UCD applies to fast-track provision of 3,000 student beds

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

Ireland“An application for a €300 million on-campus accommodation complex for 3,000 more students at University College Dublin (UCD) has been submitted to An Bord Pleanála for ‘fast-track’ planning approval. The State’s largest university has become the first applicant to use the new Strategic Housing Development system …” (more)

[Olivia Kelly, Irish Times, 25 September]

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UCDSU is What Happens When Apathy Prevails in Student Elections

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

Ireland“Students’ union elections are more often than not described in a disparaging fashion: inconsequential, trivial, monotonous. The reasons as to why that is the case are multifaceted, but so too is the rationale behind the opposite kind of characterisation. For one thing, those who run students’ unions command hefty budgets …” (more)

[University Times, 24 September]

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UCD wants to fast-track plans for thousands of student beds

Posted in Governance and administration on September 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“UCD wants to fast-track planning permission for more than 3,000 student beds under Government measures aimed at ending the housing crisis. The university has formally signalled its intention to bypass normal procedures by applying directly to An Bord Pleanála for the substantial on-campus development …” (more)

[Kevin Doyle, Independent, 23 September]

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UCDSU president defends dropping abortion information from freshers’ guide

Posted in Governance and administration on September 20th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The president of UCD students’ union has defended her decision to withdraw information over access to abortion services in a magazine circulated to new students …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 20 September]

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The Student Housing Crisis: Are Digs the Solution?

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

Ireland“A campaign headed up by Campaigns & Communications Officer Barry Murphy has exposed the problems that students are facing with getting acceptable accommodation around Dublin. The campaign involves UCD students going undercover to view potential places and exposing their shoddy conditions using Snapchat …” (more)

[College Tribune, 13 September]

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UCD loses 47 student beds as religious order terminates lease

Posted in Governance and administration on August 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“University College Dublin has lost 47 beds from its student residences after the religious order leasing the rooms to the college terminated the arrangement. The accommodation in Muckross Halls, Donnybrook, was owned by the Dominican Order of nuns and leased out to the university to use for student housing …” (more)

[Jack Power, Irish Times, 21 August]

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UCDSU and ULSU Decline Offer from USI to Attend National Training Event

Posted in Governance and administration on August 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“An attempt by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) to mend the historically fractious relationship with University College Dublin Students’ Union (UCDSU) and University of Limerick Students’ Union (ULSU) went unreciprocated this week, as the two unions declined an invitation to a USI-run training event …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath, University Times, 19 August]

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UCD Unable to Renew Lease on Muckross Halls Residence

Posted in Governance and administration on August 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“UCD has confirmed that the Muckross Halls Residence will no longer be available for students this year after the Dominican Order which owns the site opted against renewing the lease with the university. The off-campus accommodation is located near Marlborough Road in Donnybrook, on a large area of land owned by the Order …” (more)

[College Tribune, 18 August]

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Quality Time at St Chinian: a humorous take on higher education

Posted in Life on August 12th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“CE Kelly, the legendary editor of Dublin Opinion, once wrote that ‘true humour … has a useful function as a corrective of folly, pomposity and injustice’. Academic life is marked more than most other areas of human activity by folly and pomposity – and there are doubtless many who would point to injustice too – and so it has generated its fair share of humorous or satirical novels …” (more)

[Felix M Larkin, Irish Times, 12 August]

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Rising costs worsening college drop-out rate – students’ unions

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 9th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Rising back-to-college costs mean a growing number of students are being forced to drop out of third-level education, according to students’ unions. The cost of student fees, accommodation, course books, equipment and transport mean some students will be unable to continue their degrees this September …” (more)

[Jack Power, Irish Times, 8 August]

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UCD students union reveals video evidence of the state of rooms being rented during term time

Posted in Governance and administration on July 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“UCD students say they are being offered ‘semi-derelict’ buildings to live in during term time. Their students union has gone undercover using Snapchat to get video evidence of the substandard accommodation they are being offered on the rental market …” (more)

[BreakingNews.ie, 19 July]

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UCD Income Increases, Despite Drop in State Funding

Posted in Governance and administration on July 14th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“UCD has released its financial statements for the 2015/2016 year. The statements reveal that despite a decrease of state funding, UCD experienced an increased overall income of 3.1% in the 2015/2016 academic year. State grants for UCD decreased by 2.3% from the previous academic year …” (more)

[Ruth Murphy, University Observer, 14 July]

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UCD business school’s masters in finance ranked 36th in world

Posted in Teaching on June 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School’s masters in finance has been ranked 36th in the world and 31st in Europe in a survey published on Monday. The Dublin university’s MSc in finance as the only such course offered by an Irish third-level college to be included in the Financial Times Top 60 Global Masters in Finance rankings …” (more)

[Irish Times, 19 June]

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Universities and Students are Facing a Perfect Storm of the Government’s Making

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on June 12th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“It was not just candour, when the President of University College Dublin (UCD), Andrew Deeks, suggested the college might have to place a cap on Irish student places. Instead, it was the latest move in the long drawn-out game our universities are being forced to play with the Irish government – a government who seem unaware they are involved in any sort of gamble with our futures …” (more)

[University Times, 11 June]

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USI Condemns UCD’s Suggestion to Cut Irish Student Places

Posted in Governance and administration on June 8th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Union of Students in Ireland (USI) President, Annie Hoey, condemned the suggestion made by University College Dublin’s (UCD) President Prof Andrew Deeks, that UCD may have to turn over places for Irish students to international students should the higher education funding crisis continue …” (more)

[Simon Foy, University Times, 8 June]

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Hostages, at last

Posted in Governance and administration on June 8th, 2017 by steve

IrelandHugh Brady, until recently President of UCD, famously summed it up: universities can’t bargain well with government, because they have no hostages, nothing to threaten government with. And we have seen the results over the last decade. University autonomy has increasingly been treated as a tired technicality with no real substance to it. We have also seen massively reduced funding, huge growth in governmental controls, and significant public criticism premised on the assumption that what universities spend is ‘public money’.

But less and less of it is public money these days. Less than half of university income today comes from public funds, and the trend is steadily downwards. And the structural inability of the current government to take hard decisions pretty much guarantees that nothing much will change in the near future. Absent some remarkable change both in Ireland’s economic fortunes and in official attitudes, the public element in university funding will rapidly approach relative insignificance, while the government attempts to pull the strings that come with it ever tighter.

Hence UCD’s recent announcement. Other Irish universities are not quite at this stage yet, but most are not far off.  This gives universities a greater freedom to manoeuvre and to bargain than they have had for a very long time. The DES has made it clear by its actions that it is not much bothered by crumbling university facilities or by appalling staff:student ratios.  But it will begin to worry as universities openly muse that the limited funding they receive from government is not worth the burden of state regulation that now comes with it, or that it is simply not the universities’ job to keep large swathes of Irish youth out of the dole queue – especially those who need (and deserve) something quite different from what the universities have to offer. Least of all does the DES want the most successful universities to start arguing that they should be private institutions.  But to avoid that, it must offer the universities something better. It must start to bargain at last.

The Blogmeister

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UCD warns it may cut number of places available to Irish students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 8th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“University College Dublin has warned it may have to reduce the number of places available for Irish students if it does not get more funds. There is no threat to the intake for this year, but UCD president Professor Andrew Deeks has sent a clear signal that patience is running thin on the issue of sorting out the financing of higher education …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 8 June]

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University governance

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

Ireland“Sir, – The RTÉ Investigates: Universities Unchallenged programme broadcast on May 25th has raised serious questions about universities’ financial governance and oversight procedures. Where there have been conflicts of interests, abuses of power and incomplete disclosures the relevant institutions and people must of course be held responsible …” (more)

[Wolfgang Marx, Irish Times, 5 June]

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Funding Universities

Posted in Governance and administration on May 29th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“It is surprisingly difficult to get a consistent picture of university income in Ireland over the last decade. Accounting conventions have changed, as have the requirements from the Higher Education Authority in terms of detail. Finally, despite it being half way through 2017 it seems some, many, universities have not managed to get their 2016 or even 2015 accounts up and out …” (more)

[Brian M Lucey, 29 May]

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Gerard Manley Hopkins, a terrible teacher who hated UCD

Posted in Life on May 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“To a non-Irish observer like myself, it does Ireland immense credit that the country has taken Gerard Manley Hopkins so enthusiastically to its heart. It is Ireland, not his native England, that honours the Victorian poet with an annual festival, houses the world’s leading Hopkins archive and gives an annual set of awards in his name …” (more)

[Simon Edge, Irish Times, 22 May]

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