UCD plans to convert student beds into seminar rooms

Posted in Governance and administration on February 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“University College Dublin has sparked controversy by converting 40 student beds into high-end seminar rooms for corporate weekend courses. The university is spending €2.5 million on seminar rooms and new office space for the UCD business school’s professional diploma courses …” (more)

[Jack Power, Irish Times, 28 February]

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Far From a Nuisance, Industrial Action the Only Leverage Left for Trinity Academics

Posted in Governance and administration on February 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Trade unions generally have a bad reputation as troublemakers, rabble-rousers and disruptive forces in the workplace. Consider the LUAS strikes last year – the narrative was very quickly manipulated to portray the dispute as one in which lazy workers were demanding an exorbitant pay increase, caring not a whit for the inconvenienced passengers …” (more)

[Dermot Frost, University Times, 27 February]

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Free third-level courses to be offered to homemakers

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Free third-level courses are to be offered to homemakers for the first time to combat skills shortage in parts of the economy. Up until now, thousands of free third-level courses have been directed mainly at unemployed people in need of upskilling to allow them to re-enter the labour market …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 28 February]

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Cost of Online Education May Be Higher Than We Think, Study Suggests

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 28th, 2017 by steve

“A study of the earnings of nearly every person who took postsecondary courses online between 1999 and 2014 finds little evidence that online education saves students or taxpayers money. While it is often thought that online education saves money …” (more)

[Lindsay McKenzie, Chronicle of Higher Education, 27 February]

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Technological University should be primarily in Waterford according to Sinn Féin TD

Posted in Governance and administration on February 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“David Cullinane has published a document outlining plans for the proposed venture which would see IT Carlow and WIT team up. A new discussion paper is proposing the Technological University for the South East goes ahead but suggests it should be primarily based in Waterford …” (more)

[MaryAnn Vaughan, KCLR 96FM, 27 February]

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Siptu members announce one-day work stoppage at CIT Student Services

Posted in Governance and administration on February 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Staff at Cork Institute of Technology’s (CIT) Student Services have announced a one-day work stoppage in their pay dispute. The Siptu members at the centre, which delivers services to students including catering and shops, carry out the work stoppage and place pickets at the institute on Thursday between 7am and 7pm …” (more)

[Evening Echo, 27 February]

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Union threatens action if ‘surplus’ teachers are fired

Posted in Teaching on February 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A dispute that could close secondary schools will ‘come to a head quite quickly’ if the Government sacks teachers who are surplus to requirement, a union has warned. But the Department of Education refused to confirm whether it plans to use emergency legislation to make members of the ASTI redundant for refusing to sign up to the Lansdowne Road Agreement …” (more)

[Anne-Marie Walsh, Independent, 28 February]

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UCD gets Connemara film and sound archive of artists and poets

Posted in Research on February 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Extensive film and audio recordings of poets Seamus Heaney, Paula Meehan and Moya Cannon and musicians Christy Moore and Bill Whelan form part of a Connemara archive which has been donated to University College Dublin (UCD) …” (more)

[Lorna Siggins, Irish Times, 28 February]

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Limerick firms back €600,000 LIT scholarship plan

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“More than 50 third level students from schools across Limerick have received scholarships worth a total of €600,000. The Limerick Institute of Technology has linked up with a series of companies including WP Engine based in Patrick Street, Analog Devices in Raheen and the Strand Hotel to fund the scholarships …” (more)

[Nick Rabbitts, Limerick Leader, 28 February]

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ASTI warns against plans to make surplus teachers redundant

Posted in Teaching on February 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The country’s biggest secondary teachers’ union has warned against any move to make its members redundant on foot of its dispute with the Government. The Irish Times reported on Monday that 60 secondary schools have received letters notifying them of their surplus staff …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 27 February]

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To condone RAG Week is to condone carnage

Posted in Governance and administration on February 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“In the second month of the year of our lord two thousand and ten, Galway descended into anarchy. Cans littered the streets, flares illuminated the skies and a young student reveller took a dump on a nice couple’s porch in Newcastle. This is all part of the tainted legacy of RAG Week that the central authorities of the University sought to distance themselves from when they exerted considerable pressure on the Students’ Union to ban the god-awful week of debauchery in 2011 …” (more)

[Eoghan O Connaire, SIN, 27 February]

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An argument in favour of RAG week

Posted in Governance and administration on February 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“RAG week is a tradition amongst most colleges. Traditionally a week of ‘raising and giving’, the Students’ Union and students themselves would help charities out through events such as on campus gigs. In 2011, the SU of NUI Galway voted to scrap RAG week, on the basis that five concessions would be made by the college …” (more)

[Aileen O’Leary, SIN, 27 February]

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Loneliness and Isolation in UCD

Posted in Life on February 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Earlier this month, the University Observer published an article entitled ‘Double Major Isolation’ in which four double major arts students in UCD spoke about the feelings of isolation and loneliness that two often come with doing the joint honours BA. How big is a problem like loneliness in UCD? No one could say for sure, however what can be examined is what is being done to combat it …” (more)

[Eithne Dodd, University Observer, 27 February]

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Henk Moed, ‘A critical comparative analysis of five world university rankings’

Posted in Governance and administration on February 27th, 2017 by steve

InternationalAbstract: To provide users insight into the value and limits of world university rankings, a comparative analysis is conducted of 5 ranking systems: ARWU, Leiden, THE, QS and U-Multirank. It links these systems with one another at the level of individual institutions, and analyses the overlap in institutional coverage, geographical coverage, how indicators are calculated from raw data, the skewness of indicator distributions, and statistical correlations between indicators. Four secondary analyses are presented investigating national academic systems and selected pairs of indicators. It is argued that current systems are still one-dimensional in the sense that they provide finalized, seemingly unrelated indicator values rather than offering a data set and tools to observe patterns in multi-faceted data. By systematically comparing different systems, more insight is provided into how their institutional coverage, rating methods, the selection of indicators and their normalizations influence the ranking positions of given institutions.

[arxiv.org, last revised 5 December]

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No Trigger Warnings Policy in Place in UCD Schools

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on February 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Increasingly at the start of a new semester in UCD, students will find themselves being given ‘trigger warnings’. Be it verbally in class, on the module outline or via an announcement on Blackboard, trigger warnings are becoming more prevalent in UCD …” (more)

[Eithne Dodd, University Observer, 27 February]

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Minister Bruton announces a further competitive Call to Higher Education providers for course proposals which will be funded under Springboard+ 2017

Posted in Governance and administration on February 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Higher Education Authority (HEA) which manages Springboard+ on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills has issued a competitive Call to all Higher Education providers for course proposals which will be funded under Springboard+ 2017. Springboard+ forms part of the Action Plan for Education, our plan to make the Irish education and training system the best in Europe within a decade …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 27 February]

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Israeli ambassador and TCD

Posted in Governance and administration on February 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The members of Academics for Palestine have read with incredulity ‘Trinity condemns “unacceptable attack” on free speech’ (February 21st). The declarations of Israeli ambassador Ze’ev Boker, whose speech at Trinity College Dublin was cancelled after a student protest, and those of Trinity provost Patrick Prendergast, are a striking reversal of reality …” (more)

[Conor McCarthy, Irish Times, 27 February]

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Students cross a picket line every day

Posted in Life on February 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“I grew up surrounded by trade unionists. I distinctly remember seeing a news report about an industrial action on the news when my mother said: ‘If I ever crossed a picket line, my father would turn in his grave’. Her father, my grandfather, was born in inner-city Dublin, and having helped build the ESB coal burning station in Ringsend, went on to work there for decades as a turbine driver …” (more)

[Daire O’Driscoll, Trinity News, 25 February]

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In Defense of the Lecture

Posted in Teaching on February 27th, 2017 by steve

“Few have savaged lecturers as brutally as the Enlightenment-era printmaker William Hogarth. In Scholars at a Lecture, the presenter reads from his prepared text, his eyes down, indifferent to his audience. The budding academics are no more impressive; those in thrall to the lecturer’s nonsense have slack faces with lolling eyes and open mouths. The others don’t offer any critique but yawn, doze, or chat idly among themselves …” (more)

[Miya Tokumitsu, Jacobin, 26 February]

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Teachers face first forced redundancies in years

Posted in Teaching on February 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Are we about to see the first forced redundancies in the public sector in years? It certainly looks that way – and a small number of members of the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) may well be in the firing line …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 27 February]

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