Figuring out the challenges of being a scientist and a mum

Posted in Life on April 24th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A couple of weeks ago, I received an invitation to give a talk at an event about the challenges of being a woman working in the field of science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem). However, not only am I a woman working in Stem, I’m also a parent working in Stem, and this event started at 6pm, clashing with a meeting at my child’s school …” (more)

[Jane Stout, Irish Times, 24 April]

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Study finds female professors outperform men in service – to their possible professional detriment

Posted in Life on April 17th, 2017 by steve

“Women shoulder a disproportionately large workload at home in ways that might disadvantage them professionally. But are female professors also ‘taking care of the academic family’ via disproportionate service loads? A new study says yes and adds to a growing body of research suggesting the same …” (more)

[Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, 12 April]

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A business model for universities

Posted in Life on April 17th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The correspondents from NUI Galway (Letters, April 8th) raised the problem of precarious employment in the university particularly as it affects junior staff members. Your readers will also recently be aware of the discrimination in promotion against female staff members in the university …” (more)

[Brian Leonard, Irish Times, 17 April]

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Appreciation: Prof Matthew F McCarthy

Posted in Life on April 17th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Prof Matthew F McCarthy, Emeritus Professor of mathematical physics in NUI Galway and former registrar, was an accomplished scientist with a strong sense of humanity. He was born in Cork on November 19th, 1938 to Daniel and Margaret McCarthy …” (more)

[Irish Times, 17 April]

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The pace of academic life is not the problem – the lack of autonomy is

Posted in Life on April 3rd, 2017 by steve

“To many disgruntled with the quantification of scholarship, its impossible demands and meaningless metrics, it is the heightened pace of academic life that is the problem. For Alison Edwards, the crux of the problem is actually a lack of autonomy. Is it time for academics to take back control? …” (more)

[Impact of Social Sciences, 3 April]

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Is UCD doing enough for student parents?

Posted in Governance and administration, Life on April 1st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“While getting through university is a challenge for most students, few can imagine the difficulties faced by those who have to raise their own children while completing their studies. A third-level course is as demanding as a full-time job, except it costs money rather than providing it. On top of this, student-parents have to deal with the same childcare costs that overwhelm many dual-income households …” (more)

[Orla Keaveney, University Observer, 31 March]

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Generation Erasmus: ‘A very different view of Europe’

Posted in Life on April 1st, 2017 by steve

“One of the advantages of going on Erasmus is that you have flexibility in what you study – you can dabble in one or two things that aren’t necessarily related to your course …” (more)

[Mia Colleran, Irish Times, 30 March]

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‘This is going to affect my degree. I worked so hard’

Posted in Life on March 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A final-year student is extremely anxious that she may not get her degree if a halt is not called to the Bus Éireann strike soon …” (more)

[Independent, 28 March]

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What I’m really thinking: A working class student from the country

Posted in Life on March 24th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“When I was in Montessori school, my teacher sold me the ‘Disney’ line that I could be whatever I wanted to be and I believed her. I went home and did some digging in the back garden with my dad and decided I was going to do that for a living because it was fun …” (more)

[Stacey Wrenn, Trinity News, 23 March]

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‘Happiness in Higher Education’

Posted in Life on March 20th, 2017 by steve

Abstract: This paper investigates the higher education literature surrounding happiness and related notions: satisfaction, despair, flourishing and well-being. It finds that there is a real dearth of literature relating to profound happiness in higher education: much of the literature using the terms happiness and satisfaction interchangeably as if one were tantamount to the other, such conflation being due to the move towards consumerism within higher education and the marketisation of the sector. What literature there exists that actually deals with the profound happiness of students in higher education, generally argues that in the United Kingdom institutions do not currently do enough to promote happiness in higher education. These findings imply that flourishing, contentment and well-being should be regarded as legitimate goals of higher education, alongside satisfaction and related economic outcomes that are currently promoted across academic and policy literature, university rankings and the National Student Survey.

A Elwick and S Cannizzarro, ‘Happiness in Higher Education’, Higher Education Quarterly, First published online: 19 March 2017.

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Under-managed universities

Posted in Life on March 1st, 2017 by steve

“I have been having some interesting conversations with folks recently about ‘overwork’ in academia. It is clear to me that a lot of professors are absolutely frazzled. It is also clear to me that on average professors work hard – not necessarily because The Man is standing over them with a whip but because as a rule academics are professional and driven …” (more)

[Alex Usher, HESA, 1 March]

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Loneliness and Isolation in UCD

Posted in Life on February 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Earlier this month, the University Observer published an article entitled ‘Double Major Isolation’ in which four double major arts students in UCD spoke about the feelings of isolation and loneliness that two often come with doing the joint honours BA. How big is a problem like loneliness in UCD? No one could say for sure, however what can be examined is what is being done to combat it …” (more)

[Eithne Dodd, University Observer, 27 February]

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Students cross a picket line every day

Posted in Life on February 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“I grew up surrounded by trade unionists. I distinctly remember seeing a news report about an industrial action on the news when my mother said: ‘If I ever crossed a picket line, my father would turn in his grave’. Her father, my grandfather, was born in inner-city Dublin, and having helped build the ESB coal burning station in Ringsend, went on to work there for decades as a turbine driver …” (more)

[Daire O’Driscoll, Trinity News, 25 February]

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UCC student dies after contracting meningitis

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

Ireland“A Cork student died today after contracting meningitis. In a statement, University College Cork (UCC) said …” (more)

[TheJournal.ie, 17 February]

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HEA Report Shows Ongoing Improvement in Employment Opportunities and Salaries for Graduates

Posted in Life on February 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Employment opportunities for graduates of Irish universities and colleges of education continued to improve last year, according to a report published today by the Higher Education Authority (HEA). ‘What do graduates do?’ is published each year and provides insights into the first destination of graduates of Irish universities and colleges of education, nine months after graduation …” (more, download)

[HEA, 15 February]

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Graduates getting jobs quickly – and more staying in Ireland

Posted in Life on February 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Growing numbers of graduates are walking into jobs at home soon after leaving college. Almost two in three – 62% – of those who left university in 2015 with an honours bachelor degree were employed the following spring, including 53% of graduates working in Ireland …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 15 February]

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Double Major Isolation

Posted in Life on February 8th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“It’s no secret that UCD is a big campus. There are over 33,000 students and a couple thousand of them are participating in the biggest arts programme in the country. But when you’re in a double-major arts programme, there are no specialised classes and while there might be tutors that learn your name if you’re the kind of person that speaks up in class, there is no reason ever for your lecturers to know who you are unless you go to them with a specific problem …” (more)

[Eithne Dodd, University Observer, 8 February]

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Brexit may curtail my lecturing career in the UK

Posted in Life on February 4th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A career in anthropology has taken Geraldine Fahy to the Lebanon, Kosovo, the Netherlands and Belgium, but she is now based at the University of Kent, where she lecturers in biological anthropology …” (more)

[Geraldine Fahy, Irish Times, 3 February]

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Colm Tóibín appointed chancellor of Liverpool University

Posted in Life on February 2nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Novelist Colm Tóibín has been appointed chancellor of the University of Liverpool. The author, who won the 2009 Costa novel of the year with Brooklyn, accepted the role because of the part universities play promoting ideas and connections, which, he said. mattered now more than ever …” (more)

[Danuta Kean, Irish Times, 2 February]

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Why schizophrenia need not rob us of a life in academia

Posted in Life on February 1st, 2017 by steve

“On an autumn afternoon in 2009, I was fired from my job as a university lecturer. I hadn’t declared my schizophrenia on an application form and this was treated as gross misconduct. Many years later, I returned to the lecture theatre – but this time I was open about my condition, to a much more positive response …” (more)

[Guardian, 1 February]

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