English Language ‘Visa Factories’

Posted in Governance and administration on December 6th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Fine Gael Senator Anthony Lawlor has said that more monitoring and stronger regulation is needed in the privately delivered English language sector. Disingenuous schools are using the current student visa rules for non-EEA Nationals to setup unsustainable businesses. The standard visa for pursuing an English language programme on the Interim list of Eligible Programmes (ILEP) is 8 months allowing students work up to 20hrs per week and up to 40hrs during the summer months …” (more)

[Senator Anthony Lawlor, 6 December]

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Public servants ‘in limbo’ as law to change retirement age faces ‘tight’ Christmas deadline

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on November 30th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Public servants who are set to receive a way out of compulsory retirement could be forced to retire anyway with legislation to extend the age to 70 facing a ‘tight’ deadline to get passed through the Dáil before Christmas. The Public Service Superannuation (Age of Retirement) Bill would increase the retirement age to 70 …” (more)

[TheJournal.ie, 30 November]

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University of Limerick criticised for ‘misleading’ PAC over pension top-ups

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on November 29th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The University of Limerick (UL) has been severely criticised by members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for misleading it over pension top-ups to former staff. The university was the subject of a damning report earlier this week by the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) about top-up pension payments totalling €1.2 million to two senior staff, during the tenure of former President Don Barry who left his post in 2017 …” (more)

[Daniel McConnell, Irish Examiner, 29 November]

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Dáil: Future of funding of third-level education

Posted in Governance and administration on November 29th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding the future of funding for third-level education here; if he will rule out the introduction of third-level education loans as a means of funding third level education here; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Thomas Pringle, 29 November]

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Public Accounts Committee requests ‘full details’ on UL employees that raised concerns

Posted in Governance and administration on November 24th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The Government’s spending watchdog has called on the University of Limerick to clarify the current employment status of staff members who first raised concerns about financial practices at the University …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Limerick Leader, 23 November]

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Bill to protect rights of college renters as Dáil hears some students sleep in cars

Posted in Governance and administration on November 22nd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Sinn Féin has introduced a Bill to protect the rights of students who are renting. The Residential Tenancies (Student Rents, Rights and Protections) Bill 2018 is aimed at giving clarity on licence agreements for student accommodation …” (more)

[Irish Examiner, 22 November]

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USI Calls for Rent Controls on Student Accommodation

Posted in Governance and administration on November 22nd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) today condemned government inaction on a housing crisis that is ‘becoming a significant barrier’ to education, calling for rent regulation in purpose-built student accommodation during an address to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Housing and Planning …” (more)

[Kathleen McNamee, University Times, 22 November]

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Committee told students are sleeping in cars due to rental accommodation shortage

Posted in Governance and administration on November 22nd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“An Oireachtas committee has been told that students are sleeping in cars, couch-surfing with friends and commuting long hours in order to attend lectures due to the shortage of rental accommodation. That is according to representatives of the Union of Students of Ireland who were before the Oireachtas Housing Committee this morning …” (more)

[Ailbhe Conneely, RTÉ News, 22 November]

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Leaving Cert bonus points proposed in sweeping reforms

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on November 6th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Sweeping changes to the Leaving Cert, including bonus points for more subjects and a system of continuous assessment of students, are proposed in a report from the Oireachtas Education Committee. The all-party committee says students who do more than one foreign language should get extra points, and there should also be a points reward for taking certain subjects at higher level …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 6 November]

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UL president hopes that ‘very grave matters are dealt with fully and finally’

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on October 30th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The University of Limerick has ‘a sharp focus’ on ensuring ‘very grave matters are dealt with fully and finally’ at the university, the UL president has told staff. In a letter to staff this Tuesday morning, Dr Des Fitzgerald updated his UL colleagues on changes made at the university, ahead of the publication of a special report carried out by the Comptroller and Auditor General …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Limerick Leader, 30 October]

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Legislation needed for HEA to regulate ‘as expected’ in relation to matters at UL

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on October 27th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The Higher Education Authority does not have ‘the powers to do what is expected of a regulatory body’ in relation to some of the matters raised at the University of Limerick, the Public Accounts Committee has heard …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Limerick Leader, 27 October]

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Lack of funding for sexual consent classes in Trinity, Oireachtas committee told

Posted in Teaching on October 24th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“It may not be possible to extend classes on sexual consent to all students at Trinity College Dublin due to a lack of funding, an Oireachtas committee was told on Tuesday. Trinity College Dublin students’ union has run consent workshops for students living in Trinity Hall college accommodation based in Rathmines, and these saw 90% attendance rates last year …” (more)

[Aine McMahon, Irish Times, 23 October]

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Sexual consent classes at Irish universities to be examined

Posted in Teaching on October 23rd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“An Oireachtas committee is examining the effectiveness, timeliness and certification of sexual consent classes at Ireland’s universities. The Joint Committee on Education and Skills is looking at whether third-level of education is the right time to introduce these classes – or whether this needs to happen more at secondary level …” (more)

[Jack Quann, NewsTalk, 23 October]

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HEA Financial Statements 2017

Posted in Governance and administration on October 22nd, 2018 by steve

IrelandSeán Fleming (Laois, Fianna Fail): We are joined again by the Comptroller and Auditor General, Mr Seamus McCarthy, who is a permanent witness to the committee and Ms Colette Drinan, deputy director of audit at the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General. We are meeting representatives from the Department of Education and Skills and the Higher Education Authority, HEA, to discuss the Higher Education Authority’s financial statements for 2017 …” (more)

[Public Accounts Committee, 18 October]

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Higher Education Authority’s review powers in spotlight

Posted in Governance and administration on October 19th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“A legal review of the Higher Education Authority’s (HEA) powers to undertake investigations and reviews in third-level colleges has held up a report on spinout companies at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) that was due out a year ago …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 19 October]

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Teachers under pressure from ‘initiative overload’, says new Minister for Education

Posted in Governance and administration on October 19th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“There is a sense of ‘initiative overload’ among teachers who feel pressurised into implementing a range of policies and reforms, according to the new Minister for Education. Speaking at his first public engagement since taking over the brief from his predecessor Richard Bruton, Joe McHugh – a former teacher – told the Oireachtas education committee that …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 18 October]

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Outgoing Chief Executive of HEA outlines reasons for resignation

Posted in Governance and administration on October 18th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The outgoing CEO of the Higher Education Authority, Dr Graham Love has outlined some of the reasons for his unexpected resignation from the body in August after 18 months in the role. He was speaking as both the Department of Education and the Higher Education Authority appeared before the Public Accounts Committee this afternoon …” (more)

[Edel McAllister, RTÉ News, 18 October]

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Business, Enterprise and Innovation Committee to discuss Irish membership of CERN

Posted in Research on October 11th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Ireland’s potential membership of CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, will be discussed on Tuesday, Oct 16, at the Joint Committee on Business, Enterprise and Innovation …” (more)

[Houses of the Oireachtas, 11 October]

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Three ITs millions of euro in debt

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

Ireland“At least three State-funded third-level institutes of technology (ITs) have been ordered to draw up three-year financial recovery plans after it emerged they are millions of euro in debt — putting significant pressure on key frontline services …” (more)

[Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Irish Examiner, 28 September]

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Three Institute of Technologies facing financial black holes as it emerges they are millions in debt

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

Ireland“At least three leading State-funded third level institutes of technology have been ordered to draw up three-year financial recovery plans after it emerged they are millions of euro in debt – putting significant pressure on key front-line services …” (more)

[BreakingNews.ie, 27 September]

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