Eleven Institutes of Technology to get extra buildings

Posted in Governance and administration on October 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Department of Education has announced details of 11 large-scale construction projects that are to be built at Institutes of Technology using Public Private Partnerships in coming years. The state will pay €200m towards the buildings, which will be operated and maintained by private developers for 25 years after their construction …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 16 October]

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All schools and colleges to remain closed tomorrow, Department of Education confirms

Posted in Governance and administration on October 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“In response to the imminent Storm Ophelia, the Department of Education and Skills has confirmed all schools, colleges and other education institutions will remain closed tomorrow …” (more)

[Independent, 15 October]

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University of Limerick paid out €1.9m to staff in severance deals, FOI shows

Posted in Legal issues on September 22nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The University of Limerick paid out more than €1.9 million in settlements to close to 60 former employees within the past decade, figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show. UL refused to comment on how many of those packages it sought sanction for in advance from the Department of Education and Skills, which it is obliged to notify before any severance is approved …” (more)

[Anne Sheridan, Limerick Leader, 22 September]

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Third Level Staff – Part-time and Fixed Term employment

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on September 19th, 2017 by steve

IrelandJoan Burton (Dublin West, Labour): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the progress his Department has made in respect of the implementation of the Cush Report regarding part time and fixed term employment in third level institutions and in particular her Department’s request in June 2017 that third level institutions establish an adjudication system to hear disputes arising from the implementation of the Cush Report; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 11 September]

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Nothing to show ‘anything illegal’ at UL

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 24th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The president of the University of Limerick has said there is ‘no evidence of anything illegal’ in any of the allegations against the university. The allegations are being examined by a State-appointed reviewer Dr Richard Thorn. The former president of Sligo Institute of Technology is probing up to two dozen complaints made against UL by current and former staff, in areas of finance, human resources, and governance …” (more)

[Irish Examiner, 24 August]

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Ministers announce €16.5m to increase Third Level Access

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, TD, and the Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, TD, today (Wednesday 23rd August) announced €16.5m for new initiatives to widen access to higher education over the next three years, with a strong focus on helping lone parents to access higher level education …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 23 August]

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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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