Call for review of Leaving Cert maths bonus over third-level fears

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on August 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“There are concerns over the basic skills of Leaving Cert maths students who are passing the higher-level paper but struggling to cope at third level, according to a university president …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 18 August]

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More girls take up higher-level STEM subjects

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on August 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Girls studying science subjects took greater advantage than boys of changes to the college entry system that rewards average students for sitting higher level exams. Latest State Examinations Commission figures reveal proportionately more girls moved up to higher level in the three main science subjects …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 18 August]

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Bruton urges colleges to help take pressure out of exam points system

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on August 17th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Education Minister Richard Bruton has urged more colleges to take pressure out of the points system by reducing the number of courses from which to choose for students. One element of the college entry reforms kicking in this year is resulting in more Leaving Cert students taking Higher Level exams in most subjects. However, long-running proposals to have fewer but more general entry-level courses, particularly by universities, have only been adopted by some colleges …” (more)

[Niall Murray and Juno McEnroe, Irish Examiner, 17 August]

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Leaving Cert 2017: Girls outperform boys in most subjects

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on August 17th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Girls outperformed boys in the vast majority of subjects, a gender analysis of this year’s Leaving Cert results shows. In all, girls secured a higher proportion of top grades – grades one, two or three – in 32 out of 38 subjects at higher level. A similar pattern is evident at ordinary level …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 17 August]

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Government vows crackdown on universities giving out too many firsts

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on August 17th, 2017 by steve

“The Government is preparing a crackdown on the rapidly increasing proportion of top degrees being awarded by universities, amid fears that the value of higher education is being eroded. Ministers are drawing up plans to stop the growth in students receiving first-class degrees so that university education continues to carry ‘prestige’, raising the prospect that quotas could be introduced to limit the numbers of top awards …” (more)

[Rachael Pells, Independent, 17 August]

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Testing times in higher education

Posted in Teaching on August 14th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – I want to thank Dr Greg Foley (Letters, August 7th) for his list of review processes at DCU. It should be required reading for anyone considering adding to the list …” (more)

[James Quinn, Irish Times, 14 August]

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With Third-Level Awaiting News of Teaching Review, UK Students’ Union Caution Wariness

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on August 14th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Students’ unions in the UK claimed success in recent days after they were able to exclude 12 universities from a national student survey in an attempt to damage the government’s Teaching Excellence Framework. The radical action, they say, was successful. Now, if the Irish government does indeed introduce a similar framework, Irish students’ unions will need to decide what their stance will be on a policy that has divided UK higher education …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath, University Times, 12 AUgust]

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Universities should be about learning, not satisfaction

Posted in Teaching on August 11th, 2017 by steve

“Another year, another National Student Survey (NSS) has been published. The NSS asks students about different aspects of their university experience, and then ranks universities for overall ‘student satisfaction’ levels. The NSS has been widely criticised …” (more)

[Ieuan Joy, spiked, 11 August]

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Student satisfaction levels welcome – Archibald

Posted in Teaching on August 11th, 2017 by steve

“Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has welcomed the National Student Survey results for universities in the north, which show high levels of satisfaction of final year students with their degree courses …” (more)

[Sinn Féin, 11 August]

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NI students happy with university courses

Posted in Teaching on August 9th, 2017 by steve

“The majority of NI students were satisfied with their degree courses this year, a UK-wide survey suggests. The National Student Survey (NSS) found 85% of final year students at NI universities said they were satisfied with the quality of their course …” (more)

[Robbie Meredith, BBC News, 9 August]

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Plans to review teaching quality in universities ‘exasperating’

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

Ireland“College lecturers have criticised plans which they say could result in rankings on teaching quality which place a major emphasis on student satisfaction. The Irish Times reported recently that a review into the quality of higher education is to be carried out by the Government following concerns over the impact of falling investment and rising student numbers …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 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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Testing times for quality teaching

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on August 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – With the news that the Minister for Education is considering the introduction of a UK-style Teaching Excellence Framework (Home News, July 25th) it is worth considering some of the quality processes that currently exist in the third-level sector, specifically my university, DCU …” (more)

[Greg Foley, Irish Times, 7 August]

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Trinity Consent Workshops Return in September Improved and Refocused, After Year of Review

Posted in Teaching on August 6th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Consent workshops for incoming first-year students have undergone several changes after 400 students participated in last year’s successful pilot. The most successful workshops of their kind in Ireland last year, the classes were held in Trinity Hall over the course of Freshers’ Week …” (more)

[Kathleen McNamee, University Times, 5 August]

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Emerging controls in Elsevier’s scholarly communications ecology

Posted in Teaching on August 5th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“As I’ve written about Elsevier’s service development strategy in the distant past, I’ve decided to shame myself into making some fresh comment and help kick the tires of a very neglected DarkRepository. Elsevier’s ongoing acquisitions programme turned another chapter on Monday with news that it had acquired bepress, (formerly the Berkeley Electronic Press), an academic software firm …” (more)

[DarkRepository, 4 August]

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Study finds many European academics are reluctant to teach in English

Posted in Teaching on August 4th, 2017 by steve

“New research has revealed deep ambivalence among academics told by European universities to teach and publish in English, with one even threatening to sue his department rather than switch language. As European continental universities increasingly switch to English for master’s programs, interviews conducted at the University of Hamburg in Germany show that there is resistance to the shift …” (more)

[David Matthews, Inside Higher Ed, 4 August]

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Following Trinity’s Example, Queen’s University Belfast to Launch Consent Classes in October

Posted in Teaching on July 31st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Queen’s University Belfast’s consent classes will be based on the successful Trinity model when they run for the first time in October. The pilot programme, which will run in Queen’s residential accommodation, could see nearly 1,500 first-year students take part …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath, University Times, 31 July]

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A TEF for Ireland?

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on July 31st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“With the news that the minister is considering the introduction of a UK-style TEF (Teaching Excellence Framework) it is worth considering some of the quality process that currently exist in the third level sector, specifically my university, DCU …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 31 July]

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Ireland Does Not Need a Teaching Framework that has Divided UK Higher Education

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on July 31st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The presidents of Irish universities have spent the last few years preoccupied with the higher education funding crisis. Meanwhile, their UK counterparts have spent the last two years brooding over a similarly prickly development: that of the Teaching Excellence Framework …” (more)

[University Times, 30 July]

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Not all PhD supervisors are natural mentors – some need training

Posted in Teaching on July 29th, 2017 by steve

“When I told my graduate supervisor that I wanted to join his lab, he blinked at me and said, ‘Do you think you can handle it?’ I was overwhelmed by self-consciousness as a wave of cold anxiety rushed through me. My inner voice screamed, ‘I thought I could, but maybe I can’t?’ Outwardly, all I could muster was a small, squeaky, ‘Yes, I think so’ …” (more)

[Guardian, 28 July]

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