Blog about a blog

Today (June 13) this blog got a mention in the Irish Times, so I’ve had a lot of traffic, and some interesting comments. I have indeed said that I should also consider a blog on Facebook or Myspace, or maybe Bebo. I am as it happens a member of all of these already, so it would not be a big step – perhaps in the autumn.

It is however important that the university community more generally gets better at communicating with stakeholders. Whenever we are under pressure, there is lots of evidence that the general public does not regard universities as institutions that should attract their strong support, and there are still many who believe that we under-perform and don’t use our resources well. Those who work in today’s universities know that, as a generalisation, such complaints are very far from the truth – but we are not good at persuading the public that this is so.

So I hope that many academics and university staff become bloggers in the public arena, stimulating debate and helping to explain what we do, and what intellectual, financial and ethical value we provide for society. And maybe we also need to accept that, sometimes, universities (like all other organisations) get it wrong, and sometimes we need to show a willingness to listen to the outside world and change as a result.

Explore posts in the same categories: higher education, university

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One Comment on “Blog about a blog”

  1. Ultan Says:

    Totally agree with this, though it is good to remember what Neilsen calls “Participation Inequality” on the web (, so other fora need to be remembered. Participation cannot be “expected” – it must be encouraged, and nor should it be seen as “free advice”. I think Universities (and indeed other agencies of the state) could learn a good deal from the software development community when it comes to eliciting and harnessing participation:

    For one, I would love to see a Third Level UnConference happen in Ireland. And not at the behest of the usual suspects (IFUT, USI, Government ministers, etc), but from within stakeholders themselves. The principles are there already. See:

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