Leaving Cert students should have option of predicted grades, says parents group

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 11th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Leaving Certificate students must be offered the choice to opt for predictive grades or sit their exams in June, a national council of parents has said. The Education and Training Board (ETB) Schools National Parents’ Association is calling on the Government to make a decision about how the process will run to provide ‘clarity and certainty’ …” (more)

[Ellen O’Riordan, Irish Times, 11 January]

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The Decline of the Master’s Degree

Posted in Governance and administration on January 11th, 2021 by steve

“The Master’s degree has a long and complicated history – one that looks very different depending on the part of the world you are from. Briefly: it is either a traditional first degree (eg central Europe), a traditional second degree (eg here in Canada), a traditional booby-prize for not getting a doctorate (still in some places in the US) or, weirdly, something after a BA, a waiting period of a few years, and the payment of a small fee … (more)

[Alex Usher, HESA, 11 January]

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Covid and PISA

Posted in Teaching on January 11th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The parallels between the response to the Covid pandemic and PISA scores are striking. In both situations, observers, often ideologues, cranks or ‘influencers’ trying to make a quick buck, seize on a single idea, or two, and perform extraordinarily mental contortions to justify their motivated reasoning …” (more)

[Tales from Academia, 11 January]

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State Examinations Commission to discuss contingency planning for Leaving Cert 2021

Posted in Teaching on January 11th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The State Examinations Commission will meet later this month to discuss contingency planning for the Leaving Cert, but Opposition politicians say that quicker decision-making is needed. Plans to send Leaving Cert students back to school for three days a week fell apart just 24 hours after they were announced last week following objections from teachers’ unions …” (more)

[Paul Hosford, Irish Examiner, 11 January]

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Mitigation Measures Are A Win For Students, But Communication Came Too Late

Posted in Teaching on January 11th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“In the midst of escalating case numbers and yet another lockdown, it would have been easy to miss the nugget of good news for students last week. After third-level students were yet again ignored in the announcement of lockdown restrictions, Trinity students had reasons for small celebration. College announced in an email that some of the mitigation measures, introduced last summer for exams, would remain in place for the upcoming examination season in recognition of the current ‘extremely difficult and stressful situation’ in which students have to try and study …” (more)

[University Times, 10 January]

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Unis want research shared widely. So why don’t they properly back academics to do it?

Posted in Research on January 11th, 2021 by steve

International“Academics are increasingly expected to share their research widely beyond academia. However, our recent study of academics in Australia and Japan suggests Australian universities are still very much focused on supporting the production of scholarly outputs. They offer relatively limited support for researchers’ efforts to engage with the many non-academics who can benefit from our research …” (more)

[Margaret Kristin Merga and Shannon Mason, The Conversation, 10 January]

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A Miserly Placement Grant Proposal That Added Insult to Injury

Posted in Governance and administration on January 11th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“As Irish hospitals buckled under unprecedented strain amid a surge in coronavirus hospitalisations, this newspaper reported on a proposal which would have seen student nurses and midwives receive a €100 grant for their time spent working on placement. In theory, the placement grant proposal was an opportunity to make amends, to let student nurses and midwives know that they are valued after the government voted against a motion in December supporting payment for placement (not to mention the fact that Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly didn’t show up for the debate on the motion itself) …” (more)

[University Times, 10 January]

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Car curbs at Grangegorman in Dublin to be made permanent

Posted in Governance and administration on January 11th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The closure to through traffic of the main road outside the new TU Dublin campus at Grangegorman, to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety, is expected to be made permanent by Dublin City Council. Councillors will be asked on Tuesday if they wish to extend the trial, due to end this month, of the ‘filtered permeability’ system at Grangegorman Lower, which uses bollards and temporary planters to block cars but allow cyclists to pass …” (more)

[Olivia Kelly, Irish Times, 10 January]

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