Students have right to be educated at home, Supreme Court told

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Legal issues on October 13th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Homeschooled students have a constitutional right to be educated at home without ‘unwarranted interference’ by the State and their exclusion from the Leaving Cert 2020 calculated grades scheme breached that right, the Supreme Court has been told. Paul O’Higgins SC, for two homeschooled students, was making submissions opposing an appeal by the Minster for Education …” (more)

[Ann O’Loughlin, BreakingNews.ie, 13 October]

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Provost Under Pressure to Resist Cuts to Student Numbers on Board

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on October 12th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Fears are mounting that student representation will be cut on Trinity’s top decision-making body, as College struggles with potential major changes to its governance structures, The University Times can reveal …” (more)

[Emer Moreau, University Times, 12 October]

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Report on the Pre-Legislative Scrutiny of the Higher Education Authority Bill 2021

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

IrelandExecutive Summary: The General Scheme of the Higher Education Authority Bill 2021 seeks to revoke the existing Higher Education Authority Bill 1971, now over 50 years old. The General Scheme also seeks to introduce a range of reforms which respond to the transformed landscape in which higher education currently operates …” (more)

[Joint Committee on Education, Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, 28 September]

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Colleges using public funds to ‘silence’ sexual harassment victims, Seanad told

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on September 22nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Irish third-level institutions are using public money in non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) ‘to silence victims of discrimination and sexual harassment’, the Seanad has been told. Independent Senator Lynn Ruane, who in June introduced legislation to ban the use of such confidentiality agreements, has conducted research including a survey which, she said, confirmed the use of NDAs in third-level institutions …” (more)

[Marie O’Halloran, Irish Times, 22 September]

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WRC rejects UCC campus firm CEO’s unpaid €6,512 bonus claim

Posted in Legal issues on August 24th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A CEO of a University College Cork (UCC) campus company has failed in a bonus row with the firm. This follows Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) Adjudicator, Thomas O’Driscoll rejecting Ms Arlene Vithaldas’s Payment of Wages Act claim over an alleged unpaid bonus of €6,512 for last year …” (more)

[Gordon Deegan, BreakingNews.ie, 23 August]

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Anti-vax academic Cahill gave invalid address to police

Posted in Legal issues on August 22nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“UCD professor Dolores Cahill provided an invalid Dublin address to British police, who are now seeking her arrest to answer charges over attending an illegal anti-lockdown rally in Trafalgar Square last year. An arrest warrant was issued last month by a London court for the anti-vaccine and anti-mask academic …” (more)

[Ali Bracken, Independent, 22 August]

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Belfast’s Holyland area ‘has become a lawless slum, a living hell’ … residents compile horror stories of daily life ahead of potential legal action against police, council and universities

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

“Infuriated Holyland residents have shared horrifying stories of anti-social behaviour in the area ahead of proposed legal action against the PSNI, Belfast City Council and Ulster and Queen’s Universities …” (more)

[Ralph Hewitt, Belfast Telegraph, 21 August]

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Warrant issued for the arrest of UCD professor Dolores Cahill

Posted in Legal issues on August 18th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A bench warrant has been issued in London for the arrest of UCD professor Dolores Cahill, who has failed to turn up to a number of hearings. The prominent Covid sceptic and anti-vaccination campaigner is facing charges arising out of an allegedly illegal rally in Trafalgar Square in September last year …” (more)

[Ronan McGreevy, Irish Times, 18 August]

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Gardaí warn students of accommodation fraud ahead of new academic year

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on August 11th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Yesterday, An Garda Síochana (AGS) issued an official statement warning students of accommodation fraud ahead of the new academic year. 503 cases of rental scams occurred between 1 February 2019 and 31 May 2021, which amounted to over €900,000 stolen in this period …” (more)

[Bella Salerno, Trinity News, 10 August]

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Universities must warn students of essay mill scams ahead of September

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on August 6th, 2021 by steve

“Cyber attacks targeting students are nothing new, with many scams typically dangling tempting financial opportunities. Every year, coinciding with the start of a new term, student loan fraud is common. Freshers in particular are targeted by phishing emails purporting to be from the Student Loan Company and asking for bank account details or username and password credentials before their money is released …” (more)

[Henry Hughes, Wonkhe, 6 August]

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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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