written evidence on the issue from today until 20 February.

Leadership and Management Awards
Search for this year’s models

The 2014 Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards – affectionately known as the Thelmas – are open for entries. The annual awards, with more than a dozen categories ranging from finance to student services to the Outstanding Leadership and Management Team, celebrate the work of university managers and administrators across the UK. Entries close on 9 March, and the ceremony takes place on 17 June at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.


In last week’s story on open-access monographs we quoted Geoffrey Crossick as saying that the next research excellence framework will require academics’ long-form publications to be open access. We are happy to clarify that Professor Crossick was referring to the REF after the next one, which could require academics to make monographs open access.

Follow Times Higher Education on Twitter

Our news story exposing some of the universities that may have misled students with embellished claims in prospectuses struck a nerve with some of our followers. One institution boasted of being among the “top five Northern universities for student satisfaction”, but neglected to include Greater Manchester, Liverpool, Cumbria and Lancashire in its definition of the North. @KuldeepBanwait said “telling authentic stories” would mean that universities would better connect with prospective students. @brianabbey agreed, saying that “marketing with integrity benefits everyone”. However, @UniversityBoy was unsurprised by the manipulation. “Marketing materials are sometimes selective, painting a misleadingly rosy picture,” he tweeted. “Who would have thought it?”

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