Predicting exam grades for Northern Ireland students is like playing God, says teacher

Posted in Teaching on April 20th, 2020 by steve

“Teachers have said being asked to predict their students’ grades is ‘fundamentally unfair’. Two local teachers were among those expressing concern after Stormont Education Minister Peter Weir announced that Covid-19 restrictions mean GCSE, AS and A-level tests will be replaced by a ‘calculated grade’ that takes into account homework and mock exams …” (more)

[Jessica Black and Allan Preston, Belfast Telegraph, 20 April]

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Keeping schools open in Northern Ireland not a political decision, says minister

Posted in Governance and administration on March 17th, 2020 by steve

“Stormont’s education minister has insisted his stance on keeping schools open is not political and is in line with the expert medical advice. Peter Weir was challenged during a sitting of the Assembly as to why schools, colleges and childcare facilities in Northern Ireland remain open, when in the Republic of Ireland they were all closed as part of efforts to contain the coronavirus outbreak …” (more)

[Irish Examiner, 16 March]

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Coronavirus: Keeping schools open is correct call, former Health Ministers say

Posted in Governance and administration on March 14th, 2020 by steve

“Two former Health Ministers have backed the decision not to close Northern Ireland’s schools, saying the country’s top medical officers would have provided the best possible advice to the Executive on the matter …” (more)

[Ralph Hewitt, Belfast Telegraph, 13 March]

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Michelle O’Neill calls for Northern Ireland schools to close over coronavirus

Posted in Governance and administration on March 13th, 2020 by steve

“Stormont deputy first minister Michelle O’Neill has said schools, universities and colleges in Northern Ireland should close in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. She claimed the public were concerned and fearful and the difference with the Republic of Ireland’s approach was causing confusion …” (more)

[Michael McHugh, Belfast Telegraph, 13 March]

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North decides against closing schools and universities

Posted in Governance and administration on March 13th, 2020 by steve

“The Northern Ireland Executive has decided against following the lead of the Irish Government and is not ordering the closure of schools and universities in an attempt to limit the impact of the coronavirus. The North’s First Minister, Arlene Foster, also complained on Thursday evening that the Northern Executive was not informed in advance of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s decision in Washington to announce a number of actions to address the Covid-19 emergency …” (more)

[Gerry Moriarty, Irish Times, 12 March]

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Northern Ireland colleges and universities hit by rates hike

Posted in Governance and administration on February 24th, 2020 by steve

“Colleges and university campuses are facing higher rates than luxury hotels, supermarkets and football stadiums, Sunday Life can reveal. The potential increase in their annual bills may also hit Stormont’s education budget, according to a department spokesperson …” (more)

[Christopher Woodhouse, Belfast Telegraph, 23 February]

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Trinity after Brexit

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 1st, 2020 by steve

Ireland“What does the UK withdrawal from the EU mean for College’s relationship with Northern Ireland? The United Kingdom exited the European Union at 11pm on 31 January 2020. Sparked by a narrow victory of 51.9% for the Leave campaign in the UK’s June 2016 referendum on EU membership, the date marked the end of a period of debate and delay lasting more than three and a half years …” (more)

[Isabella Noonen, Trinity News, 1 February]

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‘Not the way to go’ – Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill rules out hike in tuition fees

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on January 20th, 2020 by steve

“Deputy First Minister Michelle O’Neill has said raising tuition fees in Northern Ireland is ‘not the way to go’ to plug any shortfall in funding from the UK Government. Her comments come just days after First Minister Arlene Foster stated there will have to be a ‘positive debate’ on the issue. Currently, students pay up to £4,275 a year to study in Northern Ireland, compared to up to £9,250 in England …” (more)

[Andrew Madden, Belfast Telegraph, 19 January]

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For Universities, Brexit’s Risks Aren’t Just Concerning – They May be Irreversible

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 13th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Last week, the government reassured Irish students travelling to study in Northern Ireland and the UK – and those coming in the opposite direction – that existing fee arrangements would be maintained for another year. In January of last year, 364 days ago and three weeks before the February CAO deadline, students starting in September 2019 got the same assurance …” (more)

[University Times, 12 January]

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Ministers McHugh and Mitchell O’Connor provide assurance to students and their families for studies in the UK

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 10th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD and Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD today announced that current fee regimes and grant supports are being maintained for Irish students going to higher education institutions in the UK from September 2020. The Ministers also confirmed the current system will apply for students from Britain and Northern Ireland who are applying to attend colleges in Ireland …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 10 January]

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University strike: Queen’s and Ulster University staff walk out over pay

Posted in Governance and administration on November 25th, 2019 by steve

“Many lecturers and support staff at Queen’s University (QUB) and Ulster University (UU) are beginning eight days of strike action on Monday. The action by University and College Union (UCU) members is due to disputes over pay and pensions. The strike is expected to continue up to and including Wednesday, 4 December …” (more)

[Robbie Meredith, BBC News, 25 November]

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USI vote to support bilingual signage on campuses in Northern Ireland

Posted in Governance and administration on November 16th, 2019 by steve

“The National Council of the Union of Students Ireland (USI) have voted to support bilingual signage for Colleges in Northern Ireland, among several other motions discussed at a meeting held in Trinity. The union’s National Council have also taken the decision to support free period products and and voted to establish a partnership between the USI and a Crisis Text Line, as well as authorising the union to begin work on gathering data on students’ sexual experiences …” (more)

[Jessica Hobbs Pifer, Trinity News, 16 November]

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University applications from Northern Ireland fall

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on July 12th, 2019 by steve

“There has been a slight fall in the number of 18 year olds in Northern Ireland applying to go to university. That is according to figures just published by the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Almost half (46.9%) of all 18 year olds in Northern Ireland applied to UCAS by 30 June 2019, a fall of 0.7% from 2018 …” (more)

[Robbie Meredith, BBC News NI, 12 July]

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Northern Ireland students and EU fees

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on July 6th, 2019 by steve

IrelandGerry Adams (Louth, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if students domiciled in Northern Ireland who wish to enter third-level education in institutions here in September 2020 and in the years following will be considered non-EU students; if they will be required to pay the non-EU rate of student fees; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 4 July]

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No tuition fee rise for EU students starting university in NI

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 8th, 2019 by steve

“European Union (EU) students starting university in Northern Ireland in 2020 will pay the same tuition fees as local students. The Department for the Economy (DE) confirmed they will be guaranteed ‘home fee’ during their courses. It follows similar announcements in England and Scotland …” (more)

[Robbie Meredith, BBC News NI, 8 June]

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Provost Patrick Prendergast said that applications to Trinity had decreased a further 20%, after last year’s drop

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on April 30th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Applications to Trinity from Northern Ireland have dropped by around 20% this year as a result of uncertainty surrounding Brexit, according to Provost Patrick Prendergast. This drop is on top of a 20% decrease in applications from Northern Irish students last year …” (more)

[Emer Moreau, University Times, 30 April]

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ERASMUS Programme

Posted in Governance and administration on March 28th, 2019 by steve

IrelandCatherine Martin (Dublin Rathdown, Green Party): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to ensure that Irish students domiciled in Northern Ireland will have access to Erasmus programmes here and elsewhere after 2021; if Irish students can study in the UK after 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 26 March]

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Quarter of students suffer unwanted sexual advances in Northern Ireland

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on March 28th, 2019 by steve

“More than a quarter of students at universities or colleges in Northern Ireland have experienced unwanted sexual behaviour, a survey has revealed. Over 2,200 students took part in the survey on consent and unwanted sexual behaviour, conducted by the National Union of Students-Union of Students in Ireland (NUS-USI) …” (more)

[Gillian Halliday, Belfast Telegraph, 28 March]

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Fee Certainty Is Not Enough to Quell the Northern Ireland CAO Tumble

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 21st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“It was perhaps unclear, on June 23rd, 2016, just how destabilising Britain’s Brexit vote would be to the European economy as a whole. Ireland, as the UK’s nearest neighbour and one of its closest trading partners, is particularly exposed to these destabilising forces. It quickly became clear that myriad sectors of the Irish economy would come under significant strain, especially in the event of a no-deal Brexit …” (more)

[Matthew Murphy, University Times, 20 March]

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DkIT Symposium Highlights Opportunities For Greater Cross-Border Collaboration In Higher Education

Posted in Research on March 11th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) organised a symposium aimed at opening dialogue on how Institutes of Further and Higher Education can work together to develop a blueprint for successful cross-border collaboration in the North Leinster South Ulster region. The ‘DkIT Symposium: A Changing Cross Border Landscape for Further and Higher Education’ brought together more than 80 policy-makers, academics and industry representatives from North and South to discuss challenges and opportunities surrounding BREXIT and the implications it may have on Further and Higher Education network in the region …” (more)

[Talk of the Town, 11 May]

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