University of Limerick under spotlight of Prime Time investigation

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

Ireland“Financial affairs at the University of Limerick – which are subject to a new independent review – will feature prominently in a major RTE investigation this Tuesday night. RTE’s investigations unit has been working for several months on uncovering how taxpayers’ money is spent in a number of third level institutions …” (more)

[Anne Sheridan, Limerick Leader, 23 May]

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Public sector cost will soon outstrip boomtime levels

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

Ireland“The size and cost of the public service workforce is on course to surpass the boomtime peak next year – even without new pay rises. Senior Department of Finance officials have outlined a tight budget for further wage increases that means its workers will be lucky to get a 1% pay rise next year …” (more)

[Anne-Marie Walsh, Independent, 23 May]

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Gerard Manley Hopkins, a terrible teacher who hated UCD

Posted in Life on May 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“To a non-Irish observer like myself, it does Ireland immense credit that the country has taken Gerard Manley Hopkins so enthusiastically to its heart. It is Ireland, not his native England, that honours the Victorian poet with an annual festival, houses the world’s leading Hopkins archive and gives an annual set of awards in his name …” (more)

[Simon Edge, Irish Times, 22 May]

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‘UL can help boost growth’ in region

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

Ireland“University of Limerick (UL) needs to improve its world ranking if it the region is to realise its potential economically, its incoming president has said. In his first address as president-elect of UL, Desmond Fitzgerald told the May business lunch of Limerick Civic Trust a key objective of the university was attracting international students because investment in the region would follow, adding that it had to also think of itself as a national, rather than a regional, university …” (more)

[Pádraig Hoare, Irish Examiner, 23 May]

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TCD entry requirements

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

Ireland“Sir, – John McAvoy (May 18th) takes issue with a pilot admissions programme that looks at alternative entry requirements for just 25 students every year. This programme requires a personal statement from students but it is wrong to suggest that this is the only requirement …” (more)

[Gillian Martin, Irish Times, 23 May]


Students first?

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

“A survey in the United States of America has found that ‘nearly three out of five Americans believe that higher-education leaders put the long-term interests of their institutions first over the needs of students’. This is, I suppose, a variant of the view held by some in this part of the world that managerialist higher education leaders prioritise business projects over educational excellence …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 22 May]

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Minister Bruton and Minister Halligan welcome latest rolling review project for the Higher Education Sector

Posted in Research on May 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Higher Education Authority (HEA) and Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) are to commission a review of Intellectual Property (IP) policies and their implementation and the policies and procedures in the HEIs for the management of Conflicts of Interest in respect of the commercialisation of intellectual property …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 22 May]

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New University of Limerick chief to deal with damaging allegations

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

Ireland“On his first day as the new president of University of Limerick earlier this month, Dr Des Fitzgerald sat down to to write a short email. Until then, the college had firmly rejected calls for an independent inquiry into a series of damaging allegations relating to financial irregularities and human resources practices …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 23 May]

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Dogs help calm Ulster University students ahead of exams

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

“Dogs have been bringing relaxation and calmness to students revising for sitting exams at Ulster University (UU). The university’s students union is behind the scheme, which has been running across a number of its campuses …” (more)

[BBC News, 22 May]

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But what is critical thinking?

Posted in Teaching on May 22nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Since I wrote this letter to the Irish Times earlier this week, I’ve been thinking about what critical thinking actually is. Basically, I believe that all of what we call critical thinking is recall; it’s not some mysterious process somehow separated from more ‘normal’ mental processes like remembering who won the FA cup in 1973 or what the longest river in the world is …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 22 March]


University of Limerick review based on at least a dozen allegations

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on May 22nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“At least a dozen protected disclosures or allegations are likely to form the basis of an independent review into allegations of misconduct at University of Limerick. The Department of Education has outlined the terms of reference for the reviews which will focus on governance, human resources and financial practices at the college …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 21 May]

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Like Welfare Cheats, Essay Mills are not the Problem the Government is Suggesting They Are

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

Ireland“Richard Bruton, Minister for Education and Skills, has identified a problem that few others considered as such: ‘unfair’ essay mills, whereby students buy their written academic work online. Leaving aside the fact that there is little evidence – either anecdotally or seriously – to indicate that essay mills are indeed a problem large enough to distort student outcomes, this seems like yet another example of the government diverting our attention away from more important concerns …” (more)

[University Times, 21 May]


Public service unions divided ahead of crucial pay talks

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

Ireland“Talks on a new pay deal for about 300,000 State employees get under way today with the main Government party, Fine Gael, in the midst of electing a new leader and public-service unions divided on their strategic objectives. It had been envisaged that talks could run for about a fortnight …” (more)

[Martin Wall, Irish Times, 22 May]

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Post-Brexit, We Must Resist Turning Education into a Mechanism to Attract Corporations

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

Ireland“As talk turns to leadership races, possible elections and the coronation of a new Taoiseach, one peripheral issue is becoming linked to another, more central issue. Higher education funding – a debate that was around long before the word ‘Brexit’ even existed – is now inextricably linked to what Ireland will look like once the UK leaves the EU …” (more)

[University Times, 21 May]

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Failure to invest properly in higher education will damage our future economic prosperity

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

Ireland“An unwillingness by Ireland’s current parliamentary structures to take difficult decisions is demonstrated by the Government’s latest proposal to plug the higher education funding gap with a 40% increase in the levy paid by employers to the National Training Fund (NTF) …” (more)

[Danny McCoy, Independent, 22 May]


‘DCU had to be a university that could take in young people from the local areas’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“During the 1980s, university was a pathway open to the elite, upper-middle class and those academically fortunate to win a scholarship. Free fees were still a few years away and programmes for young people traditionally locked out of third-level education were non-existent …” (more)

[, 21 May]

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Students count cost of failed exams as colleges make millions from resit fees

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Universities are earning millions of euro in exam ‘resit fees’ charged to students who fail to make the grade first time round. As exam season gets under way, new figures reveal third level colleges enjoy a huge annual cash boost from a range of ‘fees’ …” (more)

[Mark O’Regan, Independent, 21 May]

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All-Ireland Work Visa for Graduates is Needed to Cope with Brexit, says Ulster University Head

Posted in Governance and administration on May 20th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Vice-Chancellor of Ulster University, Paddy Nixon, has called for the introduction of an all-Ireland work visa for students after they graduate, adding to calls for Irish and UK governments to address the challenges facing universities post-Brexit …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath, University Times, 19 May]

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Prominent academic serving jail term for sex abuse of nephew

Posted in Legal issues on May 20th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A prominent legal academic who authored a definitive legal text now in its eighth edition is serving a 10-year sentence for sexually abusing his nephew …” (more)

[Conor Lally, Irish Times, 20 May]


Institutes of Technology Funding: Waterford IT

Posted in Governance and administration on May 19th, 2017 by steve

IrelandDavid Cullinane (Waterford, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if there are cost cutting plans being considered by Waterford Institute of Technology including redundancies, curtailment of campus opening hours and cuts in course contact hours; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 18 May]

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