Arts degrees overhaul to target better job prospects

Posted in Teaching on March 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“University College Dublin is to extensively reform its arts degree courses to try and improve the chances of students getting jobs when they graduate. Points for arts degrees have been falling in recent years as students and their parents question the job prospects linked to these qualifications …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 18 March]

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What’s the point of an arts degree?

Posted in Teaching on March 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“You’ve probably heard the joke before: science students spend their careers asking ‘why does it work?’; engineering graduates ponder ‘how does it work?’; while arts graduates, ask : ‘do you want fries with that?’ Gags about arts graduates and Mcjobs may be old, but the latest facts show not a lot has changed …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 18 March]

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Arts for arts sake? Writers on the value of an arts degree

Posted in Governance and administration on September 29th, 2016 by steve

IrelandJoseph O’Connor: I did an arts degree, English and history, at UCD, and it was one of the most valuable experiences of my life. I was very lucky in that my teachers included such great people as Declan Kiberd, Seamus Deane, Hugh Gough, Ronan Fanning, Mary Daly and Michael Laffan …” (more)

[Martin Doyle, Irish Times, 28 September]


Arts degrees: are they worth doing any more?

Posted in Life on September 13th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“These days, all the focus seems to be on how science and technology are the ‘sexy’ subjects everyone should be doing, but employers say arts courses develop crucial skills for the modern workplace …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 13 September]

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CAO cynicism

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 22nd, 2016 by steve

Ireland“It’s that time of the year when the Central Applications Office (CAO) makes offers of third level places to Ireland’s school-leavers. Places are allocated on the basis of a complex but transparent system of supply (of courses by third level institutions), demand (for courses by school leavers), and grades (obtained by school leavers in the second level terminal examination, the Leaving Certificate) …” (more)

[Eoin O’Dell, Cearta, 22 August]

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Stem steams ahead as students abandon the arts ship

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 22nd, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Students have been bombarded with calls to study science, technology, engineering and maths (known collectively as Stem) over the past few years. The message seems to be working, as points for those courses have risen across the board for the first round of CAO offers …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 22 August]

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Valuing arts graduates

Posted in Governance and administration on May 6th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The recent Higher Education Authority graduate findings on employment and earnings of arts graduates should not be read as a further argument for the redundancy of arts education …” (more)

[Graham Quinn, Irish Times, 6 May]

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The Stem obsession does a disservice to arts and humanities

Posted in Research on March 1st, 2016 by steve

Ireland“There seems to be an obsession that in order to survive the global war on talent our graduates must be herded in ever-greater numbers towards science, technology, engineering and maths subjects. The irony is that neglecting the arts and humanities will put us on a dangerously narrow path for the future …” (more)

[Jane Ohlmeyer, Irish Times, 1 March]

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Humanities and science: an unequal competition?

Posted in Governance and administration on March 1st, 2016 by steve

Scotland“Over recent years the debates on higher education funding have addressed not just whether that funding is sufficient, but also increasingly how it should be distributed. In this context the growing volume of science funding, often linked to economic development priorities, has sometimes raised the issue of whether science and engineering have got a better deal than the humanities, the arts and the social sciences …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 1 March]

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Is Trinity Failing to Bridge the Gap Between the Arts and the Sciences?

Posted in Governance and administration on January 9th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“In August, The University Times reported that in 2015, Trinity’s engineering, maths and science courses saw significant rises both in the number of applications and the points required, with Engineering with Management seeing a rise of 45 points to 505, while MSISS rising 40 points to 555 …” (more)

[John Bethell, University Times, 8 January]

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QUB to Merge Seven Schools

Posted in Governance and administration on December 16th, 2015 by steve

UK“Queen’s University Belfast has discussed plans to merge schools within the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences faculty, the Gown has learned from a University source …” (more)

[Niamh McGovern, The Gown, 16 December]

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Mathematics and education

Posted in Teaching on December 16th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Kevin T Ryan (December 14th) states, ‘Saying arts graduates don’t need maths is like saying engineers don’t need English’. Frankly, I don’t want to walk over a bridge hand in hand with its designing engineer while reciting Gerald Manley Hopkins’s Windhover …” (more)

[Robert Irwin, Irish Times, 16 December]

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Mathematics and education

Posted in Teaching on December 15th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Robert Irwin (December 10th) avers that arts graduates do not use algebra. He is correct. Mathematical illiteracy, specifically inability to distinguish evidence from anecdote, is widespread. The phenomenon is not benign …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 15 December]

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Mathematics and education

Posted in Teaching on December 12th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Further to Robert Irwin’s letter (December 10th), it is wrong to suggest that arts students will never need to use algebra. One reason for this is that mathematics is offered as an arts degree in a number of universities both here and in the United Kingdom …” (more)

[KT Lynch, Irish Times, 12 December]

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Education driven by the market

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 18th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – I am concerned by the over emphasis on Stem subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) in our secondary education system, as highlighted by a number articles on CAO offers (August 17th). What is alarming is the silent acceptance of the notion that our education system should be driven by market forces …” (more)

[Letters from Graham Quinn and Joseph Mackey, Irish Times, 18 August]

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Education – broad or deep?

Posted in Teaching on June 6th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Karlin Lillington’s recent column (‘Graduates must bridge divide between arts and science’, Business Opinion, June 4th) is just the latest in a growing list of articles extolling the value of broad-based, multidisciplinary undergraduate education …” (more)

[Greg Foley, Irish Times, 6 June]

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Graduates must bridge divide between arts and science

Posted in Governance and administration on June 4th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“When I recently attended the project showcase by graduates in technology and psychology at the Institute for Art, Design and Technology (IADT), in Dún Laoghaire, I got an unexpected chuckle …” (more)

[Karlin Lillington, Irish Times, 4 June]

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Ignoring the Fact that, in Irish Universities, Arts Rank Better than Science

Posted in Governance and administration on May 10th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“University subject rankings consistently show that AHSS subjects rank far higher than STEM subjects. So why the constant focus on STEM? A university should, to be true to its name, be universal. Universal, in that it should favour no one discipline over another, save on the basis of academic excellence …” (more)

[Brian Lucey, University Times, 9 May]

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Time for the state to shift its AHSS on higher education policy?

Posted in Governance and administration on April 29th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Ranking season is upon us with the QS rankings of subject areas (not, as is commonly though, Departments) now revealed. Again we find that despite the hype Irish universities are stronger in Arts and Humanities than in the STEM areas …” (more)

[Brian M Lucey, 29 April]

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In Defense of Liberal Arts AND Employability

Posted in Life, Teaching on April 4th, 2015 by steve

USA“My dad told me to get a liberal arts degree. Instead, I suffered through a rigorous training in engineering and finance. I learned thermodynamics and financial mechanics but did little reading, no writing, and no contemplation of the past, the future, or the well being of my fellow man …” (more)

[Tom Vander Ark, Huffington Post, 4 April]

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