Cancelled exams see doubling of legal actions against Department of Education

Posted in Legal issues on July 29th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Legal actions taken against the Department of Education more than doubled in 2020, the year that saw the Leaving Cert cancelled and replaced with calculated grades. Almost 310 legal cases have been filed in the courts against the Department of Education since 2016, an average of almost five per month …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 28 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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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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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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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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Unfair student accommodation costs continuing despite Residential Tenancies Act – Pa Daly TD

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

Ireland“Sinn Féin spokesperson on Law Reform, Pa Daly TD, has called for strict enforcement of the Residential Tenancies (No. 2) Act 2021 which came into operation on 9th July 2021, following a USI bill brought forward by Sinn Féin and 56 other opposition TDs. Teachta Daly said …” (more)

[Sinn Féin, 16 July]

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IUA Submission on HEA Act Reform to the Oireachtas Education Committee 06.07.21

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The IUA welcomes the publication by the Minister for Further, Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science of the ‘General Scheme of the Higher Education Authority Bill 2021’ (the ‘Scheme’). The legislation governing the sector is now half a century old and requires updating to provide for the significant changes since then and to provide a legislative base that will enable the sector to grow and develop in the years ahead …” (more)

[IUA, 7 July]

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University of Limerick assured Higher Education head that €8m site purchase was ‘a good deal’

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 2nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The head of the oversight body for third-level institutions has said it was assured by the University of Limerick that an €8m purchase of a disused shopping centre in the city ‘was a good deal’ …” (more)

[Cianan Brennan, Irish Examiner, 1 July]

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Higher Education Authority faith in University of Limerick ‘questionable’ – Imelda Munster TD

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 1st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Sinn Féin member of the Public Accounts Committee Imelda Munster TD, has issued a scathing rebuke of the testimony from representatives of the Higher Education Authority (HEA), who were before the Committee today …” (more)

[Sinn Féin, 1 July]

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UL president admits ‘best practice’ was not followed during purchase of former Dunnes Stores site

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

Ireland“The President of the University of Limerick has accepted that ‘best practice’ wasn’t adhered to regarding the purchase of the former Dunnes Stores building in Limerick city centre. UL has asked consultants KPMG to investigate its purchase of the former store at Sarsfield Street for around €8m in 2019 …” (more)

[David Hurley, Limerick Leader, 17 June]

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University of Limerick asks consultants to investigate €8m city land purchase

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

Ireland“The University of Limerick has asked consultants KPMG to investigate the purchase by the university of land in Limerick city centre known as the Dunnes Stores site, the Public Accounts Committee has been told …” (more)

[Emma O Kelly, RTÉ News, 17 June]

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LYIT President says students will not be denied entry based on vaccination

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

Ireland“LYIT President Paul Hannigan says that the IT cannot refuse entry to any of their courses based on a student’s vaccination status. Speaking to Greg Hughes on this morning’s Nine Til Noon Show, Hannigan said that while the college has no definite plan in place at the moment, it has received legal advice …” (more)

[Highland Radio, 17 June]

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Student challenges refusal to allow private tutors input into calculated grades

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues, Teaching on June 16th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A Leaving Certificate student’s High Court challenge over a refusal to allow private tutors assist in assessing his calculated grades will not be heard until July 2nd. The boy, who cannot be named, had received private tutoring because he had not been attending his school after refusing to obey a requirement that he wear a face mask in the common areas …” (more)

[BreakingNews.ie, 16 June]

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Minister O’Brien and Minister Harris announce new student rental protections

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 10th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD and the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Simon Harris TD, have today (9th June 2021) announced new student rental protections. Under the Residential Tenancies (No. 2) Bill 2021 any upfront payment upon the commencement of a tenancy will be restricted to a total value that does not exceed two months’ rent ie a deposit and one month rent in advance …” (more)

[gov.ie, 9 June]

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DCU told to pay €27,000 for victimising former employee days after she made allegation of sexual harassment

Posted in Legal issues on May 31st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Dublin City University has been ordered to pay €27,500 for victimising a former employee two days after she made a complaint of sexual harassment against her male boss. In the case, Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) adjudicator, Marian Duffy ordered DCU to pay Rene O’Reilly €27,500 to compensate her for the distress caused to her and the effects of the victimisation under the Employment Equality Act …” (more)

[Gordon Deegan, Independent, 31 May]

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Prof Philip Nolan accused of acting as ‘judge, jury and executioner’ in row between two senior academics

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on May 14th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The president of Maynooth University, Philip Nolan, has been accused of acting as ‘judge, jury and executioner’ in dealing with a row between two senior academics, which has left one professor on an annual salary of €154,000 without work for almost five years …” (more)

[Sean McCarthaigh, Irish Examiner, 13 May]

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Skilful Backroom Negotiations Are Required to Protect Trinity’s Autonomy

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on May 10th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris this week granted Trinity a golden opportunity to avoid harsh blows to its autonomy. In the heads of a bill to reform university governance structures, Trinity was the only university specifically mentioned as being potentially excluded from some of the proposed reforms to college governance. How exactly this will affect changes to College Board down the line is yet to be seen …” (more)

[University Times, 9 May]

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Protected Disclosures – Munster TU

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on May 8th, 2021 by steve

IrelandAlan Kelly (Tipperary, Labour): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to instances in which a person has made a protected disclosure to CIT or MTU and that CIT or MTU have since engaged in mediation with that person and as part of that have asked as a condition of settlement to withdraw the disclosure …” (more)

[Dail written answers, 6 May]

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