sábado, dezembro 09, 2006

Eu também quero ganhar dinheiro fácil...

... João Carlos Espada escreve esta semana no Expresso sobre Oxford e a oposição que os professores estão a fazer à reforma desta instituição. fala também sobre a Universidades no top 20 e sobre os recursos que estas têm devido a doações estando Harvard emprimeiro lugar.

Curioso, todo o texto é parecido com este:

"WHEN John Hood became vice-chancellor of Oxford University in October 2004, it was a sign that at least some of the institution's senior staff recognised that wisdom might occasionally be found beyond its walls.


The old guard soon went head to head with their new boss, and they won the first round. Just eight months into Mr Hood's tenure, a row over performance reviews for academics led to his defeat in Congregation, the 3,773-strong “dons’ parliament” that is the university's highest authority.

Two years into the job, Mr Hood is still struggling, and this time the stakes are higher. On November 14th Congregation will consider his plans to replace the university's council—a single body of dons with responsibility for matters both learned and financial—with separate academic and financial boards, the second of which will have a slim majority drawn from outside the university. The debate in the Sheldonian Theatre will be rancorous, though the plans have been watered down in response to earlier criticism. A postal vote may follow and, if Mr Hood is defeated, he may well resign.


Supporters argue that the proposals will simplify decision-making. This should make academics' lives easier, as well as persuade potential donors that the university is properly run. Liora Lazarus, a fellow of St Anne's College, was involved in drafting the plans. At the moment, she says, no one knows whether a discussion has been finished and a decision reached.


Oxford's difficulties are unique. At Cambridge, the only other university with a similarly complicated collegiate structure, the emollient vice-chancellor, Alison Richard, has persuaded colleges, departments and the central administration to work together reasonably amicably. But if Mr Hood is willing to risk his job it is because he thinks reform is essential if Oxford is to attract the cash to compete internationally for the brightest students and best researchers. And this is a problem that faces each of Britain's better universities.

British academics are, to an extent that those who work in mere private enterprise cannot imagine, obsessed with money. Partly this is because there is never enough: a huge government-mandated expansion in student numbers since the 1960s has not seen a matching rise in funding. It is also because university finances are fiendishly complicated. Cross-subsidies are common: research grants don't cover overheads and can require matching funding to trigger them; overseas students are charged more to make good losses on teaching Britons; pricey masters' degrees pay for undercharged undergraduates.

Leading British academics earn around half of what their counterparts in America get. Their teaching loads are heavier and their administrative tasks more arduous. The £3,000 ($5,710) a year cap on tuition fees for home students does not begin to cover costs: Oxford reckons it spends £13,000 a year teaching each undergraduate, leaving a shortfall of £5,000 even after government subsidies. The cap is due for review in 2008, but universities are unlikely to get a big increase unless they offer poorer undergraduates large bursaries.

So it is astounding that Cambridge and Oxford are still ranked among the world's best universities, at least according to the Times Higher Education Supplement, which puts them just behind Harvard. But high-flying British students are beginning to look across the Atlantic.

On November 7th Wellington, a leading private school, held a conference on getting into American universities. The dean of admissions at Princeton, Janet Rapelye, told the conference that a year ago Princeton had had 61 applications from British students and had accepted three; this year those figures were 100 and 11. “American universities look attractive in comparison with Oxbridge, especially their means-tested bursaries,” says Anthony Seldon, Wellington's headmaster.

Filthy lucre
Those bursaries are possible only because many American universities have big endowments (see table)—which also allow them to lure the world's best academics. Sir Peter Lampl, founder of an educational charity, points out that fewer than 10% of Oxford's alumni contribute to their university or college, compared with 61% of Princeton's and 45% of Harvard's. Most British universities do no fundraising at all.

Britons will probably never be as generous as Americans; they are too used to the idea that higher education is the responsibility of government and they do not get the tax write-off for charitable giving that Americans do. But Cambridge and Oxford, at least, are trying. Last year Cambridge launched an appeal to raise £1 billion by 2012; donations have already reached £300m. Last autumn Oxford recruited Jon Dellandrea, a Canadian fundraiser with a prodigious reputation. It is expected to launch its own appeal soon.

Oxford also wants to earn better returns on the money it already has. In 2005 a group led by Sir Alan Budd, provost of Queen's College, prepared a report on investment strategies, in response to which the university's investment committee is being reformed. Inevitably, the details of this reform are still under discussion."

Economist, 9 Nov.

The Economist

Claro que este senhor embelezou a notícia do The Economist com dois factos: o resultado da eleição (que já seria de esperar) e os números da I&D no PIB fáceis de obter na Net. Mas o "sumo" é este artigo do The Economist.

Já agora convinha a este senhor ler o reslutado da votação: aqui

"...After two hours, academics voted by 652 to 507 in favour of amending the proposals of John Hood, the Vice-Chancellor and in effect allowing the possibility of them reasserting control over Oxford’s executive five years after the reforms were introduced.

Dr Hood had recommended creating a board of directors with a majority of externally appointed members, to approve the budget and oversee the running of the university.
in Times Online

Mas a 26 Nov:
"...Oxford dons have voted down plans to hand over power on the way the university is run to outsiders from the world of business and politics.

Plans for lay members to form the majority on a proposed new university council - in effect a board of governors to oversee the running of Oxford - were rejected at a crucial meeting of academics last night.

At a meeting of the university's 3,700-strong Congregation and after nearly three hours of debate, academics voted by 730 to 456 against the proposals.


Finalmente, refira-se que agora tudo será resolvido pelo tal postal voting pq são apenas necessários 30 requerentes.

Assim, sendo, além de se basear quase inteiramente numa notícia do The Economist, não faz referências aos processo de votação que se seguiu... ...nem o porquê do voto postal, enfimm...

Nota: É plágio quando se reproduz as fontes sem se dar o crédito a estas.

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