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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Where the President got it wrong

Posted in Teaching on April 12th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“In his recent speech to the EUA, President Higgins said the following: ‘The challenge we face is that we must confront an erroneous a prevalent perception that the necessary focus of higher education must be on that which is utilitarian and immediately applicable ..'” (more)

[educationandstuff, 12 April]

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Why we need more T-shaped graduates

Posted in Governance and administration on March 29th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The gap between the skills students learn and the skills employers need is becoming a serious issue worldwide, according to a recent World Economic Forum report. Concerns are growing that education systems are failing to equip students with the knowledge and attributes they need to flourish in the workplace …” (more)

[Brian MacCraith, Irish Times, 29 March]

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Government launches Ireland’s National Skills Strategy 2025

Posted in Governance and administration on January 27th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The new Strategy is a key pillar in the Government’s plan to keep the recovery going and build sustainable economic growth. The Taoiseach and Tánaiste today (Wednesday) launched the new National Skills Strategy 2025 – Ireland’s Future, along with Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’Sullivan, TD, and Minister for Skills, Research, Innovation Damien English, TD, at the Blackrock Further Education Institute, Dublin …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 27 January]

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Funding dilemma for next government as student loans proposed

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on January 25th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Two reports will consume a lot of the time and energies of the next coalition’s Minister for Education. One dealing with the future funding of higher education is still being finalised and may not see the light of day until after the election while the other outlining a new National Skills Strategy will be launched next Wednesday …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 25 January]

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Many students feel they are not learning job skills, survey says

Posted in Teaching on November 5th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Significant numbers of students in higher education feel they are not learning skills which will contribute to their chances of getting a job, a new national survey indicates. More than 27,000 students from 30 universities, colleges and institutes of technology responded to a Higher Education Authority-funded study this year aimed at gathering students’ experiences of college …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 5 November]

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