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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Are parents to blame for the lack of women in Stem?

Posted in Life on January 31st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Blame the parents. They may want the best for their children, but many end up directing them away from certain areas of study based on outdated notions of ‘acceptable’ careers. A major Government-commissioned report into the shortage of female graduates in Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) found that parents are heavily influencing their daughters’ career choices in particular …” (more)

[Nora-Ide McAuliffe, Irish Times, 31 January]

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Harriet Harman memoir tells of university tutor’s ‘grade for sex’ offer

Posted in Life on January 30th, 2017 by steve

“Harriet Harman has said she spoke out about an incident more than 40 years ago in which a university tutor allegedly offered her a better grade in exchange for sex because such events are ‘still a battle we’ve got to fight now’ …” (more)

[Peter Walker, Guardian, 29 January]

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Women in STEM ‘more likely to burn out’

Posted in Life on January 26th, 2017 by steve

“Women working in university science departments report higher levels of job-related burnout than men, suggests new research. The study points to reasons why women working in science might leave academia and offers ways for universities to better support them …” (more)

[Holly Else, Times Higher Education, 25 January]

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Lecturing abroad: A necessary step for many Irish academics

Posted in Life on January 25th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Third-level educators have long had to accept the need to travel to get on in academia. Young, aspiring academics in Ireland may have to wait for older members of staff to retire for openings to become available. Even then, there is no guarantee of getting that job …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 24 January]

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DCU students from rural Ireland on what it would take to return home

Posted in Life on January 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“What would it take to make you move back home? Many third-level students from regional communities who attend Dublin City University say they would love to make a living close to family and friends. But few see any credible chance of making a living in the towns and villages where they grew up …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 23 January]

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Obituary: Ronan Fanning

Posted in Life on January 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Ronan Fanning, professor emeritus of modern history at UCD, who has died aged 75, was ‘an important public intellectual’, Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said this week. It is to be regretted that the country has lost him only half way through our so-called ‘decade of centenaries’ …” (more)

[Irish Times, 21 January]

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President: professor left a rich legacy of research

Posted in Life on January 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“President Michael D Higgins led the tributes to the noted historian, Professor Ronan Fanning, who died yesterday. Prof Fanning (75), was Professor Emeritus of Modern History at University College Dublin where he also studied …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 19 January]

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A new year, a new semester

Posted in Life on January 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“I always enjoy the start of the second semester. There’s usually a great atmosphere around the college – after long weeks of quiet, it’s great to see the students back and all the restaurants, shops and canteens back open. The students themselves always seem to be in good form too …” (more)

[Antimatter, 17 January]