Universities ‘reaching for the cheque books’ in HR cases

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on September 20th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“In recent years, Irish universities have been increasing the money spent on human resources (HR) disputes between staff and management. Some of the largest universities in the countries, such as UCD and Maynooth, among others, have made headlines in recent years with high profile HR cases involving bullying and hiring …” (more)

[Gavin Tracey, University Observer, 20 September]

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Bathroom at the University of Limerick vandalised with ‘transphobic graffiti’

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on September 18th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“A formal complaint has been received by the University of Limerick after the words ‘mental-illness’ were carved into the sign of a gender-neutral bathroom on campus …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Limerick Leader, 18 September]


Absent NUI Galway employee paid €90k by college during leave

Posted in Legal issues on September 14th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“A staff member at NUI Galway was paid more than €90,000 while absent on grounds that did not meet the university’s own rules around payments for sabbatical leave. The person was one of an unknown number with whom NUI Galway concluded employment-related settlements in the 2016-17 financial year. The university’s financial statements for the year to the end of last September said those settlements cost it €134,000, including severances …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 14 September]

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Scientific publishing is a rip-off. We fund the research – it should be free

Posted in Legal issues, Research on September 13th, 2018 by steve

“Never underestimate the power of one determined person. What Carole Cadwalladr has done to Facebook and big data, and Edward Snowden has done to the state security complex, Alexandra Elbakyan has done to the multibillion-dollar industry that traps knowledge behind paywalls. Sci-Hub, her pirate web scraper service, has done more than any government to tackle one of the biggest rip-offs of the modern era …” (more)

[George Monbiot, Guardian, 13 September]

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Student whose Leaving Cert results were wrongly totted up takes High Court action

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues on September 11th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“An 18-year-old Co Wexford student, whose Leaving Cert marks were wrongly totted up by an examiner, could lose her chance of a place in a college veterinary medicine course, the High court has been told …” (more)

[Ray Managh, Irish Times, 11 September]

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Rental scam targets students

Posted in Legal issues, Life on September 10th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“A chara, – I recently encountered a scam that requires highlighting. The demand for accommodation in towns and cities that house third-level institutions has left parents, desperate for suitable accommodation for their children commencing their college life, vulnerable to this scam …” (more)

[John Connolly, Irish Times, 10 September]


University lecturer who claimed she was denied full time role over marital status awarded €9.5k

Posted in Legal issues on September 8th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“A university lecturer who was found to be ‘victimised’ over a failure to secure a new teaching post has been awarded €9,500 in compensation at the Workplace Relations Commission …” (more)

[TheJournal.ie, 8 September]

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NCAD spends €138,000 on new payroll system before board abandons project

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on September 3rd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The prestigious national art college, which boasts designer, Orla Kiely and milliner, Philip Treacy as celebrated alumni, last year abandoned a new HR and payroll system – but only after spending €138,000 on the project …” (more)

[BreakingNews.ie, 2 September]


Students Should Demand Better Protection for their Data

Posted in Legal issues on September 3rd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“When we think of data protection, things like Cambridge Analytica and the hacking of elections come to the fore, such is the prominence of security breaches involving tens of millions of internet users in our minds …” (more)

[University Times, 2 September]


Landlord who demanded €5,500 rent up front from mother of student to secure room says he felt ‘guilty’

Posted in Legal issues on September 3rd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Renters are being forced to pay more than six months’ rent and thousands of euro to secure a bedroom as part of a trend emerging from the housing crisis. The Government is now coming under increasing pressure to protect renters from landlords demanding huge up-front lump sums …” (more)

[Wayne O’Connor, Independent, 2 September]


Essay writing services must be banned to stop cheating, say academics

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on September 1st, 2018 by steve

“The British government has been urged to outlaw essay writing services that allow university students to pay for coursework for their degrees, after a study found that use of ‘contract cheating’ is rapidly increasing around the world. The study by Prof Philip Newton at Swansea University’s medical school collected evidence from surveys taken among students in higher education …” (more)

[Richard Adams, Guardian, 31 August]

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‘Serious data protection flaw’ in Student Leap Card system

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on August 31st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“There is a ‘serious flaw’ in the Student Leap Card system which allows college agents access to the personal details of a large number of students across the country, without their knowledge …” (more)

[Jack Power, Irish Times, 30 August]

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University of Limerick seeks to install cameras to record all vehicles entering campus

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on August 27th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The University of Limerick plans to install a camera system that can record licence plates to monitor all vehicles that enter the campus each day. A tender request for the special camera system was closed last month but has yet to be awarded …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Limerick Leader, 26 August]

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Warning over rental accommodation scams

Posted in Legal issues on August 21st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“People seeking rental accommodation are being urged to be aware of potential scams that could leave them without their deposits and no accommodation. The warning comes from housing charity Threshold, the Union of Students of Ireland and property website Daft.ie as pressure for rented accommodation grows ahead of the new academic year …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 21 August]

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Plan to rent student housing during Pope visit to be investigated

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on August 15th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Dublin City Council is investigating an alleged breach of planning permission after student housing was advertised to the public for €170 per night during the Pope’s visit to Ireland. Dorset Point, a block of 447 bedrooms on Dorset Street owned by Aparto, is being rented to tourists throughout the summer …” (more)

[BreakingNews.ie, 15 August]

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‘Universities to blame’ for profiteering essay mills

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on August 15th, 2018 by steve

“I’ve written here quite a few times now, including most recently here but also here, about the corrosive effect of the profiteering essay mill industry and the growing threat it represents to the integrity of UK higher education …” (more)

[Paul Greatrix, Wonkhe, 14 August]

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It’s Time for Conversations About How Universities Handle Sexual Assault

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on August 13th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“A new study launched by NUI Galway this week further cemented the fact that we are some ways away from solving the plague of sexual harassment that continues to blight our campuses. The results – 70% of women reported that they had experienced sexual hostility – offered yet another stark reminder that there is much left to be done …” (more)

[University Times, 12 August]

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Most female students ‘face sexual hostility’, study finds

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on August 7th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Some 70% of female students and 40% of male students experienced sexual hostility or crude gender harassment by the time they were finishing third-level education, a study by NUI Galway researchers has found. The same proportion of women (70%) and more than 60% of men surveyed also felt sex education at secondary school wasn’t satisfactory …” (more)

[Lorna Siggins, Irish Times, 7 August]

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The campaign’s task is done

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on August 2nd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“With the settlement of the four women’s High Court cases, the aims of this campaign are achieved. The campaign started when previous University President Jim Browne claimed to RTÉ education reporter Emma O’Kelly that Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, who had recently won her high-profile case, was on his new Gender Equality Task Force …” (more)

[Micheline’s Three Conditions, 2 August]

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Are universities finally moving towards their #MeToo moment?

Posted in Legal issues on July 31st, 2018 by steve

“It’s a sad truth in the science world that hierarchical structures have permitted harassment to thrive. Inherent power imbalances between supervisor and PhD student or between professor and postdoc make an informal challenge to inappropriate behaviour terrifying. And it can feel career-threatening to the victim, since one’s research outputs and letters of reference are likely to be damaged …” (more)

[Athene Donald, Guardian, 27 July]

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