Reffing Madness

Posted in Governance and administration, Research on June 30th, 2012 by steve

“I’m motivated to make a quick post in order to direct you to a blog post by David Colquhoun that describes the horrendous behaviour of the management at Queen Mary, University of London in response to the Research Excellence Framework. It seems that wholesale sackings are in the pipeline there as a result of a management strategy to improve the institution’s standing in the league tables by ‘restructuring’ some departments …” (more)

[In the Dark, 30 June]

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Irish performance in QS rankings: Comparison with last year

Posted in Governance and administration on June 30th, 2012 by steve

Comparison of 2012 figures with 2011 figures (in parentheses), based on ranking within the top 200. There are some methodological differences between the two surveys, discussed here.

New entrants (weren’t ranked in 2011 but are ranked in 2012)
51-100 Education: TCD (-)
51-100 Electrical Engineering: TCD (-)
101-150 Geography: NUIM (-)
101-150 Law: NUIG (-)
101-150 Modern Languages: UCC (-)
101-150 Pharmacy & Pharmacology: UCC (-)
101-150 Pharmacy & Pharmacology: TCD (-)
151-200 Communication & Media Studies: DCU (-)
151-200 Computer Science: NUIG (-)
151-200 Education: UCD (-)
151-200 English Language & Literature: UCC (-)
151-200 Geography: UCC (-)
151-200 Modern Languages: UCD (-)
151-200 Pharmacy & Pharmacology: UCD (-)

2012 Improved rank on 2011
14 English Language & Literature: TCD (32)
49 English Language & Literature: UCD (51-100)
40 Geography: TCD (51-100)
38 History: TCD (39)
45 Politics & International Studies: TCD (50)
51-100 Computer Science: TCD (101-150)

Ranked the same in 2012 and 2011
51-100 Biological Sciences: TCD (51-100)
51-100 Computer Science: UCD (51-100)
51-100 Economics & Econometrics: TCD (51-100)
51-100 Electrical Engineering: TCD (51-100)
51-100 History: UCD (51-100)
51-100 Law: TCD (51-100)
51-100 Medicine: TCD (51-100)
51-100 Modern Languages: TCD (51-100)
51-100 Philosophy: TCD (51-100)
101-150 Accounting & Finance: UCD (101-150)
101-150 Biological Sciences: UCC (101-150)
101-150 Electrical Engineering: UCC (101-150)
101-150 Environmental Sciences: TCD (101-150)
101-150 Environmental Sciences: UCC (101-150)
101-150 Medicine: UCD (101-150)
151-200 Earth & Marine Sciences: UCC (151-200)
151-200 Electrical Engineering: UCD (151-200)
151-200 Medicine: UCC (151-200)
151-200 Physics & Astronomy: UCD (151-200)

2012 worsened rank on 2011
51-100 Chemistry: TCD (36)
51-100 Mathematics: TCD (15)
51-100 Physics: TCD (49)
51-100 Psychology: TCD (48)
51-100 Sociology: TCD (48)
101-150 Accounting & Finance: TCD (51-100)
101-150 Chemical Engineering: UCD (51-100)
101-150 Civil Engineering: UCD (51-100)
101-150 Economics & Econometrics: UCD (51-100)
101-150 Geography: UCD (51-100)
101-150 Law: UCD (51-100)
101-150 Law: UCC (51-100)
101-150 Mechanical Engineering: TCD (51-100)
101-150 Philosophy: UCD (51-100)
101-150 Politics & International Studies: UCD (51-100)
101-150 Sociology: UCD (51-100)
151-200 Biological Sciences: UCD (101-150)
151-200 Chemistry: UCD (101-150)
151-200 Civil Engineering: TCD (51-100)
151-200 Mechanical Engineering: NUIG (101-150)
151-200 Psychology: UCD (51-100)

Dropped out (were ranked in 2011 but not in 2012)
Biological Sciences: NUIG (151-200)
Chemical Engineeing: NUIG (101-150)
Chemical Engineering: UCC (151-200)
Chemistry: UCC (151-200)
Earth Science: NUIG (151-200)
Earth Science: TCD (101-150)
Earth Science: UCD (151-200)
Electrical Engineering: DIT (151-200)
Electrical Engineering: NUIG (151-200)
Environmental Science: UCD (101-150)
Mathematics: UCC (151-200)
Mathematics: UCD (101-150)
Mechnical Engineering: UCC (51-100)
Mechanical Engineering: UCD (151-200)
Metallurgy: UCD (151-200)
Physics: UCC (151-200)

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Terms agreed for future public service parting deal

Posted in Governance and administration on June 30th, 2012 by steve

“The government and public service trade unions have reached agreement on the terms to apply in the event a of a new voluntary redundancy scheme being introduced in the future. The formula will involve the payment of three weeks’ pay for each year of service plus statutory entitlement …” (more)

[Martin Wall, Irish Times, 30 June]

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QS World subject ranking – UK universities

Posted in Governance and administration on June 30th, 2012 by steve

“The Guardian has a summary of UK universities’ performance in the latest QS subject rankings and it looks like Oxford comes out top …” (more)

[Registrarism, 30 June]

I can’t blame young people from turning away from further education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 30th, 2012 by steve

“There has been yet more awful news about the adult world of employment that the young people of this country are now expected to contend with. First, the number of 16- to 18-year-olds staying on at school has dropped for the first time in a decade. This is put down to the withdrawal of education maintenance allowance and the hike in tuition fees …” (more)

[Deborah Orr, Guardian, 30 June]

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Research projects to share €39m funding

Posted in Research on June 30th, 2012 by steve

“Thirty advanced research projects are to share funding worth €39 million, allocated under the latest State investment in scientific research via Science Foundation Ireland. The cash will support the work of 151 scientists in areas including cancer, obesity, renewable energy and communications networks …” (more)

Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times, 30 June]

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‘Grey students’ set to take universities by storm

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 30th, 2012 by steve

“A grey revolution is about to take place in Britain’s higher education institutions from September, when part-time students become eligible for loans to cover the cost of their courses for the first time. Under the new rules, there will be no age limit as to who can apply …” (more)

[Richard Garner, Independent, 30 June]

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Fraud Detection Method Called Credible But Used Like an ‘Instrument of Medieval Torture’

Posted in Legal issues, Research on June 30th, 2012 by steve

“Has Uri Simonsohn, a social psychologist at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, discovered a new way to detect scientific fraud just by subjecting the data in published papers to a novel type of statistical analysis? That’s a question social psychologists and statisticians are asking after an investigative commission at Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands …” (more)

[Martin Enserink, ScienceInsider, 29 June]

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Citation Cartel Journals Denied 2011 Impact Factor

Posted in Research on June 30th, 2012 by steve

“Thomson Reuters released the 2011 edition of the Journal Citation Report (JCR) on Thursday, promoting increased coverage of regional journals and listing 526 new journals receiving their first journal impact factor. Far less conspicuous was a list of 51 journals that were suspended from this year’s report due to ‘anomalous citation patterns’ …” (more)

[Phil Davis, The Scholarly Kitchen, 29 June]

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Our universities fall for the glitter of foreign gold

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 30th, 2012 by steve

“As a Telegraph investigation shows, the number of high-paying overseas students is soaring, but at what price to our venerable institutions? …” (more)

[Peter Stanford, Daily Telegraph, 29 June]

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Record number of journals banned for boosting impact factor with self-citations

Posted in Research on June 29th, 2012 by steve

“More research journals than ever are boosting their impact factors by self-citation. Every year, Thomson Reuters, the firm that publishes the impact factor rankings, takes action against the most extreme offenders by banning them from appearing in the latest lists. It lets them in again, suitably chastened, a couple of years later …” (more)

[Richard Van Noorden, Nature News Blog, 29 June]

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Uni rankings get C for confused

Posted in Governance and administration on June 29th, 2012 by steve

“Australian National University is the 24th best university in the world in media and communications, according to the newest league table, 2012 QS World University Rankings by Subject. But ANU doesn’’t offer media and communications …” (more)

[Julie Hare, The Australian, 30 June]

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Openness costs

Posted in Research on June 29th, 2012 by steve

“Britain has become involved in something of a national debate recently over access to the research literature. And within the past week, two reports have appeared that will be relevant to researchers everywhere …” (more)

[Editorial, Nature, 28 June]

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QS World University Rankings by Subject 2012

Posted in Governance and administration on June 29th, 2012 by steve

University departments world-wide are ranked by subject. Irish departments in the world top 200 are as follows:

In Top 50:
English Language & Literature: TCD (14), UCD (49)
Geography: TCD (40)
History: TCD (38)
Politics & International Studies: TCD (45)

51-100:
Biological Sciences: TCD
Chemistry: TCD
Computer Science: TCD, UCD
Economics & Econometrics: TCD
Education: TCD
Electrical Engineering: TCD
History: UCD
Law: TCD
Mathematics: TCD
Medicine: TCD
Modern Languages: TCD
Philosophy: TCD
Physics and Astronomy: TCD
Psychology: TCD
Sociology: TCD

101-150:
Accounting & Finance: TCD, UCD
Biological Sciences: UCC
Chemical Engineering: UCD
Civil Engineering: UCD
Economics & Econometrics: UCD
Electrical Engineering: UCC
Environmental Sciences: TCD, UCC
Geography: NUIM, UCD
Law: NUIG, UCC, UCD
Mechanical Engineering: TCD
Medicine: UCD
Modern Languages: UCC
Pharmacy & Pharmacology: TCD, UCC
Philosophy: UCD
Politics & International Studies: UCD
Sociology: UCD

151-200:
Biological Sciences: UCD
Chemistry: UCD
Civil Engineering: TCD
Communication & Media Studies: DCU
Computer Science: NUIG
Earth & Marine Sciences: UCC
Education: UCD
Electrical Engineering: UCD
English Language & Literature: UCC
Geography: UCC
Mechanical Engineering: NUIG
Medicine: UCC
Modern Languages: UCD
Pharmacy & Pharmacology: UCD
Psychology: UCD
Physics & Astronomy: UCD

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New €39m investment in scientific research to facilitate commercialisation and create jobs – Bruton

Posted in Research on June 29th, 2012 by steve

“The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, today Friday, June 29th 2012 announced funding totalling €39 million for 30 flagship scientific research projects. Administered via Science Foundation Ireland’s SFI ‘Principal Investigator’ PI Programme, the projects will be supported through to 2015 …” (more)

[Science Foundation Ireland, 29 June]

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National student survey reveals dissatisfaction with college courses

Posted in Teaching on June 29th, 2012 by steve

“An Ireland-wide student survey by Campus.ie has revealed that almost half of third-level students are unhappy with their chosen college course and would choose differently if given the chance to do it over again …” (more)

[Elaine Burke, Silicon Republic, 29 June]

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Graduation rituals

Posted in Life on June 29th, 2012 by steve

“I’ve been feeling a bit sorry for our undergraduates this year. I’m not sure that May Balls etc give the image of Cambridge that I would most like to project, but I really don’t see why they shouldnt let their hair down, binge drink or whatever for a week – because almost all of them have been working themselves sick for months …” (more)

[Mary Beard, A Don’s Life, 29 June]

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QS World University Rankings by Subject 2012 Release

Posted in Governance and administration on June 29th, 2012 by steve

“A second round of global comparisons of universities and specialist institutions in 29 subjects will begin to be published on Friday, 29th of June. The new QS World University Rankings by Subject will be released in four tranches, beginning with the social sciences …” (more)

[John O’Leary, QS Intelligence Unit, 27 June]

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Learning boom as numbers rise 17%

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 29th, 2012 by steve

“Ireland’s colleges have been feeling the impact of a ‘student boom’ – with a 17% rise in the number of people returning to education. The effects of the downturn were starkly depicted in the number of men signing up to become full-time students …” (more)

[Louise Hogan, Independent, 29 June]

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Howlin says both sides must adhere to Croke Park deal

Posted in Governance and administration on June 29th, 2012 by steve

“As long as the public service unions adhere to their side of the Croke Park agreement, the Government will stick to its side, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform has insisted …” (more)

[Marie O’Halloran, Irish Times, 29 June]

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