Category Archives: University of Cambridge

Why grading class participation is wrong

Giving marks for class participation is inefficient, unfair and offers an excuse for poor teaching. It is not allowed on the Cambridge MFin. * The majority of business schools include class participation in grading of students, typically 20-30% of the total mark and sometimes more. The justification is that it rewards the type of behaviour that… Continue Reading

Letter from Sanya

A group of us from Cambridge visited the resort of Sanya in China’s Hainan province, to take part in the annual Sanya Forum and launch our China Advisory Council * The Sanya Forum can be loosely thought of as a sort of Chinese Davos, though confusingly China has its own official summer Davos meeting. It’s a… Continue Reading

Would you choose a degree based on a newspaper’s ranking?

In mid-June 2014 the Financial Times (FT) will publish its latest rankings for Masters in Finance degree programmes. The Cambridge MFin may be included for the first time. The FT rankings are divided into exclusively post-experience programmes (where prior work experience is required for entry) and pre-experience (where it is not). Last year there were… Continue Reading

How useful are teaching evaluation scores?

In recent weeks I have taken part in meetings to discuss: student feedback on MFin teachers; teaching procedures across all programmes at Cambridge Judge Business School; the selection of winners of annual teaching prizes; and the results of a Cambridge University teaching and learning review of CJBS. In all four the main information used to assess teaching quality… Continue Reading

Letter from Shenzhen

I have at last visited Shenzhen, one of China’s four first tier cities (along with Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen’s neighbour Guangzhou), as part of the Cambridge EMBA International Business Study Trip. It’s a likeable and impressive city, much greener and cleaner than Beijing and less crowded than Shanghai. It’s also the centre of the Chinese… Continue Reading

The Raspberry Pi takes Manhattan

Every self respecting computer system has its own magazine and now it seems the Cambridge-grown Raspberry Pi has one too. The photo shows a segment of the crowded magazine shelf in Barnes and Noble’s shop in Union Square, New York, taken on a recent trip. The magazine even seems to have CJBS official yellow lettering.… Continue Reading

Seed cake, Madeira and the start of term

Perhaps only in Cambridge and Oxford would you observe the Vice-Chancellor of the University, dressed in full academical regalia in the fine surroundings of the Senate House, discussing advances in biomedical research, graphene and materials science. Today being the first weekday of Michaelmas term, there was a meeting of Congregation in the Senate House. This… Continue Reading

The future of Oxbridge

Despite the mostly friendly rivalry and healthy competitiveness between them, the universities of Cambridge and Oxford are far more alike than different. A neutral visitor to both would be struck by their similarities, the differences largely consisting in geography (Oxford city is larger, denser and surrounded by more attractive countryside than Cambridge, which has a… Continue Reading

The death of distance

About 20 years ago I was invited by the High Mistress of St. Paul’s Girl’s School to give a talk to the sixth form. St. Paul’s Girls is an academically selective and expensive school in the posh enclave of Brook Green in the otherwise not very posh Hammersmith district of west London. It is one… Continue Reading