Why compulsory voting alone can’t fix a broken political system

Dr Susan Dodsworth, International Development Department School of Government and Society, University of Birmingham This Saturday, Australians – myself among them – will vote in a federal election. As in previous elections, voter turnout is expected to exceed 90%, in part because Australia is one of a handful of countries to enforce compulsory voting. Whenever … Continue reading “Why compulsory voting alone can’t fix a broken political system”

A marathon, not a sprint: Supporting the carers of people with dementia

Professor Jon Glasby, Professor of Health & Social Care and Head of Social Policy and Siân Thomas, Lecturer, Social Work and Social Care School of Social Policy, University of Birmingham In 2019, the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK joined forces as the London Marathon ‘charity of the year’ and to launch a ‘dementia revolution’ … Continue reading “A marathon, not a sprint: Supporting the carers of people with dementia”

Teachers and Knife Crime

Professor Colin Diamond CBE, Professor of Educational Leadership School of Education, University of Birmingham When government ministers are looking for a soft target to test out their latest ideas or deflect blame for the failure of their policies, you can guarantee that they will turn to schools. In recent years secretaries of state have pronounced … Continue reading “Teachers and Knife Crime”

Should dogs be introduced to the classroom?

By Alison Broad, Director of Primary Education School of Education, University of Birmingham Dogs have traditionally assisted humans and their supportive roles continue to evolve and diversify. There are now courtroom facility dogs (Kaiser 2015) and even funeral therapy dogs, offering ‘love and support to the bereaved’ (Snead, 2018). More than half of Canadian universities … Continue reading “Should dogs be introduced to the classroom?”

Asking artists to take a look at the ‘man in the mirror’

By Aidan Thompson, Director of Strategic Initiatives The Jubilee Centre for Character & Virtues, University of Birmingham Can an artist produce ‘good’ art and not be a ‘good’ person? Does it matter whether they are ‘good’ or not? Are the definitions of ‘good’ even comparable? And who gets to determine what ‘good’ means? Definitions of … Continue reading “Asking artists to take a look at the ‘man in the mirror’”

How can we tackle the decline of modern languages?

By Dr Adam Cooke, Lecturer in Language Education School of Education, University of Birmingham The idea that languages may be struggling as a curriculum area is hardly new. The legendary Eric Hawkins first discussed a crisis in language learning way back in 1976. The issues so prevalent then: limited take up during the later secondary … Continue reading “How can we tackle the decline of modern languages?”

Advancing Equality in Higher Education

By Professor Kalwant Bhopal, Professor of Education and Social Justice Centre for Research in Race and Education, University of Birmingham An exploratory study of the Athena Swan and Race Equality Charters On Wednesday 13th March, Professor Kalwant Bhopal and Dr Holly Henderson participated in a dissemination event held at the University of Birmingham to discuss … Continue reading “Advancing Equality in Higher Education”

Tackling cyber threats to democracy

By Conor Deane-McKenna, Doctoral Researcher in Cyberwarfare Department of Political Science and International Studies, University of Birmingham This week French President Emmanuel Macron proposed the creation of a European Agency for the Protection of Democracies to work alongside EU member states to protect elections against cyber-attacks and manipulation. The opinion piece comes before EU Parliamentary … Continue reading “Tackling cyber threats to democracy”

Putting gender on the agenda in the refugee “crisis”

By Professor Jenny Phillimore Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology, University of Birmingham Violence, insecurity, persecution, and human rights violations have led to the forced displacement of an estimated 68.5 million people (UNHCR, 2018a). Of these, 25.4 million are refugees – the highest number ever recorded (UNHCR, 2018a). As Project Lead of the SEREDA … Continue reading “Putting gender on the agenda in the refugee “crisis””

Is the British economy facing ‘troubled times’?

By Professor Aditya Goenka Department of Economics, University of Birmingham “Troubled times had come to my hometown” (Springsteen, 1986) Since the Brexit vote in June 2016, the British economy has been slowing down, with the growth rate in the last quarter of 2018 at just 0.2%, the slowest since 2012. This should be seen in the … Continue reading “Is the British economy facing ‘troubled times’?”