Open access monograph dash could lead us off a cliff

Posted in Research on July 27th, 2017 by steve

“While open access is all about setting research ‘free’, the transition towards it can feel to academics like just another facet of the ever-stricter assessment regimes to which they are becoming subject. A recent example in the UK is the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s announcement that all articles and conference papers submitted to the next research excellence framework exercise will have to be available on an open-access institutional or subject repository …” (more)

[Marilyn Deegan, Times Higher Education, 27 July]

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There’s a gulf between academics and university management – and it’s growing

Posted in Governance and administration on July 27th, 2017 by steve

“It may be hard to believe, but there was once a gentler era when universities were administered rather than managed. How times have changed. As higher education has grown in size and complexity so institutions have felt the need to strengthen their management arrangements …” (more)

[Sue Shepherd, Guardian, 27 July]

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Teaching framework is not the solution to third-level education problems

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on July 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Your article (Concerns over quality of third-level tuition prompts review, Home News, July 25th) reports that Minister for Education Richard Bruton is considering a UK-style Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) as part of a proposed review on standards in higher education. This is both incredible and exasperating …” (more)

[Mike Jennings, Irish Times, 27 July]

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Third level Access Schemes: What’s the Story?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on July 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“In 1984 I took up a position as principal of a newly opened second-level school in a severely disadvantaged area. Unemployment among parents was in excess of 60%. A survey carried out two years previously found that nobody living in the catchment area had a third level qualification. So, as the school approached full cycle in 1989, the question of third level access became a priority issue …” (more)

[Brian Fleming, Education Matters, 26 July]

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There has never been a female Irish university president … why?

Posted in Governance and administration on July 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Since the establishment of the first Irish university over 400 years ago, a woman has never occupied the most senior role possible – president. And yet, the number of women and men attending universities in Ireland as students is almost equal …” (more)

[Jade Hayden, Her.ie, 25 July]

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When Nobody Steps Up

Posted in Governance and administration on July 26th, 2017 by steve

“My friend Christine Nowik posted a great question on Twitter this week. Linking to a piece about department chairs who have stayed too long, she noted that in many departments there’s nobody willing to step up if the current chair steps down. In some cases, chairs stick around less out of eagerness for the position than out of a lack of alternatives. What to do when that happens? …” (more)

[Matt Reed, Inside Higher Ed, 25 July]

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Two-year university degrees: trimming the fat or a bad deal for students?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on July 26th, 2017 by steve

“In his robust defence of the current fee regime on 20 July, universities minister Jo Johnson returned to the accelerated degrees which he last mentioned in February. But universities have already warned him that his proposed model might not be workable – and nothing has changed since then …” (more)

[Lucy Hodson, Guardian, 26 July]

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Government to Undertake Review of Higher Education, as Funding Debate Continues

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on July 25th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“After years of underinvestment and rising student numbers, the government will carry out a review of the quality of Ireland’s higher education system. The review comes as Irish colleges await a decision on a new funding model for the sector …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath, University Times, 25 July]

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Concerns over quality of third-level tuition prompts review

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on July 25th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A review into the quality of higher education following concerns over the impact of falling investment and rising student numbers will be carried out by the Government. Universities and institutes of technology have expanded to accommodate an additional 15,000 students in the space of just three years …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 25 July]

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Planned Union Protest Put on Hold, Pending Government Guidance on Temporary Contracts

Posted in Governance and administration on July 25th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A planned protest on Trinity’s campus by the three trade unions involved in a dispute with College was postponed because the unions agreed to wait on an upcoming statement from the government on the use of temporary contracts …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath, University Times, 24 July]

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Mitchell O’Connor warned of ‘unprecedented demand’ for student accommodation

Posted in Governance and administration on July 25th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The new minister for higher education has been warned of an ‘unprecedented demand’ for affordable student accommodation. Mary Mitchell O’Connor has been told of the ‘significant challenges’ in addressing the issue, as parents and students face into the scramble to find accommodation for the academic year ahead …” (more)

[Cormac McQuinn, Independent, 25 July]

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NUIG recruiters told to ‘reach out to women’ for president

Posted in Governance and administration on July 25th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Recruiters headhunting the new president of NUI Galway were specifically asked to ‘reach out’ to women academics in Ireland and abroad. Members of the Governing Body of NUIG, ‘expressed a worry’ that the competition to replace Dr James Browne, the incumbent ‘might not attract significant female interest’ …” (more)

[Dara Bradley, Connacht Tribune, 24 July]

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Government Taskforce to Consider Quotas as Solution to Higher Education’s Gender Inequality

Posted in Governance and administration on July 25th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A government taskforce will examine the possibility of introducing gender quotas in colleges and universities, the latest response to several years of statistics showing worrying levels of gender inequality in the higher education sector …” (more)

[Jake O’Donnell, University Times, 23 July]

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Call for urgent action over student accommodation crisis in Galway

Posted in Governance and administration on July 25th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The government is being urged to tackle the lack of student accommodation in cities such as Galway, Dublin and Cork. Young Fine Gael says student rents in Galway city have risen by a third in the past year …” (more)

[Galway Bay FM, 24 July]

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Pipers, Tunes and Payment in the Higher Education Sector

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 24th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Recent discussion on university funding has been on the basis of the Public Accounts Committee report. This, along with the RTÉ Prime-time Investigates program, has led to a perception of a state funded sector out of financial control. Both of these are wrong …” (more)

[Brian M Lucey, 24 July]

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Academia and gender balance

Posted in Governance and administration on July 24th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – I welcome the report on this matter by Carl O’Brien (News, July 20th). The figures for Trinity College Dublin are certainly unacceptable. At lecturer level there are 50% men and women. This becomes 65% to 35% at senior lecturer level, 58% to 42% at associate professor level and 81% to 19% at full professor level …” (more)

[Gerald Morgan, Irish Times, 24 July]

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The Third-Level Sector Should Expect More Regulation, Not Less

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on July 24th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Threats to the autonomy of third-level institutions are amongst the biggest concerns of Provost Patrick Prendergast and his peers on the Irish Universities Association (IUA), so much so that it is one of the main reasons why they are so fervently arguing for the introduction of an income-contingent loan scheme above any other model …” (more)

[University Times, 23 July]

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UCC hit by €110,000 attack from cyber gang

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Cyber criminals mounted a major attack to steal €110,000 from University College Cork (UCC), the Sunday Independent can reveal. The revelation comes as a global cyber attack struck a number of Irish businesses last month …” (more)

[Mark O’Regan, Independent, 23 July]

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Student bed crisis in Cork as accommodation is already snapped up

Posted in Governance and administration on July 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“More purpose built student accommodation is needed for students as frantic searches get underway in the City. Student accommodation in Cork is currently fully booked for September, more than one month before the first round of college places are offered to students …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Evening Echo, 22 July]

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Women and academia

Posted in Governance and administration on July 22nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The recent coverage of the under-representation of women among the senior ranks of the State’s colleges and universities is a sobering reminder of how much ground still needs to be covered in levelling the playing field for women academics (Carl O’Brien, ‘Too few women at top levels in colleges, report shows’, News, July 20th) … (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 22 July]

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