10 Years as Provost: Patrick Prendergast’s Final Interview

Posted in Governance and administration on July 31st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Provost Patrick Prendergast is apologetic when he emerges from House One for his final interview with The University Times as the head of Trinity: ‘Sorry I’m not wearing my tie’. Prendergast’s choice of clothing is just one indicator of his winding down as he concludes his 10-year term as provost …” (more)

[Emer Moreau, University Times, 30 July]

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Ulster University leaps to second place in postgrad research survey

Posted in Research on July 30th, 2021 by steve

“Ulster University (UU) has risen to second place in the UK rankings for researcher satisfaction in the latest Postgraduate Research Experience Survey. The PhD benchmarking exercise surveyed postgraduate research students from 89 universities about their experiences, with UU leaping from eighth in the table in 2019 …” (more)

[Mark Bain, Belfast Telegraph, 30 July]

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Conversations with Leaders: Prof Linda Doyle, the new provost of Trinity College

Posted in Governance and administration on July 30th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“With just days to go before she takes over as the first woman provost of Trinity College Dublin in its 429 years, Prof Linda Doyle sat down to speak with Ann O’Dea for the pilot in a new Future Human series …” (more)

[Silicon Republic, 29 July]

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59% of students struggled mentally last year

Posted in Research on July 30th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“59% of students said that their mental health had been negatively affected by the Covid-19 crisis according to a report by Aontas, the National Adult Learning Organization. Over half of the students surveyed (54%) also said that they struggled with motivation and a ‘lack of structure’ while learning online …” (more)

[Ann Jaffray, College Tribune, 29 July]

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Cancelled exams see doubling of legal actions against Department of Education

Posted in Legal issues on July 29th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Legal actions taken against the Department of Education more than doubled in 2020, the year that saw the Leaving Cert cancelled and replaced with calculated grades. Almost 310 legal cases have been filed in the courts against the Department of Education since 2016, an average of almost five per month …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 28 July]

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New Term Ahead!

Posted in Teaching on July 28th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“I know that there are quite a few people out there who think the summer is one long holiday for academic staff. Well, it may still be July but after my 10 days away that’s the holidays over as far as I’m concerned. Next week the Repeat Examination period begins; it lasts from 4th August to 14th August. Once again these examinations are online and once again they have to be supervised by a member of academic staff. I have five paper scheduled and have to be at the screen for all of them …” (more)

[In the Dark, 28 July]

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Reflections – 30 thoughts on 30 years in academia

Posted in Life on July 28th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Next week, August, I celebrate? remember? reflect on? 30y in full-time academia, all that time (bar visiting stints in various places) spent in the Trinity Business School in Trinity College Dublin. I might do a reflection on how I see TBS, TCD and Irish academia (from my narrow lens) as having changed over time. but this here is a set of 30 thoughts, aphorisms, musings, fortune cookie sayings, whatever you wish, on academia, finance version. In no especial order …” (more)

[Brian M Lucey, 28 July]

USI Calls for College-Owned Student Accommodation Plan in Budget 2022

Posted in Governance and administration on July 27th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has called on the government to include provisions for colleges to provide their own student accommodation instead of relying on private, college-affiliated accommodation. Speaking on Newstalk’s Lunchtime Live yesterday, USI President Clare Austick said: ‘We want to see a clear commitment and urgent action from the government to commit to a plan on accommodation to ensure that people all across the country have access to accommodation’ …” (more)

[Emer Moreau, University Times, 27 July]

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NI universities defend efforts to address student mental health and wellbeing

Posted in Governance and administration on July 26th, 2021 by steve

“Northern Ireland’s universities have hit back at claims they are not doing enough to provide students with the mental health and wellbeing care they need. Queen’s University and Ulster University responded to calls from SDLP MLA Sinead McLaughlin to step up student care services ahead of the new term, saying they are fully committed to providing the best services for students who may be experiencing difficulties as a result of Covid-19 …” (more)

[Mark Bain, Belfast Telegraph, 26 July]

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Cassells is Finally Coming to a Close – But is it Too Late?

Posted in Governance and administration on July 26th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“As university and higher-education stakeholders know all too well, the government has acted on the Cassells report at a glacial – even imperceptible – pace. This week, Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris announced his plan to bring proposals for funding in higher education based on the Cassells report to the government by the end of the year …” (more)

[University Times, 25 July]

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IEEE and IReL expand access to Irish technology research with new transformative OA agreement

Posted in Research on July 24th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, announced that it has reached an open access read and publish agreement with IReL, the Irish licensing consortium …” (more)

[IReL, 22 July]

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‘We Won’t be Introducing Student Loans’, Harris says of Cassells Report

Posted in Governance and administration on July 23rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has ruled out the possibility of introducing a student loan system as part of changes made to the funding of higher education following the recommendations of the Cassells report. Harris was responding to questions from Labour’s Education Spokesperson Aodhán Ó Riordáin at the Oireachtas Education Committee …” (more)

[Emer Moreau, University Times, 22 July]

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Accommodation Providers Could Skirt New Rent Legislation Over Summer

Posted in Governance and administration on July 23rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Some student accommodation providers could attempt to bypass new protections for renters, the Oireachtas Education Committee has heard. The practice of forcing student renters to pay all of their rent upfront is due to end from September as part of a new Government bill which seeks to strengthen protections for all renters …” (more)

[Jody Druce, University Times, 22 July]

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Limits on college lecture numbers will see blended learning continue

Posted in Governance and administration on July 22nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Limits on the number of people attending college lectures will mean some blended learning will continue into the next academic year, Simon Harris said. The Minister for Higher Education vowed that every student will be on campus when college resumes but said there will be moderation in some class numbers …” (more)

[Cate McCurry, Irish Examiner, 22 July]

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Student houses cold and mouldy, researchers find

Posted in Research on July 22nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Many student houses are cold and half of them have a daily problem with mould, according to new research. The study, entitled Temperature profiles of private rental housing occupied by third-level students in Ireland and carried out by researchers at NUI Galway, found many occupants were living in properties where the temperature was below recommended levels …” (more)

[Noel Baker, Irish Examiner, 22 July]

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Remote learning proves challenging for marginalised groups

Posted in Teaching on July 22nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Further education and training (FET) students in direct provision, lone parents, Traveller and Roma learners, and those with disabilities were more likely to face barriers while learning remotely. The latest annual report from the National FET Forum found they struggled with access to devices, mental health, and motivation …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 21 July]

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€105 million funding for safe on-site return to third level in September, Minister Harris announces

Posted in Governance and administration on July 21st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Another €21 million for extra student support also confirmed. Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, has today secured government approval for €105 million for the third-level sector to safely return in September 2021. The package will include financial support for further and higher education to return on-site safely and in line with public health advice. It will also have extra support for students in further and higher education …” (more)

[DFHERIS, 21 July]

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Minister Harris welcomes EUA report commending Irish higher education institutions for ‘professionalising’ the delivery of postgraduate research education

Posted in Research, Teaching on July 21st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Irish doctoral student experience and standard of awards are endorsed by international report of the European University Association. A new international report has commended Irish higher education institutions for ensuring both the standard of awards, and the quality of student experience, by ‘professionalising’ the delivery of postgraduate research education and training in Ireland …” (more)

[Maura O’Shea, HEA, 21 July]

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Karran, Beiter and Mallinson, ‘Academic freedom in contemporary Britain: A cause for concern?’

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 21st, 2021 by steve

Abstract: Using comparable legal information, and empirical data from over 2000 members of the UK’s University and College Union and 2000 staff in universities of the European states, gathered by means of similar surveys, this paper is a comparative assessment of the de jure protection for, and the de facto levels of, academic freedom enjoyed by academic staff in the UK, when compared to their EU counterparts. The paper examines the legal and constitutional protection for academic freedom and the current levels of, and changes to, the two substantive elements (freedom to teach and freedom to research) and three supportive components (autonomy, governance and tenure) of academic freedom. The study reveals that UK academic staff believe that there is a low level of protection for academic freedom and that it has declined, both in general, and with respect to the two substantive elements and three supportive components of academic freedom. Similar trends are evident in the EU states, but statistical tests reveal that for every measure utilised, the decline in academic freedom is significantly greater in the UK than in the EU states.

Terence Karran, Klaus D Beiter and Lucy Mallinson, Academic freedom in contemporary Britain: A cause for concern?’, Higher Education Quarterly, https://doi.org/10.1111/hequ.12346. First published: 20 July 2021.

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One Third of Student Nurses, Midwives Yet to Receive COVID Grant

Posted in Governance and administration on July 21st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“An estimated one third of student nurses and midwives have yet to be paid the backdated pandemic placement grant due to technical and tax difficulties. €100 per week worked during the pandemic was promised to student nurses and midwives …” (more)

[Jennifer Ní Chiara, University Times, 20 July]

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