Mount Charles wins €10m catering contract at Maynooth University

Posted in Governance and administration on February 18th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Outsourcing group Mount Charles has picked up an estimated €10 million contract to provide food and drink services to Maynooth University. The deal will add to the Belfast-based company’s significant client portfolio in the Republic, which includes RTÉ, the Abbey Theatre, the Customs House, the Public Appointments Service, Ordnance Survey Ireland, the National Aquatic Centre and Griffith College Dublin …” (more)

[Peter Hamilton, Irish Times, 18 February]

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Eoin Ó Broin seeks meeting with Universities on rising student accommodation costs

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

Ireland“Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has written to the Presidents of University College Dublin, Dublin City University, NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, Limerick University, Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork requesting a meeting to discuss plans to increase on-campus student accommodation charges by up to 4% per year …” (more)

[Sinn Féin, 17 February]

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Students ‘outraged’ as universities blame rent increases on refurbishment and upgrades

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

Ireland“Universities that are raising rents for on-campus accommodation have said the rises are due to the refurbishment and upgrade of their student residencies. In a statement, DCU said it has an ‘ongoing refurbishment investment programme’ in its student residences …” (more)

[, 14 February]

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Spring Semester Starts

Posted in Teaching on February 4th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“It’s February 3rd 2020, which means that today is two days after Imbolc, a Gaelic festival marking the point halfway between the winter solstice and vernal equinox. The 1st Day of February is also the Feast day of St Brigid of Kildare …” (more)

[In the Dark, 3 February]


Building Up

Posted in Life on January 27th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“On my way back from lunch today I saw the chance to get into shot both of the big cranes operating on the site of the new building going up on the North Campus at Maynooth University …” (more)

[In the Dark, 27 January]


Ministers invite expressions of interest for a number of vacancies to governing authorities of higher education institutions

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

Ireland“The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD and the Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD today invited expressions of interest for a number of vacancies to governing authorities of higher education institutions. Applications are invited from suitably qualified and experienced persons for consideration for nomination …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 24 January]

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How students feel about the General Election being on a Saturday

Posted in Governance and administration on January 16th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Gill Stedman reports live from Maynooth University and speaks to students on the significance of the Saturday vote …” (audio)

[RTÉ Radio 1, 16 January]

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Maynooth University Library Cat Update

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

Ireland“It’s high time for the first update about the famous Maynooth University Library Cat for 2020. I gave him some breakfast on the way in to work yesterday morning, before Storm Brendan arrived. He scoffed it rapidly, even though I strongly suspect I wasn’t the first person to give him food! …” (more)

[In the Dark, 14 January]

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Exam Time

Posted in Teaching on January 12th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Back in Maynooth into the January examination period, I await the arrival tomorrow of the first batch of examination scripts I have to mark, I thought I’d do a quick post on the topic of examinations. First, for readers elsewhere, full-time undergraduate students at Maynooth what is called 60 ‘credits’ in a year, usually split into two semesters of thirty credits each. This is usually split into 5-credit modules with an examination in each module at the end of each semester …” (more)

[In the Dark, 12 January]

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End of Teaching for 2019

Posted in Life on December 19th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“So it’s 6pm on Wednesday 18th December and I’ve just given my 24th and last Astrophysics & Cosmology lecture for the term at Maynooth University. Earlier this afternoon I gave my 36th and last first-year Mechanics & Special Relativity module so that’s over for the year too. That makes 60 lectures for the semester …” (more)

[In the Dark, 18 December]


Irish universities secure six prestigious European research grants

Posted in Research on December 10th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Irish universities have secured six out of just over 300 lucrative European research grants which are awarded to the continent’s top scientists and scholars. The Irish performance is an improvement on the last round when there was just a single European Research Council (ERC) grant winner from Ireland …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 10 December]

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Two Years in Maynooth!

Posted in Life on December 1st, 2019 by steve

IrelandMí na Nollag (the Month of Christmas) is how you say December in the Irish language. Today is the first of that month, which it makes it precisely two years to the day since I started work at Maynooth University …” (more)

[In the Dark, 1 December]

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On Zero-Hours Contracts

Posted in Governance and administration on October 20th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“In a week dominated by stupid things being said by British politicians, one of the stupidest of all was the claim by Labour MP Caroline Flint that the European Union is to blame for the rise of zero-hours contracts. Caroline Flint is a Brexit supporter, of course, so she will not be interested in facts …” (more)

[In the Dark, 20 October]

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European alliance for academics at risk to be based out of Maynooth University

Posted in Governance and administration on October 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A new European initiative to support hundreds of academics whose lives or careers are at risk due to discrimination, persecution or violence is to be based out of Maynooth University. A record number of academics are seeking support, such as teaching temporary posts, due threats against their lives or careers in countries such as Turkey, Syria, Iran and Yemen …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 14 October]

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Public Accounts Committee: Maynooth University

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on October 5th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“… No 2354B is from Professor Phillip Nolan, President, Maynooth University, dated 29 July 2019, responding to a request from the committee for details on an investment by the university in a subsidiary which will not be recovered, as well as information regarding employment contracts for employees in the organisation. Professor Nolan confirms the loss and states the investment was appropriate based on the information and advice available at the time …” (more)

[Public Accounts Committee, 3 October]

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Maoiniú do Chursaí Gaeilge de Luach €1.63 Milliún Fógartha ag Sean Kyne

Posted in Teaching on October 2nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“D’fhógair an tAire Stáit don Ghaeilge, don Ghaeltacht, agus do na hOileáin, Sean Kyne, go gcuirfear maoiniú €1.63 milliún ar fáil do chursaí tríú-leibhéil Gaeilge ar an Luan. Thuairiscigh go dtabharfar tacaíocht do 12 chúrsa Gaeilge i gcoláistí timpeall na tíre …” (more)

[Malachi Ó Marcaigh, University Times, 2 October]

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Irish language courses in higher education receive €1.6 million support

Posted in Governance and administration on October 2nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Nine Irish language courses and institutes of higher education including NUI Galway have been approved €1.63 million in additional funding. The funding was announced this week by Galway West TD and Minister of State for the Irish Language Seán Kyne under the Advanced Irish Language Initiative …” (more)

[Briain Kelly, Galway Daily, 1 October]

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Irish universities tread water while rivals make waves

Posted in Governance and administration on September 11th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The flaws with college rankings are well documented. They are produced by commercial organisations which sell their expertise on how to perform better. They ignore key aspects of college life such as the quality of teaching and learning. And the science behind some of the indicators is suspect, at best. But there is no denying their influence …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 11 September]

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Trinity College calls for university rankings strategy after falling 44 places in worldwide list

Posted in Governance and administration on September 11th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Trinity College Dublin has called for a ‘national strategy for university rankings’ after dropping 44 places in the World University Rankings today. The university is now rated as 164th best in the world in the Times Higher Education list compared with 120th last year …” (more)

[, 11 September]

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Universities and hiring policies

Posted in Legal issues on September 2nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) is very surprised and concerned at reports (News, August 27th) that Maynooth University is suing University College Dublin, disputing the latter’s right to hire an academic …” (more)

[Frank Jones, Irish Times, 2 September]

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