The Way We Learn

Posted in Governance and administration on January 31st, 2010 by steve

“In the four rigorously reasonable essays in The Marketplace of Ideas, Louis Menand takes up four questions about American higher education: ‘Why is it so hard to institute a general education curriculum? Why did the humanities disciplines undergo a crisis of legitimation? Why has ‘interdisciplinarity’ become a magic word? And why do professors all tend to have the same politics?’ …” (more)

[Michael Bérubé, New York Times, 29 January]

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Educating the Minister

Posted in Governance and administration on January 31st, 2010 by steve

“I see the Minister for Education thinks academics don’t work. We need to get him into a college so he can be properly informed.” (tweet)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Twitter, 31 January]

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Melvyn Bragg gives archive of life’s work to Leeds University

Posted in Legal issues on January 31st, 2010 by steve

“He is already a byword for unremitting graft, with 21 novels, 13 historical studies and a couple of children’s books to his name, as well as separate careers in academia, broadcasting and politics. But now the world has been given half a tonne of further material by Lord Melvyn Bragg to explore, including an unpublished novel and 60 boxes of ideas, draft scripts and short stories which even the writer, said, he had half-forgotten …” (more)

[Martin Wainwright, Guardian, 31 January]

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UL house must host official events

Posted in Governance and administration on January 31st, 2010 by steve

“The president of the University of Limerick will avoid a 10 per cent pay cut by using his controversial new home on the college campus for university events. There was criticism of the university last week for spending €1.1 million on building a luxury five-bedroom home for its president, Professor Don Barry. But the house could have become a bigger headache for the president – and hit him in the pocket …” (more)

[Martha Kearns, Sunday Business Post, 31 January]

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Public sector strikers will be suspended – Lenihan

Posted in Governance and administration on January 31st, 2010 by steve

“The government will suspend public sector workers who refuse to carry out their duties as part of the campaign of industrial action against the recent pay cuts, according to an agreed strategy drawn up for the cabinet. The Sunday Tribune has learned that finance minister Brian Lenihan circulated a special memo to cabinet ministers last week on this issue. The memo outlined a ‘coordinated approach’ for government departments to deal with the public sector union’s campaign …” (more)

[Shane Coleman and Martin Frawley, Sunday Tribune, 31 January]

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Encouraging Clues on Tomorrow’s Budget for Research Fans

Posted in Research on January 31st, 2010 by steve

“The New York Times offers vague hints about good news for supporters of scientific research in the budget that will be released at 10 a.m. tomorrow. Given the lack of detail, the news reads like a sanctioned leak from the White House, as opposed to a story the paper wrote after obtaining budget documents …” (more)

[Eli Kintisch, Science Insider, 31 January]

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Who is in the driving seat?

Posted in Governance and administration on January 31st, 2010 by steve

“A very accessible, simple overview by Mike Boxall in the most recent edition of the Times Higher on what the drivers and options might be for the future development of universities and how future provision might be delivered: the Government will not support Higher Education as an end in itself, but expects funding to be tied to delivery of public policy objectives …” (more)

[Intersecting sets, 31 January]

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Honan goals flatten UL

Posted in Life on January 31st, 2010 by steve

“Extra-time goals proved to be the difference as UCC qualified for the final of the Waterford Crystal Cup after they overcame UL yesterday in Buttevant by 4-16 to 2-14. The reigning Fitzgibbon Cup holders, UCC were within five minutes of being beaten as they trailed by 2-9 to 0-10 after 55 minutes …” (more)

[Marie Crowe, Independent, 31 January]

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Colleges leaving their mark

Posted in Life on January 31st, 2010 by steve

“They’re not exactly flavour of the month amongst intercounty managers, but third-level sides are determined to leave their mark on the 2010 pre-season GAA fare. Tomorrow, DCU contest the semi-final of the O’Byrne Cup, Sligo IT are challenging strongly for a spot in the FBD League final and there’ll definitely be a student side in Munster’s Waterford Crystal Cup hurling competition as UCC and UL go toe to toe in today’s semi-final …” (more)

[Fintan O’Toole, Irish Examiner, 30 January]

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Cash-starved universities in crisis

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 31st, 2010 by steve

“Last Thursday in Leinster House, the heads of the seven Irish universities were hauled before the Oireachtas Committee on Education. They were there to discuss the issue of fees and their impact on students, but throughout the course of the hearing, a much more startling pictured emerged. The message was clear: Irish academia is in deep crisis …” (more)

[Daniel McConnell, Independent, 31 January]

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Organising the Comparative Slavery module

Posted in Teaching on January 31st, 2010 by steve

“… During the first hour of the seminar I managed to shock them with my intention to use social media in the class. I immediately noticed that they were divided in three distinct groups: the excited ones, the indifferent ones and the appalled ones. They all shared, though, the same concerns about how this is going to work. No matter what their personal beliefs about social media were, they have never used them as an educational tool …” (more)

[Constantina Katsari, Roman and American Slavery, 31 January]

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New commissioner to fight for research area

Posted in Research on January 31st, 2010 by steve

“Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, nominated as the next EU Commissioner for research, science and innovation, has promised the European Parliament to complete a European Research Area where researchers’ work can be undertaken in all 27 member states. In a confirmation hearing in Brussels, she also promised to address European society’s ‘grand challenges’ during her five-year mandate …” (more)

[David Haworth, University World News, 31 January]

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College ‘gender gap’ favouring women stops growing

Posted in Life on January 31st, 2010 by steve

“More men are attending college and graduating with a bachelor’s degree, reversing the tendency of female undergraduates to outnumber men and outperform them academically, according to a new report published last week. One notable exception is young Hispanic men, especially new immigrants, who are falling further behind Hispanic women …” (more)

[Eric Gorski, University World News, 31 January]

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A chance for European universities

Posted in Governance and administration on January 31st, 2010 by steve

“Former Dutch Education Minister and current President of Maastricht University, Jo Ritzen, has placed an extensive book draft on a website for comment. A Chance for European Universities is available for comments until 1 March 2010 and will be published by Amsterdam University Press in May. The book is a goldmine of comparative country statistics on economic and social trends of relevance to higher education policies in Europe. It includes sophisticated, well- documented analyses on the impacts of university rankings on European university performance …” (more)

[Jan Petter Myklebust, University World News, 31 January]

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WTO creates chairs at 14 universities

Posted in Teaching on January 31st, 2010 by steve

“The World Trade Organization has launched a new programme of support for teaching, research and outreach activities at 14 universities in the developing world. It says the WTO Chairs Programme will assist national academic institutions to ‘provide students with a deeper understanding of trade policy issues’ …” (more)

[University World News, 31 January]

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EUA promotes full costing

Posted in Governance and administration on January 31st, 2010 by steve

“Two projects aimed at improving the ability of European universities to meet the challenges posed by the EU’s Lisbon Strategy for increasing the union’s technical competitiveness are to be launched by the European University Association. The programmes reflect a need for new tools and methodologies if Europe’s higher education sector is to play its part in equipping the EU to compete successfully in tomorrow’s world …” (more)

[Alan Osborn, University World News, 31 January]

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Report advocates better research conditions

Posted in Research on January 31st, 2010 by steve

“With a new EU Research Commissioner about to be appointed and lobbying expected to be underway soon over the shape of the eighth EU framework programme on research, the League of European Research Universities has released a major report, Harvesting talent: strengthening research careers in Europe. The report outlines the league’s position on changes in the European research community it believes are necessary to attract the world’s strongest and most brilliant new researchers into European university research posts …” (more)

[Emma Jackson, University World News, 31 January]

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Erasmus Mundus gets good marks

Posted in Teaching on January 31st, 2010 by steve

“The European Commission’s Erasmus Mundus programme of 2004-08, designed to promote the EU as a global ‘centre of excellence’ in learning, has been judged a success though changes in financing may have to be made if it is to continue in its present form …” (more)

[Alan Osborn, University World News, 31 January]

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Think tank: university challenges for Ireland

Posted in Governance and administration on January 31st, 2010 by steve

“How many world-class universities can Ireland afford? Seven is too many if we’re talking about comprehensive world-class research institutions with undergraduate education, postgraduate training and research. As chairman of the London School of Economics, I have some insight into the cost of running such entities and the ferocity of the competition, and I can’t see how Ireland can afford this …” (more)

[Peter Sutherland, Sunday Times, 31 January]

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Fury at UL’s €3m ‘second residence’ of president

Posted in Governance and administration on January 31st, 2010 by steve

“The University of Limerick’s controversial building of a new multi-million euro house for its president Don Barry went ahead despite the college already owning a second ‘president’s house’ in Killaloe, Co Clare, the Sunday Independent can reveal. It has emerged that the new campus house, which Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe called ‘lavish’, will cost more than €3m, far higher than the original estimated figure of €1.5m, at a time when the college has accumulated debts of over €3m …” (more)

[Daniel McConnell, Sunday Independent, 31 January]

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