Despite ‘free fees’, are universities still bastions of privilege?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“At one point, Dylan McGowan was working five nights a week in a Smyth’s toy store to help make ends meet while in college. Now, as president of the students’ union at Letterkenny Institute of Technology, McGowan sees large numbers of students struggling to overcome financial hurdles on a daily basis …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 7 February]

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Gender equality: universities are still all talk and too many trousers

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

“Anyone who sincerely believes that academia is a meritocracy must be either deluded or in denial. This is the blunt conclusion of our recent research into how female academics feel about the system. Even now, in the age of high-profile equality initiatives such as the UK’s Athena SWAN programme, unconscious bias remains rife …” (more)

[Laurie Cohen and Jo Duberley, Times Higher Education, 2 February]

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Social divide shows up in grants across higher education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 7th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“For students whose family income falls below a certain limit, the State helps them attend further and higher education through financial supports. But the distribution of these financial supports among institutions is very revealing …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 7 February]

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The Catholic Church and Opus Dei – the reason why NUI Galway came to have so few women in senior posts?

Posted in Governance and administration on February 3rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Since we started this campaign we’ve often pondered how NUI Galway became so exceptionally bad for the representation of women in higher posts. They are so bad it was possible to show, using the previous SHE figures, that only the University of Malta could have a worse Glass Ceiling Index in all of Europe! …” (more)

[Micheline’s Three Conditions, 3 February]

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New equality initiative at UCC aims for gender ratio of 60:40

Posted in Governance and administration on February 1st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A new European Union-funded gender equality initiative at University College Cork (UCC) aims to achieve a gender ratio of 60:40, men to women, on all major decision-making bodies at the university. UCC is one of seven universities across Europe participating in the four-year GENOVATE initiative, which is aimed at achieving equal representation of women in research and innovation across all disciplines …” (more)

[Barry Roche, Irish Times, 1 February]

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Gender imbalance in science journals is still pervasive

Posted in Research on January 26th, 2017 by steve

International“In 2012, this journal admitted its gender bias. Following a complaint from two readers that too few News & Views articles were written by women, we totted up the numbers and realized that they were correct. Moreover, the imbalance was present in other sections of Nature, too …” (more)

[Nature, 25 January]

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Third Level Participation

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 21st, 2017 by steve

IrelandTommy Broughan (Dublin Bay North, Independent): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the steps he is taking to address the inequalities seen in the league tables of students’ accession to universities; and if he will make a statement on the matter …”(more)

[Dáil written answers, 18 January]

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Drop-out rates at third-level colleges

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Carl O’Brien points to studies indicating that college drop-out rates are closely related to issues of social justice and equity in education and training (‘Are we sending too many students to college?’, Education, January 9th). In my experience as a teacher, I noted that learners from lower socio-economic backgrounds are at a distinct disadvantage when they progress to third level …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 16 January]

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Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on January 10th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“This November marks the second anniversary of my successful gender equality case at the Equality Tribunal against NUI Galway for its failure to appoint me to the post of Senior Lecturer. It was hailed as a landmark case and should have been a call to arms, not just for NUI Galway, but for all third-level institutions. However, the awakening is slow and I doubt that much has changed on the ground – or in attitudes amongst university management …” (more)

[Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, Village Magazine, 10 January]

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‘Why university rankings are flawed’

Posted in Governance and administration on December 20th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – I fully agree with your editorial ‘Why university rankings are flawed’ (December 17th). International ranking agencies focus almost entirely on research to evaluate university performance. But educare means to draw out and thus develop students’ minds …” (more)

[Micheline Sheehy Skeffington, Irish Times, 20 December]

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Gender warning to third levels

Posted in Research on December 13th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Moves to withhold research funds from universities that fail to deal with gender inequality have been welcomed by an academic union.The Irish Research Council, Science Foundation Ireland and Health Research Board will only allow those from 20 publicly-funded third-level colleges apply for competitive funding if they have met minimum requirements to deal with the issues from the end of 2019 …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 13 December]

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Colleges to lose funds over gender inequality

Posted in Research on December 10th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Only colleges tackling academic gender inequality will be eligible for a slice of an annual €230m public research fund. The measures aimed at getting more than 20 publicly funded institutions to take gender equality in research careers more seriously will take effect from the end of 2019. Only those with the minimum bronze accreditation under the Athena Swan gender equality scheme …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 10 December]

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NUI Galway fails President’s promise to be leader in tackling gender equality

Posted in Legal issues on December 2nd, 2016 by steve

Ireland“With the adoption of his Task Force report last May, President Jim Browne claimed NUI Galway would become a ‘leader in this space’ when it came to tackling gender inequality. At the time, this campaign celebrated achieving the first of Micheline’s three conditions, as the Task Force had recommended promotion quotas for women using a cascade system …” (more)

[Micheline’s Three Conditions, 1 December]

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Two years on and NUI Galway still haven’t learnt

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on November 24th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“When Micheline first won her case, Jim Browne, the University President, said he wasn’t concerned about the resulting bad publicity as it would soon be over, replaced by a positive news story about NUI Galway. Well, here we are, two years later and the fall-out from her win is still causing bad publicity for NUI Galway. That’s precisely because management continues with the same attitude …” (more)

[Micheline’s Three Conditions, 24 November]

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NUIG refutes claims of continued gender discrimination

Posted in Legal issues on November 15th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“NUI Galway has refuted claims that it’s ‘punishing’ women who highlighted issues surrounding gender discrimination at the university. In a statement, college authorities said accusations made by the Irish Federation of University Teachers are ‘ill-informed’ and ‘untrue’ …” (more)

[Connacht Tribune, 14 November]

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Women in science and academia

Posted in Governance and administration on November 15th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – I read with interest the article by Aine McMahon on women in science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem), in which she quoted the views of Regina Moran, representing the corporate world, and Christine Loscher, representing academia (‘Successful career in Stem field now more achievable for women’, November 10th) …” (more)

[Jane Grimson, Irish Times, 15 November]

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NUI Galway punishing women who highlighted gender discrimination, says IFUT

Posted in Legal issues on November 14th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Federation of University teachers (IFUT) has criticised NUI Galway for failing to address outstanding legal and Labour Court cases on blatant gender discrimination, a full two years after the Equality Tribunal ruled against the college in the Sheehy-Skeffington case …” (more)

[Irish Federation of University Teachers, 13 November]

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As Irish Universities Move to Address Gender Inequality, Trinity to Develop New Plan for Staff

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

Ireland“Trinity is set to introduce ‘wide-reaching’ and ‘ambitious’ reforms as part of a new plan to improve gender equality among the university’s staff, as the Irish higher education system begins to tackle the persistent gender inequalities across colleges and universities …” (more)

[Maeve Claffey, University Times, 1 November]

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Commitment to equal pay could halt ASTI action, says union

Posted in Governance and administration on October 31st, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A Government commitment to equal pay for equal work could help to resolve ongoing industrial action by teachers, trade union Unite has said. The union called on the Government to issue a statement confirming its stance on pay equality as a matter of urgency …” (more)

[Jane O’Faherty, Independent, 31 October]

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Success rates data may mask gender bias

Posted in Research on October 20th, 2016 by steve

UK“A raft of gender initiatives put in place at a UK learned society has boosted the success rates for women applying to a prestigious fellowship scheme after a historic low. It is two years since the Royal Society announced that only two women had been successful at securing its University Research Fellowships. The fact that 41 men received grants under the same call left the science community aghast …” (more)

[Holly Else, Times Higher Education, 20 October]

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