Linstock’s Friday Takeaway – 9 September 2016

“The launch of Linstock and Wonkhe’s Higher Education Power List will be taking place next week, revealing this year’s top 50 movers and shakers in the Higher Education sector”

In the News

Good Week: Paralympics
The Rio 2016 Paralympics opening ceremony took place on Wednesday, welcoming more than 4,300 athletes from 159 nations. The Games are a showcase for those with disabilities and seek to change perceptions in society about those often seen as a vulnerable. Channel 4’s Paralympics ‘We Are The Superhumans’ trailer has been praised across social media as particularly powerful – the broadcaster has promised to show 14 hours of coverage each day and is expecting hundreds of thousands of people across Britain to tune in.

Bad Week: LinkedIn
LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals, has been criticised for having a gender biased search algorithm that suggests male versions of female names on its website. An investigation by the Seattle Times found that, for example, searching for “Stephanie Williams” on the professional networking service would trigger a prompt for “Stephen Williams” instead. A spokesperson from LinkedIn stated that the algorithm is guided by names that are most frequently searched for on LinkedIn, rather than being gender related.

Good Week: Power of video
An advert released by the Ministry of Education (MOE) in Singapore has sparked debate across the country about its education system. The short clip, based on a true story, shows a student who, despite failing her exams, is praised by a teacher for her hard work and determination. A spokesperson from the MOE said the video aims to reinforce the holistic development of students, showing that education goes beyond academic knowledge. Singapore came first in the 2015 global school rankings for maths and science and has recently been placing a greater value on creative subjects.

Bad Week: Gary Johnson
Gary Johnson, a former U.S. Governor and Libertarian Party presidential contender, made headlines this week for failing to recognise the name of the Syrian city of Aleppo during an interview on MSNBC. Critics have described the blunder as humiliating, particularly given that Aleppo has been one of the major battlegrounds in Syria’s five-year civil war. Johnson is falling far behind the main party candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, in the polls, and has also received far less attention in the coverage of the U.S. elections. Commentators suggest that the interview is unlikely to do his campaign any favours.

Linstock News

The G20 Summit, a major global conference bringing together world leaders, took place early this week. Linstock conducted a social listening exercise to gauge the biggest topics being discussed across Twitter and Facebook in relation to the G20 Summit. Results reveal that the most popular topics were Brexit, Syria and the global economy. Figures also show that the G20 meet sparked a surge in social media chatter on these issues, particularly Brexit which generated 14,991 posts following the Summit compared to 1,472 before.

Coming Up

The launch of Linstock and Wonkhe’s Higher Education Power List will be taking place next week, revealing this year’s top 50 movers and shakers in the Higher Education sector. Who’s moved up or down in the 12 months since our inaugural list? Tune in on Thursday 15th September to find out the fate of the UK’s top politicians, academics and policy makers.