Scam warning as ‘desperate’ students seek homes to rent

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on August 9th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“There has been a reported spike in rental scams as a new generation of Third Level students desperately searches for accommodation. The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and gardaí have issued a warning to those looking for a place to live in advance of the academic year …” (more)

[Gavin White, Independent, 9 August]

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Garda issue warning after €20k deposits paid to rent scammer

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on August 9th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Over €20,000 in deposits was paid to a scammer who pretended to be the landlord of a Dublin property he was about to vacate. The incident was highlighted by gardaí as one of many kinds of fraud in the rental market as they advised students to be careful when hunting for accommodation in the coming weeks …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 9 August]

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Contracts, complaints and unintended consequences

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on August 7th, 2017 by steve

“Whenever a minister announces a potential extension to the rights of students, I’ve started to notice a familiar pattern, and Jo Johnson’s announcement of an OfS consultation on the content of student contracts (his own little regulatory dead cat on the fees and debt table) is a case in point …” (more)

[Jim Dickinson, Wonkhe, 7 August]

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University of Limerick spent close to €1.5m on legal fees with firm Arthur Cox

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 29th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The University of Limerick spent over €2 million in legal fees in the past decade, with Dublin-based firm Arthur Cox receiving nearly €1.5 million. Figures released to the Limerick Leader under a Freedom of Information request show that …” (more)

[Anne Sheridan, Limerick Leader, 28 July]

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Pipers, Tunes and Payment in the Higher Education Sector

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

Ireland“Recent discussion on university funding has been on the basis of the Public Accounts Committee report. This, along with the RTÉ Prime-time Investigates program, has led to a perception of a state funded sector out of financial control. Both of these are wrong …” (more)

[Brian M Lucey, 24 July]

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UCC hit by €110,000 attack from cyber gang

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Cyber criminals mounted a major attack to steal €110,000 from University College Cork (UCC), the Sunday Independent can reveal. The revelation comes as a global cyber attack struck a number of Irish businesses last month …” (more)

[Mark O’Regan, Independent, 23 July]

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Irish student wins support in legal battle over exam script

Posted in Legal issues on July 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) is facing another possible defeat at Europe’s highest court in an eight-year legal marathon over an exam script. In a referral from the Supreme Court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg has been told by its Advocate General that Ireland’s DPC was wrong to say an accountancy trainee had no right to access the script of a failed exam …” (more)

[Derek Scally, Irish Times, 20 July]

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CIT president already being paid €78k annual pension

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The president of Cork Institute of Technology has been paid €227,956 in a pension lump sum and an annual pension of €78,315 from the college despite still occupying the post, the Public Accounts Committee has been told. The college has also revealed it was involved in 20 legal cases in ‘matters related to staff issues’ despite previously telling the Irish Examiner it was not involved in any cases …” (more)

[Daniel McConnell, Irish Examiner, 19 July]

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Third Level Investigator ‘welcome move’ – Cullinane

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sinn Féin member of the Public Accounts Committee David Cullinane TD today welcomed the announcement of new powers to appoint investigators to look into Irish universities. Deputy Cullinane said …” (more)

[Sinn Féin, 18 July]

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Third-level sector risks penalties for audit and salary breaches

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Colleges and universities will face significantly increased financial penalties from this autumn if they fail to produce audited accounts, ignore salary rules, or breach strict spin-off company laws. Education Minister Richard Bruton also announced greater inspection powers just a week after the Public Accounts Committee report revealed serious concerns over how the facilities are spending €1.5bn in taxpayers’ money every year …” (more)

[Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Irish Examiner, 18 July]

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Minister Bruton and Minister Mitchell O’Connor Secure Government Approval to Progress Technological Universities Bill

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 17th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD, together with the Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD today (Monday 17th July) announced their intention to prioritise the passing of the Technological Universities Bill following Government approval to the drafting of insertions and amendments to the 2015 Bill …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 17 July]

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Richard Bruton to increase powers to investigate universities

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 17th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Education Richard Bruton is seeking powers to appoint investigators to examine ‘issues of concern’ in higher education institutions. The proposal comes as universities face increasing pressure over their spending of public funds from the Higher Education Authority and the Dáil Public Accounts Committee …” (more)

[Jack Power, Irish Times, 17 July]

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Education minister to have power to probe colleges

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 17th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Legal powers to investigate misuse of funding and governance failures in third-level colleges are to be introduced by Education Minister Richard Bruton. His plans to remove the need for High Court approvals before appointing an investigator come after damning criticism of a number of colleges from the Dáil Public Accounts Committee (PAC) …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 17 July]

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Third-level institutions and public funds

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The Higher Education Authority has suggested fining third-level institutes where they breach public pay guidelines or don’t engage in proper tendering for contracts (‘Colleges face penalties for misusing taxpayers’ money’, July 14th). Third-level institutes don’t breach procurement rules or pay guidelines, individual decision-making managers do …” (more)

[David Doran, Irish Times, 15 July]

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UCC students under investigation over project cheating fears

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on July 14th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Several University College Cork business information systems (BIS) students are awaiting the outcome of a probe into allegations that they cheated on a final-year project. While more than a dozen are understood to have been subject of an initial complaint, the number being investigated is thought to be significantly less after initial consideration of the matter …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 14 July]

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Cork Institute of Technology spent €20,000 on two portraits

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 13th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) has pledged to review the way it purchases art following criticism that it spent €20,000 on portraits of its president and the then chair of its governing body. CIT president Dr Brendan Murphy has confirmed that two portraits were commissioned from artist Mick O’Dea, a member of Aosdána, in 2007 …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 13 July]

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UCC withholds some results amid allegations of cheating

Posted in Legal issues, Teaching on July 13th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“University College Cork has withheld the results of a number of final-year degree students amid allegations of cheating and breaches of exam procedures. Students from the business information systems course are alleged to have ‘outsourced’ key aspects of a final-year project which involved computer coding, according to college sources …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 13 July]

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Colleges to face fines if accounts not shown

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 12th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Managers of colleges which fail to give up-to-date accounts or explain how much money they have in private trusts and foundations by the next budget should be hit with significant financial penalties and fines. The Dáil Public Accounts Committee made the recommendation at the launch of its damning report into the sector’s secret finances yesterday, saying options could include cuts or blocking of board of governor salaries …” (more)

[Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Irish Examiner, 12 July]

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Third level colleges accused of ‘wild west’ approach to use of taxpayers’ money

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 12th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Senior staff in some third-level colleges have been accused of taking a ‘wild west’ approach to the use of taxpayers’ money. The claims were made by members of the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee following the publication of its report into the financial accounts of a sample of seven third-level institutions …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 11 July]
[The report is here]

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Greater transparency in management of third-level accounts called for – PAC report

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has called for greater transparency in the management of the financial accounts of third-level colleges. It comes in a hard-hitting PAC report that is critical of how colleges spend public funds and run aspects of their affairs …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 11 July]

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