March 6, 2015
José Luis Mateos
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Critical approaches to education-based meritocracy: the case of Britain

Starting in the post-war socio-political milieu and throughout the second half of the 20th century, Britain witnessed dramatic expansion of its Higher Education system. This is very much related to the ‘modernisation theory, which some 40 years ago predicted that the development of industrial societies would require workers to be ever more highly educated and occupational roles to be allocated increasingly on the basis of achieved rather than ascribed characteristics’ (Boliver 2011, p.230). This post will review a set of policy efforts ...
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October 7, 2014
José Luis Mateos
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Regional Development in Europe and ERC Advanced Grants in Social Sciences and Humanities

The European Research Council (ERC) marks a new approach to investing in frontier research in Europe. Funded through the European Community’s seventh framework programme (FP7) as the implementation of the ‘Ideas’ specific programme, the ERC aims to reinforce excellence, dynamism and creativity in European research by funding investigator-driven projects of the highest quality at the frontiers of knowledge [1]. The “Ideas” specific programme’s budget implemented by the ERC is EUR 7.5 billion over a period of seven years. It represents around 15% ...
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May 19, 2014
José Luis Mateos
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U-Multirank: SIRIS Academic first impressions

After the contentious launching of the European Comission-powered U-Multirank, press and stakeholders have raised their voice with both positive and negative comments on the system. We have also decided to put forward our preliminar views on U-Multirank in this post. Last Tuesday 13 May, the European Commission officially launched the U-Multirank, an international higher education ranking that allows “users to compare the performance of institutions” out of 30 indicators “across five dimensions of higher education and research activities: a) teaching and learning, ...
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October 23, 2013
José Luis Mateos
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Tear up your Textbooks! (critically)

Before getting down to business, I feel I should apologise for the scope of this post. Below, I will deal wth the problems and challenges of a textbook-based education. I am doing this through the lens of a European student that can afford to reject the use of textbooks in class, as I have access to amazing alternatives in libraries, journals and the Internet. However, I am afraid that my situation does not apply to communities that can hardly afford a ...
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September 16, 2013
José Luis Mateos
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The crisis in the Humanities: a matter of numbers

Welcome to the first publication of SIRIS Lab. Interested in the narrative of decline existing within the Humanities, José Luis Mateos has been trying to determine the scope of the crisis. In the following post he offers his views on the topic, highlighting how statistics play a major role in assessing the phenomenon. The Humanities are in crisis, or at least that is what some voices have been claiming recently. But this story is hardly new. Back in 1964, J. H. Plumb published ...
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