Joe O’Toole Supports Croke Park Deal – My reply

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

“Public sector reform deal is the best we can hope for says NUI Senator. Joe does not mention the requirement to negotiate changed teaching contracts for teachers and lecturers or the agreement to the continued elimination of posts of responsibility in schools and large numbers of lecturing posts at third level …” (more)

[Paddy Healy’s Blog, 31 May]

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Dell secures £500k infrastructure deal with Queen’s

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

“Computer giant Dell has been selected by Queen’s University Belfast to deploy a £500,000 project to improve the computational infrastructure available to the academic research community …” (more)

[John Kennedy, Silicon Republic, 31 May]

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Placing the Blame as Students Are Buried in Debt

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

“Like many middle-class families, Cortney Munna and her mother began the college selection process with a grim determination. They would do whatever they could to get Cortney into the best possible college, and they maintained a blind faith that the investment would be worth it. Today, however, Ms. Munna, a 26-year-old graduate of New York University, has nearly $100,000 in student loan debt …” (more)

[Ron Lieber, New York Times, 28 May]

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Ulster Says No to Creationism

Posted in Life on May 31st, 2010 by steve

“One of the most shocking aspects of life in Ulster for the outside visitor, is the grip fundamentalist Christianity has upon the Protestant community. I arrived here 2 years ago as an aspiring Physics student from England and quickly settled in, making friends on both sides of the divide. However, as a staunch fan of science and the so called ‘new atheist’ movement launched by people such as Professor Richard Dawkins, I was shocked to find out how many of my new friends were literal Christian believers …” (more)

[Daniel Gillen, The Gown, 31 May]

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Can student engagement be increased through social media?

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

“When I was an officer in the Union of Students in Ireland I was working on a participation manual for students’ union to help increase student involvement. This manual was in partnership with our colleagues in NUS – the UK national students’ union. When I left it seemed to fall off USI’s radar. Admittedly social networking was only taking off at that point too …” (more)

[Tallyman, 31 May]

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New house on campus for University of Limerick president cost €2.3m

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

“The new residence for the president of the University of Limerick on campus cost €2.3m, a report to the Minister for Education has confirmed. Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe had requested a report on the development and the sources of its funding, after construction began last year …” (more)

[Limerick Leader, 31 May]

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Weighing up third-level fees

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

“Madam, – The argument for reintroducing third-level fees is largely based on the premise that current policy has not widened access to higher education for traditionally under-represented groups. It is claimed that only the ‘middle classes’ have gained from the abolition of fees. This is not, in fact, the case …” (more)

[Gerry McNamara, Irish Times, 31 May]

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Corporate assaults on university values?

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

“Another day, another report on how universities are all going to the dogs. This one is in the form of a book due to be published in September, but which has been previewed on the rather interesting website Truthout (dedicated to ‘equality, democracy, human rights, accountability and social justice’) …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 31 May]

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Anonymous donor gives €500,000 for Smurfit school MBA scholarships

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

“An anonymous wealthy donor has agreed to provide the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School with €500,000 to help produce the country’s new business elite and fuel the Irish economic recovery …” (more)

[Ciaran Hancock, Irish Times, 31 May]

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Postscript : Academic mobbing in cyberspace

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

“Remarkably, if you scroll down to the end of the petition you find a couple of entries where people have signed up in order to warn others not to sign! It seems that the petition is really treated more as a blog …” (more)

[BishopBlog, 30 May]

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Student fined for bringing UCL into disrepute with FitFinder site

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

“The founder of a student flirting website has been fined £300 for bringing his university into disrepute. The FitFinder, set up last month, combines Twitter and Facebook to allow students to exchange saucy messages on campus. The site received four million hits in its first month and has rapidly expanded to universities across the country …” (more)

[Laura Pitel, Times, 31 May]

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Two year degrees ‘would lead to academic sweatshops’

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

“University staff today attacked any move to introduce two-year degrees, warning they would lead to ‘academic sweatshops’ and hit the quality of education to students. The University and College Union warned that plans for two-year ‘fast-track’ degrees would damage the reputation of UK degrees and would lead to education being delivered ‘on the cheap’ …” (more)

[Sunday Telegraph, 30 May]

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Debt Hunters

Posted in Life on May 31st, 2010 by steve

“You can run, but you can’t hide. In an age where every penny counts, some universities are pulling out all the stops to collect parking ticket debts. Colleges are deploying a full arsenal of weapons, including the use of high-tech equipment to scan parking lots for violators, and the enlistment of collection agencies to hunt down deadbeats …” (more)

[Jack Stripling, Inside Higher Ed, 28 May]

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UCC and Teagasc announce food research agreement

Posted in Research on May 31st, 2010 by steve

“The announcement of a strategic alliance between UCC and Teagasc has paved the way for a single food research programme in Ireland. The agreement will enhance collaboration between the university and the agriculture development body through the sharing of resources and working on a joint programme …” (more)

[Sean Mac Connell, Irish Times, 31 May]

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Cuts could drive the best scientific talent abroad, says Lord Rees

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

“Britain is on the brink of losing its best scientific talent to foreign competition, the head of Britain’s best regarded science establishment has warned. In an interview with The Times, Lord Rees of Ludlow, President of the Royal Society, said that the prospect of swingeing cuts to the science budget meant that universities would struggle to attract the best foreign researchers …” (more)

[Hannah Devlin and Mark Henderson, Times, 29 May]

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Gardaí should investigate harassment – TCD lecturer

Posted in Legal issues on May 30th, 2010 by steve

“A Trinity College lecturer at the centre of an eight-year harassment investigation involving a female colleague has said such claims should be handled by gardaí and not college authorities …” (more)

[Mark Hilliard, Sunday Tribune, 30 May]

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Academic mobbing in cyberspace

Posted in Legal issues on May 30th, 2010 by steve

“… My personal reaction on hearing of the petition was to check a few facts to see if there was another side to the story. The first point to emerge was that neither Evans nor his colleague worked in evolutionary biology or zoology. His post was in a Medical Education Unit in the School of Medicine, and his PhD was in philosophy …” (more)

[BishopBlog, 30 May]

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Money down the silo

Posted in Governance and administration on May 30th, 2010 by steve

“Universities overlook ways to make savings simply because they do not focus on institution-wide schemes. Although the chancellor has just announced £200 million in cuts across the higher education budget, on top of cuts announced by the last administration, there is concern that with a new government and an empty Treasury, more reductions lie ahead …” (more)

[Ray Fleming, Times Higher Education, 30 May]

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‘The Lost Soul of Higher Education: Corporatization, the Assault on Academic Freedom and the End of the American University’

Posted in Governance and administration on May 30th, 2010 by steve

“Ellen Schrecker, a history professor at New York City’s Yeshiva University, starts The Lost Soul of Higher Education with a blunt assessment: ‘In reacting to the economic insecurities of the past forty years, the nation’s colleges and universities have adopted corporate practices that degrade undergraduate instruction, marginalize faculty members, and threaten the very mission of the academy as an institution devoted to the common good’ …” (more)

[Eleanor J Bader, truthout, 28 May]

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More lecturers ‘seeking support’

Posted in Life on May 30th, 2010 by steve

“A teacher support charity says more lecturers in further and higher education are seeking support because of the current funding crisis. Calls to the College and University Support Network rose by a quarter to 10,162 in the year to May 2010 …” (more)

[BBC News, 29 May]

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