IFUT Calls for ‘Urgent’ Funding Extensions on PhD Research Projects

Posted in Governance and administration, Research on April 15th, 2020 by steve

“The Irish Federation of University teachers (IFUT) has expressed concerns that PhD students and postdoctoral researchers may be forced to drop out of their contracts if their grants are not extended due to the coronavirus pandemic. A number of grant funders have committed to providing no-cost extensions to research projects that have fallen behind schedule due to the closure of universities, but they have not committed to extending funding for these projects …” (more)

[Alex Connolly, University Times, 15 April]

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Casual Staff Will be Paid for Rostered Hours During College Closure

Posted in Governance and administration on April 15th, 2020 by steve

“Trinity’s casual staff will be paid for their rostered hours for the duration of the College’s closure, even if their classes do not go ahead online. Trinity’s members of the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) sought confirmation from College’s HR department that casual workers – including TAs and many postgraduate students – would receive payment for any hours they were scheduled to work during the crisis …” (more)

[Emer Moreau, University Times, 15 April]

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Belfield Euphoria

Posted in Life on April 15th, 2020 by steve

“Would you do it if you weren’t paid? I wouldn’t lecture for nothing, that’s for sure. I absolutely dread those draining performances. But the tutorials and workshops (which form the bulk of my teaching anyway): no question. They make me feel so useful and so alive. And no, it’s not just those student-facing fixes that I love …” (more)

[In a Strange Land, 15 April]

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SUSI Grant Must be Extended Amid Coronavirus Crisis, Say Greens

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on April 15th, 2020 by steve

“The Green Party has called for an extension of the SUSI grant ahead of the next academic year, to provide additional financial support for students impacted by the coronavirus crisis. The party said that the grant will need to be raised, as well as extended, to cover more families and protect students who were depending on finding summer work to cover their college costs …” (more)

[Alex Connolly, University Times, 15 April]

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Leaving Cert: Cancelled elements may be flagged on students’ results

Posted in Teaching on April 15th, 2020 by steve

“Thousands of this year’s Leaving Cert students may have their results ‘flagged’ to show they did not complete the oral or practical parts of their exams. Under existing State Examinations Commission rules, students’ Leaving Certificates are annotated in cases where they are exempted from completing an exam component, typically on the grounds of a special need …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 15 April]

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UL Aiming to Re-Open for Current Students in September, Says President

Posted in Teaching on April 15th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The University of Limerick (UL) does not expect to admit new students until late October, but hopes to re-open for current students in September, its president has said. In an email sent to UL staff and students, seen by The University Times, Des Fitzgerald wrote that the university is ‘now very unlikely to come back together physically as a community until some stage in the late summer’ …” (more)

[Danielle Varley, University Times, 15 April]

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UCD Erasmus Students May Have Autumn Programmes Cancelled

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on April 15th, 2020 by steve

“As a result of the pandemic stemmed from the novel coronavirus, UCD Global is pending its decision to allow students to participate in any exchange or Erasmus programme offered by the university. Students will be noticed by Friday 8th May with updates regarding the possibility of taking part in ‘inbound and outbound mobility programmes in the Autumn Trimester 2020/21’ as communicated by Douglas Proctor, Director of UCD Global …” (more)

[Alessia Mennitto, College Tribune, 15 April]

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UCC creates online hub to help families in crisis as domestic violence rises amid Covid-19 pandemic

Posted in Research on April 15th, 2020 by steve

“Community drug projects are warning of a ‘noticeable increase’ in domestic violence due to ongoing Covid-19 confinement restrictions. The local projects are also reporting greater alcohol consumption in the home, more use of drugs and alcohol in public spaces and reports of drug debts being called in by dealers …” (more)

[Cormac O’Keeffe, Irish Examiner, 15 April]

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DCU continues to use Zoom amid security concerns

Posted in Teaching on April 15th, 2020 by steve

“DCU will continue to use Zoom for online lectures despite ongoing security issues with the free version of the service. Despite being aware of ongoing security issues DCU will continue to use zoom services for online lectures, with a spokesperson for the university saying they’re satisfied all its ‘IT systems have appropriate cybersecurity protection in place’ due to them using a licensed version of the remote conferencing service …” (more)

[Jonathon Lynam, The College View, 15 April]

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The Oldest Tree in Ireland

Posted in Life on April 15th, 2020 by steve

“Regular readers of this blog – both of them – will know that I’ve developed a habit during the current lockdown of talking walks around the South Campus of Maynooth University in order to get a bit of exercise …” (more)

[In the Dark, 15 April]

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USI says one size does not fit all when it comes to assessment during lockdown

Posted in Teaching on April 15th, 2020 by steve

“The USI (Union of Students in Ireland) have called for cooperation between universities and students’ unions to ensure no students are negatively impacted by the covid-19 pandemic. Due to the pandemic, many students are working from home. According to the USI, this has left students in difficult situations, with students not being able to access the internet or devices like laptops to do coursework …” (more)

[Tadgh McNally, The College View, 15 April]

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RCSI students join frontline effort in Beaumont and Connolly hospitals

Posted in Life on April 15th, 2020 by steve

“More than two dozen medical students have been drafted in to work alongside frontline healthcare workers in Beaumont and Connolly hospitals as the numbers of cases of Covid-19 continues to rise in Ireland. Students from RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences have been trained in prone positioning – turning intubated patients to lie on their front to make breathing overnight easier – with 26 young people working in the ICUs of the two hospitals in recent weeks …” (more)

[Sorcha Pollak, Irish Times, 15 April]

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UL students involved in contact tracing

Posted in Life on April 15th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Students of the region’s main university have been involved in contact tracing in the fight against COVID-19 saying ‘the lists are long’ but they are hoping to ‘make a difference’. University of Limerick, in partnership with the HSE, has set up the UL Virtual Hub with over 50 senior health sciences students trained to engage in contact tracing …” (more)

[Clare Champion, 15 April]

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Coronavirus has been like a huge heart attack to the system for UCC sports

Posted in Governance and administration on April 15th, 2020 by steve

“It was the conference call last week that brought home to Morgan Buckley the scale of the problem. The UCC head of sport was just one of over 30 people involved in the call, all of them managing sport in third-level institutions …” (more)

[Michael Moynihan, Irish Examiner, 15 April]

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Will the Pandemic Usher in an Era of Mass Surveillance in Higher Education?

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on April 15th, 2020 by steve

“After college students joined the swarm of 200 million daily Zoom users this semester, experts bashed the company over privacy breaches and concerns about data sharing with third parties. That prompted Zoom executives to start a three-month re-evaluation of the videoconferencing platform’s encryption and licensing …” (more)

[Alexander C Kafka, Chronicle of Higher Education, 14 April]

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Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland says it will work to support postponement of Leaving Cert exams

Posted in Governance and administration on April 15th, 2020 by steve

“The Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) has said it will work to support the decision to postpone the Leaving Cert exams this year. The union said its members had given a strong message of overwhelming support for their students in an extensive consultation process in recent days. Education Minister Joe McHugh has announced that the exams have been rescheduled from June to the end of July/August, but that timing is also subject to public health advice …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 14 April]

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UCC must make ‘big choices’ to avoid a financial crisis

Posted in Governance and administration on April 15th, 2020 by steve

“A Cork representative of the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) has warned that ‘big choices’ will have to be made at University College Cork as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It comes as IFUT calls for the establishment of an all-stakeholder consultation process to address what it describes as the ‘education cliff around the corner’ …” (more)

[EchoLive, 14 April]

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Pressing ahead with the Leaving Cert

Posted in Teaching on April 15th, 2020 by steve

“Sir, – Congratulations are due to Josh Tighe for a well-researched and well-written article criticising the decision to press ahead with the Leaving Certificate, albeit at a later date (‘Students have been ignored in decision to press ahead with the Leaving Cert’, Education, April 13th). It is not difficult to imagine the additional stresses students are exposed to in trying to study in possibly unhelpful home environments and isolated from their teachers and fellow students …” (more)

[Frank Schnittger, Irish Times, 15 April]

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Revamp of Rubrics and Chief Steward’s House Could Cost College €20m

Posted in Governance and administration on April 15th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Refurbishments to Trinity’s Rubrics and Chief Steward’s House – centuries-old buildings on campus that are both earmarked for facelifts – could cost up to €20 million, according to College documents. The preliminary budget estimate for the refurbishments – for which Trinity wants to apply for planning permission by July 2020 – comes to €19,933,784 …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee, University Times, 14 April]

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