University says January exams must go online or be deferred as Covid surges

Posted in Teaching on December 31st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) has announced major changes to written exams due to start next because of the Covid wave. All written in-person exams will either go online or will be deferred until March …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 31 December]

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Sharp rise in number of third-level students in 2020, report shows

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 28th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The number of students who went on to third-level education jumped ‘sharply’ in 2020, as the pandemic hit employment and foreign travel opportunities for school leavers, according to a new report …” (more)

[Colm Keena, Irish Times, 28 December]

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Apprenticeships and post-grad studies are on the rise according to a new education report

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 28th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The period between 2016 and 2020 saw a significant increase in people entering apprenticeships, postgraduate studies and studying more than two foreign languages in secondary school, according to a new Education Indicators for Ireland 2021 report …” (more)

[TheJournal.ie, 28 December]

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UL funding withheld over financial governance concerns

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on December 27th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The University of Limerick has had more than two thirds of its capital funding held back pending a probe into financial issues, including the price paid for the former Dunnes Stores site in the city …” (more)

[Bernie English, Limerick Post, 27 December]

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UCD academic ‘heartened, in a strange way’ by further sexual harassment complaints at college

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on December 24th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Academic Aoibhinn Ní’Shúilleabháin has said she is ‘heartened, in a strange way’ by new figures showing seven allegations of sexual harassment were received by authorities at University College Dublin since the start of the pandemic, as it indicates more people are coming forward …” (more)

[Noel Baker, Irish Examiner, 23 December]

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Cut in €3,000 college student contribution charge under consideration

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on December 23rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Government is considering a reduction in the €3,000 student contribution charge as part of a new funding package for the third level sector due to be published next month …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 22 December]

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Third-level €3k fee to be cut and student loans ruled out

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on December 23rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“College students will be spared tens of thousands of euro in student loans and are likely to see the €3,000 registration fee reduced under plans being developed by the Government. Higher Education Minister Simon Harris has won Cabinet approval to rule out a student loan scheme …” (more)

[Daniel McConnell, Irish Examiner, 22 December]

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Philosophical approach

Posted in Teaching on December 23rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – As a faculty member of a technological university, I was taken aback by Prof Maggie Cusack’s comments, as quoted in “‘We won’t be teaching philosophy’: Meet Ireland’s five newest universities” (Education,, December 21st) …” (more)

[Niamh Imbusch, Irish Times, 23 December]

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Philosophical attitude

Posted in Teaching on December 22nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Contrary to Tom Boland’s claim that the technological universities ‘won’t be teaching philosophy’ (Peter Maguire, “‘We won’t be teaching philosophy’: Meet Ireland’s five newest universities”, Education, December 21st), in TU Dublin we do in fact teach philosophy …” (more)

[Connell Vaughan, Irish Times, 22 December]

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‘We won’t be teaching philosophy’: Meet Ireland’s five newest universities

Posted in Teaching on December 22nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Ireland will have seen five new universities established between the start of 2019 and the end of 2022. But in a relatively small country that already had eight universities, do we really need 13 in total?…” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 21 December]

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Boys, not girls, benefit from unconscious bias in maths

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

Ireland“In its recent report on the Leaving Certificate results and the standardisation process undertaken, the State Examinations Commission highlights unconscious bias favouring female students …” (more)

[Selina McCoy, Delma Byrne and Pat O’Connor, Irish Times, 21 December]

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Queen’s University students to return to remote learning

Posted in Teaching on December 21st, 2021 by steve

“Students at Queen’s University will be returning to remote learning when the new term begins after Christmas, the university has said. Over 25,000 students and members of staff were contacted on Monday to inform them of the decision with the university saying it has taken clinical advice before making the arrangement …” (more)

[Mark Bain, Belfast Telegraph, 20 December]

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Most UCD students paying more than €750 a month in rent, union survey finds

Posted in Life on December 21st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Most UCD students are paying €750 a month or more in rent, a survey has found. The survey of nearly 1,000 students going to UCD found 43% were unhappy with their current living arrangements, with UCD Students’ Union saying the amounts their members were paying each month for somewhere to live was unaffordable for many …” (more)

[Alan Caulfield, Independent, 20 December]

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O’Dowd: Universities must engage with students and staff over changes to teaching and assessment

Posted in Teaching on December 21st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Sinn Féin spokesperson on Higher and Further Education John O’Dowd has called on Universities to engage with students, staff and parents over decisions to move teaching and assessment online. The Sinn Féin MLA said …” (more)

[Sinn Féin, 20 December]

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College students left isolating for Christmas after claiming they caught Covid following in-person exams

Posted in Teaching on December 20th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Irish college students have been claiming they tested positive for Covid as a result of recent in-person Christmas exams. With December 25 just days away, many of them will be spending the festive season isolating themselves in their rooms for up to 10 days …” (more)

[Sophie Collins, Irish Mirror, 20 December]

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As Her First Semester as Provost Concludes, Linda Doyle Should Take Stock

Posted in Governance and administration on December 20th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“However Provost Linda Doyle expected her first semester in office to go, what ultimately ensued was probably not what she envisioned. Between August and now, Trinity has experienced the full spectrum of pandemic-related problems …” (more)

[University Times, 19 December]

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Third Level Examinations – NUI Galway

Posted in Governance and administration on December 19th, 2021 by steve

IrelandBríd Smith (Dublin South Central, People Before Profit Alliance): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the position in relation to exams in NUI Galway; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that students are being forced to sit exams in venues without social distancing or ventilation; if his further attention has been drawn to the added stress and anxiety caused to students and staff that are fearful of catching and spreading the virus in exam situations without proper social distancing and ventilation measures; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 16 December]

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Third Level Staff – Disabilities

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on December 19th, 2021 by steve

IrelandHolly Cairns (Cork South West, Social Democrats): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the low levels of persons with disabilities employed in third-level education institutions; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 16 December]

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Employment Rights – Postgraduate Researchers

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues, Research on December 19th, 2021 by steve

IrelandHolly Cairns (Cork South West, Social Democrats): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the steps he is taking to address workers’ rights for postgraduate researchers in universities and institutes of technology …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 16 December]

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End of Term Blog

Posted in Teaching on December 18th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Yesterday was the last day of teaching at Maynooth University for 2021 and, although I didn’t have any teaching to do, I went into the Department partly to get a bit of fresh air having been stuck at home on Thursday after my booster jab, and partly to collect a few things before the break …” (more)

[In the Dark, 18 December]

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