Reforming the Seanad

Posted in Governance and administration on February 20th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A chara, – I support John Hughes’s call (Letters, February 18th) for bringing the law into line with the 1979 referendum on extending the Seanad vote to all third-level graduates. How has every government for four decades neglected to act on this? …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 20 February]

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Seanad electorate and reform

Posted in Governance and administration on February 19th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – In reply to John Hughes’s letter on the subject of reforming the Seanad university panel elections (February 18th), the Government was, in December 2018, handed a report from the all-party Seanad Reform Implementation Group which I chaired, complete with draft legislation prepared by a professional parliamentary draftsman to give effect to the 1979 referendum …” (more)

[Michael McDowell, Irish Times, 19 February]

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Higher Education must be centre stage in a new Programme for Government, says IFUT

Posted in Governance and administration on February 19th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) has called for higher education to be put centre stage in any new Programme for Government. IFUT General Secretary, Joan Donegan, said that all political parties uniquely committed to address the funding crisis in the recent general election campaign …” (more)

[IFUT, 17 February]

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Seanad elections and graduates

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on February 18th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The Constitution originally permitted only TCD graduates and graduates of the three NUI colleges to take part in the Seanad ‘university panel’ election. Since 1979, after a referendum to amend the Constitution, this is no longer the case. However, in practice, for over 30 years Senators and TDs have refused to draft the required legislation …” (more)

[John Hughes, Irish Times, 18 February]

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Students Just Helped Jolt Irish Politics. Third-Level May Not Benefit

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

Ireland“The results of last week’s general election have been widely called sensational. With the historical duopoly of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael shattered, most commentators have proclaimed this election a harbinger of a new political era. Sinn Féin’s surge won’t necessarily have delighted all students: while some will consider it a promising left-wing alternative to an unsatisfactory status quo, others may be suspicious of its historical links to violent Republicanism …” (more)

[University Times, 16 February]


10 candidates to contest Trinity Seanad seats in election

Posted in Governance and administration on February 14th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“10 candidates will contest the election for Trinity’s three seats in Seanad Éireann, having reached the threshold to make it onto the ballot paper as of the close of nominations at 12pm today. All three of Trinity’s incumbent senators, Lynn Ruane, David Norris, and Ivana Bacik, are standing for reelection …” (more)

[Finn Purdy, Trinity News, 14 February]

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Higher Education Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor Loses Seat

Posted in Governance and administration on February 10th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Former Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor has lost her seat tonight, having been eliminated on the eighth count. Running in the Dún Laoghaire constituency, Mitchell O’Connor finished just under 500 votes behind Fianna Fáil’s Cormac Devlin …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 9 February]

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Accommodation, University funding, healthcare and climate the key issues for the student voter ahead of GE 2020

Posted in Governance and administration on February 6th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“An unprecedented first Saturday election since 1918 raised some eyebrows when the starting gun was pulled on General Election 2020, with Leo Varadkar claiming that the public going to the polls later in the week makes it easier for parents, commuters and students to cast their vote …” (more)

[Paddy Henry, SIN, 6 February]

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More strikes likely as ASTI ballots members over lower pay arrangements

Posted in Governance and administration on February 4th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The next government is facing potentially more industrial unrest in schools as the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) on Tuesday said it expected its members to resoundingly back industrial action in a forthcoming ballot. About 450 second level schools as well as institutes of technology and centres of further education were closed on Tuesday as a result of a one-day stoppage by members of the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) over lower pay arrangements for staff recruited since 2011 …” (more)

[Martin Wall and Sarah Burns, Irish Times, 4 February]

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2019 Trinity Graduates Won’t Be Able to Vote in Seanad Elections

Posted in Governance and administration on February 4th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Graduates of Trinity’s class of 2019 will not be eligible to vote in the upcoming Seanad elections for the three University of Dublin seats. A Seanad election must be called no later than 90 days after the dissolution of the Dáil. The 32nd Dáil was dissolved last month ahead of a general election this Saturday, February 8th …” (more)

[Sárán Fogarty, University Times, 4 February]

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Voters face stark choices when it comes to higher education

Posted in Governance and administration on February 4th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Earlier this week, Leaving Certificate students met the CAO deadline to submit their course preferences for September. Later this week, voters will fill in their preferences for who will make up the next government. The first exercise will largely determine the individual lives of many secondary school leavers while the second exercise will help shape the future of Ireland’s economy and society …” (more)

[Patrick Prendergast, Irish Times, 4 February]

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ASTI ‘make no apologies’ for TUI teachers’ strike against ‘horror’ of pay inequality

Posted in Governance and administration on February 4th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Secondary School union the ASTI has dismissed suggestions strike action by TUI members amounts to election blackmail. Hundreds of schools are set to close tomorrow due to strike action by the Teachers Union of Ireland over pay parity for new entrants …” (more)

[Irish Examiner, 3 February]

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Ahead of an Election, Research Becomes Political

Posted in Research on February 2nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Top Irish academics argue that the importance of research is being ignored, to the detriment of the future. As the general election draws ever closer, politicians across the country are feverishly digging their heels in on their commitments to solve the country’s most pressing social and economic issues …” (more)

[Rachel O’Leary, University Times, 1 February]

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In Election, a Simple Message to Politicians: Don’t Fail Third-Level

Posted in Governance and administration on February 1st, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Elections in Ireland come around every four or five years. They provide an opportunity for voters to pick the parties and individuals who will best represent the interests of the country and its people. It is a time for our politicians to set out their stall on why they should be entrusted with government …” (more)

[Jim Miley, Lorna Fitzpatrick and Joseph Ryan, University Times, 31 January]

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Political parties rule out student loans to fund third level

Posted in Governance and administration on January 29th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“All major political parties have ruled out a student loan scheme as a way of funding higher education over the coming years. The comments were made at a debate on the future of higher education involving the spokespeople for the main political parties at Trinity College Dublin on Tuesday moderated by Newstalk’s Shane Coleman …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 28 January]

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Parties outline education vote-grabbing proposals

Posted in Governance and administration on January 29th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Bonus points for honours Mandarin in the Leaving Cert – the first exams are coming in 2022 – may seem an unlikely vote-grabber, but it is among the pre-election promises from Fianna Fail …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 29 January]

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Few Revelatory Moments in Tetchy Higher Education Debate

Posted in Governance and administration on January 28th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Higher education’s Cassells report came under scrutiny this afternoon at a third-level education debate held in Trinity, with politicians of all hues quarreling over funding during a debate that saw more arguments about figures and statistics than on the ideas underpinning the future of the sector …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee, Sárán Fogarty, Ciaran Molloy and Emer Moreau, University Times, 28 January]

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Minister admits need for increased funding as parties debate future of higher education

Posted in Governance and administration on January 28th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Representatives from six of Ireland’s main political parties clashed over the future of higher education at a debate held in Trinity today, with significant attention given to the balance between a system funded by taxation or by student fees and the current Fine Gael government’s allocations to higher education, which Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor said were larger than suggested by other parties but conceded that the sector still required ‘extra funding …” (more)

[Lauren Boland and Finn Purdy, Trinity News, 28 January]

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Fine Gael pledges four further technological universities

Posted in Governance and administration on January 28th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Fine Gael has said four further technological universities (TUs) will be established in the State within the lifetime of the next government. At a briefing on its education policies on Wednesday, Minister for Education Joe McHugh and Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor also promised a 25% increase in capitation funding for schools, the abolition of charges in the school transport scheme and a new free school books scheme for all primary schools …” (more)

[Harry McGee, Irish Times, 27 January]

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For Third-Level, a Sliver of Election Air-Time But Big Questions Unanswered

Posted in Governance and administration on January 27th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Is the general election campaign rolled on this week, the question of higher education finally received a few slivers of air-time. So far, it’s been abundantly clear that third-level education isn’t top of any party’s agenda, with concrete proposals for the future of the sector still nowhere in sight …” (more)

[University Times, 27 January]

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