Bruton urges colleges to help take pressure out of exam points system

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on August 17th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Education Minister Richard Bruton has urged more colleges to take pressure out of the points system by reducing the number of courses from which to choose for students. One element of the college entry reforms kicking in this year is resulting in more Leaving Cert students taking Higher Level exams in most subjects. However, long-running proposals to have fewer but more general entry-level courses, particularly by universities, have only been adopted by some colleges …” (more)

[Niall Murray and Juno McEnroe, Irish Examiner, 17 August]

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Leaving Cert 2017: Girls outperform boys in most subjects

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on August 17th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Girls outperformed boys in the vast majority of subjects, a gender analysis of this year’s Leaving Cert results shows. In all, girls secured a higher proportion of top grades – grades one, two or three – in 32 out of 38 subjects at higher level. A similar pattern is evident at ordinary level …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 17 August]

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Unite union wants members to reject public sector pay deal

Posted in Governance and administration on August 17th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Members of the Unite trade union have been advised to reject a new public service pay agreement. Representatives met on Wednesday following several weeks of consultation with members …” (more)

[Jack Quann, newstalk, 16 August]

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New grading system leaves anxious students guessing

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 17th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The new Leaving Cert results system has left thousands of students facing a more anxious wait than usual for college offers on Monday. The complete overhaul of the exam grades and CAO points scale means that college applicants cannot even make a reasonable guess about their chances of getting their preferred course …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 17 August]

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Government vows crackdown on universities giving out too many firsts

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on August 17th, 2017 by steve

“The Government is preparing a crackdown on the rapidly increasing proportion of top degrees being awarded by universities, amid fears that the value of higher education is being eroded. Ministers are drawing up plans to stop the growth in students receiving first-class degrees so that university education continues to carry ‘prestige’, raising the prospect that quotas could be introduced to limit the numbers of top awards …” (more)

[Rachael Pells, Independent, 17 August]

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Leaving Cert: Higher education should not be the be-all and end-all

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 17th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Thousands of students across the country have reached an important milestone in their lives with the receipt of their Leaving Cert results. This year, however, there is a difference: a new grading scheme means points are available to students who scored between 30% and 39% … (more)

[Irish Times, 16 August]

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Rethink of EU research membership rules may offer UK ‘solution’

Posted in Research on August 16th, 2017 by steve

“The redrawing of the criteria for associate membership of the European Commission’s next research framework programme could offer the UK a ‘solution’ for accessing continental grants and collaborations post-Brexit, a sector leader has said …” (more)

[Holly Else, Times Higher Education, 16 August]

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New grading system sees dramatic drop in failure rates

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Failure rates among students sitting higher level Leaving Cert subjects have dropped dramatically as thousands of candidates benefit from a more generous grading system. Some 58,000 students will receive their results on Wednesday, though those who applied for college will not know whether they have secured their first choice places until next Monday when offers through the CAO (Central Applications Office) are made …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 16 August]

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More students taking higher level subjects and fewer failing

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The introduction of a new marking system for the Leaving Certificate this year has resulted in students taking subjects at higher level in greater numbers across virtually all subjects and fewer failing exams. The numbers taking the higher level course in the three core subjects of Irish (22,122), maths (16,395) and English (38,749) increased 10%, 8%, and 6% respectively …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 16 August]

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Leaving Cert Results: Record 13 students achieve new top H1 grade after CAO revamp

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Certificate results today show a leap in the number of students aiming for honours, attracted by the first overhaul of grading and CAO points in 25 years. Almost all subjects saw an increase in the uptake of higher level papers, where for the first time, points are available for a grade of between 30%-49% …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 16 August]

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Nearly 50% of Sexual Assault Victims Told No-One About their Experience, Queen’s University Belfast Study Finds

Posted in Life on August 16th, 2017 by steve

“A landmark study on non-consensual sexual experiences in Queen’s University Belfast – the first of its kind in Northern Irish higher education – has revealed that nearly 50% of students surveyed stayed quiet about their experience of sexual assault …” (more)

[Philip McGuinness, University Times, 15 August]

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Employers to help shape education sector

Posted in Governance and administration on August 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The National Training Fund (NTF) is set to receive up to €200 million in funding over the next three years from Ireland’s biggest employers in order to ‘win the war for talent’. That’s according to Education Minister Richard Bruton …” (more)

[Paul Saunders, Limerick Post, 15 August]

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Failure to join CERN means State ‘losing out’ on research contracts

Posted in Research on August 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Ireland is losing out on major research contracts by not being a member of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, Fine Gael Senator Colm Burke has claimed. CERN is the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. It operates particle accelerators including the famous Large Hadron Collider …” (more)

[Kevin O’Sullivan, Irish Times, 15 August]

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Students Set to March Again in October, as Decision on Education Funding Draws Nearer

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“With decisions looming on the future of higher education funding, students will take to the streets once again on October 4th, as the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) today announced proposed plans for their national demonstration …” (more)

[Ivan Rakhmanin, University Times, 15 August]

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A third of students rely on parents or loans to cover the cost of rent, says USI

Posted in Life on August 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“More than a third of students have no income to cover their rent, which can cost up to €500 a month. A survey from the Union of Students of Ireland (USI) shows that almost 60% of students spend between €256 and €500 a month on accommodation. It also found that 36% do not have the income to cover rent …” (more)

[Charlie Weston, Independent, 15 August]

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NUIG set to commission Nuns Island master plan

Posted in Governance and administration on August 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“NUI Galway will commission a master plan for the Nuns Island area. The university has budgeted €250,000 for a ‘master plan and design project’ for its buildings at Nuns Island in the city centre. Sanction for the master plan was approved at a Governing Body meeting in February, minutes of which were released to this newspaper under Freedom of Information (FOI) …” (more)

[Dara Bradley, Connacht Tribune, 14 August]

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Games of Thrones as a Thinly Disguised Academic Drama

Posted in Life on August 15th, 2017 by steve

“We all know that Game of Thrones is in reality a thinly disguised academic drama. That the competition to control the Seven Kingdoms is really an allegory for status and power within the halls of academe. That the Army of the Dead is in reality the threat to cut-off public funding …” (more)

[Joshua Kim, Inside Higer Ed, 14 August]

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Leaving Cert assessment must change – university head

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The way students are assessed in the Leaving Certificate needs to change, according to Maynooth University president Professor Philip Nolan. Prof Nolan said the reliance on the traditional written exams in June was too narrow …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 15 August]

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More time for Greenway river walkway at NUI Galway

Posted in Governance and administration on August 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“More time has been allowed for a Greenway Enhancement Project at NUI Galway in Newcastle. The college applied for an extension of planning permission for the N6 underpass and approach roads near the Quincentenary Bridge …” (more)

[Galway Bay FM, 14 August]

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Post-Brexit free movement for students ‘risks class conflict’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 15th, 2017 by steve

“The UK and European Union may look to preserve free movement specifically for students after Brexit, but such a deal could ‘exacerbate existing class conflicts’ given inequalities in access to higher education, according to a researcher …” (more)

[John Morgan, Times Higher Education, 14 August]

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