Legislative Measures – Technological Universities

Posted in Governance and administration on February 23rd, 2017 by steve

IrelandRobert Troy (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the progress on the Technological Universities Bill 2015; if he still favours the amalgamation of AIT with Dundalk; if his Department is examining alternative proposals; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dail written answers, 21 February]

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New President sought for Institute of Technology, Tralee

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

Ireland“A new President is being sought for the Institute of Technology Tralee. The position comes at a time of significant change for the college as it prepares to merge with Cork Institute of Technology to form the Munster Technological University …” (more)

[Radio Kerry, 10 February]

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CICE staff will continue industrial action against ‘loss of autonomy’

Posted in Governance and administration on February 8th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Former staff members of the Church of Ireland College of Further Education will continue their industrial action against poor treatment, loss of personal benefits, loss of autonomy and the termination of programmes following the college’s incorporation into DCU last year …” (more)

[Aaron Gallagher, The College View, 8 February]

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‘Concerns of academic staff over Institute of Technology mergers must be addressed’

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

Ireland“The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) today warned that progress cannot be made on the development of technological universities unless the serious concerns of its members in the Institute of Technology sector are addressed. Members are meeting today in Athlone to discuss the Technological Universities Bill …” (more)

[Teachers’ Union of Ireland, 1 February]

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Staff and students protesting at former CICE site in Rathmines

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

Ireland“The Board of Governors of the Church of Ireland College of Education (CICE) has repeatedly sought assistance from the Department of Education in attempting to resolve issues with staff there through the Workplace Relations Commission, Archbishop of Dublin Michael Jackson has said …” (more)

[Patsy McGarry, Irish Times, 27 January]

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Staff and students at former Church of Ireland college protest

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

Ireland“Staff and students at the former Church of Ireland College of Education (CICE) in Dublin’s Rathmines are to stage a protest on Friday at what they claim has been a failure to resolve serious issues since the college was moved to Drumcondra last year. The protest will take place at its former Rathmines location …” (more)

[Patsy McGarry, Irish Times, 26 January]

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Technological University for South East still part of Education Minister’s plan

Posted in Governance and administration on January 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Minister Richard Bruton says money has been set aside in the Department of Educations budget for their ambitions to develop a Technological University for the South East. The Minister cut the ribbon on the €10m Haughton building at IT Carlow earlier …” (more)

[KCLR96FM, 20 January]

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A new Super-University for Ireland?

Posted in Governance and administration on December 16th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“University rankings have become extremely influential over the last few years. This is not entirely a bad thing. The initial publication of the Shanghai rankings in 2003, for example, exposed the pretensions of many European universities revealing just how far behind they had fallen in scientific research …” (more)

[University Ranking Watch, 16 December]

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The Problem With Having a Single, Super University

Posted in Governance and administration on December 14th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The idea of Ireland having a single ‘super university’ has recently gained traction as a means to arrest Irish universities’ fall in world rankings and to generate internationally renowned research. Proponents suggest that Ireland cannot afford more than one top-class university, given our small population …” (more)

[James Shaw, University Times, 14 December]

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Time for a single super-university?

Posted in Governance and administration on November 9th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Philip O’Kane proposes playing the universities ranking game by creating a ‘marginal cost’ bureaucratic superstructure, rather than investing in staff and facilities (‘Why Ireland needs to create a single super-university’, Education Opinion, November 8th) …” (more)

[Neil Dobbs, Irish Times, 9 November]

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Why Ireland needs to create a single super-university

Posted in Governance and administration on November 8th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The presidents of Irish universities bemoan their international rankings and collectively call on the Minister for Education to increase their funding, so as to allow them to climb back up the global rankings …” (more)

[Philip O’Kane, Irish Times, 8 November]

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Do the numbers add up for UCC-IMI merger?

Posted in Governance and administration on October 28th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“With third-level funding at crisis point, how prudent is it for UCC to borrow €18m to take over the Irish Management Institute, asks Special Correspondent Michael Clifford. The final hurdle in a merger between UCC and the Irish Management Institute (IMI) is to be jumped today, but there has been precious little examination of the deal …” (more)

[Irish Examiner, 28 October]

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Training institute to vote on merger with UCC

Posted in Governance and administration on October 28th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The members of the Irish Management Institute will vote today on a proposed merger with UCC which was originally scheduled to go ahead seven years ago. The merger, which is expected to be ratified, will see UCC borrow €18m from AIB to pay for the IMI’s campus in Sandyford, Co Dublin, and invest a further €2m in the facility at a time when third-level funding is in crisis …” (more)

[Michael Clifford, Irish Examiner, 28 October]

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Higher Education Institutions Staff – Dublin City University

Posted in Governance and administration on October 27th, 2016 by steve

IrelandRichard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the fact that, as a result of the merger of the former Church of Ireland College of Education and other training colleges with Dublin City University, a person and their son (details supplied) have now been made homeless following eviction by the college from the person’s accommodation, despite assurances that accommodation, which had been part of their employment arrangements with the college, would continue to be provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 25 October]

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Irish Management Institute members to vote on UCC merger

Posted in Governance and administration on October 21st, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Members of the Irish Management Institute will next week vote on a proposed €20 million merger with University College Cork that aims to secure the institute’s future and buttress UCC’s business education offering. The institute, which is chaired by former IDA Ireland chief executive Seán Dorgan, and UCC have agreed the terms of the merger, six years after a previous attempt failed because of the institute’s pension deficit …” (more)

[Mark Paul, Irish Times, 21 October]

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CIT staff seek to step up industrial action

Posted in Governance and administration on October 14th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Cork Institute of Technology lecturers are seeking to be allowed step up industrial action as management plans to merge with another college despite no legal requirement to do so …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 14 October]

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Technological Universities – Merger Requirement

Posted in Governance and administration on June 23rd, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Carol Nolan (Offaly, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he remains of the view that the merger of institutes of technology is a pre-requisite for the application for, as opposed to the granting of, technological university status; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 21 June]

[Answer: “I dunno”.]

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TUI expresses major concerns over HEA funding for Institute mergers

Posted in Governance and administration on June 21st, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has expressed major concerns about the recent decision of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) to fund mergers of Institutes of Technology in advance of any decision on the matter being taken by the Oireachtas …” (more)

[Teachers’ Union of Ireland, 21 June]

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Higher Education Authority awards €1.5m to South East Institutes of Technology

Posted in Governance and administration on June 14th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Over €1m euro has been announced for the South East Technological University Project. The Higher Education Authority says it has allocated €1.5m in funding after it received a joint application by Carlow and Waterford Institutes of Technology …” (more)

[BreakingNews.ie, 14 June]

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Higher Education: Legislation Programme for the Current Session

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 8th, 2016 by steve

IrelandThe Government has now published its Legislation Programme: Current Session (here), with very few surprises after the Organisation and Current Issues document of barely a month ago (here), as discussed in Eoin O’Dell’s blog. As was already public, the Technological Universities Bill (debated before the election) has now been restored to the order paper; presumably the plan is to push on with it much as before, though the need to placate some independent TDs (notably John Halligan of Waterford) may lead to a re-think of its most controversial aspect – that ITs can only upgrade to Technological Universities if they have first undergone a merger. In practical terms this means that the TU4Dublin (Dublin IT, IT Blanchardstown, IT Tallaght) will very probably appear quite soon, though all else is still to be fought over.

That aside, there is no 3rd-level-specific legislation on the ‘urgent’ list; none has been labelled ‘Priority Legislation for Publication This Session’.  Other proposals are mentioned but are still bubbling under, and are evidently not regarded as compelling for now:

  • Higher Education (Reform) Bill: To modernise the legislative framework underpinning the governance and functions of the Higher Education Authority and the governance structures of the universities. Status: ‘Heads are currently being drafted’.
  • Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Amendment) Bill: To amend the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 to address some issues that have arisen regarding the scope of QQI’s responsibilities in relation to recognition of awards and regulation of private and voluntary providers, to ensure adequate protection of enrolled learners where providers discontinue a programme, and to give greater authority to Institutes of Technology to award Level 9 qualifications. Status: ‘Work is underway in Department’.
  • Universities (Amendment) Bill: To ensure compliance with government guidelines on remuneration, allowances, pensions and staffing numbers in the University sector. ‘Heads approved in October 2012. Drafting underway’. (This last has been hanging around for some years now without being progressed; I remain of the view that its only function is as a scarecrow for universities tempted to breach financial guidelines, and that there is no serious plan to enact it.)

Onwards and upwards …

The Blogmeister

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