Survey: European PhD Students Underfunded, Unaware of Rights

Posted in Life, Research on September 30th, 2011 by steve

“Money is the most pressing concern for European doctoral students, according to the first Europewide survey of working conditions for young researchers, which is set to be released today. The study also found that many PhD students aren’t fully aware of their contractual rights and obligations …” (more)

[Barbara Casassus, ScienceInsider, 30 September]

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Pension changes ‘larcenous’, illegal, say teacher unions

Posted in Legal issues, Life on September 30th, 2011 by steve

“New pensions legislation which aims to cut the cost of the public sector pension bill by 35% has been described as ‘larcenous’ and illegal by the main unions representing teachers. The secondary teachers union, the ASTI, said it was considering challenging the measures in the courts …” (more)

[Paul Cullen, Irish Times, 30 September]

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So, what makes a great university?

Posted in Governance and administration on September 30th, 2011 by steve

“In anticipation of the publication shortly of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the THE has invited Twitter followers to declare succinctly what makes a university great …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 30 September]

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Quinn ‘powerless’ to get teacher details

Posted in Teaching on September 30th, 2011 by steve

“Education Minister Ruairi Quinn is powerless to compel schools to reveal the number of unqualified maths teachers in Irish classrooms. He has twice ordered the Teaching Council to survey all second-level schools …” (more)

[Breda Heffernan, Independent, 30 September]

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Maths issues cannot be looked at in isolation

Posted in Teaching on September 29th, 2011 by steve

“The Teachers’ Union of Ireland has warned that any further increase in the pupil teacher ratio will have hugely negative repercussions for the teaching of maths in Irish schools …” (more)

[Teachers’ Union of Ireland, 29 September]

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Ireland: a strong knowledge economy

Posted in Research on September 29th, 2011 by steve

“I take issue with Mojgan Naghavi’s and Derek Walsh’s critique of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI; Nature 476, 399; 2011). Ireland has moved steadily up the country rankings of research performance and is now in the top 20, according to Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators …” (more)

[Graham Love, Nature, 28 September]

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DCU researchers awarded €2m R&D funding under FP7

Posted in Research on September 29th, 2011 by steve

“Researchers at the CLARITY R&D operation at Dublin City University have been awarded €2m under the European Framework (FP7) for projects that includes research into video sensors on next generation CCTV tracking systems …” (more)

[John Kennedy, Silicon Republic, 29 September]

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Skibbereen third-level college plans

Posted in Governance and administration on September 29th, 2011 by steve

“Plans to develop a third-level horticulture college in the Skibbereen area are at an advanced stage and follow on a recommendation by local resident David Puttnam that the West Cork region would be ideal as a centre for horticulture development …” (more)

[Carol Gilbert, Southern Star, 29 September]

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When You Can’t Afford 10 Euro of Data

Posted in Life on September 29th, 2011 by steve

“When I try to entice third level students to take their creative multimedia course material home in their pockets, I discover a lot of them don’t have 10 euro extra each month for data charges. The single biggest impediment weighing against more extensive use mobile data is the simple issue of running cost and the price-sensitive region is 10 euro …” (more)

[Bernie Goldbach, Inside View from Ireland, 29 September]

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Unshackled minds help institutions to conquer the greatest heights

Posted in Legal issues, Life on September 29th, 2011 by steve

“… The absence of legislative protection for academic freedom in the US led to the 1970 AAUP Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom and Tenure, which has become the quasi-legal guarantor of individual academic freedom there. We examined the degree to which universities complied with the main elements of the AAUP statement in a sample of the 100 largest and most research-active private and public universities to discover the level of protection for academic freedom in the US …” (more)

[Terence Karran, Times Higher Education, 29 September]

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Labour’s tuition fees policy: first or fail?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 29th, 2011 by steve

“This week Labour’s announcement to back tuition fees at £6,000 has dominated the higher education agenda. But it’s drawn both praise and criticism, and so I’ve taken the decision to award it both a first and a fail, and look at its strength and weaknesses …” (more)

[Aaron Porter, Guardian Professional, 29 September]

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EU higher education gets with the programme

Posted in Governance and administration on September 29th, 2011 by steve

“Last week the European Commission launched a reform strategy for the modernisation of higher education in Europe. The title is revealing: Supporting Jobs and Growth – an agenda for the modernisation of Europe’s higher education systems …” (more)

[Conor O’Carroll, Irish Times, 29 September]

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One-third of people teaching maths not qualified to do so

Posted in Teaching on September 29th, 2011 by steve

“One-third of people teaching maths at second level schools are not fully qualified to do so, but schools fear the situation could get worse instead of improving …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 29 September]

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Proposals will hurt teacher education

Posted in Teaching on September 29th, 2011 by steve

“Open Letter to the Minister for Education, Ruairi Quinn: The education of primary school teachers is of paramount importance. In this context it is disappointing that new and highly controversial proposals from the Department of Education …” (more)

[Members of staff from Mary Immaculate College, Irish Examiner, 29 September]

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Higgins gets biggest applause as candidates appeal to students

Posted in Life on September 29th, 2011 by steve

“Several presidential candidates made appeals for the young vote last night at a debate in University College Dublin. Fine Gael’s Gay Mitchell and Labour’s Michael D Higgins joined independent candidates Mary Davis and Seán Gallagher to argue for the motion: ‘This house believes the presidency is relevant to the young people of Ireland’ …” (more)

[Cían Nihill, Irish Times, 29 September]

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What’s another year?

Posted in Teaching on September 29th, 2011 by steve

“How long should a degree programme fit for the modern world be? Two years? Three? Four? More? This is an issue that is certain to be increasingly hotly debated, as both universities and governments search for ways in which public money can be saved …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 29 September]

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The Cultural Life of Universities

Posted in Life on September 29th, 2011 by steve

“I am sure that much of the research is there in one form or another, but I am still surprised by how little has been made of the impact of universities on the cultural life of cities, regions, and nations, except in endless reports, prompted by the need to show universities’ mainly economic contribution to culture and the cultural industries …” (more)

[Nigel Thrift, Chronicle of Higher Education, 28 September]

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Waterford Institute of Technology

Posted in Governance and administration on September 28th, 2011 by steve

Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the schedule for fast tracking the application of Waterford Institute of Technology to full university designation. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the process involved and criteria that have been determined in order to assess the application of Waterford Institute of Technology as a university …” (more)

[Dáil Éireann Written Answers, 27 September]

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Change at the Helm of SFI

Posted in Research on September 28th, 2011 by steve

“Mr John Travers, who has been acting-Director General of Science Foundation Ireland SFI for the past ten months, will, be stepping down as Director General in mid-October on completion of his term of office …” (more)

[SFI, 28 September]

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Princeton bans academics from handing all copyright to journal publishers

Posted in Legal issues on September 28th, 2011 by steve

“Prestigious US academic institution Princeton University has banned researchers from giving the copyright of scholarly articles to journal publishers, except in certain cases where a waiver may be granted. The new rule is part of an Open Access policy aimed at broadening the reach of their scholarly work …” (more)

[Sunanda Creagh, The Conversation, 28 September]

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