At Charter Launch, IUA Calls on Government to ‘Step Up’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on September 17th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Universities Association (IUA) today called on the government to ‘step up to the challenge and match the ambition’ of Irish universities, at the launch of a charter designed to make Ireland’s education system the best in Europe by 2026. University autonomy was at the core of the charter, as well as student accessibility …” (more)

[Aisling Marren, University Times, 17 September]

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Published … the alienated academic: the struggle for autonomy inside the University

Posted in Governance and administration on August 30th, 2018 by steve

“I have a new monograph out with Palgrave Macmillan, entitled ‘The Alienated Academic: The Struggle for Autonomy Inside the University’. The book’s abstract is as follows: Higher education is increasingly unable to engage usefully with global emergencies, as its functions are repurposed for value. Discourses of entrepreneurship, impact and excellence, realised through competition and the market, mean that academics and students are increasingly alienated from themselves and their work …” (more)

[Richard Hall’s Space, 29 August]


The Certain Irony to the HEA Chief’s Resignation

Posted in Governance and administration on August 27th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Around a year ago, Dr Graham Love could still have been described as the newly installed beacon of Ireland’s third-level sector. And as CEO of the Higher Education Authority (HEA), he was seemingly on a mission to convince colleges that they had nothing to fear from the increasingly ominous threats to their autonomy …” (more)

[University Times, 26 August]

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Why Irish universities are in thrall to neoliberalism

Posted in Governance and administration on June 20th, 2018 by steve

“In a remarkable speech delivered recently, as he joined academics and historians at the launch of the Cambridge History of Ireland, President Michael D Higgins spoke out against the market model of higher education. Taking unflinching aim at research ratings and rankings, the President criticised metrics as an ‘ideological fad’ of the university …” (more)

[Áine Mahon and Shane Bergin, Irish Times, 19 June]

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Universities need less regulation and more autonomy

Posted in Governance and administration on January 22nd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“When announcing the latest links between university funding and delivery of national priorities, the Government has once again shown that there is a clear need for a wider understanding of the structures and processes of transparency and accountability that are already in place in the higher education sector …” (more)

[Andrew Deeks, Irish Times, 22 January]

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Public funding of autonomous universities: living with the complexities

Posted in Governance and administration on January 16th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Some years ago, when I was still President of Dublin City University, I attended a meeting between Irish government officials and university heads to discuss national higher education strategy. At one point the conversation focused on university autonomy. Everyone agree that such autonomy is vital for an internationally successful higher education system; but what exactly did ‘autonomy’ mean? It quickly became clear that each of the the two groups had a very different understanding of the term …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 15 January]

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New powers to investigate universities spark fears over autonomy

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on November 6th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Universities accused of wrongdoing face the prospect of being investigated by Government-appointed inspectors with the power to enter their premises and access sensitive internal records. The move has sparked concern among university presidents over the scope of these powers and whether it will undermine their autonomy …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 6 November]

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University of Limerick president fears for ‘erosion of autonomy’ after controversies

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on August 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The president of the University of Limerick has expressed fears that the autonomy of universities will be ‘eroded’ if greater powers are granted to the Higher Education Authority. As a result of the UL controversy and high levels of spending in other third-level institutions, the Minister of Education and Skills is finalising provisions to grant more authority to the HEA …” (more)

[Anne Sheridan, Limerick Leader, 23 August]

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How should universities respond when academic freedom is under threat?

Posted in Governance and administration on May 13th, 2017 by steve

“When European university leaders met last month for the annual European University Association conference in Bergen, Norway, top of the agenda was university independence and academic freedom. The focus on autonomy was timely …” (more)

[Paul Boyle, Times Higher Education, 13 May]

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Why Students’ Unions and Universities are on the Same Page Over Autonomy

Posted in Governance and administration on April 6th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Power and autonomy are big words. They’re terms that have come to frame the debate over abortion and the repeal of the eighth amendment. Now, the student movement has found a new use for them …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath, University Times, 5 April]

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The pace of academic life is not the problem – the lack of autonomy is

Posted in Life on April 3rd, 2017 by steve

“To many disgruntled with the quantification of scholarship, its impossible demands and meaningless metrics, it is the heightened pace of academic life that is the problem. For Alison Edwards, the crux of the problem is actually a lack of autonomy. Is it time for academics to take back control? …” (more)

[Impact of Social Sciences, 3 April]


Temporary Contracts in Trinity Raise Questions Over University Autonomy

Posted in Governance and administration on January 30th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The dispute between Trinity and its support and service staff rumbles on, with SIPTU and Unite currently considering their options for further action and the issue gathering momentum. This week the issue was raised in the Dáil by Paul Murphy TD in a question to the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton …” (more)

[University Times, 29 January]

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University autonomy works and should not be compromised

Posted in Governance and administration on December 5th, 2016 by steve

UK“Underlying many of the residual concerns over the Higher Education and Research Bill (which begins its consideration by the House of Lords this week) is the issue of institutional autonomy – and rightly so.But it’s too easy for ‘autonomy!’ to be a rallying cry rather than a cohesive argument …” (more)

[Simon Gaskell, Wonkhe, 5 December]

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University Autonomy, and the Reasons Colleges Are Sceptical of Publicly Funded Education

Posted in Governance and administration on November 26th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Two weeks ago, at a talk at the Royal Irish Academy, Provost Patrick Prendergast asked something of a pointed question of the former Chief Executive of the Higher Education Authority (HEA), Tom Boland …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath, University Times, 25 November]

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Fine Gael’s Election Manifesto on Third-Level Education is Excellent – But Can They Deliver?

Posted in Governance and administration on February 16th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“At a whopping 140 pages, Fine Gael’s Election 2016 Manifesto (published today) seems to have a lot. Everything from Disability, to Housing, and to Banking. In fact there are 29 separate sections – somebody has been working very hard to put this together. With so many sections, there can be no more than a few pages for each section – so I headed for the four and a half pages devoted to Education …” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 16 February]

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The difficult questions concerning university autonomy and accountability

Posted in Governance and administration on August 25th, 2015 by steve

Scotland“As readers of this blog will know, in 2011-12 I chaired a review of governance in Scottish higher education. The main products of the report we issued in 2012 so far are the Scottish Code of Good Governance and, more recently, a Bill now before the Scottish Parliament …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 24 August]

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The future of academic freedom and university autonomy – and why it matters

Posted in Governance and administration on April 1st, 2014 by steve

“The concepts of ‘academic freedom’ and ‘university autonomy’ tend to evoke different responses in readers: for academics and university managers, they are seen as the cornerstones of an enlightened education sector; for others, they are increasingly viewed with suspicion and scepticism …” (more)

[Jim Browne, Irish Times, 1 April]


Subverting Irish university autonomy

Posted in Governance and administration on September 24th, 2013 by steve

“… And now, with remarkably little public attention regarding the implications, the government has announced its intention of introducing in 2014 a new piece of legislation in the form of a Universities (Amendment) Bill …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 24 September]

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The meaning of university ‘autonomy’

Posted in Governance and administration on June 18th, 2013 by steve

“Just over three years ago, towards the end of my term of office as President of Dublin City University, I took part in a meeting between university presidents and members of the ‘strategy group’ chaired by Dr Colin Hunt who were then working on a new strategy for Irish higher education …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 18 June]

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University Autonomy and Structural Change

Posted in Governance and administration on January 28th, 2013 by steve

“Academics are very fond of autonomy. The vast majority would be of the view that universities are best left to run themselves with little or no interference from politicians, civil servants or other bureaucrats …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 28 January]