Government Intervenes to Warn Universities Against Excessive Use of Temporary Contracts

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

Ireland“In a move that’s already been praised by trade unions, the government has intervened in the highly-charged issue of temporary contracts in Irish higher education, urging universities to curb their use for the employment of administrative and support staff …” (more)

[Kathleen McNamee, University Times, 14 August]

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Third level Access Schemes: What’s the Story?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on July 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“In 1984 I took up a position as principal of a newly opened second-level school in a severely disadvantaged area. Unemployment among parents was in excess of 60%. A survey carried out two years previously found that nobody living in the catchment area had a third level qualification. So, as the school approached full cycle in 1989, the question of third level access became a priority issue …” (more)

[Brian Fleming, Education Matters, 26 July]

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Mitchell O’Connor warned of ‘unprecedented demand’ for student accommodation

Posted in Governance and administration on July 25th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The new minister for higher education has been warned of an ‘unprecedented demand’ for affordable student accommodation. Mary Mitchell O’Connor has been told of the ‘significant challenges’ in addressing the issue, as parents and students face into the scramble to find accommodation for the academic year ahead …” (more)

[Cormac McQuinn, Independent, 25 July]

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Ministers launch the National Student Accommodation Strategy

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

Ireland“The development of the first National Student Accommodation Strategy is a key action in the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland: Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness.  It has been developed by the Department of Education and Skills (DES), together with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPCLG), as well as key stakeholders to introduce measures to support the delivery of an increased level of supply of Purpose Built Student Accommodation …” (more, download)

[Department of Education and Skills, 20 July]

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Third Level Admissions Data: Projected Student Numbers

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on July 8th, 2017 by steve

IrelandJames Lawless (Kildare North, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his projections for growth in higher education student numbers over the next decade; the way in which he proposes that demand will be met; the projected costings involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 6 July]

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Jim Moore appointed as Chairperson of the Governing Body of Waterford Institute of Technology

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

Ireland“The Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Richard Bruton, TD, has today (Friday) appointed Mr Jim Moore as Chairperson of the Governing Body of the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT). The appointment of Mr Moore follows an open call for expressions of interest run by the Public Appointments Service …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 7 July]

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Ministers welcome progress made by GMIT Working Group

Posted in Governance and administration on July 4th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, TD, and the Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, have welcomed the significant progress being made by the Working Group that has been established to secure the future of the GMIT campus in Castlebar …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 4 July]

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Minister Bruton fills vacancies on the Board of the Higher Education Authority (HEA)

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

Ireland“The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, TD, today announced measures to fill vacancies on the Board of the Higher Education Authority (HEA). Following consultation with the Chair of the HEA, the Minister is pleased to reappoint two non-academic Members to the HEA Board: Mr Jim Mountjoy and Mr Bahram Bekhradnia …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 20 June]

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Third Level members accept the TUI, DES and THEA Agreement on Technological Universities

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

Ireland“A large majority (74%) of TUI members in the Third Level sector today voted to accept the TUI, DES and THEA Agreement of May 2017 on Technological Universities. The Agreement was the result of extensive discussions between the parties …” (more)

[Teachers’ Union of Ireland, 13 June]

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Hostages, at last

Posted in Governance and administration on June 8th, 2017 by steve

IrelandHugh Brady, until recently President of UCD, famously summed it up: universities can’t bargain well with government, because they have no hostages, nothing to threaten government with. And we have seen the results over the last decade. University autonomy has increasingly been treated as a tired technicality with no real substance to it. We have also seen massively reduced funding, huge growth in governmental controls, and significant public criticism premised on the assumption that what universities spend is ‘public money’.

But less and less of it is public money these days. Less than half of university income today comes from public funds, and the trend is steadily downwards. And the structural inability of the current government to take hard decisions pretty much guarantees that nothing much will change in the near future. Absent some remarkable change both in Ireland’s economic fortunes and in official attitudes, the public element in university funding will rapidly approach relative insignificance, while the government attempts to pull the strings that come with it ever tighter.

Hence UCD’s recent announcement. Other Irish universities are not quite at this stage yet, but most are not far off.  This gives universities a greater freedom to manoeuvre and to bargain than they have had for a very long time. The DES has made it clear by its actions that it is not much bothered by crumbling university facilities or by appalling staff:student ratios.  But it will begin to worry as universities openly muse that the limited funding they receive from government is not worth the burden of state regulation that now comes with it, or that it is simply not the universities’ job to keep large swathes of Irish youth out of the dole queue – especially those who need (and deserve) something quite different from what the universities have to offer. Least of all does the DES want the most successful universities to start arguing that they should be private institutions.  But to avoid that, it must offer the universities something better. It must start to bargain at last.

The Blogmeister

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Tánaiste Fitzgerald and Minister Bruton Outline revised Graduate Programme aimed at non-EEA students studying in Ireland

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 1st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality, Ms Frances Fitzgerald TD, and the Minister for Education and Skills, Mr Richard Bruton TD, have today (Thursday) announced changes to the Third Level Graduate Programme, a key action under the International Education Strategy …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 1 June]

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Ministers Bruton and Donohoe host Consultative Forum on Proposed Exchequer-Employer Investment Mechanism for Higher and Further Education Sectors

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

Ireland“The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD today (Wednesday) held a half-day forum in Dublin’s Iveagh House on the proposed Exchequer-Employer investment mechanism for Higher Education and Further Education and Training …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 31 May]

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TUI News Ballot Special

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

Ireland“This ballot concerns the proposed TUI, DES and THEA Agreement, May 2017, on Technological Universities. If members vote to accept the proposed agreement, the current industrial action (that is, not to cooperate with any merger activities relating to the proposed Technological Universities) will be suspended …” (more)

[Teachers’ Union of Ireland, 30 May]

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HEA and Department must account for the Governance of Third Level Institutions – Nolan

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on May 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Education and Skills Carol Nolan has said that the Higher Education Authority and the Department of Education and Skills must come before the Oireachtas Education Committee to account for the Governance of Third Level Institutions. Teachta Nolan was commenting after significant revelations relating to the financial management of third level institutions were raised in the Prime Time Investigates Programme last evening …” (more)

[Sinn Féin, 26 May]

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Ministers Bruton and Halligan launch 6,471 free higher education places under Springboard+

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD, together with the Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills, John Halligan TD, launched over 6,400 new free education places under springboard+ 2017.The courses are targeted at jobseekers and those in employment or self-employment who wish to upskill, reskill or cross skill in the Biopharma/Med Tech and ICT sectors …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 25 May]

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Minister Bruton and Minister Halligan welcome latest rolling review project for the Higher Education Sector

Posted in Research on May 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Higher Education Authority (HEA) and Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) are to commission a review of Intellectual Property (IP) policies and their implementation and the policies and procedures in the HEIs for the management of Conflicts of Interest in respect of the commercialisation of intellectual property …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 22 May]

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Statement by Minister Bruton regarding University of Limerick

Posted in Governance and administration on May 12th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“At the request of the University of Limerick my Department, in consultation with the Higher Education Authority (HEA), have agreed to conduct an independent review into the governance, HR and financial practices and procedures at the University of Limerick …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 12 May]

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University of Limerick faces inquiry into misconduct allegations

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on May 5th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Department of Education is to launch an independent inquiry into a series of allegations of misconduct at University of Limerick (UL). The allegations broadly relate to the treatment of staff or former employees who raised concerns over irregular expenses claims and made complaints over bullying …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 5 May]

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Number of UK students applying to study in Ireland plummets

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 2nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The number of UK students applying to study in Ireland through the CAO has dropped by 10% since the Brexit vote. Documents from the Department of Education outline a ‘noticeable drop’ in applications to Irish colleges from English, Welsh and Scottish students for September 2017. Similarly, Irish students applying to the UK UCAS system has dropped by 18% on 2016 figures …” (more)

[Jack Power, Irish Times, 2 May]

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Ministers Bruton and Halligan announce the launch of the Irish Research Council’s €2.5m Frontier Research (LAUREATE) Programme

Posted in Research on April 6th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD, and Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD, today (Thursday) announced the launch of the Irish Research Council’s €2.5 Million Frontier Research Programme, which will be titled the Irish Research Council’s Laureate Awards. The Programme will aim to attract world class researchers to Ireland …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 6 April]

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