SIPTU members to strike at Tyndall National Institute in UCC

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

Ireland“SIPTU members at the Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork (UCC) will undertake three days of work stoppages in May, beginning tomorrow (Friday, 1st May), during which pickets will be placed on entrances to the facility from 7.00 am to 5.00 pm …” (more)

[SIPTU, 30 April]

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University rankings undermine access policies, conference hears

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on April 30th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“University league tables are incentivising higher education institutions to chase international talent at the expense of local students from disadvantaged backgrounds, third-level analysts have warned …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 30 April]

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LSE takes legal action to evict occupying student protesters

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

UK“The London School of Economics is taking legal action against students who have been occupying a central administration room since March. The students, who call themselves the Free University of London, are protesting against university privatisation, tuition fees and a lack of diversity in higher education …” (more)

[Natalie Gil, Guardian, 30 April]

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Ireland’s UCC, UCD, DCU and Trinity perform well across latest college rankings

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

Ireland“The results of two new global college ranking lists are in and it’s good news for Irish colleges. Ireland has three STEM courses listed in the top 50 worldwide in their category, while Dublin City University (DCU) has rocketed up a new colleges list …” (more)

[Gordon Hunt, Silicon Republic, 30 April]

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Gender equality high court case begins as campaign raises €2000 in 2 weeks to support 5 women lecturers

Posted in Legal issues on April 30th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Four of the five female lecturers who were passed over for promotion in 2009 along with Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington have now submitted papers to the high court. The papers have also been served on the president of NUI Galway, Dr Jim Browne …” (more)

[Micheline’s Three Conditions, 30 April]

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Student suspended from Queen’s University Belfast over child porn convictions loses High Court challenge to sanction

Posted in Legal issues on April 30th, 2015 by steve

UK“A student suspended from Queen’s University in Belfast over child porn convictions has lost his High Court challenge to the sanction. A judge ruled today that the 21-year-old engineering undergraduate must first take his case before an independent Board of Visitors …” (more)

[Alan Erwin, Belfast Telegraph, 30 April]

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Why are UK universities still relying on journal impact factors?

Posted in Research on April 30th, 2015 by steve

UK“If you work in the sciences, you will be all too aware of the journal impact factor (JIF). The requirement for ‘publications in high impact journals’ has become a staple of job advertisements, and the achievement of this goal is emblazoned across research group websites as evidence of gloriousness …” (more)

[CDBU, 30 April]

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Four female lecturers at NUI Galway initiate High Court case against college

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

Ireland“Female lecturers who were passed over for promotion at NUI, Galway have initiated a High Court case against the college. Four of the five women who were shortlisted for promotion along with Dr Micheline Sheehy Skeffington only to be passed over are taking the case …” (more)

[Caroline Crawford, Independent, 30 April]

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Examiners give hugely different marks

Posted in Teaching on April 30th, 2015 by steve

UK“Undergraduates awarded low scores for their work may receive top marks if they are graded by another academic, a study suggests. As part of the study into inconsistent marking, 24 academics in four disciplines were recruited from 20 UK universities and each asked to mark five pieces of student work …” (more)

[Jack Grove, Times Higher Education, 30 April]

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Unions back female NUIG lecturers in court actions over promotions

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

Ireland“Four female lecturers at NUI Galway (NUIG) have secured trade union backing for two court challenges which they are pursuing over lack of promotion. The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) and Siptu have pledged support for the cases …” (more)

[Lorna Siggins, Irish Times, 30 April]

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Obsession with college entry points and university rankings will only intensify

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

Ireland“Points and international rankings have become the new educational obsessions in Ireland in recent years. Students worry about if they have enough points for the course of their choice, while universities agonise over where they are in the latest world league tables …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 30 April]

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Leaving Cert exam papers ‘not very predictable’, says Minister

Posted in Teaching on April 30th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Concerns that the content of Leaving Cert exams can easily be predicted by students and teachers are ‘not sustained’ by the findings of independent research. A study into the predictability of the annual exams, which had been commissioned by the State Examinations Commission, said there was a false impression …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 30 April]

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Ireland’s narrow research focus on commercial technology is short-sighted

Posted in Research on April 30th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Research funding remains almost exclusively targeted at certain technological areas that are considered important. A recent letter to The Irish Times, signed by more than 1,100 scientists, noted that funding for scientific research in Ireland has become increasingly focused on the commercialisation of technological applications …” (more)

[Cormac O’Raifeartaigh, Irish Times, 30 April]

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DCU jumps 20 places in global rankings

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

Ireland“Dublin’s youngest university has jumped almost 20 places to 75th in the global top 100 list of third-level colleges that are less than 50 years old …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 30 April]

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Leaving Cert shake-up not ‘dumbing down’ exercise

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

Ireland“The Government has defended the shaking up of the Leaving Certificate grading system and insisted it is not dumbing down the State’s major examination. Education Minister, Jan O’Sullivan said the new system was not about lowering standards but making it fairer for students …” (more)

[Evelyn Ring, Irish Examiner, 30 April]

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Can academics ever really retire?

Posted in Life on April 30th, 2015 by steve

Australia“When your local butcher or grocer retires, it’s perfectly clear what this means. They are no longer there in the shop when you next go in. Someone else has taken over, or the shop has changed to another business …” (more)

[Simon Chapman, The Conversation, 29 April]

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‘Young university’ rankings: DCU up, Maynooth down

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

Ireland“There are contrasting fortunes for Ireland’s youngest universities in the latest higher education league table published Wednesday. DCU has risen from 92nd to 75th in the Times Higher Education (THE) ranking of the world’s top universities …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 29 April]

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Government approach to pay talks repeat Celtic Tiger errors, Creighton claims

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

Ireland“The Government is happy to repeat the mistakes of the Celtic Tiger in its approach to public sector pay and remuneration, Renua leader Lucinda Creighton has claimed …” (more)

[Marie O’Halloran, Irish Times, 30 April]

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Let’s ban PowerPoint in lectures – it makes students more stupid and professors more boring

Posted in Teaching on April 30th, 2015 by steve

Denmark“Any university teacher who does not harbour a painful recollection of a failed lecture is a liar. On one such occasion, I felt early on that I had lost the students entirely: those who hadn’t sunk into comatose oblivion were listless and anxious …” (more)

[Bent Meier Sørensen, The Conversation, 29 April]

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Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2014: [Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil] Report and Final Stages

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

IrelandPaddy Burke: I welcome the Minister for Education and Skills, Deputy Jan O’Sullivan. This is a Seanad Bill amended by the Dáil. In accordance with Standing Order 118, it is deemed to have passed its First, Second and Third Stages in the Seanad and is placed on the Order Paper for Report Stage …” (more)

[Seanad debates, 28 April]

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