The Neoliberal University

Posted in Governance and administration on December 31st, 2016 by steve

Ireland“These days, the word ‘neoliberal’ is usually used as a term of abuse. It is code for ‘right wing’, ie a belief in a lightly-regulated, laissez-faire approach to not only business and the economy but also to education. ‘Right wing’ is seen as inherently bad; selfish and focused on the individual, while ‘left wing’ is seen as caring and considerate and focused on the greater good …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 30 December]

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Academics don’t even read education research, so why should teachers?

Posted in Research on December 31st, 2016 by steve

“If I were to ask you: what is the most common number of citations that an education research paper receives, what would you guess? I’ll put you out of your misery: the answer is 0 …” (more)

[Gary Davies, 29 December]


Trinity students pay nearly €600,000 in library fines as USI voices concerns

Posted in Governance and administration on December 31st, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has voiced concern that rising library fines are potentially being used by universities as a ‘money making mechanism’. Figures obtained by The Herald under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that students paid a total of €2,786,930 in library fines over a five year period …” (more)

[Daire O’Driscoll, Trinity News, 30 December]

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Change the way we run universities to unlock women’s talent

Posted in Governance and administration on December 31st, 2016 by steve

“Striving for gender equality is vitally important, particularly in higher education. As the sector continues to encounter massive changes, we need every bit of talent and the very best, skilled leaders to guide us through. There is a wealth of evidence from the private sector that increased diversity in senior positions leads to better-run and better-performing organisations …” (more)

[Vijaya Nath, Times Higher Education, 28 December]


A Peek Inside the Strange World of Fake Academia

Posted in Research on December 31st, 2016 by steve

“The caller ID on my office telephone said the number was from Las Vegas, but when I picked up the receiver I heard what sounded like a busy overseas call center in the background. The operator, ‘John’, asked if I would be interested in attending the 15th World Cardiology and Angiology Conference in Philadelphia next month …” (more)

[Kevin Carey, New York Times, 29 December]


How should the humanities make the news?

Posted in Governance and administration on December 31st, 2016 by steve

“It is very hard to know how you get humanities research in the headlines. My recent brush with the Henry VIII tapestries is a case in point. I was extremely excited to find a specimen of what I think is one of the later branches of the family tree of Henry’s originals …” (more)

[Mary Beard, A Don’s Life, 30 December]

New website aims to simplify CAO process for students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 30th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A new site to search third-level college courses has received more than 20,000 hits in its first week. is a interactive search tool that enables applicants to easily access detailed information about third-level college courses …” (more)

[Aine McMahon, Irish Times, 29 December]

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Universities under fire for gagging former employees

Posted in Legal issues on December 30th, 2016 by steve

“Universities have been accused by the Lib Dems of stifling free speech through the use of ‘gagging clauses’, after the party’s research found more than 3,500 former staff members in higher education have signed ‘compromise agreements’ in the past five years …” (more)

[Rowena Mason, Guardian, 30 December]

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What Graduate School in Theoretical Physics is Really Like

Posted in Research on December 30th, 2016 by steve

“I’m about to head off for a short New Year’s vacation in West Texas, but wanted to recommend a wonderful article that just appeared at Nautilus. It’s a memoir by Bob Henderson (who I met when he wrote about me, see here), appearing under the title What Does Any of This Have To Do with Physics? (although the title of the web-page, What Graduate School in Theoretical Physics is Really Like, is more descriptive) …” (more)

[Peter Woit, Not Even Wrong, 29 December]


QUB Professor Phil Scraton refuses OBE

Posted in Governance and administration on December 29th, 2016 by steve

“Hillsborough campaigner and Queen’s University academic Prof Phil Scraton has turned down an OBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours list. The author led the Hillsborough Independent Panel’s research team. He said he could not receive an honour in protest ‘at those who remained unresponsive’ to help families and survivors affected by the disaster …” (more)

[BBC News, 29 December]

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Only 10 inspections of English language schools

Posted in Governance and administration on December 29th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Only 10 inspections have been carried out on English language schools despite promises of closer scrutiny following multiple closures and the disappearance of students’ money. A new quality assurance scheme, the International Education Mark, another promise in the wake of the scandal, is also delayed; its introduction is now ‘anticipated’ some time in 2018 …” (more)

[Caroline O’Doherty, Irish Examiner, 29 December]


Courses see 80% leave live register

Posted in Governance and administration on December 29th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Government-backed training courses saw 80% of those who participants leave the live register over four years, a new report has found. Meanwhile, Skills Minister John Halligan hailed the number of women in Springboard+ linked technology training schemes …” (more)

[Cormac McQuinn, Independent, 29 December]

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More drift in Ireland’s Education System

Posted in Teaching on December 28th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Carl O’Brien’s article in the Irish Times today signals a further shift in our educational system towards what one might call ‘progressive’ methods. It seems that we’re going to do away with subjects and focus on learning by playing at least up until the age of 10 …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 28 December]

Should we measure class attendance in higher education?

Posted in Teaching on December 28th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Everyday in school, primary or post primary the teacher called the role, at least in my school anyway. I see the logic behind this and understand the reasoning but higher education is different, we’re dealing with adults so at least it should be different. So should we measure class attendance and if we do should we value it? …” (more)

[Mark Glynn, Technology Enhanced Learning, 28 December]

New Gender Recognition Progress on College Records Seeks to Support Transgender Students

Posted in Governance and administration on December 28th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Transgender, non-binary and intersex students will now be able to change their name and gender on College records without the need for official documentation, following the launch of a new service by Trinity’s Academic Registry …” (more)

[Niamh Egleston, University Times, 27 December]

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Pension rises for retired public sector workers now in firing line

Posted in Governance and administration on December 27th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“An end to pension increases for retired public-sector workers is on the table in the next round of pay talks. Public-service pensioners have traditionally benefited from pay parity, which means they go up when there is an increase in the salary of the person in their old job …” (more)

[Anne-Marie Walsh and Kevin Doyle, Independent, 27 December]

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Private School Dominance in High Points Courses Needs to be Understood

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on December 24th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A recent report, published by the Irish Times, uncovered the fact that there is a steady rise in the number of students progressing from fee-paying secondary schools to high-points courses. More private school students are attending the top courses in the top institutions than ever before …” (more)

[Kate Lawler, University Times, 23 December]

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Jewish student groups deny university ‘no-go zones’

Posted in Governance and administration on December 24th, 2016 by steve

“A claim that Jewish students avoid applying to certain UK universities over anti-Semitism fears has been criticised by a Jewish student group. Baroness Ruth Deech, the former adjudicator for universities, told the Telegraph that Jewish students felt ‘unwelcome’ on some campuses …” (more)

[BBC News, 23 December]


Scientists in Germany, Peru and Taiwan to lose access to Elsevier journals

Posted in Research on December 24th, 2016 by steve

International“Thousands of scientists in Germany, Peru and Taiwan are preparing for a new year without online access to journals from the Dutch publishing giant Elsevier. Contract negotiations in both Germany and Taiwan broke down in December, while Peru’s government has cut off funding for a licence …” (more)

[Quirin Schiermeier and Emiliano Rodríguez Mega, Nature, 23 December]

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University of Limerick set to come under spotlight of Public Accounts Committee

Posted in Governance and administration on December 23rd, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The Public Accounts Committee is set to examine the University of Limerick in the new year on a number of financial and governance issues. The examination of spending in at least four third-level institutions across the country before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has been delayed this year, due to hearings in relation to Nama and Project Eagle over the last six weeks …” (more)

[Anne Sheridan, Limerick Leader, 22 December]

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