President appoints Joe McHugh as new Education Minister

Posted in Governance and administration on October 17th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Donegal TD Joe McHugh has been appointed the new Minister for Education and Skills following a special ceremony at Áras an Uachtaráin on Tuesday evening. Following a vote in the Dail chamber, President Michael D Higgins officially appointed the new Government ministers at a ceremony at Áras an Uachtaráin …” (more)

[Diarmaid Doherty, Donegal Democrat, 17 October]

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DCU launch new €15 million student centre

Posted in Governance and administration on September 28th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Dublin City University (DCU) has launched a new student centre worth €15 million. The centre, known as the “U”, includes a student leadership and life skills centre, which is designed to aid students in developing essential life skills …” (more)

[Alex Letona, Trinity News, 28 September]

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President urges students to speak out about mental health issues

Posted in Governance and administration on September 27th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“President Michael D Higgins has encouraged students to speak out about mental health issues and to be alert for signs that their friends might need professional support. Mr Higgins said any society that neglected mental health ‘loses a rich resource’ …” (more)

[Elaine Edwards, Irish Times, 27 September]

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A presidential view: university metrics and the rise of mediocrity?

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

“The President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, has not been reluctant to enter contentious debate during the course of his term of office to date. Most recently, at the launch of the Cambridge University Press History of Ireland, the President offered the following view on universities as comfortable hosts for academic studies …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 9 July]

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Why Irish universities are in thrall to neoliberalism

Posted in Governance and administration on June 20th, 2018 by steve

“In a remarkable speech delivered recently, as he joined academics and historians at the launch of the Cambridge History of Ireland, President Michael D Higgins spoke out against the market model of higher education. Taking unflinching aim at research ratings and rankings, the President criticised metrics as an ‘ideological fad’ of the university …” (more)

[Áine Mahon and Shane Bergin, Irish Times, 19 June]

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Higgins is right that history should be compulsory for Junior Cert

Posted in Teaching on May 7th, 2018 by steve

“After he became Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar was quick to hire historian Patrick Geoghegan to assist him in his new role. In the Dáil in June last year, Varadkar said: ‘I have hired somebody who is a professor of history. I have a great interest in history which I believe is the study of the future because few things have not happened previously …'” (more)

[Diarmaid Ferriter, Irish Times, 5 May]

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Minister Mitchell O’Connor passes into law the Technological Universities Act

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on March 21st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“President Michael D Higgins signs the Technological Universities Bill. Minister Mitchell O’Connor said, ‘This is a transformative piece of legislation and I am delighted that it is now enacted. The Technological Universities legislation has been a high priority for this Government and will radically change the higher education landscape …'” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 21 March]

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President criticises ‘utilitarian approach to education’

Posted in Governance and administration on November 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“President Michael D Higgins has criticised what he has called ‘an impatient drive’ across the European Union for what he called ‘a misguidedly utilitarian approach to education’ … (more)

[RTÉ News, 16 November]

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President urges universities to return to ‘humanistic’ values

Posted in Governance and administration on April 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“‘Creativity’ is in great danger of misuse and at risk of being reduced to an ‘advertising slogan’, President Michael D Higgins has warned. Speaking at the opening of NUI Galway’s (NUIG) new O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, Mr Higgins has also appealed to universities to ‘re-dedicate themselves to originality of thought and a commitment to humanistic values in teaching’ …” (more)

[Lorna Siggins, Irish Times, 10 April]

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President: professor left a rich legacy of research

Posted in Life on January 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“President Michael D Higgins led the tributes to the noted historian, Professor Ronan Fanning, who died yesterday. Prof Fanning (75), was Professor Emeritus of Modern History at University College Dublin where he also studied …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 19 January]

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President warns of threat to academic freedom

Posted in Governance and administration on November 30th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“President Michael D Higgins has warned of the growing global threat to academic freedom and democracy, just days after he controversially paid tribute to Fidel Castro …” (more)

[Allison Bray, Independent, 30 November]

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President calls on Government to borrow ‘cheap money’ for housing and education

Posted in Governance and administration on September 17th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The President Micheal D Higgins has suggested that the Government could improve public services, if it increased borrowing. In an interview with the Irish Independent, the President criticised EU fiscal rules, which limit the amount governments can borrow …” (more)

[BreakingNews.ie, 17 September]

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Michael D blushing over NUIG’s own ‘Father Ted cinema protest’

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

Ireland“Do you get the feeling Michael D Higgins is embarrassed by his Alma Mater? Obviously, the President is too polite – and restricted by his high office – to say so. But Michael D was a revolutionary, who, at the very least, would be concerned with recent goings-on at NUI Galway … “(more)

[Dara Bradley, Connacht Tribune, 15 April]

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President’s speech on universities

Posted in Governance and administration on April 13th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – I hope that our politicians will take time off from their present discussions and read the lecture given by President Michael D Higgins in Galway (‘Universities facing “intellectual crisis”, says President’, April 7th) …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 13 April]

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Where the President got it wrong

Posted in Teaching on April 12th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“In his recent speech to the EUA, President Higgins said the following: ‘The challenge we face is that we must confront an erroneous a prevalent perception that the necessary focus of higher education must be on that which is utilitarian and immediately applicable ..'” (more)

[educationandstuff, 12 April]

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Creative dissent versus social inclusion?

Posted in Governance and administration on April 12th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“For anyone interested in universities, it is worth keeping an eye on the speeches and addresses of the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins. Right from the start of his presidency he has made regular incursions into higher education policy, and has in particular bemoaned the dominant influence as he sees it of market-oriented economic theory …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 11 April]

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Secret Cartoonist exhibit taken down hours after President Higgins speaks at NUIG to say colleges must foster ‘capacity to dissent’

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

Ireland“How’s this for irony? The Secret Cartoonist exhibition taking a satirical look at NUI Galway’s management of gender discrimination issues at the university was taken down in the middle of the night – only hours after President Michael D Higgins, speaking at a conference at NUIG, said it is critical for universities to encourage opposing opinions …” (more)

[Micheline’s Three Conditions, 8 April]

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President Higgins: Universities facing ‘intellectual crisis’

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

Ireland“Universities are under increasing pressure to produce graduates solely for the labour market and face an ‘intellectual crisis’ over their role in society, President Michael D Higgins has said. Speaking at the annual conference of the European Universities Association in NUI Galway, Mr Higgins said higher education has a crucial role to play in laying the foundations of a society that is more inclusive, participatory and equal …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 8 April]

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Third level intellectual progress needed – Higgins

Posted in Governance and administration on April 7th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“President Michael D Higgins has said universities must drive social and intellectual development, instead of focusing solely on economic requirements. President Higgins was speaking at the annual conference of the European Universities Association, which is being held at NUI, Galway …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 7 April]

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Irish studies grant for UC Berkeley announced by President

Posted in Governance and administration on October 28th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“President Michael D Higgins has announced a $40,000 (€36,000) grant for University of California, Berkeley, to help set up an Irish studies programme. The President was speaking at the university as part of an eight-day official visit to the US west coast …” (more)

[Fiona Gartland, Irish Times, 27 October]

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