• L’#ONU classe la #France au même rang que le #Soudan et le #Zimbabwe sur les #violences_policières

    Les policiers algériens ont refusé de brutaliser les manifestants qui sont descendus dans les rues pour protester contre le cinquième mandat d’Abdelaziz Bouteflika . Aucun tir de flash ball ou de gaz lacrymogène. Au milieu des manifestants, ils ont été applaudis comme des héros.

    Par contre, le Haut-commissaire de l’Onu aux droits de l’Homme, Michelle Bachelet, a demandé mercredi à la France qui se proclame pays des droits de l’homme, de mener une enquête sur les cas de violences policières pendant les manifestations des Gilets jaunes.
    « Nous encourageons le gouvernement [français, ndlr] à poursuivre le dialogue […] et l’exhortons à mener une enquête complète sur tous les cas rapportés d’usage excessif de la force », a-t-elle déclaré devant le Conseil des droits de l’Homme à Genève.

    Michelle Bachelet est même allée plus loin, comparant la situation en France à celle des répressions violentes au Venezuela, à Haïti et dans les pays africains dont le Soudan, le Zimbabwe où les manifestants « réclament un dialogue respectueux et de vraies réformes ».

    La France se dit étonnée de l’exigence formulée par l’Onu d’ouvrir une enquête sur « l’usage excessif de la force », de se retrouver sur une liste entre le Venezuela qu’elle critique et Haïti à qui elle donne des leçons de démocratie.

    Sur fond de l’exigence des Nations unies d’ouvrir une enquête sur « l’usage excessif de la force » à l’encontre des manifestants, qui a de nouveau marqué l’acte 16 des Gilets Jaunes , le porte-parole du gouvernement français , Benjamin Griveaux, s’est exprimé sur le sujet à la sortie du conseil des ministres au Palais de l’Élysée.

    « Il faut […] s’étonner tout de même de se retrouver cité dans une liste entre le Venezuela et Haïti où il y a eu des morts […] des morts nombreux », a-t-il dit.
    Le ministre de l’Intérieur, Christophe Castaner, a réagi lui aussi à la nouvelle.

    Poursuivant son allocution, Benjamin Griveaux a rappelé que des enquêtes avaient été lancées « notamment par l’Inspection générale de la police nationale » et a fait état de 162 enquêtes ouvertes à la date du 1er mars. Il a souligné dans ce contexte que « la moindre des choses » était d’écouter les Nations unies et « de les prendre en considération ». Avant d’ajouter toutefois :
    « Il est bien de voir le verre à moitié vide […], mais il est de mon devoir de rappeler que parfois il peut être vu à moitié plein ».

    Le Conseil d’État français a rejeté début février la demande de suspension de l’usage des lanceurs de balles de défense (LBD). Il avait été saisi par la CGT, la Ligue des droits de l’Homme, le syndicat de la magistrature et le syndicat des avocats de France, qui jugent leur usage dangereux, ainsi que des personnes blessées par des tirs à Nîmes et Montpellier.

    On comprend donc maintenant pourquoi les dictatateurs d’Afrique francophone continuent à tirer à balles réelles sur des manifestants sans jamais être interpellés par le gouvernement français. L’exemple vient de la France.

    http://courrierdesjournalistes.com/blog/lonu-classe-la-france-au-meme-rang-le-soudan-et-le-zimbabwe
    #ranking #c'est_pas_glorieux #maintien_de_l'ordre #classement
    ping @davduf

    • Les tirs de #LBD face aux #gilets_jaunes ont littéralement explosé

      Un #rapport sénatorial publié ce lundi dévoile des statistiques éloquentes sur l’évolution de l’usage très controversé des lanceurs de balles de défense.

      On savait que le nombre de tirs de lanceurs de balles de défense (LBD) avait explosé en réponse à la contestation inédite des gilets jaunes. On sait désormais avec précision dans quelles proportions et elles sont éloquentes.

      Le Sénat, qui examinait une proposition de loi communiste réclamant l’interdiction des LBD, a publié le rapport de la sénatrice LR, Jacqueline Eustache-Brinio, censé éclairer la commission des Lois de la Chambre haute. Comme l’a repéré le site spécialisé Dalloz Actualité, ce rapport dévoile pour la première fois des statistiques précises, obtenues auprès du ministère de l’Intérieur et de l’IGPN, sur l’évolution de l’usage très controversé des LBD tant par les forces de police (tous services confondus) que par la gendarmerie.

      On y découvre notamment que le LBD, présenté par le gouvernement comme une arme non-létale classique destinée au maintien de l’ordre, n’avait jamais été employé à une telle fréquence par le passé. Déployés à grande échelle dans le cadre des manifestations de 2016 contre la loi Travail de la ministre de l’époque Myriam El Khomri, les tirs de LBD ont connu une accélération impressionnante en 2018, essentiellement lors du dernier trimestre de l’année, marqué par la crise des gilets jaunes.

      Comme vous pouvez le voir sur le tableau ci-dessus, le nombre de tirs effectué par les seuls services de police est passé de 3814 en 2014 à 6604 en 2016. Un chiffre multiplié par trois en 2018 avec pas moins de 19.071 tirs effectués par les différents services de police.

      S’appuyant sur des données de l’Inspection générale de la police nationale (IGPN), qui enquête sur les cas de violences policières liées notamment à l’usage des LBD, la sénatrice pointe que, sur la seule période de crise des gilets jaunes, allant du 17 novembre 2018 au 5 février 2018, la police a effectué 13.460 tirs tandis que la gendarmerie en réalisait près d’un millier. Soit plus des deux tiers du volume constaté pour la seule année 2018 en l’espace de trois mois.

      Jeudi dernier, le secrétaire d’Etat à l’Intérieur Laurent Nuñez avait évoqué devant le Sénat « 13.095 tirs de LBD depuis le début du mouvement », et 83 enquêtes en cours concernant des tirs de cette arme controversée.
      La police loin devant la gendarmerie

      Autre confirmation apportée par le rapport sénatorial, ce sont bien les services de police et non les gendarmes qui ont eu le plus recours à cette arme non-létale pendant les trois mois de crise. Deux explications sont mises en avant. La première concerne la géolocalisation des manifestations des gilets jaunes, qui ont eu lieu essentiellement en milieu urbain, terrain de prédilection des compagnies républicaines de sécurité.

      PRÉCISION : Ce point soulevé par la sénatrice Jacqueline Eustache-Brinio a fait réagir les forces de gendarmerie. Après publication de cet article, une source officielle a précisé au HuffPost que les gendarmes mobiles interviennent très régulièrement en renfort en zone police, comme ce fut le cas lors de la crise des gilets jaunes, avec un taux de mobilisation qui a parfois atteint les 100% certains samedi.

      Autre facteur décisif aux yeux de la sénatrice, l’immense majorité de ces tirs ont été le fait d’unités de police non spécialisées dans le maintien de l’ordre qui ont été déployées sur le terrain « à des fins judiciaires ou de renseignement ». Selon le rapport, ces unités seraient à l’origine de 85% des tirs effectués sur les trois derniers mois.

      La présence sur le terrain de ces unités avait été pointée du doigt par les détracteurs du LBD pour expliquer le caractère alarmant des blessures graves subies par certains manifestants après des tirs au visage, pourtant expressément bannis par le protocole officiel de la police nationale.

      Le rapport sénatorial n’établit pas toutefois de lien de causalité direct entre la nature des unités de police à l’origine des tirs et les blessures infligées. Il précise en revanche que ce recours « massif » aux LBD s’est accompagné d’une « augmentation du nombre de plaintes pour blessures », affichant le nombre de 56 plaintes déposées contre les seules forces de police, contre une seule pour la gendarmerie. En séance, la présidente du groupe CRCE, Eliane Assassi, avait avancé la semaine dernière les chiffres de « 206 blessures à la tête dont plusieurs dizaines liées à des tirs de LBD », et « 22 personnes éborgnées par ces tirs ».

      Si elle a rejeté la proposition de loi visant à interdire les LBD, la commission des Lois du Sénat a, sur la base de ce rapport, souligné dans la lignée de sa rapporteure la « nécessité de renforcer la formation continue des agents jugée aujourd’hui insatisfaisante pour garantir une parfaite maîtrise de cette arme ».

      https://www.huffingtonpost.fr/2019/03/11/les-tirs-de-lbd-face-aux-gilets-jaunes-ont-litteralement-explose_a_23689540/?ncid=other_huffpostre_pqylmel2bk8
      #statistiques #chiffres

    • J’apprends dans l’article de Libé ci-dessus, posté par @le_bougnoulosophe que le nouveau préfet Didier Lallement est à l’origine de la création des équipes régionales d’intervention et de sécurité (ERIS)

      Didier Leschi, aujourd’hui directeur général de l’Office français de l’immigration et de l’intégration tempère le portrait apocalyptique fait de son compère issu, comme lui, du « chevènementisme » : « C’est un excellent technicien, à la grande rigueur intellectuelle. Au plan administratif, il est plutôt réformateur. Son passage à la tête de l’administration pénitentiaire [où il fut le créateur des équipes régionales d’intervention et de sécurité –unité d’élite] a été salué par les syndicats, ce qui est suffisamment rare pour être souligné. »

      ça a en effet le mérite d’être souligné

      Composées de surveillants de plusieurs prisons, les Equipes Régionales d’Intervention et de Sécurité (ERIS) ont comme mission d’intervenir « cagoulés » dans les prisons pour effectuer des d’opérations « coups de poing » afin d’assurer la sécurité. Or, comme il fallait s’y attendre, des dérapages ont déjà commencé. Intervenant comme des commandos, entraînés et préparés psychologiquement à venir à bout de toute résistance, et couverts derrière l’anonymat, ils se sont livrés, depuis le mois de mai dernier, à des excès de zèle dans les quartiers d’isolement de trois prisons (Bois d’Arcy, Lannemezan et Clairvaux). Ils entrent à plusieurs dans la cellule (10 cagoulés contre un détenu, à Bois d’Arcy), les obligent à la fouille intégrale, et en cas de refus, ils les passent à tabac et, les tenant immobilisés, les forcent à la fouille intime. A Bois d’Arcy, les récalcitrants à la fouille à corps, ont également eu droit, après le passage à tabac, à un défilé de force, nus, dans les couloirs de la prison et en présence du personnel également féminin.

      http://prison.eu.org/article.php3?id_article=3240
      http://prison.eu.org/spip.php?rubrique638

      L’armement des opérateurs des ERIS comprend :

      le pistolet Glock 17 ;
      le fusil à pompe Remington 870 ;
      le fusil d’assaut HK G36 C ;
      Flash ball (lanceur de balle de défense (LBD)), et le Taser ;
      Grenades DBD (Dispositif Balistique de Désencerclement)
      https://www.sapl-sas.com
      Avec ce genre d’attirail ce n’est plus la force qui doit rester à la loi mais la loi imposé par la force.
      https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Didier_Lallement

      #ERIS


  • I Miss Chronological #instagram
    https://hackernoon.com/i-miss-chronological-instagram-6e960126e93?source=rss----3a8144eabfe3---

    Analyzing the UX of Instagram’s Ranking Systemhttps://twitter.com/instagram/status/1087853297036275712In 2016, Instagram announced that it would change its feed from chronologically listing photos to a new ranking system.I became instantly nervous. Algorithms are inherently confusing and bias. I had little confidence that Instagram could predict what I wanted to see on my feed without compromising honesty and transparency.Though I admit, I see why Instagram wanted to move in this direction. The potential of a great algorithmic feed is exciting to think about:It could offer users a more curated experience, deliver higher-quality content, and phase out bizarre side-effects of chronological timelines. For instance, it’s kind of a bummer that posting a photo at a specific time greatly (...)

    #social-media #instagram-ux #rankings #chronological-instagram


  • Contest models highlight inherent inefficiencies of scientific funding competitions

    Scientific research funding is allocated largely through a system of soliciting and #ranking competitive grant proposals. In these competitions, the proposals themselves are not the deliverables that the funder seeks, but instead are used by the funder to screen for the most promising research ideas. Consequently, some of the funding program’s impact on science is squandered because applying researchers must spend time writing proposals instead of doing science. To what extent does the community’s aggregate investment in proposal preparation negate the scientific impact of the funding program? Are there alternative mechanisms for awarding funds that advance science more efficiently? We use the economic theory of contests to analyze how efficiently grant proposal competitions advance science, and compare them with recently proposed, partially randomized alternatives such as lotteries. We find that the effort researchers waste in writing proposals may be comparable to the total scientific value of the research that the funding supports, especially when only a few proposals can be funded. Moreover, when professional pressures motivate investigators to seek funding for reasons that extend beyond the value of the proposed science (e.g., promotion, prestige), the entire program can actually hamper scientific progress when the number of awards is small. We suggest that lost efficiency may be restored either by partial lotteries for funding or by funding researchers based on past scientific success instead of proposals for future work.

    https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.3000065#sec002
    #compétition #compétitivité #inefficacité #université #science #université_néolibérale #néolibéralisme #recherche_scientifique #financements #projets_de_recherche #classement #excellence #prestige


  • ’We are transforming our university into a place where talent once again feels valued and nurtured’

    Our university should once again belong to the academics, rather than the bureaucracy, writes the rector of #Ghent_University, Rik Van de Walle.

    Ghent University is deliberately choosing to step out of the rat race between individuals, departments and universities. We no longer wish to participate in the #ranking of people.

    It is a common complaint among academic staff that the mountain of paperwork, the cumbersome procedures and the administrative burden have grown to proportions that are barely controllable. Furthermore, the academic staff is increasingly put under pressure to count publications, citations and doctorates, on the basis of which funds are being allocated. The intense competition for funding often prevails over any possible collaboration across the boundaries of research groups, faculties and - why not - universities. With a new evaluation policy, Ghent University wants to address these concerns and at the same time breathe new life into its career guidance policy. Thus, the university can again become a place where talent feels valued and nurtured.

    We are transforming our university into a place where talent once again feels valued and nurtured.

    With the new career and evaluation model for professorial staff, Ghent University is opening new horizons for Flanders. The main idea is that the academy will once again belong to the academics rather than the bureaucracy. No more procedures and processes with always the same templates, metrics and criteria which lump everyone together.
    We opt for a radically new model: those who perform well will be promoted, with a minimum of accountability and administrative effort and a maximum of freedom and responsibility. The quality of the individual human capital is given priority: talent must be nurtured and feel valued.
    This marks the end of the personalized objectives, the annual job descriptions and the high number of evaluation documents and activity reports. Instead, the new approach is based on collaboration, collegiality and teamwork. All staff members will make commitments about how they can contribute to the objectives of the department, the education programmes, the faculty and the university.
    The evaluations will be greatly simplified and from now on only take place every five years instead of every two or four years. This should create an ’evaluation break’.

    We opt for a radically new model: those who perform well will be promoted, with a minimum of accountability and administrative effort and a maximum of freedom and responsibility. At the same time, we want to pay more attention to well-being at work: the evaluations of the supervisors will explicitly take into account the way in which they manage and coach their staff. The model must provide a response to the complaint of many young professors that quantitative parameters are predominant in the evaluation process. The well-known and overwhelming ’publication pressure’ is the most prominent exponent of this. Ghent University is deliberately choosing to step out of the rat race between individuals, departments and universities. We no longer wish to participate in the ranking of people.
    Through this model, we are expressly taking up our responsibility. In the political debate on the funding of universities and research applications, a constant argument is that we want to move away from purely competitive thinking that leaves too little room for disruptive ideas. The reply of the policy makers is of course that we must first do this within the university itself. This is a clear step in that direction, and it also shows our efforts to put our own house in order.
    With this cultural shift, Ghent University is taking the lead in Flanders, and we are proud of it. It is an initiative that is clearly in accordance with our motto: ’#Dare_to_Think'. Even more so, we dare to do it as well.
    A university is above all a place where everything can be questioned. Where opinions, procedures and habits are challenged. Where there is no place for rigidity.

    I am absolutely convinced that in a few years’ time we will see that this new approach has benefited the overall quality of our university and its people.


    https://www.ugent.be/en/news-events/ghent-university-talent-rat-race-transformation-career-evaluation-model.htm
    #université #alternative #résistance #Ghent #Belgique #bureaucratie #bureaucratisation #compétition #collaboration #carrière #évaluation #liberté #responsabilité #performance #publish_or_perish #publication #pression_à_publier #travail

    Je rêve que mon université fasse aussi un grand pas en cette direction, mais je crains que ça restera un rêve...

    • THE developing ranking based on #Sustainable_Development_Goals

      New league table will be first to measure global universities’ success in delivering on UN targets

      Times Higher Education is developing a new global university ranking that aims to measure institutions’ success in delivering the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

      The 17 goals – which include providing inclusive and equitable quality education, achieving gender equality and fostering innovation – were adopted by the UN in 2016 and provide a framework for developing the world in a sustainable way.

      The first edition of the ranking will include metrics based on 11 SDGs, but the long-term goal is to measure performance against all 17 goals.

      Data will be collected from universities and Elsevier to produce an overall ranking of universities based on the best four or five SDGs per university. Individual rankings of the universities that are best achieving the 11 SDGs will also be published.

      The ranking will be open to all accredited universities that teach undergraduates, and the first edition will be launched at THE’s Innovation and Impact Summit in South Korea in April 2019. Data collection will begin this autumn.

      Metrics currently being explored include the number of graduates in health professions, the proportion of women in senior academic positions, and policies and practices regarding employment security.

      An initial draft of the metrics will be developed in partnership with Vertigo Ventures, an organisation that works with leading research institutions globally to help them identify, capture and report the impact of their work, and there will be a workshop on the first iteration of the methodology at THE’s World Academic Summit in Singapore later this month.

      Phil Baty, THE’s editorial director of global rankings, said that THE originally planned to launch an impact ranking based primarily on universities’ economic impact – examining their interactions with business and their development of commercially exploitable ideas – but has decided to expand its approach to cover a much wider definition of impact, based on feedback from the sector.

      While some national systems were trying to gather evidence on universities’ role in achieving the SDGs, the new ranking will be the first global attempt at measuring this activity and “moves well beyond established ranking parameters of research and reputation”, he added.

      Mr Baty said that the new table will also provide an opportunity for institutions that do not usually appear in the THE World University Rankings to feature.

      “We are working to develop metrics that enable universities across the world to evidence their impact – not just those that are located in more developed nations,” he said.

      https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/developing-ranking-based-sustainable-development-goals

      #SDGs

    • The English Trojan horse destroying Dutch universities

      In December, the Dutch Inspectorate of Education published the results of an investigation which suggest that in May last year the association ‘Beter Onderwijs Nederland’ (BON or Better Education Netherlands) had perfectly good reasons for filing a lawsuit against two Dutch universities and the inspectorate of education itself in an attempt to stop the unbridled anglicisation of higher education in the Netherlands.

      Had the results of the inspectorate’s investigation been available at that point, BON might perhaps have won the case by framing the arguments in their legal brief somewhat differently.

      Beyond any doubt, the investigation shows that many institutions of higher education in the Netherlands violate the Dutch Higher Education Law. In addition, it suggests that the inspectorate has failed in its task of monitoring whether these institutions comply with the relevant articles in the law (WHW 1.3 and 7.2).

      If it had indeed followed developments regarding internationalisation, as it says in the very first sentence of the investigation report’s summary, shouldn’t it – or the minister responsible – have acted accordingly years ago when all the official figures about degree programmes taught entirely in English indicated that the law was being massively ignored?

      So what does the law, issued in 1992, state with respect to the language of instruction in Dutch higher education and how does the incidence of English-only degree programmes fare against this legislation?

      Article 1.3 of the WHW dictates that institutions of higher education should advance the Dutch language proficiency of all Dutch students. The related article 7.2 states that instruction and examinations should be in Dutch, except if (a) the degree programme in question specifically aims to help them acquire another language; (b) a lecture is given by a visiting lecturer who doesn’t speak Dutch, or (c) the specific nature, organisation or quality of teaching or the origin of the students necessitates the use of a language other than Dutch.

      If 7.2c applies, the necessity of using another language should be explained in a code of conduct that is adopted by the institution’s executive board. Beyond all doubt, the law supports the idea that the default language in Dutch higher education is Dutch.

      Reaching a tipping point

      In view of the unmistakable intent of the WHW to safeguard the position of Dutch, the figures concerning the number of degree programmes completely taught in English in Dutch universities are downright stunning, and higher than anywhere else in Europe.

      In the academic year 2017-18, 23% of all bachelor degree programmes and 74% of all masters degree programmes offered by Dutch universities were entirely in English.

      Nevertheless, the anglicisation process continues. The latest numbers, issued in December 2018, show that this academic year there has been an increase of 5% for bachelor degree programmes and 2% for the masters programmes that are conducted entirely in English.

      Tipping point reached

      With these new figures, the tipping point has been reached of more programmes being taught in English than in Dutch. At the University of Twente and Maastricht University, the two universities that BON summoned to court in 2018, English saturation is nearly complete, including in bachelor degree programmes.

      The percentages of all-English programmes show that universities clearly do not act in the spirit of WHW articles 1.3 and 7.2. But do they actually violate the law?

      The inspectorate’s investigation points out that many Dutch institutions of higher education, including a couple of universities, are indeed breaking the law.

      The inquiry focused on the code of conduct mentioned in article 7.2c, such a code being obligatory in all cases where English (or any other language) instead of Dutch is used as the language of instruction. It is even required if English is the language of instruction in only part of a programme and it should always explain the need to use a language other than Dutch.

      Two of the main questions addressed in the investigation therefore were whether institutions of higher education that offer at least one programme entirely or largely in English actually have a code of conduct and, if so, whether its content complies with legal requirements.

      Seventy-seven of the 125 Dutch higher education institutions fulfilled the criteria for inclusion in the investigation, among them publicly funded research universities, universities of applied science (‘hogescholen’) and non-publicly funded institutions. Remarkably, only 43 of these 77 actually had a code of conduct so the other 34 thus clearly violated the law.

      Equally noteworthy is the fact that the need for instruction in English was not substantiated by weighty arguments in any of the 43 codes of conduct as article 7.2c requires.

      It is extremely puzzling that in about one-third of the codes of conduct a different principle than the clear ‘Dutch unless’ standard is adopted, including its opposite, the ‘English unless’ principle – and the reasons for deviating from Dutch as the default language are often not explained.

      In view of the fact that the law was issued in 1992, a final noteworthy outcome of the inspectorate’s inquiry is that half of the codes of conduct date from 2017 and 2018. One cannot help suspecting that the institutions in question may have drawn them up to retroactively legitimise their language policy, possibly responding to growing public concern about English rapidly replacing Dutch in Dutch higher education.

      Impact on internationalisation

      The main motive for providing all-English programmes is that these are strong magnets for foreign students, who, in an increasing number of programmes, outnumber their Dutch peers.

      For example, the percentage of international students among first-year psychology students at the University of Twente, Maastricht University and the University of Amsterdam rose, respectively, from 50% to 80%, from 52% to 86% and from 3% to 57% the year entire programmes were first offered in English.

      Dutch (research) universities have seen their student numbers expand substantially over the last couple of years, mainly due to the increasing influx of international students. Just this academic year the student population increased by 5%. Since 2000 universities have seen their student population grow by 68% without any proportional rise in funding.

      They have now reached a point at which they can no longer cope with the influx – there are more than 1,000 first-year students bursting out of the lecture halls in some fields of study.

      Ironically, in an attempt to gain control over the inflow of international students, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) is trying to get the minister’s approval for a cap on enrolment on all-English programmes in order to secure the educational quality that is jeopardised by universities’ uncontrollable growth.

      Fluency risk

      Another reason why educational quality is at risk on all-English programmes is that proficiency in a second language is generally lower than in a native language. This also applies to the Dutch, who tend to greatly overestimate their fluency in English. This lower proficiency in English impedes students’ knowledge acquisition and academic development and hampers the transfer of knowledge and skills by lecturers.

      In view of the fact that WHW article 1.3 clearly aims to foster students’ Dutch language proficiency and protect the position of Dutch in general, all-English instruction also adversely affects educational quality because it results in the opposite: a declining Dutch language proficiency in students enrolled on such programmes and the gradual disappearance of Dutch as a scientific and cultural language.

      Let there be no mistake. The opponents of anglicisation of higher education in the Netherlands do not object to the prominent presence of English in education next to Dutch. Many would even welcome the balanced presence of Dutch and English on truly bilingual programmes.

      What they instead oppose is the complete replacement of Dutch by English, as happens on all-English programmes. It is by offering these programmes on such a large scale that Dutch universities have built a Trojan horse that is now defeating them within their own walls.

      https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20190121062548730
      #anglicisation #anglais #langue #cheval_de_Troie


  • Top University #blockchain Curriculum #rankings of 2018
    https://hackernoon.com/top-university-blockchain-curriculum-rankings-of-2018-d3807b513dc8?sourc

    In the past two years, the soaring price of #bitcoin has brought a wave of attention to blockchain technology. In fact, keywords such as Bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrency have become #academic spotlights that universities are paying attention to.In October this year, Coindesk announced the top ten universities in the United States that have opened blockchain courses. These universities are arguably the world’s top universities, including Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Harvard University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.Blockchain Courses Offered by Top UniversitiesWhat are the characteristics of the courses offered by these schools? Which colleges are offering related courses? SV Insight Research analyzed the top 30 North American universities from US News 2019 (...)

    #education


  • Reputation inflation explains why Uber’s five-star driver ratings system became useless — Quartz
    https://qz.com/1244155/good-luck-leaving-your-uber-driver-less-than-five-stars


    Das Bewertungssystem von Uber und anderen Internet-Plattformen funktioniert nicht. Technisch betrachtet ist alles O.K. aber weder "gute"noch „schlechte“ oder „durchschnittliche“ Bewertung haben die nahe liegende Bedeutung. Auf der einen Seite vergeben Kunden systematisch ein Maximum an Punkten, weil sie auch miesen Fahrern nichts Böses antun wollen, auf der anderen Seit wird manipuliert und betrogen, was das Zeug hält, wie die bekannte Geschichte mit dem „besten Restaurant Londons“ zeigt, das in Wirklichkeit nicht existierte.

    In der Praxis ist es wie in einer Schule, wo nur Einsen vergeben werden und jede Zwei zum Nichtbestehen führt.

    Dieser Artikel und die unten verlinkte Studie zeigen genauer, was dahinter steckt und was man für Schlüssen aus den Beobachtungen ziehen kann.

    Have you ever given an Uber driver five stars who didn’t deserve it? If you’ve ever taken any ride-hailing service, the answer is probably yes.

    Uber asks riders to give their drivers a rating of one to five stars at the end of each trip. But very few people make use of this full scale. That’s because it’s common knowledge among Uber’s users that drivers need to maintain a certain minimum rating to work, and that leaving anything less than five stars could jeopardize their status.

    Drivers are so concerned about their ratings that one Lyft driver in California last year posted a translation of the five-star system in his car, to educate less savvy passengers. Next to four stars he wrote: “This driver sucks, fire him slowly; it does not mean ‘average’ or above ‘average.’” In a tacit acknowledgement of this, Uber said in July that it would make riders add an explanation when they awarded a driver less than five stars.

    How did Uber’s ratings become more inflated than grades at Harvard? That’s the topic of a new paper, “Reputation Inflation,” from NYU’s John Horton and Apostolos Filippas, and Collage.com CEO Joseph Golden. The paper argues that online platforms, especially peer-to-peer ones like Uber and Airbnb, are highly susceptible to ratings inflation because, well, it’s uncomfortable for one person to leave another a bad review.

    The somewhat more technical way to say this is that there’s a “cost” to leaving negative feedback. That cost can take different forms: It might be that the reviewer fears retaliation, or that he feels guilty doing something that might harm the underperforming worker. If this “cost” increases over time—i.e., the fear or guilt associated with leaving a bad review increases—then the platform is likely to experience ratings inflation.

    The paper focuses on an unnamed gig economy platform where people (“employers”) can hire other people (“workers”) to do specific tasks. After a job is completed, employers can leave two different kinds of feedback: “public” feedback that the worker sees, and “private” reviews and ratings that aren’t shown to the worker or other people on the platform. Over the history of the platform, 82% of people have chosen to leave reviews, including a numerical rating on a scale from one to five stars.

    In the early days of the platform in 2007, the average worker score was pretty, well, average at 3.74 stars. Over time that changed. The average score rose by 0.53 stars over the course 2007. By May 2016, it had climbed to 4.85 stars.

    People were more candid in private. The platform introduced its option to leave private feedback in April 2013. From June 2014 to May 2016, the period studied in the paper, about 15% of employers left “unambiguously bad private feedback” but only 4% gave a public rating of three stars or less. They were also more candid in written comments, possibly because written comments are less directly harmful to the worker than a low numerical score.

    Then, in March 2015, the platform decided to release private ratings in batches to workers. In other words, a private review wasn’t totally private anymore, and leaving a negative one could cause harm. The result was immediate: Bad feedback became scarce and imperfect scores were reserved for truly poor experiences. If the trend continued, the authors estimated that the average private rating would be the highest possible score in seven years.

    This, again, is similar to what has happened on Uber and other ride-hailing platforms. In the early days, riders left a range of reviews, but it didn’t take long for the default to become five stars, with anything else reserved for extreme cases of hostile conduct or reckless driving. “I took a ride in a car as grimy and musty-smelling as a typical yellow cab,” Jeff Bercovici recalled for Forbes in August 2014. “I only gave the driver three out of five stars. Just kidding. I gave him five stars, of course. What do you think I am, a psychopath?”

    Services are different from products. Someone who feels guilty leaving a bad review for another person probably won’t share those concerns about posting a negative review of a toaster. It’s the personal element that gives us pause. A separate, forthcoming study on online reputations found that the number of users leaving negative feedback on a travel review website decreased after hotels started replying to the critiques, despite no change in hotel quality.

    The problem is particularly acute on “sharing” economy platforms because companies like Uber, which regard their workers as independent contractors instead of employees, use ratings riders provide to manage their workforces at arm’s length. These ratings systems ask customers to make tough decisions about whether workers are fit to be on the platform, and live with the guilt if they’re not. Put another way: On-demand platforms are offloading their guilt onto you. Five stars for all!

    Hintergrund und Details
    http://john-joseph-horton.com/papers/longrun.pdf

    #Uber #ranking #gig_economy #Arbeit


  • The UK lecturer’s dispute and the marketisation of higher education - World Socialist Web Site
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2018/03/01/lect-m01.html

    The UK lecturer’s dispute and the marketisation of higher education
    By Thomas Scripps
    1 March 2018

    University and College Union (UCU) lecturers remain engaged in a major strike against planned cuts to their pensions. The significance of this struggle must not be underestimated.

    Contrary to what the union says, this is not simply an avoidable dispute over the single issue of pensions. The attack on university lecturers is one element in a far advanced programme aimed at the destruction of higher education as it has been known for decades.

    #royaume-uni #éducation #université

    • Diary by #Stefan_Collini

      ‘But why have they done this?’ Standing in the foyer of the National Theatre in Prague, having just taken part in a debate on ‘The Political Role of Universities?’, I had fallen into conversation with a former rector of Charles University, who was asking me to explain the dramatic and – as we both thought – damaging changes imposed on British universities in the past decade. It wasn’t the first time I had been asked some version of this question during visits to European universities in recent years. From Prague to Porto, Bergen to Geneva, puzzlement bordering on disbelief had been expressed by academics, journalists, officials and others. Diverse as their local situations may have been, not least in the financial or political pressures they experienced, they had been united in their admiration for the quality and standing of British universities in the 20th century. They weren’t just thinking about Oxford and Cambridge. These people were knowledgable about the recent past of British universities, sometimes having studied at one of them, and their view was that a high level of quality had been maintained across the system in both teaching and research, underwritten by an ethos that blended autonomy and commitment, whether at London or Edinburgh, Leeds or Manchester, Leicester or Swansea, Sussex or York. They knew this wasn’t the whole story: that the quality varied and there was an informal pecking order; that not all teachers were diligent or all students satisfied; that British academics grumbled about their lot as much as academics anywhere else. But still, British universities had seemed to them an obvious national asset, imitated elsewhere, attracting staff and students from around the world, contributing disproportionately to the setting of international standards in science and scholarship. So, I was asked again and again, why have they done this?

      I didn’t find it an easy question to answer. I couldn’t deny the accuracy of their observations (other than a tendency to neglect or misunderstand the distinctiveness of the situation in Scotland). Successive British governments have enacted a series of measures that seem designed to reshape the character of universities, not least by reducing their autonomy and subordinating them to ‘the needs of the economy’. ‘#Marketisation’ isn’t just a swear-word used by critics of the changes: it is official doctrine that students are to be treated as consumers and universities as businesses competing for their custom. The anticipated returns from the labour market are seen as the ultimate measure of success.

      Last year the government imposed a new wheeze.

      Universities are now being awarded Olympic-style gold, silver and bronze medals for, notionally, teaching quality. But the metrics by which teaching quality is measured are – I am not making this up – the employment record of graduates, scores on the widely derided #National_Student_Survey, and ‘retention rates’ (i.e. how few students drop out). These are obviously not measures of teaching quality; neither are they things that universities can do much to control, whatever the quality of their teaching. Now there is a proposal to rate, and perhaps fund, individual departments on the basis of the earnings of their graduates. If a lot of your former students go on to be currency traders and property speculators, you are evidently a high-quality teaching department and deserve to be handsomely rewarded; if too many of them work for charities or become special-needs teachers, you risk being closed down. And most recently of all, there has been the proposal to dismantle the existing pension arrangements for academics and ‘academic-related’ staff, provoking a more determined and better-supported strike than British academia has ever seen.

      My European colleagues are far from complacent about their own national systems. They are well aware of the various long-term constraints under which their universities have operated, not least in those countries which try to square the circle of combining universal post-18 access to higher education with attempts to strengthen institutions’ research reputations. Universities are further handicapped in countries, notably France and Germany, that locate much of their research activity in separate, often more prestigious institutions such as the CNRS and the grandes écoles or the Max Planck Institutes, while universities in southern Europe are hamstrung by the weakness of their parent economies. European commentators also realise that extreme market-fundamentalist elements in their own political cultures are keeping a close eye on the British experiments, encouraged to imagine what they may be able to get away with when their turn in power comes (to judge by recent policy changes, the moment may already have arrived in Denmark, and perhaps the Netherlands too). But still, Britain is regarded as a special case, and an especially poignant one: it is the sheer wantonness of the destruction that causes the head-shaking. And European colleagues ask what it means that the new policies excite so little public protest. Has something changed recently or did universities in Britain never enjoy wide public support? Is this part of a longer tradition of anti-intellectualism, only ever kept in partial check by historical patterns of deference and indifference, or is it an expression of a newly empowered ‘revolt against elites’?

      My answers have been halting and inadequate. Familiar narratives of the transition from an ‘elite’ to a ‘mass’ system of higher education fail to isolate the specificity of the British case. The capture of government by big corporations and the City goes some way to identifying a marked local peculiarity, as does the extent of the attack in recent years on all forms of public service and public goods, allowing the transfer of their functions to a profit-hungry private sector. But that general level of analysis doesn’t seem to account for the distinctive animus that has fuelled higher education policy in England and Wales, especially since 2010: the apparent conviction that academics are simultaneously lofty and feather-bedded, in need on both counts of repeated sharp jabs of economic reality. There seems to be a deep but only partly explicit cultural antagonism at work, an accumulated resentment that universities have had an easy ride for too long while still retaining the benefits of an unmerited prestige, and that they should now be taken down a peg or two.

      Visiting a variety of European universities, I have found myself wondering whether, for all the material disadvantages many of them suffer, they haven’t succeeded rather better in retaining a strong sense of esprit de corps and a certain standing in society, expressive in both cases of their membership of a long-established guild. An important manifestation of this sense of identity in the majority of European systems – something that marks a significant contrast with Anglo-Saxon traditions – is the practice of electing the rector of a university. Over time, and in different institutions, the electorate has varied: it might consist only of professors, or include all full-time academic staff, or all university employees (academic and non-academic) or, in some places, students. In Britain, by contrast, a subcommittee of the university’s court or council (bodies with a majority of non-academic members), often using the services of international head-hunting firms, selects a candidate from applicants, practically always external, and then submits that name for rubber-stamping by the parent body. (The ‘rectors’ still elected in the ancient Scottish universities, usually by the student body, have a much more limited role than the vice-chancellors or principals of those institutions.)

      In encouraging a sense of guild identity and shared commitment to a common enterprise, the Continental system has some clear advantages. First, it ensures the occupant of the most senior office is an academic, albeit one who may in recent years have filled an increasingly administrative set of roles. Second, the rector will be familiar with his or her particular academic community and its recent history, and therefore will be less likely to make the kinds of mistake that a person parachuted in from some other walk of life may do. Third, where the rector is elected from the professorial ranks, the expectation is that he or she will revert to that status when their term is over (though in practice some may end up pursuing other administrative or honorary roles instead). This makes a significant contribution to collegiality.
      It is easy to ventriloquise the business-school critique of this practice. The individuals chosen are, it will be said, bound to be too close, personally and intellectually, to the people they now have to manage. They will be unable to make the hard decisions that may be necessary. The institution needs shaking up, needs the benefit of the view from outside. Above all, it needs leadership, the dynamic presence of someone with a clear vision and the energy and determination to push through a programme of change. What is wanted is someone who has demonstrated these qualities in turning around other failing institutions (one of the more implausible unspoken premises of free-market edspeak is that universities are ‘failing institutions’). The governing bodies of most British universities have a majority of lay members, drawn mainly from the worlds of business and finance, which ensures that these views do not lack for influential exponents – and that vice-chancellors are selected accordingly.

      For a long time, Oxford and Cambridge had, as usual, their own distinctive practices. Until the 1990s, the vice-chancellorship at both universities was occupied for a limited term (usually two or three years, never more than four) by one of the heads of their constituent colleges. The system, if one can call it that, wasn’t quite Buggins’s turn – some heads of colleges were passed over as likely to be troublesome or inept, and notionally the whole body of academic staff had to confirm the proposed name each time – but in reality this was a form of constrained oligarchy: the pool of potential candidates was tiny, and anyway vice-chancellors in these two decentralised institutions had strictly limited powers. This gentlemanly carousel came to be seen, especially from outside, as an insufficiently professional form of governance for large institutions in receipt of substantial sums of public money, and so by the end of the 20th century both Oxford and Cambridge had moved to having a full-time vice-chancellor, usually selected from external candidates: it is a sign of the times that five of the last six people to occupy the post at the two universities have worked for the greater part of their careers outside the UK, even if they had also had a local connection at some earlier point.

      Across British universities generally, vice-chancellors – and in some cases pro-vice-chancellors and deans as well – are now nearly always drawn from outside the institution, sometimes from outside academia entirely. New career paths have opened up in which one may alternate senior managerial roles at different universities with spells at a quango or in the private sector before one’s name finds its way onto those discreet lists kept by head-hunters of who is papabile. The risk in this growing trend is that vice-chancellors come to have more in common, in outlook and way of life, with those who hold the top executive role in other types of organisations than they do with their academic colleagues. Talking to a recently elected deputy rector in a Norwegian university, I was struck by her sense of the duty she had to represent the values of her colleagues and their disciplines in the higher councils of the university and to the outside world. Talking to her newly appointed counterparts in many British universities, one is more likely to be struck by their desire to impress the other members of the ‘senior management team’ with their hard-headedness and decisiveness.

      These contrasts may bear on two issues that have been much in the news lately. If you think of vice-chancellors as CEOs, then you will find yourself importing a set of associated assumptions from the corporate world. As soon as you hear the clichéd talk of ‘competing for talent in a global market’, you know that it is code for ‘paying American-level salaries’. Perhaps an academic elevated for one or two terms on the vote of his or her colleagues would be less likely to be awarded, or award themselves, salaries so manifestly out of kilter with those of even the highest-paid professors. (The rector of the Université Libre de Bruxelles was at pains to emphasise to me that, as rector, he receives no increase over his normal professorial salary.) Marketisation is a virulent infection that affects the whole organism, and that includes internalised expectations about ‘compensation’. Inflated salaries for vice-chancellors are the new normal, but they are recent: in 1997 the VC of Oxford was paid £100,000; in 2013 the incumbent received £424,000.

      The other issue on which the ethos of university governance may have a bearing is the pensions dispute. Without entering into the contested question of the different ways of assessing the financial strength of the existing pension fund, and of what changes might be required to ensure its long-term viability, it is clear that Universities UK, the association of vice-chancellors, has handled the issue in a particularly heavy-handed way. On the basis of what has been widely reported as an exaggeratedly pessimistic analysis of the scheme’s financial position, they proposed, among other measures, the complete abolition of any ‘defined benefit’ element, thus removing at a stroke one of the few things that had enabled scholars and scientists to persuade themselves that their decision to become academics had not been a case of financial irrationality. It has done nothing to dampen the hostility provoked by the move that it has come from a body of people who are paying themselves between six and ten times the average salaries of their academic staff. One cannot help wondering whether a body of rectors elected by their colleagues, and not themselves in receipt of such inflated salaries, would have taken these steps.

      Britain’s vice-chancellors include many impressive and sympathetic figures, struggling to do a difficult job amid conflicting pressures. It is fruitless, and in most cases unjust, to demonise them as individuals. But somewhere along the line, any sense of collegiality has been fractured, even though many vice-chancellors may wish it otherwise. Marketisation hollows out institutions from the inside, so that they become unable to conceptualise their own activities in terms other than those of the dominant economic dogma. The ultimate criterion by which CEOs are judged is ‘the bottom line’; the operational definition of their role is that they ‘hire and fire’; their salary is determined by whatever is the ‘going rate’ in the ‘global market’. The rest of the corrosive vocabulary has been internalised too: ‘There is no alternative’; ‘We cannot afford not to make these cuts’; ‘At the end of the day we must pay our way’. Eventually it becomes hard to distinguish the rhetoric of some bullish vice-chancellors from that of Tory chancellors.
      A sense of ‘guild identity’, the ‘dignity of learning’, ‘collegiality’, ‘standing in society’: this vocabulary is coming to sound old-fashioned, even archaic, despite the fact that it is hard to give an intelligible account of the distinctiveness of the university as an institution without it. Yet such language has had something of a revival in Britain in recent weeks, at least on the academic picket lines and union meetings. One of the things that has been so impressive about the strike thus far, apart from the tangible sense of solidarity and the heartening level of student support, has been the universal recognition that this is about more than the details of the pension system. My European interlocutors have repeatedly wondered why there has not been more protest in the past seven or eight years. Students, to their credit, did protest vociferously in 2011, and in smaller numbers are doing so again now. But British academics have traditionally adopted the ostrich position when confronted with unwelcome developments. Perhaps the older notion of being ‘members’ of a university rather than its ‘employees’ still lingers in some places, making all talk of unions and strikes seem like bad form. Perhaps there is still a residual sense of good fortune in being allowed to do such intrinsically rewarding work for a living, even though the daily experience for many is that intrusive surveillance and assessment, as well as increased casualisation of employment, now make that work less and less rewarding. But the mood in recent weeks has been different. Universities UK’s clumsy assault on the pension scheme has been the catalyst for the release of a lot of pent-up anger and a determination to try to do something to arrest the decline of British universities.

      When I travelled from a Universities and Colleges Union rally in wintry Cambridge to that packed discussion in Prague, it was hard not to see the ironies in the contrasts between these two situations and between my own position in each. My contribution to the debate in Prague was a paper arguing against the romanticisation of the university as eternally oppositional, the natural home of heroic dissidence. I urged instead the primacy of universities’ commitment to disciplined yet open-ended enquiry, proposing that this did not issue in a single political role, oppositional or otherwise, except when free inquiry itself was threatened. But I was aware – and the awareness was deepened by some pressing questions from the audience – that my position could easily seem complacent to people who had heard the tracks of Soviet tanks clanking down the street. The older members of that Czech audience had few illusions about the likely short-term outcome whenever politics and universities clash head-on. Perhaps for that reason, they were all the keener to cherish the independence of universities in the good times, buoyed by the belief that these implausibly resilient institutions would always, somehow, outlast the bad times. They knew what it meant to have apparatchiks forcibly imposed on universities, just as the Central European University in neighbouring Budapest is currently feeling the pressure of Orbán’s steel fist. But the present fate of universities in a country such as Britain that had not known these spirit-crushing political extremes puzzled them. Was that good fortune perhaps a source of vulnerability now? Had universities never been really valued because they had never been really put to the test? Or was there some more immediate, contingent reason that explained why a relatively peaceful, prosperous country would wilfully squander one of its prize cultural assets? And so, again, I was asked: why have they done this? I wished then, as I wish now, that I could come up with a better answer.

      https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n09/stefan-collini/diary
      #classement #qualité #ranking


  • Can research quality be measured quantitatively?

    In this article I reflect on ways in which the neoliberal university and its administrative counterpart, #new_public_management (NPM), affect academic publishing activity. One characteristic feature of NPM is the urge to use simple numerical indicators of research output as a tool to allocate funding and, in practice if not in theory, as a means of assessing research quality. This ranges from the use of journal impact factors (IF) and ranking of journals to publication points to determine what types of work in publishing is counted as meritorious for funding allocation. I argue that it is a fallacy to attempt to assess quality of scholarship through quantitative measures of publication output. I base my arguments on my experiences of editing a Norwegian geographical journal over a period of 16 years, along with my experiences as a scholar working for many years within the Norwegian university system.

    https://fennia.journal.fi/forthcoming/article/66602/27160
    https://fennia.journal.fi/forthcoming/view/index
    #qualité #recherche #quantitativisme #université #édition_scientifique #publications_scientifiques #indicateurs #indicateurs_numériques #impact_factor #impact-factor #ranking

    • How global university rankings are changing higher education

      EARLIER this month Peking University played host to perhaps the grandest global gathering ever of the higher-education business. Senior figures from the world’s most famous universities—Harvard and Yale, Oxford and Cambridge among them—enjoyed or endured a two-hour opening ceremony followed by a packed programme of mandatory cultural events interspersed with speeches lauding “Xi Jinping thought”. The party was thrown to celebrate Peking University’s 120th birthday—and, less explicitly, China’s success in a race that started 20 years ago.

      In May 1998 Jiang Zemin, China’s president at the time, announced Project 985, named for the year and the month. Its purpose was to create world-class universities. Nian Cai Liu, a professor of polymeric materials science and engineering at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, got swept up in this initiative. “I asked myself many questions, including: what is the definition of and criteria for a world-class university? What are the positions of top Chinese universities?” Once he started benchmarking them against foreign ones, he found that “governments, universities and stakeholders from all around the world” were interested. So, in 2003, he produced the first ranking of 500 leading global institutions. Nobody, least of all the modest Professor Liu, expected the Shanghai rankings to be so popular. “Indeed, it was a real surprise.”

      People are suckers for league tables, be they of wealth, beauty, fame—or institutions of higher education. University rankings do not just feed humanity’s competitive urges. They are also an important source of consumer intelligence about a good on which people spend huge amounts of time and money, and about which precious little other information is available. Hence the existence of national league tables, such as US News & World Report’s ranking of American universities. But the creation of global league tables—there are now around 20, with Shanghai, the Times Higher Education (THE) and QS the most important—took the competition to a new level. It set not just universities, but governments, against each other.

      When the Shanghai rankings were first published, the “knowledge economy” was emerging into the global consciousness. Governments realised that great universities were no longer just sources of cultural pride and finishing schools for the children of the well-off, but the engines of future prosperity—generators of human capital, of ideas and of innovative companies.

      The rankings focused the minds of governments, particularly in countries that did badly. Every government needed a few higher-educational stars; any government that failed to create them had failed its people and lost an important global race. Europe’s poor performance was particularly galling for Germany, home of the modern research university. The government responded swiftly, announcing in 2005 an Exzellenzinitiative to channel money to institutions that might become world-class universities, and has so far spent over €4.6bn ($5.5bn) on it.

      Propelled by a combination of national pride and economic pragmatism, the idea spread swiftly that this was a global competition in which all self-respecting countries should take part. Thirty-one rich and middle-income countries have announced an excellence initiative of some sort. India, where world rankings were once regarded with post-colonial disdain, is the latest to join the race: in 2016 the finance minister announced that 20 institutions would aim to become world-class universities. The most generously funded initiatives are in France, China, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. The most unrealistic targets are Nigeria’s, to get at least two universities in the world’s top 200, and Russia’s, to get five in the world’s top 100, both by 2020.

      The competition to rise up the rankings has had several effects. Below the very highest rankings, still dominated by America and western Europe—America has three of the THE’s top five slots and Britain two this year—the balance of power is shifting (see chart). The rise of China is the most obvious manifestation. It has 45 universities in the Shanghai top 500 and is now the only country other than Britain or America to have two universities in the THE’s top 30. Japan is doing poorly: its highest-ranked institution, the University of Tokyo, comes in at 48 in the THE’s table. Elsewhere, Latin America and eastern Europe have lagged behind.

      The rankings race has also increased the emphasis on research. Highly cited papers provide an easily available measure of success, and, lacking any other reliable metric, that is what the league tables are based on. None of the rankings includes teaching quality, which is hard to measure and compare. Shanghai’s is purely about research; THE and QS incorporate other measures, such as “reputation”. But since the league tables themselves are one of its main determinants, reputation is not an obviously independent variable.

      Hard times

      The research boom is excellent news for humanity, which will eventually reap the benefits, and for scientific researchers. But the social sciences and humanities are not faring so well. They tend to be at a disadvantage in rankings because there are fewer soft-science or humanities journals, so hard-science papers get more citations. Shanghai makes no allowance for that, and Professor Liu admits that his ranking tends to reinforce the dominance of hard science. Phil Baty, who edits the THE’s rankings, says they do take the hard sciences’ higher citation rates into account, scoring papers by the standards of the relevant discipline.

      The hard sciences have benefited from the bounty flowing from the “excellence initiatives”. According to a study of these programmes by Jamil Salmi, author of “The Challenge of Establishing World-Class Universities”, all the programmes except Taiwan’s focused on research rather than teaching, and most of them favoured STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). This is no doubt one of the reasons why the numbers of scientific papers produced globally nearly doubled between 2003 and 2016.

      The rankings may be contributing to a deterioration in teaching. The quality of the research academics produce has little bearing on the quality of their teaching. Indeed, academics who are passionate about their research may be less inclined to spend their energies on students, and so there may be an inverse relationship. Since students suffer when teaching quality declines, they might be expected to push back against this. But Ellen Hazelkorn, author of “Rankings and the Reshaping of Higher Education”, argues that students “are buying prestige in the labour market”. This means “they want to go to the highest-status university possible”—and the league tables are the only available measure of status. So students, too, in effect encourage universities to spend their money on research rather than teaching.

      The result, says Simon Marginson, Oxford University’s incoming professor of higher education, is “the distribution of teaching further down the academic hierarchy”, which fosters the growth of an “academic precariat”. These PhD students and non-tenured academics do the teaching that the star professors, hired for their research abilities, shun as a chore. The British government is trying to press universities to improve teaching, by creating a “teaching-excellence framework”; but the rating is made up of a student-satisfaction survey, dropout rates and alumni earnings—interesting, but not really a measure of teaching quality. Nevertheless, says Professor Marginson, “everybody recognises this as a problem, and everybody is watching what Britain is doing.”

      A third concern is that competition for rankings encourages stratification within university systems, which in turn exacerbates social inequality. “Excellence initiatives” funnel money to top universities, whose students, even if admission is highly competitive, tend to be the children of the well-off. “Those at the top get more government resources and those at the bottom get least,” points out Ms Hazelkorn. That’s true even in Britain, which, despite not having an excellence initiative, favours top universities through the allocation of research money. According to a study of over 120 universities by Alison Wolf of King’s College London and Andrew Jenkins of University College London, the Russell Group, a self-selected elite of 24 universities, get nearly half of the funding for the entire sector, and increased their share from 44.7% in 2001-02 to 49.1% in 2013-14.

      The rankings race draws other complaints. Some universities have hired “rankings managers”, which critics argue is not a good use of resources. Saudi Arabian universities have been accused of giving highly cited academics lucrative part-time contracts and requiring them to use their Saudi affiliation when publishing.

      Intellectual citizens of nowhere

      Notwithstanding its downsides, the rankings race has encouraged a benign trend with far-reaching implications: internationalisation. The top level of academia, particularly in the sciences, is perhaps the world’s most international community, as Professor Marginson’s work shows. Whereas around 4% of first-degree students in the OECD study abroad, a quarter of PhD students do. Research is getting more global: 22% of science and engineering papers were internationally co-authored in 2016, up from 16% in 2003. The rankings, which give marks for international co-authorship, encourage this trend. That is one reason why Japan, whose universities are as insular as its culture, lags. As research grows—in 2000-14 the annual number of PhDs awarded rose by half in America, doubled in Britain and quintupled in China—so does the size and importance of this multinational network.

      Researchers work together across borders on borderless problems—from climate change to artificial intelligence. They gather at conferences, spend time in each other’s universities and spread knowledge and scholarship across the world. Forced to publish in English, they share at least one language. They befriend each other, marry each other and support each other, politically as well as intellectually. Last year, for instance, when Cambridge University Press blocked online access to hundreds of articles on sensitive subjects, including the Tiananmen Square massacre, at the request of the Chinese government, it faced international protests, and an American academic launched a petition which was signed by over 1,500 academics around the world. CUP backed down.

      The rankings race is thus marked by a happy irony. Driven in part by nationalistic urges, it has fostered the growth of a community that knows no borders. Critics are right that governments and universities obsess too much about rankings. Yet the world benefits from the growth of this productive, international body of scholars.


      https://www.economist.com/international/2018/05/19/how-global-university-rankings-are-changing-higher-education?frsc=dg%7Ce

      #Chine #classement_de_Shanghai #compétition #classement #ranking #QS #Times_Higher_Education #THE #excellence #Exzellenzinitiative #Allemagne #Inde #France #Singapour #Taïwan #Corée_du_Sud #Nigeria #Russie #USA #Etats-Unis #Angleterre #UK #recherche #publications #publications_scientifiques #enseignement #réputation #sciences_sociales #sciences_dures #précarité #précarisation #travail #inégalités #anglais #langue #internationalisation #globalisation #mondialisation

      La fin est très en phase avec le journal qui a publié cet article, hélas :

      Critics are right that governments and universities obsess too much about rankings. Yet the world benefits from the growth of this productive, international body of scholars.

      La première version de cet article a été apparemment corrigée :

      Correction (May 22nd, 2018): An earlier version of this piece suggested that non-English data and books are not included in the rankings. This is incorrect. The article has been amended to remove that assertion.

      –-> mais en fait, en réalité, il n’aurait pas dû l’être. Pour avoir expérimenté moi-même une fois le #H-index sur ma liste de publications, je peux vous dire qu’aucun article en d’autres langues que l’anglais avait été retenu dans l’index. Et même pas tous les articles en anglais que j’ai publiés...


  • Google will ‘de-rank’ RT articles to make them harder to find – Eric Schmidt — RT World News
    https://www.rt.com/news/410444-google-alphabet-derank-rt

    Eric Schmidt, the Executive Chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet, says the company will “engineer” specific algorithms for RT and Sputnik to make their articles less prominent on the search engine’s news delivery services.

    “We are working on detecting and de-ranking those kinds of sites – it’s basically RT and Sputnik,” Schmidt said during a Q & A session at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada on Saturday, when asked about whether Google facilitates “Russian propaganda.”

    “We are well of aware of it, and we are trying to engineer the systems to prevent that [the content being delivered to wide audiences]. But we don’t want to ban the sites – that’s not how we operate.”

    La censure qui a déjà frappé les sites des progressistes américains va maintenant vers la droite soutenue par les Russes... mais c’est toujours de la censure... économique, ou du « ranking ».

    During the discussion, Schmidt claimed that he was “very strongly not in favor of censorship,” but said that he has faith in “ranking” without acknowledging if the system might serve the same function. Schmidt, who joined Google in 2001, said that the company’s algorithm was capable of detecting “repetitive, exploitative, false, and weaponized” info, but did not elaborate on how these qualities were determined.

    #Google #Censure #Ranking


  • L’omertà des universités suisses

    « On est loin surtout d’une gestion saine de nos établissements qui, au nom du sacro-saint Ranking, sont les promoteurs d’un mercenariat international de professeurs laissant pour compte un nombre extraordinaire de chercheurs suisses au profit d’éminentes vieilles barbes venant lisser leur fonds de retraite dans le pays. Une balance économique entre cerveaux et #prestige pesant largement du côté du paraître. Voilà un domaine dans lequel le développement durable ne s’est pas attardé ! »

    https://blogs.letemps.ch/christophe-vuilleumier/2017/03/16/lomerta-des-universites-suisses

    #Suisse #université #recherche #ranking #omertà #fuite_de_cerveaux


  • Universités : pourquoi le classement de Shanghaï n’est pas un exercice sérieux
    http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2016/08/16/universites-le-classement-de-shanghai-fortement-discute_4983511_4355770.html

    Un bon exemple [de biais] est le dernier Prix Nobel français de physique, Albert Fert. Celui-ci ayant été employé par un centre de recherche commun entre le CNRS et l’université Paris-Sud, il ne rapporte qu’un demi-prix Nobel à cette dernière, où il était professeur. Le CNRS n’étant pas une université, la moitié des points de ce prix Nobel disparaissent du classement.

    (...) « Il ne semble pas dès lors injustifié d’affirmer que le classement de Shanghaï est un exercice hâtif, grossier et mal conçu, sans la moindre valeur ».

    #universités #recherche #ranking

    • Cet exercice de démontage s’applique à l’essentiel des indice/index avec lesquels nous travaillons. Ils sont tous plus ou moins imparfaits, on le sait, mais c’est souvent les seuls outils quantitatifs que nous avons à disposition pour essayer de comprendre/visualiser les thématiques importantes et leur tendance dans l’espace et le temps. On « cartographie » donc toujours des images « approchées » qu’on essaye de préciser/améliorer au fil du temps. Il y a une thèse complète à faire sur la question de la « critique des critères ».

      Je trouve juste marrant que ce soit un journaliste du Monde qui donne des leçons de méthodologie, ces gens ne se disent jamais que leurs méthodes d’investigation et leurs procédés putassiers (voir récemment la série sur le poly-amour pour ne donner qu’un exemple) « ne sont pas un exercice très sérieux de journalisme ».

    • l’article n’est malheureusement pas très sérieux... par exemple le passage sur le CNRS,

      Tandis qu’en Angleterre ou aux Etats-Unis, les universités, plus riches, financent elles-mêmes leurs programmes de recherche, ces partenariats de recherche sont fréquents en France et en Allemagne, ainsi que dans d’autres pays européens.

      le classement permet au contraire de mettre en avant des particularités de certains modes de fonctionnement, il faut juste le lire en faisant attention. Par exemple, le double rôle du CNRS, assez unique, à la fois employeur et financeur...

    • l’autre chose qui me surprend, c’est la fixation des journalistes français sur le « classement de Shanghai » ! au Canada, je n’en ai pas entendu parlé pendant 4 ans, mais en France, tous les ans, on a le droit aux mêmes lamentations... Hors de France, le classement du Time est davantage commenté ! Après, comme tous les classements, ils ne renvoient que ce qu’on cherche à mesurer...
      Et comme le dit la loi de Goodhart, quand une mesure devient un objectif, elle cesse d’être une mesure




  • Petit coup de gueule de ma part... contre ceux qui se félicitent avec la Conseillère d’Etat du Canton de Genève (sorte de ministre pour le canton), Mme Anne Emery-Torracinta (https://www.ge.ch/conseil_etat/2013-2018/membres-emery-torracinta.asp), chargée de l’instruction publique parce qu’elle a posté le succès de l’Université de Genève dans le Ranking de Shanghai.

    Voici ce qu’elle a posté :


    Et ce que j’ai répondu :

    #université #précarisation #chargé_de_cours #travail #science #ranking #Université_de_Genève #précarité
    cc @reka


  • Pourquoi bientôt tous nos comportements seront notés - Slate.fr
    http://alireailleurs.tumblr.com/post/89945499203

    Jean-Laurent Cassely pour Slate.fr revient sur le dernier livre de l’économiste Tyler Cowen (@margrev) Average is over, selon qui, l’une des conséquences de l’implantation d’algorithmes un peu partout dans le monde social sera la notation de tout et de tous. Selon lui, il n’y a pas que les professionnels qui seront notés, les usagers le seront également… et tenter d’y échapper vous rendra seulement encore plus suspect et invisible. Et l’auteur de rappeler le cas d’Uber, où les chauffeurs sont notés par les clients, mais où les chauffeurs notent également les clients. Ce que Kevin Rose dans un article pour New York Magazine, appelle l’anxiété Uber. Un chauffeur lui ayant révélé qu’il ne prend pas de passagers s’ils n’ont pas au moins un 4/5. Depuis, Kevin Rose se comporte excessivement amicalement avec (...)

    #algorithme #ranking #société

    • Selon lui, il n’y a pas que les professionnels qui seront notés, les usagers le seront également… et tenter d’y échapper vous rendra seulement encore plus suspect et invisible

      #contrôle_social
      #surveillance
      #concurrence
      Avec toutes les dérives qu’on peut imaginer de trafic pour enjoliver/blanchir son profil social.. (comme pour le permis à points..)

      Ca me parle beaucoup car quand j’avais découvert internet il y a presque 20 ans, encore marqué par les lectures d’Orwell, je m’étais demandé quel roman Orwell aurait pu écrire sur Internet.. Du coup j’avais commencé moi même à écrire une histoire, où la vie sociale et professionnelle de chaque individu était entièrement dématérialisée sur Internet, sur un compte unique (une sorte de facebook/ebay/banque) et où le héros de l’histoire se voyait soudainement plongé dans la clandestinité par un bug mystérieux qui faisait de lui un paria, et le gars devait mener son enquête (pirate, maitre-chanteur, mouvement subversif ?) alors qu’il était exclu de toute vie sociale et privé de tous ses outils.. Mais mon scénario était devenu trop complexe et hors de portée de mon petit cerveau, dommage, j’ai abandonné :-)
      En plus j’ai perdu la disquette de cette vingtaine de pages...


  • Quand la quenelle cesse d’être un plat
    http://www.franceculture.fr/emission-ce-qui-nous-arrive-sur-la-toile-ce-qui-nous-arrive-sur-la-toi

    C’est sûr qu’il est un peu affligeant de devoir revenir sur Dieudonné, la quenelle et le reste de cette espèce de sous-culture nauséabonde qui prolifère dans les réseaux. Mais c’est précisément parce qu’elle prolifère dans les réseaux qu’elle mérite qu’on y réfléchisse un peu.
    D’abord, une observation. Faites l’expérience, tapez « quenelle » sur Google.fr. On sait que Google ne donne pas les mêmes résultats à tout le monde, selon le lieu de connexion, les recherches précédentes etc. En ce qui me concerne, il faut que j’attende le début de la 2ème page pour trouver une référence au sens originel de la quenelle et le milieu de la quatrième page pour trouver une recette de #quenelle.


  • Google affiche une note de satisfaction des médecins et hôpitaux - Numerama
    http://www.numerama.com/magazine/27058-google-affiche-une-note-de-satisfaction-des-medecins-et-hopitaux.htm

    Google #local se développe et s’impose dans les résultats de recherche en rendant plus visibles les avis des internautes sur les résultats de recherches géolocalisés. Tags : fing internetactu internetactu2net local #hyperlocal (...)

    #moteurderecherchelocal


  • Une sévère critique du Journal Ranking
    Deep Impact : Unintended consequences of journal rank
    Björn Brembs and Marcus Munafò

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1301/1301.3748.pdf

    1) Journal rank is a weak to moderate predictor of scientific impact;
    2) Journal rank is a moderate to strong predictor of both intentional and unintentional scientific unreliability;
    3) Journal rank is expensive, delays science and frustrates researchers; and,
    4) Journal rank as established by IF violates even the most basic scientific standards , but predicts subjective judgments of journal
    quality.
    [...]
    one implication of the data reviewed here is that we can instead
    use current technology and remove the need for a journal hierarchy completely.

    #Open_access
    #scientific_publishing
    #édition_scientifique
    #ranking
    #évaluation_scientifique


  • Record number of journals banned for boosting impact factor with self-citations : Nature
    http://blogs.nature.com/news/2012/06/record-number-of-journals-banned-for-boosting-impact-factor-with-self-

    l’auto-#citation pour tricher sur le facteur d’impact a ses limites

    To put all this in context, the 2011 ranking includes more than 10,500 journals, so the removed offenders make up fewer than 0.5% of the total.  Still, Thomson Reuters could have kicked out more journals. Its own statistics indicate that 140 journals have had self-citations making up more than 70% of total citations in the past two years. By comparison, four-fifths of journals keep this proportion below 30%.

    #recherche #triche #rankings #bibliométrie