Hopes for Funding Report Report by Christmas, Says Higher Education Minister

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on October 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Mary Mitchell O’Connor, the Minister of State for Higher Education, said she hopes to have a report on funding from the Oireachtas committee considering the sector’s future before Christmas. Speaking on RTÉ Radio One this morning, Mitchell O’Connor said she was waiting on the much-anticipated report from the Oireachtas Education and Skills Committee …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath, University Times, 19 October]

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Don’t Expect Funding Agreement from Education Committee, Says Fianna Fáil

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on October 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Thomas Byrne, Fianna Fáil’s Education Spokesperson, has cast doubt on the idea that a consensus can ever be reached on a new funding model for higher education. Responding to a question from The University Times at a post-budget analysis event by the Dublin University Business Society (DUBES), Byrne said it was highly unlikely any agreement could be reached …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath, University Times, 18 October]

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Report on the eligibility of maintenance grants to students (Wake-up SUSI)

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 6th, 2017 by steve

IrelandRecommendations: ‘… The Committee further recommends that, subject to the course and college being QQI approved, eligibility for a maintenance grant should be based on the means of the student rather than on the choice of college. This approach could result in an increase in competition among colleges and may reduce costs. The Committee further recommends that students enrolled at private colleges should, if eligible under the relevant SUSI criteria, be entitled to the same value of SUSI funding for payment of annual degree course fees that they would receive at an equivalent course in a state funded higher education institution. The Committee further recommends that students enrolled in private colleges should be entitled to access the Student Assistance Fund.’

Houses of the Oireachtas, Joint Committee on Education and Skills, Report on the eligibility of maintenance grants to students (Wake-up SUSI), September 2017.
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Students to hold national demonstration for third-level funding

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on September 25th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has announced they will hold a national demonstration on October 4th calling on the Government to invest in publicly-funded third-level education. The demonstration, which is expected to draw over 5,000 students from across Ireland, will call on government officials and the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills to invest in the publicly-funded third level education model as outlined in the Cassells report published last year …” (more)

[Seán Dunne, Irish Times, 25 September]

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Pipers, Tunes and Payment in the Higher Education Sector

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 24th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Recent discussion on university funding has been on the basis of the Public Accounts Committee report. This, along with the RTÉ Prime-time Investigates program, has led to a perception of a state funded sector out of financial control. Both of these are wrong …” (more)

[Brian M Lucey, 24 July]

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Colleges to face fines if accounts not shown

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 12th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Managers of colleges which fail to give up-to-date accounts or explain how much money they have in private trusts and foundations by the next budget should be hit with significant financial penalties and fines. The Dáil Public Accounts Committee made the recommendation at the launch of its damning report into the sector’s secret finances yesterday, saying options could include cuts or blocking of board of governor salaries …” (more)

[Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Irish Examiner, 12 July]

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Third level colleges accused of ‘wild west’ approach to use of taxpayers’ money

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 12th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Senior staff in some third-level colleges have been accused of taking a ‘wild west’ approach to the use of taxpayers’ money. The claims were made by members of the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee following the publication of its report into the financial accounts of a sample of seven third-level institutions …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 11 July]
[The report is here]

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Greater transparency in management of third-level accounts called for – PAC report

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has called for greater transparency in the management of the financial accounts of third-level colleges. It comes in a hard-hitting PAC report that is critical of how colleges spend public funds and run aspects of their affairs …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 11 July]

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IFUT criticises ‘banana republic’ behaviour of universities on their accounts

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) has said that new information on how universities manage their accounts suggests a ‘banana republic’ style approach to accounting and called for full transparency in spending by universities …” (more)

[Irish Federation of University Teachers, 11 July]

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Universities Face Serious Criticism, with Dáil Committee Raising Concerns in Report into Financial Management

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“In a report that names some of Ireland’s largest universities and colleges, due to be published today by the Dáil’s public accounts committee, serious doubts will be raised about the use of state money by Ireland’s higher education institutions …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath, University Times, 11 July]

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University audits touted over lack of clarity

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A review of college and university finances may be needed due to a lack of transparency in accounts, alleged commercial conflicts of interest, and concerns over where vital funds end up. The Dáil Public Accounts Committee will make the claim in a report to be published today, which will call on colleges to publish audited accounts within six months of a year ending and release details of linked private foundation funds …” (more)

[Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Irish Examiner, 11 July]

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Universities face severe criticism over use of public funds

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Serious concerns about the way many third-level colleges spend taxpayers’ money will be set out in a report to be published by the Dáil Committee of Public Accounts today. The report is highly critical of several universities that have resisted declaring tens of millions of euro from private trusts and foundations in their accounts, despite pressure from regulators, according to well-informed sources …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 11 July]

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‘Serious’ concerns over CIT and ITT merger revealed

Posted in Governance and administration on July 10th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“‘Serious and widely held’ concerns about the proposed merger between Cork Institute of Technology and IT Tralee were voiced by board members of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) as far back as 2014, newly released board minutes reveal. The proposed Munster Technogical University (MTU) is under investigation by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the Dáil spending watchdog …” (more)

[Daniel McConnell, Irish Examiner, 10 July]

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English language school teachers suffer ’serious deficiencies’ says Unite spokesman

Posted in Teaching on July 4th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“English Language School teachers have said that they love their job but it is impossible to stay in the sector long term because of a lack of regulation. The Unite trade union is briefing Oireachtas members today on concerns over the industry, where the majority of schools are privately run …” (more)

[BreakingNews.ie, 4 July]

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Dáil committee seeks clarity on CIT financial matters

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 29th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) has been asked by members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to clear up contradictions on a number of financial matters relating to expenses, fees to directors and private companies linked to the college …” (more)

[Daniel McConnell, Irish Examiner, 29 June]

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RTÉ stands over university spending probe

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 24th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“RTÉ is standing over an investigation on spending and governance at third-level colleges as it prepares responses to complaints from two universities. University College Cork and NUI Galway have submitted complaints over its May 25 RTÉ Investigates programme, Universities Unchallenged …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 24 June]

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University president admits ‘best practice’ not used in €1m payout

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The new president of the University of Limerick (UL), Dr Des Fitzgerald, has apologised for ‘inaccurate’ information previously provided to politicians by a senior UL official. He yesterday gave full details of the total value of the payments made to two staff members between 2012 and 2015 at €1.15m. These included severance payments, pension lump sums and consultancy agreements, plus annual pensions of €58,000 and €54,600 a year …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 23 June]

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UL president ‘will not hesitate’ on any breach

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“University of Limerick (UL) president Des Fitzgerald says he will not hesitate to take action if a number of ongoing probes uncover any breaches of conduct rules by staff or directors. After his appointment last month, Prof Fitzgerald sought the external inquiry to examine a range of issues as he wants to restore the university’s reputation …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 23 June]

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University of Limerick may have to repay €450k deal

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The University of Limerick (UL) could be forced to repay part of the €450,000 paid in severance to two former managers who were rehired as consultants, TDs have been told. The Dáil Public Accounts Committee (PAC) also heard about the concerns of the Department of Education and Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) Seamus McCarthy that UL may not have given them full details of the 2012 deals …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 23 June]

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University of Limerick President to engage with whistleblowers following review

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The President of the University of Limerick says he will deal ‘sympathetically’ with two whistleblowers who have been suspended for more than two years following the conclusion of an independent review into governance, HR and financial practices at the university …” (more, video)

[David Hurley, Limerick Leader, 22 June]

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