J-1 agencies’ hidden fees and strict rules lead to student frustration

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

Ireland“Travelling to the US on a working holiday has been a rite of passage for Irish third-level students for generations but an absence of both choice and transparency when arranging the necessary visas has led many to ask if the price they pay is just too high. Every summer up to 7,000 Irish students head off across the Atlantic …” (more)

[Jenna Clarke-Molloy, Irish Times, 4 December]

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US corporations settle lawsuits over Berkeley balcony collapse

Posted in Legal issues on November 21st, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Relatives of the six students who died in the Berkeley balcony collapse and the seven survivors have settled legal actions against the corporate owner and property manager of the Californian building. Lawyers for the families declined to say how much was paid in the settlements, saying this was confidential, but the figure is said to total a substantial multimillion-dollar sum …” (more)

[Simon Carswell, Irish Times, 20 November]

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A new type of hacking puts professors’ accounts at risk

Posted in Teaching on November 2nd, 2017 by steve

“A former wrestler at the University of Iowa was arrested last week for his role in a high-tech cheating scheme. The student, Trevor Graves, secretly installed devices called keyloggers onto campus computers and used them to record his professors’ keystrokes. Armed with his instructors’ institutional log-in details, Graves reportedly boosted his grades over 90 times in a 21-month period, in addition to intercepting exam and test questions …” (more)

[Lindsay McKenzie, Inside Higher Ed, 1 November]

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What Should the University Be in a Time of Devastation?

Posted in Life on October 28th, 2017 by steve

“Last week marked one month since the beginning of the catastrophe caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. A catastrophe through which we are still living. As of this writing, only 20% of Puerto Rico has power. Our university campus, the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, is one of the lucky places that has electricity. We also have water …” (more)

[Catherine M Mazak, Chronicle of Higher Education, 26 October]

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Why US college students are flocking to Connemara

Posted in Life on September 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“When Prof Deborah Wickering comes across the name ‘Tully’ back in Michigan’s Grand Rapids, her heart skips a little beat and she thinks of Connemara. ‘There are several children with that name over here now – but our dean of social sciences was walking the pier one day and met a dog owner who had called her animal after Tullycross’, she says …” (more)

[Lorna Siggins, Irish Times, 14 September]

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Trump May Find No Easy Targets if He Attacks Race in Admissions

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 3rd, 2017 by steve

“The nation’s long fight over affirmative action at colleges has flared back up with a report this week that the Trump administration’s Justice Department plans to go after race-conscious admissions policies. While colleges have good reason to be concerned about such news, the fears it has aroused in them may be exaggerated and somewhat misplaced …” (more)

[Peter Schmidt, Chronicle of Higher Education, 3 August]

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When Nobody Steps Up

Posted in Governance and administration on July 26th, 2017 by steve

“My friend Christine Nowik posted a great question on Twitter this week. Linking to a piece about department chairs who have stayed too long, she noted that in many departments there’s nobody willing to step up if the current chair steps down. In some cases, chairs stick around less out of eagerness for the position than out of a lack of alternatives. What to do when that happens? …” (more)

[Matt Reed, Inside Higher Ed, 25 July]

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Micheline’s US Tour takes shape

Posted in Governance and administration on July 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Micheline’s tour of the US following her grandmother Hanna’s historic tour 100 years ago now has an outline itinerary, shown below. Invites have come in from universities, historical societies, Irish American centres and feminist organisations …” (more)

[Micheline’s Three Conditions, 16 July]

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UCC head plans US link-ups due to transatlantic flights

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

Ireland“The president of University College Cork has begun forging links with some of America’s top universities thanks to Cork Airport’s first transatlantic service. Patrick O’Shea was one of the passengers on board Norwegian Air’s inaugural Cork to Providence flight on Saturday — the airport’s first direct scheduled service to the US …” (more)

[Eoin English, Irish Examiner, 4 July]

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Students first?

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

“A survey in the United States of America has found that ‘nearly three out of five Americans believe that higher-education leaders put the long-term interests of their institutions first over the needs of students’. This is, I suppose, a variant of the view held by some in this part of the world that managerialist higher education leaders prioritise business projects over educational excellence …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 22 May]

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Some Lesser-Known Truths About Academe

Posted in Life on May 9th, 2017 by steve

“Asking a professor whether you should pursue a PhD is a little like asking The Rock — aka Dwayne Douglas Johnson, the world’s highest-paid actor last year — whether you should become an actor. Once you enter a doctoral program, the main problem isn’t necessarily that you can’t finish …” (more)

[Daniel McCormack, Chronicle of Higher Education, 3 May]

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Partial settlement reached in Berkeley balcony legal actions

Posted in Legal issues on May 5th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The families of five Irish students and one Irish-American who died in the Berkeley balcony collapse in California in June 2015, and the seven survivors of the incident, have reached a partial settlement in their US legal actions. Substantial payments are to be made to the families and the survivors by the companies responsible for the construction of the Library Gardens apartment block in Berkeley …” (more)

[Simon Carswell, Irish Times, 5 May]

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Study finds female professors outperform men in service – to their possible professional detriment

Posted in Life on April 17th, 2017 by steve

“Women shoulder a disproportionately large workload at home in ways that might disadvantage them professionally. But are female professors also ‘taking care of the academic family’ via disproportionate service loads? A new study says yes and adds to a growing body of research suggesting the same …” (more)

[Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Ed, 12 April]

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US-linked top university fears new rules will force it out of Hungary

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

“One of the top universities in central and eastern Europe may be forced out of Hungary under a draft law being prepared by the hard-right government, which has also accused eight British institutions of ‘operating unlawfully’ in the country …” (more)

[Andrew MacDowall, Guardian, 29 March]

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Hatred, Division and the University

Posted in Governance and administration on March 22nd, 2017 by steve

“Although I am not a citizen of The Netherlands, I am relieved that Geert Wilders will not be the next prime minister there. I found his anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant rhetoric reprehensible. Likewise, I hope that Marine Le Pen will fail in her election bid to become France’s next president …” (more)

[Liz Reisberg, Inside Higher Ed, 21 March]

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Are Students at Elite Colleges More Likely to Protest Controversial Speakers?

Posted in Governance and administration on March 16th, 2017 by steve

“Shortly after a planned talk by the controversial sociologist Charles A Murray was interrupted by violence this month at Middlebury College, some observers quickly condemned the small private institution in Vermont as an elitist haven incapable of tolerating challenging opinions …” (more)

[Chris Quintana, Chronicle of Higher Education, 15 March]

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New Travel Ban Still Sows Chaos and Confusion

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 7th, 2017 by steve

“A long-anticipated executive order restricting travelers from a half-dozen predominantly Muslim countries is likely to bring little certainty to American college campuses. The new order, which replaces a measure put on hold by a federal appeals court nearly a month ago, imposes a 90-day ban on issuance of new visas, including student visas, to citizens of six countries …” (more)

[Karin Fischer, Chronicle of Higher Education, 6 March]

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Students still keen on J1 opportunity despite Trump

Posted in Governance and administration on February 17th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Irish students have vowed to press ahead with their J1 visits to the US despite many finding President Donald Trump’s policies ‘worrying’. Students said they were wary when Mr Trump threatened to ‘terminate’ the J1 programme that allows Irish students work in the US …” (more)

[Chai Brady, Independent, 17 February]

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Over 2,500 more spots on J-1 scheme granted to Irish students for 2017

Posted in Governance and administration on February 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“An additional 2,600 slots on the J-1 Summer Work and Travel (SWT) program have been granted to Irish students for 2017. The spaces on the scheme bring the total allocation for Ireland to 7,000 – the same as in 2015, before the pre-placement policy was globally introduced …” (more)

[Keeley Ryan, Irish Mirror, 15 February]

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Yale University renames Calhoun College after protests over links to slavery

Posted in Governance and administration on February 12th, 2017 by steve

“After years of debate, Yale University announced on Saturday that it will change the name of a residential college that honours a 19th century alumnus and former US vice president who was an ardent supporter of slavery …” (more)

[Telegraph, 12 February]

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