RTÉ stands over university spending probe

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

Ireland“RTÉ is standing over an investigation on spending and governance at third-level colleges as it prepares responses to complaints from two universities. University College Cork and NUI Galway have submitted complaints over its May 25 RTÉ Investigates programme, Universities Unchallenged …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 24 June]

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Sadness as PhD student dies at University of Limerick

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

Ireland“A Garda investigation is underway after the body of a PhD student was found at the campus of the University of Limerick. The discovery was made late on Thursday evening by gardai who were looking for the young man after members of his family had earlier reported not seeing him for some time …” (more)

[David Hurley, Limerick Leader, 23 June]

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Honorary degree ‘really weird’ – Geldof

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

Ireland“Bob Geldof said he is not good at accepting awards as he received an honorary degree from Trinity College for his humanitarian efforts. The Boomtown Rats frontman and Live Aid founder said he feels more pride when he receives accolades for his work as a musician, as it is his ‘vocation’ …” (more)

[Independent, 24 June]

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Stop censoring student journalists – we’re trying to hold universities to account

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

“Student journalism is often – and rightly – applauded for the work it does at universities across the country. Many of the bylines that now sit atop newsprint began their days in student newsrooms, chasing stories across campus …” (more)

[Guardian, 23 June]

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Top architectural award sheds its image

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

Ireland“A group of sheds that have been transformed into the new O’Donoghue Centre for Theatre, Drama and Performance at NUI Galway has been selected for a top architecture award. The centre, designed by Taylor Architects in association with Richard Murphy, won the Public Choice Award at the annual RIAI Irish Architecture Awards …” (more)

[Evelyn Ring, Irish Examiner, 24 June]

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University rankings: good intentions, image polishing and more bureaucracy

Posted in Teaching on June 24th, 2017 by steve

“Some UK universities will be cheering, some groaning, after the release of rankings under the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). My own university received a silver, so we’re shrugging. Despite all these reactions, we don’t know if we can expect any impact on the quality of teaching. What we do know, however, is that it will lead to a large-scale image polishing, the mushrooming of rankings-related bureaucracy, judicious gaming of the new rules, and cynicism amongst professors and lecturers …” (more)

[Andre Spicer, The Conversation, 23 June]

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Student Grant Scheme Administration

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

IrelandWillie Penrose (Longford-Westmeath, Labour): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will review the cuts to the student grant implemented in 2011 and 2012 and restore the distance of adjacent rate to 24 kilometres from the current distance of 45 kilometres; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 20 June]

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Third Level Staff Data

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

IrelandNiall Collins (Limerick County, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the academic and non-academic staff employed in all universities, higher education authority designated colleges and the institutes of technology during the periods December 2014, December 2015 and December 2016 respectively in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 20 June]

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Higher Education Institutions

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

IrelandKevin O’Keeffe (Cork East, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to put in place an independent inquiry into the governance at universities here further to a television programme (details supplied); his plans to carry out a due diligence review of the purchase by a university purchase of an institute (details supplied) in respect of commercial academic and pension related issues; if he has or plans to intervene in the purchase of the institute by the university in view of the fact that its payment of over €20 million is excessive; his plans for a full review of the higher education authority role in view of its inability to effect a culture of good governance at universities …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 20 June]

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Third Level Funding

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

IrelandThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if the €600 million base funding requirement in higher education institutions by 2021 identified by the Cassells report includes the €124 million that has been set aside from the calculation of the fiscal space for demographic increases in third level in 2018 and 2019 …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 20 June]

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My wall of rejection and why it matters

Posted in Research on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

“If I had a magic wand and could change something about academia, I would make it commonplace for people to share their rejections – on blogs, by emailing colleagues, by running to their office neighbours, print-out in hand, saying ‘You won’t believe how awful the review I got this morning was! Come and laugh at it with me over coffee!’ …” (more)

[Nick Hopwood, 21 June]

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Mediation extended!

Posted in Legal issues on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Examiner has reported that the mediation between the four female lecturers taking High Court cases and NUI Galway has been extended for another two weeks! It seems our previous post on Tuesday reporting how it had failed and detailing what we had heard about NUI Galway’s Machiavellian moves may have done some good! …” (more)

[Micheline’s Three Conditions, 23 June]

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Why we need to get rid of STEM

Posted in Research, Teaching on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“On the surface, ‘STEM’ is a harmless acronym, a handy and catchy way of promoting disciplines that, let’s face it, are pretty important in this technological age. But, to an engineer like me who has worked in a science faculty for my whole career, the idea of lumping science and engineering together, along with maths and ‘technology’, seems a bit … simplistic …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 23 June]

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Cases of non-EEA students who wish to remain in Ireland to be heard

Posted in Legal issues on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Supreme Court has agreed to hear appeals by the Minister for Justice with significant implications for many non-European Economic Area people who stayed after coming to Ireland as students before 2011 and wish to continue living and working here. In a published determination, a three judge Supreme Court said it was ‘self-evident’ the issues raised are of general public importance …” (more)

[Mary Carolan, Irish Times, 23 June]

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New campaign urges public-sector workers to reject Lansdowne Road II pay deal

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

Ireland“A new campaign is being launched today to encourage public sector workers to vote against ‘Lansdowne Road II’. The new public-sector pay deal, which will be voted on over the next two months, has so far received a mixed reaction …” (more)

[BreakingNews.ie, 23 June]

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Ulster University ‘optimistic’ on new medical school at Magee

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

“Plans to devlop Northern Ireland’s second medical school in Londonderry have moved a step closer. That is according to representatives of Ulster University (UU) who met with Derry City and Strabane District councillors on Thursday …” (more)

[BBC News, 23 June]

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University president admits ‘best practice’ not used in €1m payout

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

Ireland“The new president of the University of Limerick (UL), Dr Des Fitzgerald, has apologised for ‘inaccurate’ information previously provided to politicians by a senior UL official. He yesterday gave full details of the total value of the payments made to two staff members between 2012 and 2015 at €1.15m. These included severance payments, pension lump sums and consultancy agreements, plus annual pensions of €58,000 and €54,600 a year …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 23 June]

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College bar racks up €700,000 ‘tab’

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

Ireland“Losses at the college bar catering business at one of the country’s largest universities total almost €700,000 since 2013. NUI Galway Student Union Commercial Services Ltd operates the bar and catering services at NUI Galway and the Labour Court heard the business ‘has undergone dramatic changes to ensure its survival’ …” (more)

[Gordon Deegan, Independent, 23 June]

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UL president ‘will not hesitate’ on any breach

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

Ireland“University of Limerick (UL) president Des Fitzgerald says he will not hesitate to take action if a number of ongoing probes uncover any breaches of conduct rules by staff or directors. After his appointment last month, Prof Fitzgerald sought the external inquiry to examine a range of issues as he wants to restore the university’s reputation …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 23 June]

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University of Limerick may have to repay €450k deal

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

Ireland“The University of Limerick (UL) could be forced to repay part of the €450,000 paid in severance to two former managers who were rehired as consultants, TDs have been told. The Dáil Public Accounts Committee (PAC) also heard about the concerns of the Department of Education and Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) Seamus McCarthy that UL may not have given them full details of the 2012 deals …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 23 June]

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