Taoiseach Calls for Progress on Waterford/Carlow TU Bid

Posted in Governance and administration on March 19th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and IT Carlow (ITC) have been urged by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to advance their merger process if they wish to achieve a Technological University of the South East (TUSE). Mr Varadkar made the call at the Project Ireland 2040 showcase held at the WIT Arena on Friday last, less than 24 hours after the TU Bill had been passed by the Seanad, requiring only the President’s signature for activation …” (more)

[Dermot Keyes, Munter Express, 16 March]

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ITs must meet strict upgrade criteria

Posted in Governance and administration on March 13th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The rapid establishment of technological universities (TU) is not guaranteed by last week’s passing of enabling legislation, the head of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) has cautioned. While the Technological Universities Bill should be signed soon by President Michael D Higgins, any institutes of technology hoping to be upgraded must meet strict criteria …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 13 March]

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Taoiseach says South East TU could be in line for budget increase

Posted in Governance and administration on March 10th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The Taoiseach has said that the mooted Technological University for the South East could see more funding than has been earmarked in the National Planning framework. Leo Varadkar was in Waterford yesterday where he briefed WIT students and other guests on the government’s ‘Ireland 2040 project’ …” (more)

[Anthony McFeely, WLR FM, 9 March]

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Erasmus scheme expansion to benefit thousands of Irish students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 14th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Last week Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said one of his biggest regrets was never taking the opportunity to study abroad during his college years. While he says he had the option of going on Erasmus to ‘Berlin, Madrid or Barcelona’, he let the chanceslip by …” (more)

[Arlene Harris, Irish Times, 11 February]

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Higher Education – Don’t mention the money!

Posted in Governance and administration on February 8th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“At last! The government’s policy for higher education is becoming crystal clear. ‘Let’s talk about anything but money.’ In January alone we had two major announcements on the future of third-level, but no funding to back them up …” (more)

[Irish Federation of University Teachers, 8 February]

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Few Words for Third-Level Funding, at Action Plan Launch

Posted in Governance and administration on February 7th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The government’s new-year education action plan, launched today, offered few clues as to when the sector can expect a decision on a new funding model. While the 80-page report focused on government aims for technological universities and improving access to education, there was thin gruel for a sector following closely the contentious issue of higher education funding …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath, University Times, 7 February]

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Students to learn more foreign languages under post-Brexit plan

Posted in Teaching on February 7th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“More students will be encouraged to learn foreign languages and study abroad under a plan to build closer links with Europe following Brexit. The Government’s action plan for education acknowledges that Ireland needs to prepare for a changed dynamic in the EU following the UK’s departure and the rising importance of non-English speaking countries globally …” (more)

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

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Cabinet set to clear €180million public pay increases today

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

Ireland“Cabinet will today sign off on public sector pay increases due to come into force from next month. Pay restoration, which will be introduced from January 1, are part of a €180m public sector deal hammered out between government and unions earlier this year. The legislation needed to begin to unwind austerity measures is expected to pass through the Seanad later this week …” (more)

[Elaine Loughlin and Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Irish Examiner, 12 December]

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Varadkar wants Irish college to be part of ‘European university’

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

Ireland“Taoiseach Leo Varadkar wants an Irish third-level institution to become part of a new network of European universities being planned by French president Emmanuel Macron. Mr Macron has proposed that Europe should have at least 20 ‘European universities’ which would allow students to move between different institutions and take classes in at least two different languages …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien and Patrick Smyth, Irish Times, 19 November]

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Taoiseach dismisses UK and US style loan scheme

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on October 14th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Leo Varadkar’s unclear plans for the proposed ‘Student Loan Scheme’ outraged the Union of Students in Ireland, who led the march for publicly funded education in Dublin on October 3rd …” (more)

[Cait Caden, Irish Times, 13 October]

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Resignation, not Frustration, as Higher Education Assesses Budget 2018

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

Ireland“Yesterday’s Budget was a low-key affair all round. Outside the lobby of Buswells there was the usual hustle and bustle, but across the country, there was little of the usual frenzied anticipation. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, themselves were playing down expectations – this was a ‘balance-the-books’ budget, not a glamorous giveaway …” (more)

[Róisín Power, University Times, 11 October]

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Avoiding excessive student debt

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on October 3rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Last year in Ireland the Cassells Report (Investing in National Ambition: A Strategy for Funding Higher Education) offered three options for funding higher education. The third of these (deferred payment of fees through income-contingent loans) was clearly seen as the best option …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 2 October]

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Varadkar takes UK-style loans for student fees off the table

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on September 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Taoiseach Leo Varadkar shot down a British or US-style student loan scheme that would leave graduates being ‘saddled with enormous debts’. The future funding of the university system is under scrutiny with the Cassells Report putting student loans forward as an option of boosting cash-flow. But there remains a lack of clarity on how the soaring cost of third-level education will be funded …” (more)

[Alan O’Keeffe and Katherine Donnolly, Independent, 27 September]

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Taoiseach addresses education funding at Trinity event

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on September 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said while third level students should make a contribution toward their education, he could not support a system that left them repaying substantial debts …” (more)

[Mark Hilliard, Irish Times, 27 September]

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I Won’t Saddle Students With ‘Enormous Debt’, Varadkar Tells Trinity on 425th Anniversary

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on September 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“In the 425th anniversary of Trinity’s foundation, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told an audience in the College that he couldn’t support a funding model that would see students ‘saddled with enormous debt’. The thorny issue of a funding model has dominated debate in the higher education sector over the last several years …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath, University Times, 26 September]

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I Get the Message, Varadkar Tells Students Over Concerns About Summer Abortion Referendum

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

Ireland“The government has promised to take into consideration student concerns about a referendum on the eighth amendment being held in the summer, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has told students at a talk in Queen’s University Belfast …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath, University Times, 4 August]

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A Summer Repeal Referendum Would Suppress the Student Voice

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

Ireland“No doubt many people will have now heard that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar last Friday announced his intention to potentially hold the repeal referendum next June or July. I am currently calling it the repeal referendum, as are many people, despite the fact we have no clear indication if we will actually be asked whether we want to repeal anything or not …” (more)

[Annie Hoey, University Times, 2 August]

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Mary Mitchell O’Connor won’t be drawn on €16k top-up

Posted in Governance and administration on July 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Super junior minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor has refused to say if she is still seeking a €16,288 salary top-up linked to the role despite the fact that the payment would need new legislation to be passed by the Dáil. The Fine Gael TD declined to clarify the situation on three occasions during a media briefing at the Department of Education, insisting the issue is ‘very low down on my agenda’ …” (more)

[Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Irish Examiner, 18 July]

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€6.6bn later … Atlantic Philanthropies holds final Irish board meeting

Posted in Governance and administration on June 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has praised Atlantic Philanthropies which is holding its last Irish board meeting after a 30-year grant allocation programme which saw it award amounts totalling €6.6 billion. Mr Varadkar praised the organisation for its contribution to peace in Northern Ireland, support for healthcare, equality, and third-level education, and its help in changing attitudes to the LGBT community …” (more)

[Colm Keena, Irish Times, 26 June]

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Wary of Loans, but not Progressive Enough for State Funded, Varadkar Might Leave Education in Limbo

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on June 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“First came the hope, then the headaches. Even the weathered trade unionists and opposition politicians allowed themselves some optimism this week when Leo Varadkar announced the creation of a new ministerial position with responsibility for higher education. The ensuing furore over the creation of a new super junior ministry, however, has suggested some of this optimism might be misplaced …” (more)

[University Times, 18 June]

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