Tory victory means an end to wider participation in higher education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 1st, 2015 by steve

UK“The general election result will mean a wider gulf between ‘top’ universities and the rest, and an end to widening participation. The trouble with the Conservative victory in the election is not only that we are stuck with a system of funding higher education that will burden graduates with debt …” (more)

[Peter Scott, Guardian, 1 June]

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Cuts to guidance counselling have ‘entrenched privilege’

Posted in Teaching on May 19th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“The removal of a dedicated guidance counselling service from secondary schools ‘has entrenched the privilege of those who are already privileged’, the professional body representing counsellors has said …” (more)

[Joe Humphreys, Irish Times, 19 May]

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Is this the death of the equal opportunity era?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 3rd, 2015 by steve

International“The last decades have seen a rapid growth in the number of students going into higher education in English-speaking countries such as the United States, including those from lower income backgrounds. But has this created more equal societies? …” (more)

[Simon Marginson, University World News, 1 May]

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Royal Irish Academy Advice Paper on ‘Equity of Access to Higher Education’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 18th, 2015 by steve

IrelandKey Points: Early intervention is important to improve the progression rates of under-represented socio-economic groups from second-level education to higher education. Particularly effective modes of intervention include enhanced guidance-counselling provisions at second level and higher-education-engagement programmes …” (more)

[RIA Advice paper no 6 / 2015]

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Educational Reform and all that …

Posted in Teaching on December 3rd, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Educational reform and Junior Cert reform in particular has been getting a bit of coverage lately. One observation which struck me was by Tom Collins, formerly Professor of Education at NUI Maynooth. He mentioned anecdotal evidence claiming that primary school teachers could predict eventual secondary school educational outcomes from as early as six years of age …” (more)

[David Madden, The Irish Economy, 3 December]

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Feeder Schools 2014

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on November 29th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The Feeder Schools 2014 supplement (November 27th) provided limited but welcome data on the present situation of education inequality. In providing progression rates per school to third-level education as a percentage of all students sitting the Leaving Cert, the figures shed light on the vast disparities by postcode which exist in Ireland …” (more)

[Mairead Healy, Irish Times, 29 November]

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Students from wealthy backgrounds in Northern Ireland eight times more likely to have a degree: study

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 31st, 2014 by steve

UK“Students from more wealthy backgrounds in Northern Ireland are around eight times more likely to have a degree than those from less privileged homes, according to a study …” (more)

[Belfast Telegraph, 31 October]

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Beyond the points race?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 24th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The entry into the debate on university entrance criteria in Ireland of the dean of admissions at Harvard University Dr William R Fitzsimmons (October 22nd) illustrates one of the fallacies that dog this debate. Harvard is a private institution with an endowment of more than $36 billion …” (more)

[Paddy O’Flynn, Irish Times, 24 October]

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Beyond the points race?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 23rd, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – I was flabbergasted at the response from Dr William R Fitzsimmons (October 22nd) to the article ‘Students are guinea pigs in Trinity’s experiment’ (Education Opinion, October 14th). The so-called holistic system he speaks of is one that works in theory and may be successful in the United States. Unfortunately, this is Ireland …” (more)

[Gavin Lynch-Frahill, Irish Times, 23 October]

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Beyond the CAO points race: Irish colleges need to address issues of access and diversity

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on October 22nd, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Criticism of the points system as the sole basis for entry to third level education has grown in recent years as rote learning and special tuition courses became the norm and inherent weaknesses emerged … ” (more)

[Irish Times, 22 October]

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Should unis use contextual data when considering student applications?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 21st, 2014 by steve

UK“Could noting an applicant’s social background help institutions find unfulfilled potential, or is positive discrimination an insult to working class high-achievers? Four academics debate …” (more)

[Patrick Fullick and others, Guardian Professional, 21 October]

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University funding and rankings

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on October 17th, 2014 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – I welcome the letter from my distinguished colleague, Frank Bannister (October 15th). When a great university such as UCD declines to below 200 in the World Rankings we must say that enough is enough. Nor can we accept spin about Trinity itself in the ‘prestigious’ top 150 …” (more)

[Gerald Morgan, Irish Times, 17 October]

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Guest Blog: John Buckley, Spun Out

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 25th, 2014 by steve

“There’s room for a shed load of clichés when it comes to defining what education is, not in a negative way, but it’s hard not to repeat the absolute value that education offers to both individuals and societies. In my job, I come across people who experience different levels and types of education advantage and, unfortunately, disadvantage …” (more)

[Education Is …, 25 September]

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HEA Consultation Paper: Towards the development of a new National Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 17th, 2014 by steve

“The Department are working with the HEA in the development of a new National Access Plan for Equity of Access to Higher Education for 2014-2017. The HEA is co-ordinating work on the development of the plan and now seeks submissions from all interested parties in framing the strategies, actions and targets for the next National Access Plan. The consultation process is open and submissions are requested by 30th September …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 17 September]

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LIT backs ministers ambition for broader access to third level

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 4th, 2014 by steve

“The president of Limerick Institute of Technology has welcomed Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan’s stated ambition to see more third level places allocated to students from disadvantaged backgrounds …” (more)

[Mike Dwane, Limerick Leader, 4 September]

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Education Apartheid

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 25th, 2014 by steve

“There’s something about Dublin 6. Don’t you think? For years, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. It was a strange sensation. What was it? Was it the solid redbricks, the good taste, the drop-in Pilates classes, the sensitively old Volvos, or maybe the Gonzaga waiting list? …” (more)

[David McWilliams, 25 August]

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The Leaving Certificate ‘leaves’ too many people behind

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 23rd, 2014 by steve

“As the drama of the CAO third-level places unfolded this week, I thought about what Burmese pro-democracy advocate, Aung San Suu Kyi, said in Strasbourg last year when accepting a prize for promoting freedom of thought: ‘I’ve always said there’s no hope without endeavour …'” (more)

[Niamh Hourigan, Irish Examiner, 23 August]

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Going beyond the points race to ensure greater diversity at Third Level

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 21st, 2014 by steve

“Learning, ideally, is its own reward. In practice, though, the education young people gain in secondary school is translated annually into a numerical value. ‘How many points did you get?’ is the question school-leavers were asked this week as the Central Applications Office (CAO) began making offers for college places …” (more)

[Irish Times, 21 August]

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Jan O’Sullivan: ‘Early years are crucial to tackle gap’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 21st, 2014 by steve

“Following a report by the Higher Education Authority showing a big gap in students from different backgrounds accessing third-level education, Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan said her main objective as minister is to open up higher education to students from disadvantaged backgrounds …” (more)

[Jimmy Woulfe, Irish Examiner, 21 August]

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O’Brien calls for radical overhaul of education system

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 20th, 2014 by steve

“Speaking following the publication of figures by the Higher Education Authority regarding the progression of young people from disadvantaged areas to higher education, Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Education Jonathan O’Brien TD said …” (more)

[Sinn Féin, 20 August]

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