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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‘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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€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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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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Higher education legislation ‘dated’ and requires better accountability, committee hears

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

Ireland“The current legislation governing higher education is ‘dated’, and change is needed to allow better accountability and to provide a ‘high-quality, student-focused’ system, the Oireachtas education committee heard earlier today. The committee met to discuss the Higher Education Authority Bill 2021, which is under pre-legislative scrutiny …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 20 July]

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Ireland’s first big e-scooter trial launches across DCU campuses

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

Ireland“The collaboration between Tier, Luna, SmartDCU and Insight begins today and will run until early 2022. Ireland’s first major e-scooter trial has launched today (20 July) across the five campuses of Dublin City University (DCU) …” (more)

[Jack Kennedy, Silicon Republic, 20 July]

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Documents raise fresh questions about UL’s purchase of €8m site

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

Ireland“University of Limerick’s governing authority was told negotiations for its €8m acquisition of a building took account of values, advice and experience, despite the college not having any records of a site valuation. New documents raise further questions about the university’s handling of its purchase of a former Dunnes Stores unit in Limerick city centre two years ago …” (more)

[Wayne O’Connor, Independent, 18 July]

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University Governance Bill to Come Before Government in Next Term

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 20th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The controversial Higher Education Authority Bill will come before the government in its next term, the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Further and Higher Education has heard. In her opening remarks, Tanya Kenny, the principal officer of quality and governance at the Department of Higher Education, said …” (more)

[Mairead Maguire, University Times, 20 July]

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English language schools: Teachers, students protest reopening of in-person classes

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

Ireland“English language school students and teachers have warned that resuming face-to-face classes from Monday, while cases of the Delta Covid-19 variant soar, is ‘dangerous’ and ‘reckless’. A small group of protestors marched from the Spire on O’Connell Street to the Department of Education on Monday calling on the Government to keep language schools closed until most students are vaccinated …” (more)

[Sorcha Pollak and Grace Donnellan, Irish Times, 19 July]

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A 27-Person Board is Cumbersome, But Reforms Must not Limit Representation

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

Ireland“In many ways, the government has tied Trinity’s hand when it comes to the rejigging of its College Board. Trinity is being forced to reform its most senior governance structures in what appears to be an attempt on the government’s part to get underperforming and chaotic colleges in order. This is unfortunate and College will have to make compromises …” (more)

[University Times, 18 July]

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New Connacht-Ulster Technological University estimated to boost Ireland’s economy by €600 million

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

Ireland“A new technological university (TU) in the North West of the country would provide an estimated €600m boost to Ireland’s economy, new research has revealed. The Northern and Western Regional Assembly (NWRA) conducted a study that estimated this figure …” (more)

[Ciara O’Loughlin, Independent, 19 July]

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Sexual consent support hub set up for third-level students from autumn

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

Ireland“A new online sexual consent support hub will be available for third-level students and staff when the new academic year begins in the autumn. The digital hub aims to improve sexual consent awareness and understanding on university campuses in Ireland. It will contain material including eLearning resources on consent, video series and training resources for advocates and young people …” (more)

[Jade Wilson, Irish Times, 19 July]

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Covid contact tracing centre at UCD to be wound down

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

Ireland“One of the first contact tracing centres set up during the Covid-19 pandemic is to be wound down and its function relocated from University College Dublin to a Health Service Executive facility in Dublin. The UCD centre, which was established in March 2020 and was run by Prof Mary Codd and Prof Patrick Wall of the university’s school of public health, physiotherapy and sport science, was ‘vital’ …” (more)

[Jack Horgan-Jones, Irish Times, 19 July]

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Sexual consent guidance for students online from September

Posted in Governance and administration on July 18th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“An online hub to inform third-level students about sexual consent will be launched tomorrow and go live at the beginning of the academic year in September. It is part of a wider national campaign on consent initiated by the Department of Justice …” (more)

[Ali Bracken, Independent, 18 July]

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Councillor calls on University of Limerick to establish code for off-campus students

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 17th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A local councillor has called for the establishment of a code of conduct for students who live away from the University of Limerick (UL) campus. Green member Sean Hartigan has held meetings with residents of the Magazine Road in Cork, where a protocol was put in place, and, he says, has seen anti-social behaviour there decrease …” (more)

[Nick Rabbitts, Limerick Leader, 17 July]

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160 UCC students broke Covid-19 guidelines

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 17th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A total of 160 University College Cork students were found to have breached public health guidelines designed to stop the spread of Covid, with 43 of these students temporarily suspended while an investigation was conducted, the Irish Examiner can reveal …” (more)

[Nicole Glennon, Irish Examiner, 16 July]

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