University counselling services ‘inundated by stressed academics’

Posted in Life on May 23rd, 2019 by steve

“Stressed out academics are inundating university counselling services as they grapple with heavy workloads and oppressive management, a report says. Referrals to such services had risen by three-quarters between 2009 and 2015, the study for the Higher Education Policy Institute indicated …” (more)

[Hannah Richardson, BBC News, 23 May]

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You don’t exist just ‘to be useful’, President tells young philosophers

Posted in Life on May 16th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Ireland needs to guard against a reengineering of the education system under the assumption that ‘we exist to be made useful’, President Michael D Higgins has said. Attending the Irish Young Philosopher Awards 2019 at UCD’s O’Reilly Hall, the President said …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 15 May]

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What is this ‘anti-PhD’ attitude about?

Posted in Life on May 15th, 2019 by steve

“Lately, more and more students want a non-academic job when they finish their PhD. Anecdotally, some graduates seem to be experiencing the PhD as a barrier to employment, not an enabler. In fact, I’ve heard so much negative talk about how employers react to PhD holders over the years that it seemed important to start looking at this phenomenon more closely …” (more)

[The Thesis Whisperer, 13 May]

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The pros and cons of academic life

Posted in Life on May 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“For the last week or so I’ve been laid low with a ‘bug’ and I’ve been thinking about the pros and cons of academic life. One of the main ‘pros’ of this career is flexibility, something that is invaluable if you have young children or if you have health issues or if you have any kind of commitment that requires you to be able to work flexibly …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 15 May]

Marking the End of Term

Posted in Life on May 11th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“So here we are, then. The term is finally over. Lectures officially finished yesterday, and there’s now another week or so before examinations start (next Friday, 17th May). The examinations for my two modules take place on Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd May, and after that I’ll be busy with marking for a while …” (more)

[In the Dark, 11 May]

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‘Annals of administration semi-literacy, tight-fistedness, and tone-deafness. Chapter 132.’

Posted in Life on May 8th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“We’re sure that many of you have by now received the latest public-relations offensive (and we do mean ‘offensive’) from the President about the ghastly corporate ‘University Club’. But have you been to the website? Put it this way: if the University Club has been slapped together half as carelessly as its website, expect to find bits of ceiling tile floating in your soup …” (more)

[HWUCD, 8 May]


Graduate recruitment programmes on the rise as the class of 2019 soars

Posted in Life on May 7th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Graduates of 2019: the lottery of time is on your side. Unlike those unfortunate enough to be blasted out into the labour market of 2009, we’re now approaching full employment. But just what does this mean for graduates who want a strong start to their career? …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 7 May]


Universities extend closing times to early hours of morning to cope with demand

Posted in Life on May 6th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Universities are increasingly extending their main library closing times into the early hours of the morning to cope with a surge in demand for late-night study. Colleges say they are responding to demand for extra study time in the run-up to the exams, while trying to balance this with student welfare …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 6 May]

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My London history students’ knowledge of Ireland is, at times, shocking

Posted in Life on May 6th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“I am an Irish academic working in the UK, in the fields of Irish and British history. My perspectives on Brexit, Britain and Ireland are centred around universities and education, but I think many of my experiences would be similar to other Irish people in the UK …” (more)

[Joan Redmond, Irish Times, 6 May]

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‘Students are under so much pressure – they’re like zombies’

Posted in Life, Teaching on May 6th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“It’s midnight outside UCD’s James Joyce library and hundreds of bleary-eyed students are trailing out the main door. Some have been here since first thing in the morning in order to grab a coveted seat with a socket to plug in their laptops …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 6 May]

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More than two thirds of women on ‘home duties’ with higher education do not want to return to workforce, says new survey

Posted in Life on May 1st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“More than two thirds of women who work in the home and have a third level education do not want to return to a paid job, according to a survey issued today. In research conducted by SOLAS on 218,000 women on ‘home duties’, not participating in the labour force and aged between 20–64, the majority of women – regardless of their education level – said they did not wish to return to the labour force …” (more)

[Sorcha O’Connor, Independent, 1 May]

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Work-Life Balance

Posted in Legal issues, Life on May 1st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A new EU Work-Life Balance Directive has recently been agreed. The ultimate aim of this Directive is to improve gender equality by easing access to work-life balance arrangements for parents and carers and to boost the participation of men in family-related leaves of absence or flexible working arrangements …” (more)

[IFUT, 30 April]

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Prof Terence Dolan dies following long illness

Posted in Life on April 27th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Prof Terence Dolan, English academic and radio expert on all manner of phraseology and word use, has died following a long battle with illness. A former Emeritus Professor of English at the National University of Ireland (UCD), Prof Dolan was described on Friday as a man could ‘turn a sentence on a ha’penny’ and deftly produce a turn of phrase faster than Oscar Wilde …” (more)

[Mark Hilliard, Irish Times, 26 April]

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Semester Rhythms and Recurring Burnout

Posted in Life on April 25th, 2019 by steve

“It’s April, the time of end-of-the-year exhaustion when daily demands have worn down students, faculty and staff members alike, leaving everyone overextended and on edge. Tensions erupt: students leave conferences crying, faculty meetings devolve into fighting and tense hallway interactions echo the strain of multiplying emails …” (more)

[Beth Godbee, Inside Higher Ed, 25 April]

‘Frenzy’ Outside Library, As Reduced Opening Hours Leave Students Battling for Seats

Posted in Life on April 20th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Students have blasted the College after the library’s opening hours were cut over the Easter weekend, with a crowd of more than a hundred left waiting outside this morning ahead of the start of exam season next Tuesday …” (more)

[Eleanor O’Mahony and Donal MacNamee, University Times, 19 April]

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The timing of Trinity’s construction works was nonsensical and inconsiderate

Posted in Life on March 21st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Despite having over 425 years of experience, Trinity still cannot seem to time things right. Works in Fellows’ Square, which necessitated the redirecting of students via the back of the 1937 Reading Room, began a week after students returned from the Christmas break …” (more)

[Darragh McDonagh, Trinity News, 20 March]


‘Reading’ Week

Posted in Life on March 19th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Today is the start of Reading Week – no classes for four days following yesterday’s St Patrick’s weekend Bank Holiday. It is a welcome break for me after eight weeks in a row of classes. Most of this week for me will be spent grading Continuous Assessments. I also have the remainder of the semester to plan – though just four more weeks to go …” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 19 March]


Student Commuters Are Often Left in the Lurch

Posted in Life on March 3rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“As we partake in the annual trudge towards the end of the season of bleak and bleary weather, students across Trinity are gritting their teeth and persevering through the last of the dark and dreary mornings in anticipation of the inevitable radiance of exam season …” (more)

[Cian Crowe, University Times, 2 March]

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Influential University of Limerick academic and former Senator Noel Mulcahy passes away

Posted in Life on March 1st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A founding academic of University of Limerick, who acted as an advisory to the Government to introduce free education, has passed away. Prof Noel William Mulcahy served as vice-president of the former National Institute of Higher Education (NIHE) in Limerick – now University of Limerick – as well as serving as the institute’s dean of Engineering and Science in the 1980s …” (more)

[Fintan Walsh, Limerick Leader, 28 February]

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Radical days at UCD – the Gentle Revolution 50 years on

Posted in Life on February 28th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Whenever I walk or drive past that tall building in Ballsbridge, I see him staring right at me. This is despite the fact that he exists only in my imagination and mind’s eye. The individual in question happens to be my younger self, an arts student at University College Dublin in days gone by, and he is walking up and down on his own, carrying a placard …” (more)

[Deaglán de Bréadún, Irish Times, 25 February]

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