Teachers threaten further strike action over Junior Cycle plan

Posted in Teaching on March 31st, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Secondary school teachers are threatening further strike action over plans to reform of the Junior Cycle, predicting the industrial relations dispute will continue into next year. Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) general secretary Pat King said the decision for a third strike date would depend on whether ‘any precipitous action on the part of the department or the Minister’ was taken ….” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 31 March]

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Irish university entrance criteria change welcomed

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 31st, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Sinn Féin MLA Barry McElduff has welcomed the news that Irish universities will now award higher entrance marks to students studying A Levels …” (more)

[Sinn Féin, 31 March]

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NUI Galway accused of gender ‘spin’

Posted in Governance and administration on March 31st, 2015 by steve

Ireland“NUI Galway has been accused of ‘deliberately misinforming’ staff in relation gender equality issues at the university. Senior lecturer, Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, took the unusual step on Wednesday to email around 4,000 staff members over her concerns …” (more)

[Dara Bradley, Galway City Tribune, 31 March]

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Universities need to plug into threat of cyber-attacks

Posted in Governance and administration on March 31st, 2015 by steve

UK“Desirable research plus students’ personal and financial details make universities a juicy target for cyber-criminals. But are they doing anything about it? …” (more)

[Lucy Ward, Guardian, 31 March]

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NUI Galway examining possible data breach

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on March 31st, 2015 by steve

Ireland“NUI Galway (NUIG) said it was examining a possible ‘data breach’ last week relating to personal information of university staff. The university said it was ‘conscious that there may or may not have been a data breach last week and the matter is currently being looked into’ …” (more)

[Lorna Siggins, Irish Times, 31 March]

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UCC scores best rating out of Irish third-level institutions

Posted in Governance and administration on March 31st, 2015 by steve

Ireland“University College Cork has emerged as the country’s top third-level institution in the second release of rankings that aim to give a broad picture of colleges’ strengths and weaknesses. It received 11 A grades out of 16 categories and sub-headings …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 31 March]

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Higher education uncertainties

Posted in Governance and administration on March 31st, 2015 by steve

Scotland“It has been said before in this blog, but this is a time of peculiar uncertainty, and therefore unpredictability, in higher education. In some systems, such as the English one, there appears to be a drift towards a largely private system …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 31 March]

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Science Europe Statement on the use of EU Research Funds to Finance the European Fund for Strategic Investments

Posted in Research on March 30th, 2015 by steve

EU“In December 2014 Science Europe issued a strong warning against cutting funding for Horizon 2020 in order to finance the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), stressing that diversion of resources away from research would undermine Europe’s capacity to secure long-term investment in excellent research and to innovate …” (more)

[Science Europe, 30 March]

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UCD Ball will not take place this year

Posted in Governance and administration on March 30th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“… safety concerns were raised by Gardaí relating to previous balls held on campus. Gardaí also insisted on a full campus closure, which the statement claims that the University were not willing to provide …” (more)

[Cormac Duffy, University Observer, 30 March]

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Irish universities rank high in research output – EU study

Posted in Governance and administration on March 30th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Higher education institutions in Ireland are performing well against their European counterparts in research output and developing links with industry, according to global rankings published today. However, the EU-sponsored U-Multirank suggests Irish universities are falling behind the curve in ‘teaching and learning’, as well as developing internships and other bridges to employment …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 30 March]

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Mixed opinions as European Union-funded ranking effort enters second year

Posted in Governance and administration on March 30th, 2015 by steve

EU“The European Union-sponsored U-Multirank releases its second annual ranking of global universities today. With 31 indicators across five dimensions – teaching and learning, research, knowledge transfer, international orientation, and regional engagement – the U-Multirank project aims to rank a diversity of types of universities on a wider range of measures than do the traditional global rankings …” (more)

[Elizabeth Redden, insidehighered, 30 March]

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More students from urban areas being awarded third-level grants

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 30th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“More students in urban areas are getting grants after the second year of the centralised processing agency SUSI. Massive changes in the geographical spread of student grants are even more pronounced this year …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 30 March]

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Northern Ireland students set to benefit from revised CAO points system

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 30th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“The seven universities in the Republic are set to introduce new admissions procedures that will make it easier for school-leavers from Northern Ireland to gain entry. Under the plan, which will apply to college applicants from September 2016, the Central Applications Office (CAO) points awarded for an A* grade in the A-Level exams will rise from 150 to 180 …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 30 March]

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Encouraging data on third-level grants

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 30th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“SUSI, the single national grant awarding authority, had an inglorious entry on to the Irish stage as it struggled to pay grants to students. Happily, those early stumbles appear over and SUSI has now delivered intriguing data on who gets college grants …” (more)

[Editorial, Independent, 30 March]

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City bypass ‘potentially disastrous’ for NUIG

Posted in Governance and administration on March 30th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“A bypass route dissecting NUI Galway’s lands would be ‘potentially disastrous’, the university’s President has warned. Dr Jim Browne said that two of the routes in particular would be ‘very dangerous’ – because they would cut through the sports pitches or run parallel to the Quincentenary Bridge …” (more)

[Enda Cunningham, Galway City Tribune, 29 March]

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University’s track record in establishing industry partnerships grows

Posted in Research on March 30th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“The University of Limerick (UL) has a long track-record of excellence in manufacturing industry collaboration. This is reflected in its success in establishing world-leading industry partnerships such as the Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC); Lero, the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre; …” (more)

[Barry McCall, Irish Times, 30 March]

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LSE threatens student protesters with legal action to end occupation

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on March 30th, 2015 by steve

UK“The London School of Economics has threatened its students with legal action after they refused to end a sit-in demonstration. Protesters have camped out in one of the university’s main meeting rooms for nearly two weeks, with a range of demands about privatisation, tuition fees and diversity …” (more)

[Martin Williams and Rebecca Ratcliffe, Guardian, 29 March]

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Gender discrimination, Dublin City University style

Posted in Governance and administration on March 29th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“There was, quite properly, a massive outcry about the very intrusive health questionnaire from NUIG. However, what has crept under the table without any debate as far as I can see is a series of adverts ‘for women only’ …” (more)

[Brian M Lucey, 29 March]

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At NCAD, Protests Resulting from the Trappings of a Shift in Ideology

Posted in Governance and administration on March 29th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“A shift in ideology and the resulting student disillusionment has thrown the future of contemporary art in Ireland into a suspended state, following protests of student groups and alumni from the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) …” (more)

[Sinéad Baker, University Times, 28 March]

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The war against humanities at Britain’s universities

Posted in Governance and administration on March 29th, 2015 by steve

UK“A war is being waged within the cloistered world of academia, a war whose repercussions will be felt down through the generations. Long one of Britain’s global success stories, our universities are under attack by an austerity-obsessed government looking to maintain the excellence of our institutions at a fraction of the cost …” (more)

[Alex Preston, The Observer, 29 March]

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