On Higher Education, a Government Under Scrutiny – And Still Without Ideas

Posted in Governance and administration on August 19th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“This week, Ireland’s education ministers found their way into the glare of the national headlines with an intensity not often seen in recent years. For a sector whose struggles have long been confined to the background of public debate, it was refreshing to see story after story on higher education making it to the front pages of Ireland’s newspapers …” (more)

[University Times, 18 August]

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Minister would ‘report college drug dealers to gardaí’

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on August 19th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Higher Education Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor has said she would report those dealing drugs in colleges to gardaí. She told the Sunday Independent there was a ‘laissez-faire attitude’ to drug dealing in colleges. “I’m not talking about smoking weed, for instance. I’m talking about MDMA, ecstasy …'” (more)

[Niamh Lynch, Independent, 19 August]

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Ministers under fire over cost of living comments

Posted in Governance and administration on August 18th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Two Government ministers are under fire for ‘alarming’ comments on the cost of living for students. Craig McHugh, Union of Students in Ireland vice president for the Dublin region, said young people face huge obstacles to university due to rising rents and stagnated student grants …” (more)

[Laura Lynott, Independent, 17 August]

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Third level institutions hike up student accommodation rents as Minister buries his head in the sand – Chambers

Posted in Governance and administration on August 17th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Fianna Fáil TD for Mayo, Lisa Chambers, has hit out at Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, for failing to cap spiralling student accommodation rents. The government has for a second year running failed to implement rent caps on student campus accommodation, according to Chambers …” (more)

[Mayo Advertiser, 16 August]

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Minister comes under pressure over lobbying for Susi grants

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 16th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Higher Education Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor has been accused of ‘wink-and-elbow politics’ after she made scores of representations on behalf of students whose Susi application was rejected. The Fine Gael minister wants students around the country to contact her office if their application for a grant is rejected by Susi …” (more)

[Hugh O’Connell, Independent, 16 August]

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Third Level Education Funding

Posted in Governance and administration on August 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Minister of State with Special Responsibility for High Education, talks to Mary about third level education funding and the need for financial reform of the higher education sector …” (mp3)

[RTÉ – Drivetime, 15 August]

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FG is slammed for ‘let them eat cake’ attitude to grants and rental costs

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Government has been heavily criticised for suggesting students should use their Susi grant to cover the cost of accommodation, or go to regional colleges. Fianna Fáil accused Fine Gael of having a ‘let them eat cake’ attitude to higher education costs facing families, as Leaving Cert students receive their first round CAO offers today …” (more)

[Hugh O’Connell, Independent, 15 August]

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Grant not intended to cover full college cost – Minister of State

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The SUSI grant was never intended to cover the full cost of college, the Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Higher Education has said. Speaking on RTÉ’s Drivetime, Mary Mitchell O’Connor also ruled out a proposal by the incoming President of the National Parents Council Post Primary that the Government could act as co-guarantor for loans that parents have to take out to cover the cost of their children’s third-level education …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 14 August]

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Mitchell O’Connor Lauds SUSI Grants as Government Delays Call on Funding

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor has advised students to use their grant from the SUSI grant to pay for accommodation increases, amid a funding crisis the government says it can’t tackle until after a general election …” (more)

[Orla Murnaghan, University Times, 14 August]

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Fine Gael ‘arrogant and out of touch’ on the costs facing 3rd level students – Louise O’Reilly TD

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Fingal Louise O’Reilly has criticised the Fine Gael led government labelling it ‘arrogant and out of touch’, as two Ministers offer tea and sympathy to students and families facing rising third level costs. Deputy O’Reilly said: …” (more)

[Sinn Féin, 14 August]

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Third-level funding reform scrapped until after election due to lack of Dáil majority

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Plans to tackle the funding crisis in Ireland’s third-level institutions are being scrapped until after the next election as the Government insists the sector already receives significant amounts of taxpayers’ money. Despite universities warning that nearly €140m in extra funding is needed to cater for rising student numbers, the Government signalled yesterday it would not move on the three-year-old Cassells report, which lays out options for the future funding of the sector …” (more)

[Hugh O’Connell, Independent, 14 August]

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Education Minister: Composition of Government makes it difficult to make fundamental changes to third level education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 13th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Education Joe McHugh has defended the government’s delay in implementing the Cassells report saying that it is ‘very difficult to get business through parliament because of the weakness of this government’. ‘I think it will take a new composition government to bring a big fundamental change around this’, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland …” (more)

[Breakingnews.ie, 13 August]

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Student loan scheme ruled out, says Minister

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 11th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A formal loan scheme for third-level students will not be introduced and college fees will be frozen, the Government has pledged. Minister for Education Joe McHugh said university registration fees will not go beyond €3,000 per year if Fine Gael is returned to Government after the next general election …” (more)

[Jennifer Bray, Irish Times, 11 August]

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Housing Hikes Make Universities Complicit in Closing off Education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 8th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Today’s reports of student accommodation price hikes reflect a worrying pattern in the Irish housing market. In Trinity, the cost of a room in Goldsmith Hall – hardly a building in mint condition – has risen by €389 since last year, with similar increases across all of Ireland’s cash-starved colleges. This trend, of course, will come as no surprise to any student in the market for a place to live … (more)

[Orla Murnaghan, University Times, 7 August]

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Munster Tech University Raises Many Questions. Answers Are Hard to Find

Posted in Governance and administration on July 29th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Then Minister for Education Joe McHugh this week postponed the creation of Ireland’s second technological university until early 2020, alarm bells may have sounded for some in the higher education sector. For others, though, the news that Cork IT and IT Tralee are not yet ready to merge – despite provisional plans to do so this year – will have come as no surprise …” (more)

[University Times, 28 July]

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Over 90% of New Student Beds in Dublin Demand Rents Above €800

Posted in Governance and administration, Life on July 27th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Less than 7% of purpose-built student accommodation developed in Dublin since 2016 is available for less than €840 per month. The government today announced that 6,691 student beds have been created in Ireland since 2016, as part of its National Student Accommodation Strategy …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee, University Times, 26 July]

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National Student Accommodation Strategy

Posted in Governance and administration on July 26th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“6,691 PBSA Bed Spaces Completed by End Q2, 2019. Continued progress towards Student Accommodation goals. The Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD and the Minister of State with special responsibility for Housing and Urban Development, Damien English TD today, as part of Project Ireland 2040, released the end Q2 2019 progress report …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 26 July]

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Third level reforms will have ‘no implications’ for academic freedom

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 25th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Department of Education has insisted that plans for sweeping reforms to the regulation of third level institution will not undermine the autonomy of universities. Minister of State for higher education Mary Mitchell O’Connor has published detailed legislative proposals for the reform of the 50-year-old Higher Education Authority Act …” (more)

[Irish Times, 25 July]

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HEA welcomes the announcement by Minister Mitchell O’Connor in relation to reform of the HEA Act, 1971

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 25th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Higher Education Authority (HEA) welcomes the announcement by the Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, of the latest steps towards reform of legislation governing the HEA and its oversight of the higher education and research system …” (more)

[Malcolm Byrne, HEA, 25 July]

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Third-level institutions guilty of misconduct or poor performance risk funding

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 25th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Third-level institutions guilty of misconduct or poor performance could see grants withheld under the first proposed changes to the current legislation in almost 50 years. In an effort to reform the powers of the Higher Education Authority (HEA), the proposed legislation could see the introduction of a range of sanctions and penalties for higher-level institutes in a bid to secure public accountability …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 25 July]

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