Thousands of teachers to strike on February 4th

Posted in Governance and administration on January 17th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Thousands of teachers who are members of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) are to go on strike on Tuesday, February 4th. The one-day strike, just days before the general election, is over what the union described as the Government’s ‘ongoing failure to eliminate the injustice of pay discrimination’ …” (more)

[Martin Wall, Irish Times, 17 January]

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Is Sci-Hub Safe?

Posted in Research on January 17th, 2020 by steve

International“Alexandra Elbakyan, founder of the scholarly piracy website Sci-Hub, is suspected of working with Russian intelligence officials to steal confidential research and military secrets from American universities. According to The Washington Post, Elbakyan, nicknamed the Robin Hood of science, is currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice for suspected criminal acts and espionage …” (more)

[Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed, 17 January]

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Ireland’s Inaugural Teaching and Learning Research Fellowships

Posted in Teaching on January 17th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Teaching and Learning Research Fellowships are Ireland’s most prestigious national individual teaching and learning awards in higher education. The Fellowships will: recognise, reward and celebrate those who have demonstrated a deep commitment to the enhancement of teaching and learning; …” (more)

[TeachingandLearning.ie]

Are some students unfairly treated in State exams marking process?

Posted in Teaching on January 17th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Are some students unfairly losing out on marks in the State exams? It’s a question many students and parents will be asking in light of new disclosures about how Junior and Leaving Cert exams are marked. Earlier this week, The Irish Times reported details of an internal State Examinations Commission (SEC) research paper which concluded the marking process is rushed, unfair and risks compromising the accuracy of students’ grades …” (more)

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

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PhD student awarded €13,035 damages against NUI Galway over final ‘viva’ exam delay

Posted in Legal issues on January 17th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A PhD mathematical student has won his action against NUI Galway over a delay in scheduling his final ‘viva’ exam, which delayed his graduation and damaged his employment prospects. Isaac Burke (27), of Castlebar Co Mayo, who represented himself in the proceedings, was awarded damages of €13,035 by Judge Raymond Groarke at Galway Circuit Civil Court for breach of contract …” (more)

[Eavan Murray, Independent, 16 January]

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Funding boost for CIT arena

Posted in Governance and administration on January 17th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“CIT will be racing in to the future thanks to funding boost to the tune of €9.22 million. The college and Athletics Ireland made a joint application to the Large Scale Sports Infrastructural Fund to support the development of a new indoor community and high performance sports facility at the Bishopstown campus …” (more)

[Cork Independent, 16 January]

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Universities, fees and greed

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 17th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – As a working parent, I have come to the conclusion that you have to be very rich or very poor to qualify for grants or scholarships. Those of us in the middle-income class who do not meet the threshold of being under a certain reckonable income do not qualify and must pay the full amount of fees and accommodation if our children wish to progress in these third-level institutions …” (more)

[Christy Galligan, Irish Times, 17 January]

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Universities must open their archives and share their oppressive pasts

Posted in Governance and administration on January 17th, 2020 by steve

International“For the first time, a Canadian university – the University of Guelph – is reconciling with its history of teaching eugenics. Few universities in Canada have looked closely at their historical involvement in oppressive research, teaching and practice. Fewer still have made their archives accessible …” (more)

[Evadne Kelly and Carla Rice, The Conversation, 16 January]

Leaving Cert marks are altered as part of ‘unwritten policy’, claim examiners

Posted in Teaching on January 17th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Examiners involved in marking Leaving Cert papers have claimed there is an unwritten policy to alter the marks of selected students’ scripts in order to ensure consistent grades each year. A number of well-placed sources say the practice involves targeting certain exam papers whose grades can be easily manipulated because they are close to ‘grade boundaries’ …” (more)

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

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The Big Two Parties on Higher Education – In Their Own Words

Posted in Governance and administration on January 17th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“If we’re to believe the pundits, this election more than most others in Irish politics is a battle of the big two – Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. The conclusion of the parties’ confidence-and-supply deal signalled the end of the uneasy truce that bound them together for three years, and potshots have started flying in both directions as the parties seek to differentiate themselves and pitch to voters …” (more)

[Faye Curran, University Times, 16 January]

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State exam marking system

Posted in Teaching on January 17th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Michael O’Leary, writing on the need to make the State exam marking system more robust, identifies an important issue (Opinion & Analysis, January 16th). Two points he makes should be contested. He states that marking schemes may be altered by reducing the number of marks awarded to difficult questions. This is counter-intuitive …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 17 January]

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The Irish Times view on State exams marking: time for a fairer system

Posted in Teaching on January 17th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Every year the State Examinations Commission (SEC) undertakes a massive logistical challenge: organising exams for more than 100,000 students, marking countless scripts and issuing about a million grades. To its credit, it manages to organise this smoothly, efficiently and, usually, without major incident …” (more)

[Irish Times, 16 January]

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Springboard+ and Human Capital Initiative Pillar One 2020 Call for Proposals

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on January 17th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The 2020 Call for proposals is being launched today, 16th January. The Springboard+ Call is being run in conjunction with the Call for applications under Pillar One of the Human Capital Initiative. The Human Capital Initiative (HCI) will deliver an investment targeted towards increasing capacity in higher education in skills-focused programmes designed to meet priority skills needs …” (more)

[Maria Cross, HEA, 16 January]

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Students awarded first class degrees at record high despite crackdown on grade inflation

Posted in Governance and administration on January 17th, 2020 by steve

“More than one in four university graduates are still being awarded first class degrees despite a crackdown on grade inflation. A record number of students, 28.4%, were given a top degree last year – double the 14% who gained a first a decade ago, Higher Education Statistics Agency data revealed …” (more)

[Eleanor Busby, Independent, 16 January]

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Magee medical school: BMA welcomes funding boost

Posted in Governance and administration on January 16th, 2020 by steve

“Funding to kick-start stalled plans for a medical school in Londonderry is ‘such good news’, said the NI chair of the British Medical Association (BMA). A cash injection of £60m was announced on Wednesday for the school at Ulster University’s Magee campus …” (more)

[BBC News, 16 January]

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How students feel about the General Election being on a Saturday

Posted in Governance and administration on January 16th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Gill Stedman reports live from Maynooth University and speaks to students on the significance of the Saturday vote …” (audio)

[RTÉ Radio 1, 16 January]

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In Election Manifesto, USI Calls for an End to Student Contribution

Posted in Governance and administration on January 16th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has called on Ireland’s next government to remove the student contribution charge – at €3,000, the second-highest college fee in the EU – and advocated for free public transport for students, in its general election manifesto released this evening …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee and Cormac Watson, University Times, 15 January]

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Cork school and wider community celebrate: Minister to review asylum application of Cork-based family facing deportation

Posted in Life on January 16th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The justice minister has pledged to review the asylum application of a Cork-based family facing deportation. The Khan family have been living in direct provision since arriving in Ireland from Saudi Arabia in 2017 …” (more)

[EchoLive, 15 January]

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State exams body defends practice of issuing ‘estimated’ grades

Posted in Teaching on January 16th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The State Examinations Commission (SEC) has defended its practice of awarding hundreds of ‘estimated’ grades to students. Internal records show the SEC takes this approach when some or all of a student’s work in not available for marking due to ‘unique, unforeseen and exceptional’ circumstances …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 16 January]

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Student accommodation discussions key focus for new city development plan

Posted in Governance and administration on January 15th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The provision of student accommodation in Cork is a key focus of talks between city planners and the city’s third-level institutions as work starts of the drafting of a new city development plan. The city council said the series of engagements are ‘background research’ ahead of the formal preparation later this year of a draft development plan – the first to include the expanded city region …” (more)

[Eoin English, Irish Examiner, 15 January]

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