Save Mayo GMIT campaigners considering general election move

Posted in Governance and administration on March 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Campaigners involved in rescuing the Mayo GMIT campus from further decline and possible closure are lining up a candidate to run in the next general election, The Connaught Telegraph has learned …” (more)

[Tom Kelly, Connaught Telegraph, 22 March]

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Is the importance of female role models in science overstated?

Posted in Research on March 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“I recently watched the movie Hidden Figures and was incredibly moved by the true story of Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, who worked at Nasa during the space race of the 1960s. These women, originally employed as human computers in the coloured section at Nasa, became trail-blazers in their fields of mathematics, physics, engineering and computer science, breaking not only gender but also racial stereotypes of the time …” (more)

[Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, Irish Times, 23 March]

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Academia is fucked-up. So why isn’t anyone doing something about it?

Posted in Research on March 23rd, 2017 by steve

“A week or so ago, a list of perverse incentives in academia made rounds. It offers examples like ‘rewarding an increased number of citations’ that – instead of encouraging work of high quality and impact – results in inflated citation lists, an academic tit-for-tat which has become standard practice. Likewise, rewarding a high number of publications doesn’t produce more good science, but merely finer slices of the same science …” (more)

[Sabine Hossenfelder, Backreaction, 22 March]

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IFUT to Ballot Members Over Joining Strike Action

Posted in Governance and administration on March 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) is to ballot its Trinity members on strike action, following the College’s decision to no longer offer permanent contracts or promotions to support and administrative staff …” (more)

[Róisín Power, University Times, 22 March]

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LIT president excited about potential ‘knowledge corridor’

Posted in Governance and administration on March 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“President of LIT, Professor Vincent Cunnane has welcomed proposals for the new Northern Distributor Road, stating that it will make Limerick ‘a better place to live’. Making his first public comment on the planned development to the region, Professor Cunnane said …” (more)

[Simon Bourke, Limerick Post, 22 March]

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NUI Galway renames engineering building after first female engineering graduate

Posted in Governance and administration on March 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“NUI Galway have renamed their engineering building this week after the first woman in Ireland and the UK who earned an engineering degree. The Engineering building was renamed the Alice Perry Engineering Building this week. Alice Perry earned a degree in engineering in 1906, graduating from Queen’s College Galway …” (more)

[Sorcha O’Connor, Independent, 22 March]

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Brexit could lead to increase in CAO points for Irish students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 22nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Brexit could lead to increases in CAO points if thousands of Irish students who study in the UK opt to remain at home, a university president has warned. Dublin City University president Brian MacCraith said up to 12,000 Irish students currently study in universities across the UK …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 21 March]

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How scholars at one UK institution are reclaiming their university

Posted in Governance and administration on March 22nd, 2017 by steve

“We are living through an epochal moment in the history of universities. The ideals of progressive enlightenment that carried them through past centuries have all but collapsed, along with the once hegemonic powers that sustained their academic legitimacy …” (more)

[Tim Ingold, Times Higher Education, 21 March]

Gender bias distorts peer review across field

Posted in Research on March 22nd, 2017 by steve

International“In many scientific fields, women publish fewer papers than men, are less likely to be listed as first authors and are less likely to receive glowing letters of recommendation from their advisers. These disparities have decreased over time, but they persist. Now, a study finds that some journal editors might be inadvertently taking gender into account when selecting reviewers for papers …” (more)

[Erin Ross, Nature News, 21 March]

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Provost moves out of 1 Grafton Street due to Luas works

Posted in Governance and administration on March 22nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Provost Patrick Prendergast has moved from 1 Grafton Street into a city centre apartment in Dublin 2 to escape the noise of the ongoing Luas Cross City construction works. The move to the College owned property occurred just before Christmas and is being financed by Trinity …” (more)

[Niamh Lynch, Trinity News, 21 March]

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Hatred, Division and the University

Posted in Governance and administration on March 22nd, 2017 by steve

“Although I am not a citizen of The Netherlands, I am relieved that Geert Wilders will not be the next prime minister there. I found his anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant rhetoric reprehensible. Likewise, I hope that Marine Le Pen will fail in her election bid to become France’s next president …” (more)

[Liz Reisberg, Inside Higher Ed, 21 March]

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Higher education ‘can thrive in Ireland after UK exit’

Posted in Governance and administration on March 22nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Brexit represents a major opportunity for Ireland’s higher education system, provided it gets the necessary State supports. The potential benefits include attracting more investment for research, more foreign students and more quality academics, but it will require investment and the right initiatives, the Oireachtas Education Committee was told …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 22 March]

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Our Attitudes Towards Gender Inequality in Education are Excluding the Issues of Men and Boys

Posted in Governance and administration on March 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Much has been said in recent times about the need for gender equality education in Ireland. For third-level institutions, the discussion tends to focus on the dearth of women and girls in technical fields such as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and their underrepresentation in the upper echelons of universities …” (more)

[James Behan, University Times, 20 March]

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Students fear they lack skills to set up business

Posted in Research on March 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Many third-level students want to set up their own businesses after graduation, but college supports to do so might be lacking, a new study suggests. While one-in-six have the strongest ambitions to start their own ventures in the future, barely half said their college encouraged entrepreneurial activities …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 21 March]

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Fake universities

Posted in Governance and administration on March 21st, 2017 by steve

“We have all had to get accustomed to ‘fake news’, but we should also pay attention to the rise of fake universities. For those who think this is a minor issue, the global statistics do not support them. It is a feature both of developing and developed countries, and it is surprisingly difficult to police …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 21 March]

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Dublin planners raise concerns over DIT student digs

Posted in Governance and administration on March 20th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Dublin City Council has raised ‘serious concerns’ about the potential overconcentration of student accommodation surrounding the new DIT Grangegorman campus. Council planners have sent two major schemes, which would provide housing for almost 1,000 students within a few minutes’ walk of the campus …” (more)

[Olivia Kelly, Irish Times, 20 March]

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The ten smartest university rankings in the world (or lists if you want to be pedantic)

Posted in Governance and administration on March 20th, 2017 by steve

International“Paul Greatrix at Wonk HE has just published a list of the ten dumbest rankings in the world. Some I would agree with but the choice of others seems a little odd. He objects to U-Multirank because it is expensive which is unfair when you consider the money that universities are spending on summits, consultancies, audits, ranking task forces and the like …” (more)

[University Ranking Watch, 20 March]

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Bonus points lure one-third of pupils to higher maths

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on March 20th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“About one in three Leaving Cert students has applied to sit higher-level maths this year, many lured by the prospect of earning 25 CAO bonus points. Interest among sixth years in the ‘honours’ paper is similar to what it was at the same stage in 2016 and 2015, suggesting that uptake is stabilising …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 20 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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Collision course on public sector hours issue

Posted in Governance and administration on March 20th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“While the restoration of pay will be a priority for public sector workers, many employees say getting back hours is equally important and will be a ‘major issue’ in the renegotiation of the Lansdowne Road Agreement. It comes after Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Paschal Donohoe laid down a marker, making it clear the additional hours secured in the Haddington Road Agreement ‘remain critical to enabling us to meet increased demand in frontline service areas and to improve services to the public generally’ …” (more)

[Elaine Loughlin, Irish Examiner, 20 March]

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