Times Higher Education
Originally published 05/07/2013
A celebration of the life and influence of legendary historian Eric Hobsbawm, who died last October at the age of 95, brought out family, friends and fellow scholars in force at Birkbeck, University of London this week.In a speech of welcome, David Latchman, master of Birkbeck – which Professor Hobsbawm joined as a lecturer in 1947 and where he served as president from 2002 until his death – said he was someone who had “clearly made a difference to people’s lives”.At graduation ceremonies, Professor Latchman recalled of Professor Hobsbawm, “the production line would be slowed down by people saying: ‘You influenced me! You are the reason I am here! You are the reason why I graduated!’ A proportion of them would be so excited at meeting their hero that they walked off the stage without remembering to shake hands with me.”...
Originally published 04/23/2013
Arts and humanities PhD graduates from the US are more employable than their UK counterparts, a conference on doctoral education has heard.The extra length of the US doctoral education – on average seven years compared with four in the UK – creates graduates with significantly more experience in teaching and administration, said Dina Iordanova, professor of film studies at the University of St Andrews.“Those coming out of UK programmes often have little experience in teaching and next to no experience in administration,” Professor Iordanova told the UK Council for Graduate Education’s International Conference on Development in Doctoral Education and Training on 12 April, where she was speaking in a personal capacity.Both factors contribute to university employers not being certain of applicants’ command of the field at large, she said....
Originally published 04/05/2013
Silvio Laccetti was cleaning out his office after 43 years of teaching at the Stevens Institute of Technology, a science and technology school in Hoboken, New Jersey, when he stumbled across a pile of unreturned reports, assignments and examinations from some of the thousands of students he had taught over the years.It gave him an idea: invite some of his best former students for dinner. Not all at once, however: one at a time.What Dr Laccetti, who taught history, called his “retirement odyssey” involved 83 dinners and lunches consumed over three and a half years with 104 of his one-time students, mostly individually but a few in small groups.He spoke by phone with another dozen who lived too far away to meet in person.The odyssey gave him an opportunity academics seldom get: to measure his impact on the world.“They had listened to my advice,” Dr Laccetti, 72, said. “They maintained an interest in the humanities. They even talked about me to their kids, and taught their children some of the things that I taught them.”...
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