Category Archives: Weekly Round-Up

Weekly Round-Up: July 5, 2013

Happy Friday, everyone, and welcome to the Weekly Round-Up!

If you’ve got stories or links that you think ought to be shared for next week, you can email us at, or tweet us @uni_di_versity.

Lamenting the rising cost of tuition is a pastime of many students. Get this: Oregon’s legislature recently proposed that students commit a portion of their future income to re-paying the state instead of paying tuition fees up front. While many details need ironing out, it’s pretty rad that students from Portland State University proposed this plan to state lawmakers!

A recent report in South Africa indicates that improving literacy levels among primary students requires much more than improving the teaching skills of teachers. Schooling alone won’t fix literacy rates, so it’s time to look at alternative avenues to holistically improve literacy.

“Girl Rising” is a documentary that highlights the quest for education of nine girls across the world. Backed by heavyweight Meryl Streep, this film is gaining traction and thousands of screenings. Have you seen this film? We haven’t and we’re curious what it’s like, especially since plans are in the work for future editions involving Indian and French actors.

Gender stereotypes permeate education – science is for boys and arts is for girls, or so we’re often told. A recent study shows that even though boys outnumber girls in science related subjects, girls are now out-performing boys at the BTEC levels in the UK. Despite this success, few girls make the leap to science-related degrees at the university level.

End your week with a comical video of Brazilian students aged 8-13 correcting the grammar of their fave celebs’ tweets. Charlie Sheen, you stand corrected!

Have a stellar weekend, folks. Come back on Monday for some more good reads by the uni(di)versity team!

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Weekly Round-up: June 28, 2013

Happy Friday, everyone, and welcome to the Weekly Round-Up!

If you’ve got stories or links that you think ought to be shared for next week, you can email us at, or tweet us @uni_di_versity.

Start off your weekend with Ikhide Ikheloa’s candid account of his life at the University of Mississippi. As the only black student in his class of no more than 25, Ikheola shares the nuances of his experience – from missing Nigerian beer, to black-on-black prejudice.

Race permeates almost every facet of life in South Africa, even filtering into dormitory assignments. Are universities a microcosm for wider societal tensions and barriers to racial integration in South Africa? Check out Eve Fairbanks’ depiction of race relations at the University of Free State.

The number of English majors is declining, as students are under pressure to choose degrees with more “occupational potential”. Verlyn Klinkenborg argues that studying humanities is still relevant and necessary. For him, a humanities degree is the gift of “clear thinking, clear writing and a lifelong engagement with literature” that keeps on giving.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his crew often publicly dismiss the value of intellectual inquiry into social and public policy. Joseph Heath defends sociological and criminological contributions to policy, arguing that criminologists are hated because they call out nonsense with long-term trends and statistics.

Finally, to all those in sexy foreign affairs programs, consider reading Brandon Scott’s “Myths of Foreign Affairs.” Unfortunately, your semester abroad doesn’t make you a global citizen. And you may have to work a bit harder to land yourself a gig in an intelligence agency.

Have a lovely weekend. We’ll be back on Monday with more rad articles from our amazing team of writers!

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Weekly Round-up: June 21, 2013

Happy Friday, everyone, and welcome to the Weekly Round-Up!

If you’ve got stories or links that you think ought to be shared for next week, you can email us at, or tweet us @uni_di_versity.

Start off your Friday with most graduates’ favorite moment: commencement (graduation, convocation — whatever flavor you prefer). The NY Times compiled 5 speeches, ranging from Stephen Colbert to Melinda Gates. And yes, we definitely noticed that the speakers selected were a bunch of white people.

Nalanda University, located in Northern India, was around long before Oxford and Cambridge. Now, it’s being rebuilt in Rajgir. It’s chancellor: Amartya Sen. Undoubtedly, Nalanda is an educational institution worth keeping an eye on.

On a slightly less cheery note, ever wonder how your major fares in terms of employability (read: unemployability)? Well, Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce has some insights. Unemployment rates are “relatively” low for recent grads in: in education, engineering, health and the sciences. You can check out the rest – we’d rather not break the “bad news”.

Do you know what a MOOC is? “Massive open online courses”– like Coursera– are rising in popularity exponentially. State universities in the US recently enrolled over a million students in Coursera.  Are MOOCs the answer to rising tuition, poor employment rates among graduates, and outdated learning methods? The jury is out, but it looks like MOOCs are here to stay.

Finally, something to work on thanks to Eli Steffen, who gives you 10 ways to challenge your cis-gender privilege so you can stop being a ‘pronoun cissy’.

And, that’s a wrap. Enjoy your weekend. Check out Coursera. We’ll be back on Monday with more love from uni(di)versity!

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Weekly Round-Up: June 14, 2013

Happy Friday, everyone, and welcome to the Weekly Round-Up!

If you’ve got stories or links that you think ought to be shared for next week, you can email us at, or tweet us @uni_di_versity.

Start your weekend off right with an unexpected chart about Sweden: despite post-secondary education being free there, average student debt in Sweden is almost as high as it is in the US. But despite the high debt load, Swedish students are still getting a head-start on starting adult life independent of their parents. Go read the article – Sweden, as usual, will blow your mind.

Centre Forum isn’t mincing words in its report on universities: apparently, in the UK, getting into postgraduate education is like getting membership in an exclusive golf club. A wildly insufficient student loan structure means that postgraduate degrees end up limited to those students who can afford to pay fees up front.

As Amy noted in her post this week, overhead costs are pushing some universities to increase the amount of online education on offer. On the one hand, this may help make education more accessible; on the other hand, putting more courses online could end up shrinking and homogenizing the academic community.

Here’s an article that will make you feel great, then ragey, then pretty good again. The communications director for the company that provides a standardized application to over 400 US schools announced a new initiative to reduce discrimination against undocumented university applicants. Except that the policy isn’t happening, and the communications director who made the announcement isn’t actually the communications director. But it’s still awesome? (It’s complicated, just go read it.)

Lastly, I am a total podcast fiend. I listen to at least 1-2 hours of podcasts every day, so when I tell you that this is one of the best episodes of any podcast I have ever heard, I promise you can trust me. “This American Life” sent reporters into a Chicago high school for five months, and tell the story of how the students, teachers, and administration cope with gun violence, gangs, and trying to teach kids when there just aren’t enough resources to go around.

That’s it for this week! Enjoy your weekend, and we’ll see y’all back on Monday!


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Weekly Round-up AND CONTRIBUTOR DRIVE! May 31, 2013

Happy Friday, everyone, and welcome to the Weekly Round-Up!

We’ve survived our first month, and in that time we’ve exceeded our wildest expectations for this project. We’ve had some amazing pieces from some amazing writers, we’ve gotten great feedback from readers, and also we haven’t quietly collapsed into a small heap of failure and tears. Success all around!

To celebrate, we’re bringing on some more writers – especially writers from outside the Canada/UK/US triumvirate in which most of our writers are currently located. We can tell from our stats that you’re reading (yes, you, over in Turkey/South Africa/Germany/Sweden/the Palestinian Territories), and we’d love to hear what you have to say!

If you’re interested, or know someone you think should write for us, check out our submission guidelines. If you’re not sure what to say or how to get started, send us an email at Don’t be shy – for many of our writers, uni(di)versity is the first publication they’ve written for. Uni(di)versity isn’t just about aggregating content; we also want to do what we can to support you in saying what you’d like to say. Get in touch, and we’ll help you get going!

Now, onto the round-up! As always, if you’ve got stories or links that you think ought to be shared for next week, you can email us at the address above, or tweet us @uni_di_versity.

Summer’s begun, and so too has internship season. For those of you slaving away right now for little or no cash, David Dennis has your back. He argues that unpaid internships are ruining journalism, and he’s got a point.

If you enjoyed Sabrien’s post about wearing a hijab while studying in a Western university, you may enjoy this critique of FEMEN’s “topless  jihad” protests. Read to the end for a great list of resources to learn more about post-colonial feminism.

Over at the Guardian, there’s a striking set of photos taken in South African schools. A delegation of South African dignitaries was visiting the schools to see the conditions for themselves, following recent criticism of the quality of education in rural schools.

Lastly, for those of you that, more than a month later, are still in shock from finals, consider this piece: a professor at UCLA let his students cheat on their final exam in a sneaky bid to have them experience the subject matter first-hand.

Enjoy your weekend!

Weekly Round-Up: May 24, 2013

Happy Friday, everyone, and welcome to the Weekly Round-Up!

If you’ve got stories or links that you think ought to be shared for next week, you can email us at, or tweet us @uni_di_versity.

As we mentioned last week, creativity is a hot commodity in education right now. Everyone wants to get it, promote it, and benefit from it – even if they don’t understand it. Among those who don’t understand creativity is the UK State Secretary for Education – no matter how much he’d like you to think he does.

If you’re close to finishing up your degree and are looking for work, don’t be surprised if jobs seem in short supply. Youth unemployment is on the rise around the world. High rates of unemployment at the beginning of what should be our careers may set our entire generation behind when it comes to earning and saving money. Not to worry, though, Time magazine’s got our number – we’re all “lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with [our] parents.”


Also jumping on the “let’s make young people feel bad about themselves” bandwagon are several US school districts that have made the news recently thanks to some egregiously sexist dress codes. Girls are being punished for “distracting” boys in their classes, but it seems that no one in these school administrations is overly concerned about the female students being objectified.

Meanwhile, some of these students have been standing up for the quality and integrity of the educations they hope to receive. In Philadelphia, students walked out of classes three times in ten days to protest the proposed elimination of extracurricular activities at all the city’s public schools. Students and teachers in Seattle won a fight to keep standardized testing our of their classrooms. Chicago has seen days of protests by students, teachers, parents, and activists in response to the school board’s decision to close down 49 public schools serving mainly poor, racialized communities.

One of the protesters in Chicago was nine-year-old Asean Johnson. Take three minutes to watch his speech, and then feel bad that you weren’t this awesome before your age hit double-digits.

To all you lazy, entitled, revealingly-clothed narcissists: enjoy your weekend! We’ll see you Monday.

Weekly Round up: May 17, 2013

Happy Friday, everyone, and welcome to the Weekly Round-Up!

If you’ve got stories or links that you think ought to be shared for next week, you can email us at, or tweet us @uni_di_versity.

Government policies affect the way we engage with and access education – some policies more than others. A Stanford student wrote in the Guardian this week about how his parents’ choice to stay on past their visas’ expiry dates has impacted his education.

Most North American students probably remember that one chapter in their grade school history textbooks that purported to cover indigenous history. The material was almost universally oversimplified and failed to situate the material in a historical context. But what if European history were taught the same way?

Sure, it’s a list article from last year, but the stuff on it is still pretty darn neat. Check out the top 30 education startups of 2012 and find some cool ways to teach yourself something new.

The death of international relations theorist Kenneth Waltz led University of Manchester professor Roger MacGinty to meditate on the role of ‘the greats’ in academia – and consider that perhaps, in the interests of a more diverse discourse, we ought to be a bit less reverential.

I’m about to link you to Deadspin – I know, I’m as shocked as you are. But they’ve got a great infographic showing the highest-paid public employees by US state. Spoiler: they all work at universities – mostly as sports coaches.

Lastly, because I’m a TED fangirl, here’s a TED talk from the archive about the need for schools to promote creativity, not just knowledge:

Have a great weekend!

Weekly Round-Up: May 10, 2013

Welcome to our first ever weekly round-up of neat things we’ve read this week about education!

If you’ve got stories or links that you think ought to be shared for next week, you can email us at, or tweet us @uni_di_versity.

It seems that last month, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights decided it was going to raise money with a charity auction. A laudable goal – and likely to be especially appreciated by whoever has $26,000 to shell out for the 6 week UN internship that’s up for grabs.

For those of us still trudging through exams, there’s yet more confirmation that lack of sleep can detriment academic achievement. So you over there, planning that all-nighter before your final? Back away slowly from the espresso and go take a nap.

This piece is from 2011, but is still unfortunately relevant: UK universities are oblivious to racial inequalities, in part because their overwhelming whiteness means “they ignore adverse outcomes and don’t see combating racial/ethnic inequalities as a priority.”

Over in the US, universities are getting even more inaccessible for students from low-income families. The percentage of merit-based scholarships – which often go to students who are already well-off – are increasing. Meanwhile, students from low-income backgrounds are charged tuition rates well beyond their means.

Lastly, some inspiration. Lucinda David is a former Chief Adjudicator of the World Universities Debating Championships, and she spoke at TEDxLundUniversity about the potential for social change through debate. Watch it – even if just for the anecdote about her encounter with armed rebels in Mindanao.

Have a great weekend, y’all!

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