Dublin college merger: Technological universities arrive with a TUD

Posted in Governance and administration on December 31st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“These welcome fainéant days between Christmas and the New Year offer time for reflection and synthesis as well as an opportunity to envisage a fresh approach to activity in the coming calendar year. Higher education can look back with mixed feeling on the year just parting. The central challenge of funding remains unresolved. Given a minority government, it was never likely that the necessary consensus would be discovered to address the proposals of the expert group chaired by Peter Cassells that reported in 2016 …” (more)

[Joseph Ryan, Irish Times, 31 December]

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Staff protest over ‘grade inflation’ at institute of technology

Posted in Teaching on December 31st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Lecturers at Institute of Technology Tralee are refusing to attend exam and course meetings after an exam board at the college overturned a lecturer’s marks for every student in his class. The industrial action, which was voted for by 65% of the members of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland at IT Tralee, has raised concerns about academic standards at the college …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 31 December]

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Irish universities’ grade inflation sparks claims of ‘dumbing down’

Posted in Teaching on December 31st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Students are most likely to secure first or upper-second class degrees at Dublin City University (72%), followed by University College Dublin (71%) and University College Cork (69%). They are more difficult to come by at University of Limerick (53%) and NUI Galway (63%). Trinity College Dublin’s figures are more difficult to calculate …” (more)

[Peter McGuire and Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 31 December]

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Revealed: the universities most likely to award higher grades

Posted in Teaching on December 31st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Which university offers the best shot of a first-class or 2.1 degree? Is there much difference between University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin? The Irish Times has used a mix of Freedom of Information requests and statistics from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) to crunch the numbers. The analysis shows grades at Ireland’s seven universities have been rising consistently over the past decade …” (more)

[Peter McGuire and Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 31 December]

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Plan for vending machines to give out free condoms in universities and pubs

Posted in Governance and administration on December 31st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Vending machines could be used to dispense free condoms in a drive to reduce crisis pregnancies and promote sexual health. The HSE is seeking to provide free condoms in colleges and among ‘at risk’ groups. The installation of machines in pubs and clubs has emerged as one of the options to be investigated as the HSE researches the best way to distribute the condoms …” (more)

[Laura Larkin, Independent, 31 December]

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How I Spend My Money: A Trinity PhD student on a €6,000 stipend who’s having second thoughts about moving to Ireland

Posted in Life on December 31st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Occupation: PhD student. Age: 31. Location: Dublin. Salary: €6,000. Monthly pay (net): €500. Monthly expenses: Rent: €700. Household bills: Included in rent. Transport: €24. Phone bill: £10 (so €11.27) …” (more)

[TheJournal.ie, 30 December]

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Outcry after student loan overpayments of £8m are extracted from NI graduates

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 29th, 2018 by steve

“Graduates here overpaid nearly £8m in student loans in five years. Overpayments have been rising steadily, with thousands of people affected, figures show. A student organisation said it was ‘deeply troubling’ …” (more)

[Allan Preston, Belfast Telegraph, 29 December]

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WIT marks 25 years of research degrees

Posted in Governance and administration, Research on December 28th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The impact of research and research degrees at Waterford Institute of Technology on the south east region and Waterford city was highlighted on Thursday last. In 1993, Waterford Regional Technical College (WRTC) conferred its first ever PhD graduate. At the time WRTC was the first Regional Technical Colleges to award PhDs …” (more)

[Munster Express, 28 December]

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Measuring What Matters: On the Tyranny of Academic Metrics

Posted in Research on December 28th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“As an academic, I’m acutely aware of my numbers. They are the measure of my worth. As of December 2018, I have published 34 peer-reviewed journal articles (not bad for my career stage?), 12 book chapters (okay, but there are more on the way!) …” (more)

[John Danaher, Philosophical Disquisitions, 27 December]

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Time for Project Maths experiment to end

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on December 27th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Over the past five years fewer than 50% students have attained H3 (and equivalent) or above in Higher Level LC Maths. Assuming this is not due to poor teaching, I believe it is now time to end the Project Maths experiment …” (more)

[Adrian Grenham, Irish Times, 27 December]

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Public servants now allowed work until they are 70

Posted in Governance and administration on December 26th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Legislation that will allow public servants stay at work up to the age of 70 if they so choose has been signed into law by President Michael D Higgins. Previously, public servants had to retire by 65 at the latest, despite the fact that the age for qualifying for the State pension is 66 …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 26 December]

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More Travellers Should Be at Third-Level. But Let’s Not Deify a University Degree

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 24th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“It’s hard to be sanguine about access to third-level education in Ireland, particularly given the news this week that only 1% of Travellers progress to higher education. Among the wider population, the figure is 55%. In real terms, there were 41 Travellers in third-level education last year, out of around 250,000 students in third-level education in general …” (more)

[University Times, 23 December]

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Just 1% of Traveller children go on to higher education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 22nd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Just 1% of Traveller children progress to third-level education compared with more than half of the wider community, latest figures show. The finding is contained in a review of the Government’s plan to boost numbers of marginalised groups in the higher-education system …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 21 December]

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US visa bill for Irish graduates set to be casualty of ‘mayhem and crisis’ in Washington

Posted in Governance and administration on December 22nd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Hopes for thousands of new US working visas for Irish people look to have been scuppered by a last-minute objection by a single US Senator. The bill sought to allow Irish citizens avail of surplus E-3 visas that are specifically for Australians …” (more)

[TheJournal.ie, 21 December]

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The teaching of history

Posted in Teaching on December 22nd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – I agree wholeheartedly with the thoughts expressed by my University of Limerick colleague, Alistair Malcolm, in his letter supporting the reinstatement of history as a core subject within the Junior Cycle curriculum (December 17th). A society that doesn’t know where it has come from doesn’t and cannot know where it is going …” (more)

[Joseph O’Connor, Irish Times, 22 December]

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HEA welcomes publication of Progress Review of the National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 21st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The HEA welcomes the publication of the Progress Review of the National Access Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education. The Review highlights the important achievements made since the launch of the plan in 2015. These include increases in participation rates across a number of the target groups, with particularly high increases for students with disabilities and among socio-economically disadvantaged groups …” (more)

[HEA, 21 December]

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Drop in first-time mature students at third level

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 21st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The proportion of older students starting third-level courses has fallen instead of increasing in the past three years. The statistic on college access for ‘first-time’ mature students is contained in a Higher Education Authority (HEA) review on progress with targets to widen participation. It also shows only tiny increases in numbers of Travellers progressing to third level …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 21 December]

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Almost €3m in funding for Irish Language Academy at NUIG

Posted in Governance and administration on December 21st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Language Academy at NUI Galway has been awarded funding of almost €3 million. Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge enables the provision of higher education in Irish, as well as research into the promotion and preservation of the language …” (more)

[Galway Bay FM, 20 December]

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New legislation to increase retirement age for public sector workers passed in Seanad

Posted in Governance and administration on December 21st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“There was some good news for public servants wishing to work longer as President Michael D Higgins is to sign a new law that will allow public sector workers work until the age of 70 …” (more)

[Christopher O’Brien, TheLiberal.ie, 20 December]

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No subject – including history – should be compulsory

Posted in Teaching on December 21st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“I attended a showing of a new film Peterloo recently, followed by a discussion with the English director Mike Leigh. In the course of the discussion on this insightful rendition of a largely forgotten incident in British history, a contribution from the floor expressed concern about the perceived future status of history in Irish schools …” (more)

[Gary Granville, Irish Times, 20 December]

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