Is it time to fall out of love with universities?

Posted in Governance and administration on December 4th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Universities are booming. In many countries close to half of young people now go on to tertiary education. Others, including Ireland, are at that point or beyond: Ireland now sends approximately 60% of its secondary school leavers to third level. Everywhere, young people, parents, and governments agree that universities are the route to success, and the more of them the better. So a good news story? …” (more)

[Alison Wolf, Irish Times, 4 November]

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Education system must prepare students for demands of 21st-century workplace

Posted in Governance and administration on July 26th, 2018 by steve

“The world of work is changing. But are Irish graduates equipped for this new world of work? Globalisation, rapid digitalisation, increased competition and new consumer preferences are resulting in jobs and careers being transformed at an accelerating pace of change. Over the last decade, our understanding of the ‘typical’ worker has evolved …” (more)

[Kara McGann, Independent, 26 July]

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People with jobs will now be eligible for free third level courses

Posted in Governance and administration on January 26th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Thousands of free or heavily subsidised third level courses in areas where there are skills shortages are to be made available to people in employment for the first time. The Springboard+ initiative has until now been heavily targeted at unemployed people in need of upskilling to help them to re-enter the labour market …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 25 January]

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University challenge

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on December 5th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Preparing graduates for complex professional roles in a changing technological world is an increasingly significant challenge for higher education institutions. Brian Norton, President, Dublin Institute of Technology writes …” (more)

[eolas magazine, 1 December]

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Homemakers sign up for free third-level courses

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on November 1st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Hundreds of homemakers have signed up for free higher education courses as part of an initiative aimed at filling skills shortages. The Springboard+ scheme provides access to courses at certificate, degree and masters level in areas such as advanced manufacturing, business and entrepreneurship and ICT …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 31 October]

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The technology problem

Posted in Teaching on August 29th, 2017 by steve

“As has been noted previously in this blog, there are differing opinions on the extent to which universities should develop education strategies to provide skills needed in the economy. Some of those who might be sceptical about such strategies argue that universities should not be vocational training institutions …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 28 August]

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Upskilling workers for the Brexit Challenge

Posted in Governance and administration on July 4th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Tánaiste and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Frances Fitzgerald, TD, along with Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, TD, today (Monday, 3rd July, 2017) host a joint stakeholder dialogue on ‘Enterprise Skills Needs and Brexit’ in the Aviva in Dublin. Noting that action to improve the skills base represents one of the most practical and effective domestic responses to Brexit, the Tánaiste said …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 3 July]

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Colleges face scrutiny over response to meeting skills gaps across industry

Posted in Governance and administration on April 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The performance of colleges in responding to the skills needs of industry will be monitored by a new Government advisory body. The National Skills Council, officially launched on Thursday, aims to make Ireland a leader in anticipating and responding to skills gaps …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 27 April]

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Many college graduates lack work-ready skills, say small firms

Posted in Governance and administration on April 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The quality of college graduates appears to be on the decline, with many lacking work-ready skills, according to small and medium-sized businesses. They also say the record number of school leavers going on to third level is not a positive development and reflects a lack of alternatives such as apprenticeships …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 27 April]

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Skills gaps: Where are the best opportunities for graduates?

Posted in Governance and administration on April 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Every year State agencies monitor the supply of skills emerging from the education system and measure it against demand for employment. Many of the reports are produced by officials in Solas, the further education and training authority, for the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs, a State advisory body …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 27 April]

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Here’s a Good Idea (or is it?) – ‘cut college fees for courses linked to skills shortages’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on April 4th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Recently I read an article by Owen Ross in The Irish Times entitled ‘We should cut college fees for courses linked to skills shortages’. Ross, who is is Head of Department of Business and Management at Athlone Institute of Technology, speaks a lot of sense when he writes that there should be financial ‘incentives for school leavers to undertake designated programmes’…” (more)

[Careful With That Axe, Eugene, 4 April]

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Universities Must Master Challenge of Uncertainty to Teach Students

Posted in Teaching on April 3rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Provost, Patrick Prendergast, this week found himself paying a visit to Dominican College Sion Hill in Blackrock, where he gave an address as just one of the many parents of students at the school. In the course of his explanation of what a university education, and more specifically, a Trinity education, should comprise, Prendergast gave his own take on the ‘must-have skills for today’s graduates’ …” (more)

[University Times, 2 April]

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We should cut college fees for courses linked to skills shortages

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Ireland can respond to the uncertainty created by the changing international economic environment by pursuing a ‘skills incentivisation strategy’ that develops school leavers into the most highly-skilled graduate workforce on the planet …” (more)

[Owen Ross, Irish Times, 28 March]


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What are the must-have skills for today’s graduates?

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on March 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Whenever he asks emplyers about the must-have skills they want in today’s graduates, Dublin City University president Brian MacCraith gets much the same answer …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 28 March]

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The skills shortage paradox

Posted in Governance and administration on March 13th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“This is the era of STEM. Youngsters are constantly exhorted to forge careers in STEM because, apparently, STEM is where the jobs are. This is the 21st century after all. The STEM campaign has been broadly ‘successful’ and the number of CAO first preferences for STEM subjects has risen from around 18.7% in 2008 to 23.7% …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 13 March]

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Whiskey, Google and knowledge

Posted in Teaching on January 30th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“‘The former objectives of education, which emphasised a knowledge of facts, are no longer as valuable in a society where information is available at your fingertips.’ This was a statement made recently in a column in the Irish Times and it is pretty par for the course. Lots of people have been making this claim for quite a few years now …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 30 January]

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I’m with ASTI on the Junior Cycle

Posted in Teaching on September 5th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“I was going to write something substantial about the new Junior Cycle but having visited and perused the documentation, I abandoned that idea because it was all so predictable and even depressing. Education is now seen (by the majority it would appear) purely as the acquisition of skills, especially quasi-skills like problem-solving, creativity and collaboration. Knowledge seems to be a dirty word …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 5 September]

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What if there isn’t a skills deficit?

Posted in Governance and administration on May 9th, 2016 by steve

UK“In a classic episode of Yes Minister, the ever-cynical Sir Humphrey argues that ‘We didn’t raise the school leaving age to enable children to learn more. We raised it to keep teenagers off the job market and hold down the unemployment figures!’ The same might also be said of higher education expansion …” (more)

[David Morris, Wonkhe, 9 May]

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Technological skills shortages must be addressed

Posted in Governance and administration on May 9th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“As Ireland steadily rebuilds itself in a new post-recession era, recruitment is firmly back on the agenda for Irish employers. The latest edition of the Hays Salary and Recruiting Trends Guide, which surveyed over 1,300 employers and employees across Ireland, showed that 79% of organisations predict increased business activity in 2016, while 86% plan to recruit over the next year …” (more)

[Richard Eardley, Irish Examiner, 9 May]

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The role of universities

Posted in Governance and administration on April 15th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – When universities bow to pressure from industry to produce less learned but more skilled graduates, they do students a disservice. Degrees take at least three or four years to complete; there is sufficient time to teach skills useful to the workplace and also to expose students to ideas from other disciplines that might help them to develop insight, perspective and critical thinking …” (more)

[Colin Walsh, Irish Times, 15 April]

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