Leaving Cert postponed until late summer; Junior Cycle replaced with class tests

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on April 10th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Leaving Cert exams scheduled in June are to be postponed and will now run from late July until August, the Government has announced. The Junior Cycle, meanwhile, is set to be replaced by school-based exams which will run in the new academic year. The changes mean tens of thousands of students who are due to progress to third level and further education are likely to commence their courses much later than they originally anticipated …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 10 April]

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University of Limerick: ‘non-detriment’ grading already built into modules

Posted in Teaching on April 10th, 2020 by steve

“The University of Limerick has said the idea of ‘non-detriment’ grading is already built into its assessment systems. It comes as almost 24,000 students signed a petition urging the college to implement such a policy regarding assessment for students …” (more)

[Nick Rabbitts, Limerick Leader, 10 April]

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Leaving Cert students: ‘We just need clarity now’

Posted in Life on April 10th, 2020 by steve

“The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has reached almost every corner of Irish life. In the area of education, one group stands out is that of students who are due to sit the State examinations in just under eight weeks time. We invited Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate students to share their experiences over the last two weeks. This is a selection of their responses …” (more)

[Irish Times, 10 April]

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University of Limerick delivers 100,000 visors to protect health workers amid Covid-19

Posted in Governance and administration on April 10th, 2020 by steve

“100,000 face visors are being delivered to the HSE after University of Limerick designed them using a 3-D printer. The project was carried out in conjunction with University Hospital Limerick and also includes the refinement of a shield used during patient intubation and ventilation …” (more)

[Irish Examiner, 10 April]

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Nature to join open-access Plan S, publisher says

Posted in Research on April 10th, 2020 by steve

International“After a change in the rules of the bold open-access (OA) initiative known as Plan S, publisher Springer Nature said on 8 April that many of its non-OA journals – including Nature – were now committed to joining the plan, pending discussion of further technical details …” (more)

[Richard Van Noorden, Nature, 9 April]

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Coronavirus: Universities warn of going bust without emergency funds

Posted in Governance and administration on April 10th, 2020 by steve

“Universities across the UK are calling for emergency funding of at least £2bn, warning some institutions will go bust without it. Universities UK says the coronavirus pandemic is threatening to sharply cut overseas student numbers and put universities in financial danger …” (more)

[Sean Coughlan, BBC News, 10 April]

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How universities can open next fall

Posted in Governance and administration on April 10th, 2020 by steve

“Having followed carefully the work of experts and science writers the last few weeks, this is my assessment of how a fall term will be possible in the US (at least for some schools), assuming there is no significant medical breakthrough in the coming months (let us hope there is, then it will be easier); readers are invited to offer corrections, suggestions, links to other sources etc. First, universities would be well-advised to start the school year earlier than late August, on the assumption that by June and July we will see some decline in illness and infection …” (more)

[Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog, 9 April]

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Coronavirus: UL rapid innovation unit living up to name as they produce PPE for frontline health staff

Posted in Governance and administration on April 10th, 2020 by steve

“A Rapid Innovation Unit at the University of Limerick is living up to its name by designing solutions to three critical challenges facing hospital doctors fighting Covid-19 in less than two weeks. The quick thinking, twinned with the speedy manufacturing turn-around, will help to protect the health of front line staff and increase treatment capacities in the hospital system …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 9 April]

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Concern over proposed changes to UCD’s academic freedom

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on April 10th, 2020 by steve

“University College Dublin (UCD) has dropped proposed changes to its academic freedom policy to allow for ‘different interpretations’ of the concept due to the university’s expanding links to China and other countries, following a significant backlash from academics. The draft policy, seen by The Irish Times, states UCD must consider ‘the risk of tension’ between its obligations to uphold academic freedom and ‘the strategic imperative to internationalise higher education’ …” (more)

[Jack Power, Irish Times, 9 April]

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Petition: Queen’s University Belfast Covid-19 Safety Net Policy

Posted in Teaching on April 10th, 2020 by steve

“Following the closure of the university as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, many universities including Durham, Exeter, Cambridge and Oxford, amongst others, have implemented a ‘safety net’ policy which secures that students will maintain their graded average up until the date of closure of the university. Such a policy has not been accepted by Queen’s University Belfast …” (more)

[Change.org, 9 April]

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TCD to spend €200,000 on Chinese student recruitment drive

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on April 10th, 2020 by steve

“Trinity College Dublin (TCD) is set to spend an estimated €200,000 on a recruitment drive in China to increase the number of Chinese students attending the college. The university is seeking tenders from interested parties to put in place ‘student recruitment support services’ in China …” (more)

[Gordon Deegan, University Times, 9 April]

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IFUT Blasts Government Over ‘Slight’ on Academics in Exam Preparation

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on April 10th, 2020 by steve

“The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) has hit out at the government for overlooking the ‘huge contribution’ of academics in developing alternative assessment models for this year’s summer exams. In a press statement today, Joan Donegan, the general secretary of IFUT, condemned Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor – who yesterday praised many higher education stakeholders for their efforts in developing online assessment tools – for ‘pointedly’ refusing to thank lecturers …” (more)

[Molly Furey, University Times, 9 April]

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USIT says that refunds may be available to students

Posted in Governance and administration on April 10th, 2020 by steve

“KPMG Liquidators have been appointed to the student travel company USIT, however the company’s website says that refunds could still be possible through the Commission for Aviation Regulation (CAR). The website instructs students with a travel package booked to avail of a consumer protection scheme from CAR as soon as possible or to contact their credit card companies, in order to make a refund claim. However liquidators do not guarantee that all claims will be successful …” (more)

[The College View, 9 April]

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Student Hardship Fund Raises €200k in A Week, After Graduate Appeal

Posted in Governance and administration on April 10th, 2020 by steve

“Trinity Development and Alumni has raised over €200,000 for the student hardship fund, after launching an appeal for donations last Friday. In an email to staff and students, Provost Patrick Prendergast said that ‘many alumni have responded in support of students at this most difficult time’, and described the donation drive – which was launched on behalf of Senior Tutor Aidan Seery – as ‘extraordinary’ …” (more)

[Sárán Fogarty, University Times, 9 April]

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C’mon: The leaving cert isn’t going to happen in August

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on April 10th, 2020 by steve

“One of the things that frustrates me most about the Irish media is the way that a lot of the time, they’ll cheerfully and unthinkingly report the most obviously nonsensical nonsense from the Government without stopping to ask a single obvious question. There’s a new line out this morning in relation to the leaving cert which has been plastered everywhere, and it falls into that category …” (more)

[John McGuirk, Gript, 9 April]

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