Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Congratulating the 10 New Universities

As a former Professor at a College (Nene) that became a New University following the award of research degree powers, I would like to congratulate the higher education institutions that will now become Universities.

In my view, we need more creative disruption in higher education in Great Britain, and much of that innovation springs from the new blood that has been running through the system since the major expansion that took place in the 1960s.

In fact, Universities do not have to be super-instiutions that operate on an international scale and bloated global reputation. In order to be vibrant academic cultures what is needed is a capacity to serve the needs of students and their teachers; to value research and scholarship; and to connnect with their local communities.

I assume that all of that includes wealth creation in a sense that is larger, wider and richer than the familair slogans about business entrepreneurship


  • Arts University College at Bournemouth
  • Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln
  • Harper Adams University College
  • Leeds Trinity University College
  • Newman University College, Birmingham
  • Norwich University College of the Arts
  • Royal Agricultural College
  • University College Birmingham
  • University College Falmouth
  • University College Plymouth St. Mark & St. John
The BBC reports:

Previously, to be called a university, an institution needed to have 4,000 full-time students, and meet other criteria, but now that student number has been dropped to 1,000. This has opened the gateway for many specialist institutions to gain the university status they had wanted for some time.

Mr Willetts said: "These well-known and highly-regarded university colleges represent over 1,200 years of history between them. It is right to remove the barriers preventing high-quality higher education providers like these calling themselves universities simply because of their size."

Friday, 9 November 2012

21 Essential Tips for Community Film editing

  1. Some people like editing, others don’t. Find out early on in the project about people’s skills and preferences, and training requirements – don’t leave it all to the end.
  2. Edit the film as you go along, in a rough and ready fashion. If you filled half a tape accidentally recording irrelevant chair legs there’s really no point wasting that space on your hard drive.
  3. Respect people’s wish for their contribution to be deleted.
  4. Review the day’s shooting with participants, if possible
  5. Make notes on the best clips of the day. This is called logging. Invent the system that works best for you. Always label tapes or disks at the time of filming. 
  6. Keep a note of the best clips, and the ‘who, what, where, when’ bits of information.
  7. It should be possible to create a rough edit based on (a) a selection of the best material actually filmed; (b) the valued work of a trained editing person or small team; (c) referring back to the story and storyboard as guides.
  8. In community film it is essential to allow participants to view and comment on the rough edit. Misrepresentation is a crime!
  9. The rough edit screening is an opportunity for creative dialogue between the editor(s) and the other participants.
  10. How can we make our film more relevant?
  11. Despite our noble intentions - are we trying to appeal to too many disparate groups with insoluble differences between them?
  12. How can we strengthen the people/character element of the story?
  13. Is there anything that’s irrelevant, flabby or surplus? 
  14. Are we lingering tediously over uninteresting shots?
  15. What’s distracting our attention from the main message?
  16. Your best friend is CUT, not PASTE.
  17. How can we make our film shorter? (We seldom encounter a community film that we would wish to be longer)
  18. If there’s disagreement (excellent); if you can’t resolve it, why not identify an objective focus group for a screening of the rough edit?
  19. Have the editors gone overboard on special effects? (Children in the sweet-shop syndrome)
  20. Remember that you are editing SOUNDS as well as IMAGES...
  21. There’s far more advice on community filming and editing and sound tracks elsewhere on this blog.

Dr Ian McCormick is the author of The Art of Connection: the Social Life of Sentences
(2013) Also available on Kindle, or to download.

Also worth a look: The PhD Roadmap: A Guide to Successful Submission of your Dissertation / Thesis.