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Handling the end of cancer treatment!

I never believed anyone might actually miss the routine that takes over your life during a year of cancer treatment. But strange as it might seem, there is something reassuring about the pattern of regular hospital visits, radiotherapy and daily doses of tablets and potions while you are preparing for your operation, and then, chemotherapy. […]

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U-Multirank claims to be biggest university rankings

Once again U-Multirank, the European Commission supported world university rankings, was largely ignored by the British media and higher education establishment despite its claim to be the largest global university ranking. Only 13 UK universities actively participated in the 2016 rankings – just one more than last year – and no British institution topped any […]

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Road back to normality after chemo ‘house arrest’

Thanks to everyone for following my story about beating bowel cancer for the last year. In this blog, I want to share some tips about dealing with chemo side effects and trying to get back to some form of normality. Now, with radiotherapy, my operations and chemotherapy behind me, it is great to report that […]

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Swiss lessons for UK universities’ referendum campaign

I don’t know if British university vice-chancellors are really likely to follow the call from the Swiss lake district of Lausanne and ‘get out on the streets’ to defend the UK’s membership of the European Union – but at least they are stirring into some form of activity. The call for street action came from […]

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The rise of English-taught degrees abroad

ONE of the big education stories of our times is the drive towards ‘internationalisation’ by universities all over the world. I’ve written about this already this year for BBC online news and EUPRIO, the European Universities Public Relations & Information Officers. One thing standing out is the rush to create courses entirely taught in English […]

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How good communications helped struggling university!

To hear that effective communications can play an important role in turning around the fortunes of struggling institutions is music to the ears of those working in higher education communications. For many of us who have worked in corporate communication must have sometimes wondered if those in charge of higher education really understand and truly […]

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A year in the life of fighting cancer

  As the New Year kicks into gear, I can’t pretend not to breathe a sigh of relief that 2015 is over. For it has been 12 months of fighting bowel cancer; handling the side effects of chemotherapy and getting over not one, but two operations. Still, I’ve come through it more of less intact […]

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What’s driving the urge for universities to merge?

Universities across Europe are talking about merging or forming alliances and concentrating faculties like never before. Since the start of the 21st century, the European University Association (EUA) has recorded nearly 100 on its interactive merger map. And the pace is accelerating, with eight super-universities or clusters identified in 2012; 12 in 2013 and 14 in […]

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Nic wins Higher Education Journalism Award

Winning the 2015 Award for Outstanding Higher Education Journalism from the UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Education & Skills Group is something of a triumph after an interesting year. I was shortlisted along with national journalists from The Guardian and Times Higher Education magazine and won the Higher Education Journalism Award for a […]

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My first bowel cancer anniversary !

As bonfire night falls, I’m reminded that exactly a year ago I was sitting down with a doctor at Middlesbrough’s One Life Centre to be told that I could have bowel cancer. It was a strange discussion! I had been referred by my own GP Dr Inder Basson for a colonoscopy after spotting signs of […]

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