€6.6bn later … Atlantic Philanthropies holds final Irish board meeting

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

Ireland“Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has praised Atlantic Philanthropies which is holding its last Irish board meeting after a 30-year grant allocation programme which saw it award amounts totalling €6.6 billion. Mr Varadkar praised the organisation for its contribution to peace in Northern Ireland, support for healthcare, equality, and third-level education, and its help in changing attitudes to the LGBT community …” (more)

[Colm Keena, Irish Times, 26 June]

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Disrupting institutional entitlement in higher education: the Teaching Excellence Framework

Posted in Teaching on June 27th, 2017 by steve

“Let me first of all declare an interest. This post is going to be about the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) in the UK. My university, Robert Gordon University, entered, and was awarded a Gold rating. So you may conclude that this colours my judgement. But let me first go back some ten years to a meeting I attended on university rankings …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 26 June]

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Cork Institute of Technology announces new interim president

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

Ireland“Cork Institute of Technology is to appoint its registrar, Dr Barry O’Connor, as its interim president. He will succeed Dr Brendan Murphy, who is due to retire at the end of August having served as president since 2004 …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 26 June]

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NUIG to drop students’ names from exam papers amid bias concerns

Posted in Teaching on June 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“NUI Galway will no longer require students to put their names on exam papers amid concern over marking bias. The college’s academic council has approved a proposal to introduce anonymous marking which will commence in the new academic year …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 26 June]

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The University in the Age of Its Technical Reproducibility

Posted in Research on June 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“To consider our epoch now of the university in the age of its technical reproducibility, this is an insightful article by Walter Benjamin, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technical Reproducibility’ treats ultimately all of art, when reproduction and hence commodification has become the order of the day …” (more)

[Fionn Murtagh’s Blog, 25 June]

With a Rethinking of the Arts/Science Distinction, Trinity has the Opportunity to be Pioneering

Posted in Teaching on June 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“With some exceptions, Trinity’s degree structure is divided on clear lines. Much like the campus itself, with its hubs of the Arts Block and Hamilton Building, most students take a course that’s neatly labelled under ‘Arts’ or ‘STEM’, with courses that bridge the divide often finding themselves lost in a confusing and bureaucratic maze …” (more)

[University Times, 25 June]

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TUI drops action in row over election

Posted in Legal issues on June 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) lodged a High Court injunction against a former staff member who raised concerns about alleged voter interference in union elections. The Sunday Independent last week revealed how the teachers’ union was carrying out connected investigations into alleged election interference and claims of an internal data protection breach …” (more)

[Philip Ryan, Independent, 25 June]

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RTÉ stands over university spending probe

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 24th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“RTÉ is standing over an investigation on spending and governance at third-level colleges as it prepares responses to complaints from two universities. University College Cork and NUI Galway have submitted complaints over its May 25 RTÉ Investigates programme, Universities Unchallenged …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 24 June]

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Sadness as PhD student dies at University of Limerick

Posted in Governance and administration on June 24th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A Garda investigation is underway after the body of a PhD student was found at the campus of the University of Limerick. The discovery was made late on Thursday evening by gardai who were looking for the young man after members of his family had earlier reported not seeing him for some time …” (more)

[David Hurley, Limerick Leader, 23 June]

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Honorary degree ‘really weird’ – Geldof

Posted in Governance and administration on June 24th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Bob Geldof said he is not good at accepting awards as he received an honorary degree from Trinity College for his humanitarian efforts. The Boomtown Rats frontman and Live Aid founder said he feels more pride when he receives accolades for his work as a musician, as it is his ‘vocation’ …” (more)

[Independent, 24 June]

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Stop censoring student journalists – we’re trying to hold universities to account

Posted in Governance and administration on June 24th, 2017 by steve

“Student journalism is often – and rightly – applauded for the work it does at universities across the country. Many of the bylines that now sit atop newsprint began their days in student newsrooms, chasing stories across campus …” (more)

[Guardian, 23 June]

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Top architectural award sheds its image

Posted in Governance and administration on June 24th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A group of sheds that have been transformed into the new O’Donoghue Centre for Theatre, Drama and Performance at NUI Galway has been selected for a top architecture award. The centre, designed by Taylor Architects in association with Richard Murphy, won the Public Choice Award at the annual RIAI Irish Architecture Awards …” (more)

[Evelyn Ring, Irish Examiner, 24 June]

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University rankings: good intentions, image polishing and more bureaucracy

Posted in Teaching on June 24th, 2017 by steve

“Some UK universities will be cheering, some groaning, after the release of rankings under the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). My own university received a silver, so we’re shrugging. Despite all these reactions, we don’t know if we can expect any impact on the quality of teaching. What we do know, however, is that it will lead to a large-scale image polishing, the mushrooming of rankings-related bureaucracy, judicious gaming of the new rules, and cynicism amongst professors and lecturers …” (more)

[Andre Spicer, The Conversation, 23 June]

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Student Grant Scheme Administration

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

IrelandWillie Penrose (Longford-Westmeath, Labour): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will review the cuts to the student grant implemented in 2011 and 2012 and restore the distance of adjacent rate to 24 kilometres from the current distance of 45 kilometres; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 20 June]

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Third Level Staff Data

Posted in Governance and administration on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

IrelandNiall Collins (Limerick County, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the academic and non-academic staff employed in all universities, higher education authority designated colleges and the institutes of technology during the periods December 2014, December 2015 and December 2016 respectively in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 20 June]

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Higher Education Institutions

Posted in Governance and administration on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

IrelandKevin O’Keeffe (Cork East, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to put in place an independent inquiry into the governance at universities here further to a television programme (details supplied); his plans to carry out a due diligence review of the purchase by a university purchase of an institute (details supplied) in respect of commercial academic and pension related issues; if he has or plans to intervene in the purchase of the institute by the university in view of the fact that its payment of over €20 million is excessive; his plans for a full review of the higher education authority role in view of its inability to effect a culture of good governance at universities …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 20 June]

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Third Level Funding

Posted in Governance and administration on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

IrelandThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if the €600 million base funding requirement in higher education institutions by 2021 identified by the Cassells report includes the €124 million that has been set aside from the calculation of the fiscal space for demographic increases in third level in 2018 and 2019 …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 20 June]

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My wall of rejection and why it matters

Posted in Research on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

“If I had a magic wand and could change something about academia, I would make it commonplace for people to share their rejections – on blogs, by emailing colleagues, by running to their office neighbours, print-out in hand, saying ‘You won’t believe how awful the review I got this morning was! Come and laugh at it with me over coffee!’ …” (more)

[Nick Hopwood, 21 June]

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Mediation extended!

Posted in Legal issues on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Examiner has reported that the mediation between the four female lecturers taking High Court cases and NUI Galway has been extended for another two weeks! It seems our previous post on Tuesday reporting how it had failed and detailing what we had heard about NUI Galway’s Machiavellian moves may have done some good! …” (more)

[Micheline’s Three Conditions, 23 June]

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Why we need to get rid of STEM

Posted in Research, Teaching on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“On the surface, ‘STEM’ is a harmless acronym, a handy and catchy way of promoting disciplines that, let’s face it, are pretty important in this technological age. But, to an engineer like me who has worked in a science faculty for my whole career, the idea of lumping science and engineering together, along with maths and ‘technology’, seems a bit … simplistic …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 23 June]

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