Ulster University leaps to second place in postgrad research survey

Posted in Research on July 30th, 2021 by steve

“Ulster University (UU) has risen to second place in the UK rankings for researcher satisfaction in the latest Postgraduate Research Experience Survey. The PhD benchmarking exercise surveyed postgraduate research students from 89 universities about their experiences, with UU leaping from eighth in the table in 2019 …” (more)

[Mark Bain, Belfast Telegraph, 30 July]

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59% of students struggled mentally last year

Posted in Research on July 30th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“59% of students said that their mental health had been negatively affected by the Covid-19 crisis according to a report by Aontas, the National Adult Learning Organization. Over half of the students surveyed (54%) also said that they struggled with motivation and a ‘lack of structure’ while learning online …” (more)

[Ann Jaffray, College Tribune, 29 July]

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IEEE and IReL expand access to Irish technology research with new transformative OA agreement

Posted in Research on July 24th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, announced that it has reached an open access read and publish agreement with IReL, the Irish licensing consortium …” (more)

[IReL, 22 July]

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Student houses cold and mouldy, researchers find

Posted in Research on July 22nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Many student houses are cold and half of them have a daily problem with mould, according to new research. The study, entitled Temperature profiles of private rental housing occupied by third-level students in Ireland and carried out by researchers at NUI Galway, found many occupants were living in properties where the temperature was below recommended levels …” (more)

[Noel Baker, Irish Examiner, 22 July]

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Minister Harris welcomes EUA report commending Irish higher education institutions for ‘professionalising’ the delivery of postgraduate research education

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

Ireland“Irish doctoral student experience and standard of awards are endorsed by international report of the European University Association. A new international report has commended Irish higher education institutions for ensuring both the standard of awards, and the quality of student experience, by ‘professionalising’ the delivery of postgraduate research education and training in Ireland …” (more)

[Maura O’Shea, HEA, 21 July]

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20% of year 2&3 students have no ‘real friends’ at university

Posted in Research on July 19th, 2021 by steve

“One in every five students in years two and three in the United Kingdom say they don’t have a ‘real friend’ at university, according to a survey of more than 12,000 students nationally. The finding has renewed fears that students are struggling with loneliness and declining mental health. Some 42% of students have experienced suicidal thoughts at some time, the survey reveals …” (more)

[Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 17 July]

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Brexit and universities – The last pieces of the puzzle

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration, Research, Teaching on July 17th, 2021 by steve

“Five years since the Brexit referendum and more than six months since the final deal between the European Union and the United Kingdom was agreed, the final pieces are falling into place when it comes to cooperation between universities on both sides of the Channel …” (more)

[Thomas Jorgensen, University World News, 15 July]

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Why science needs a new reward and recognition system

Posted in Research on July 16th, 2021 by steve

“The chance of ‘success’ in an academic science career, which has historically been defined as obtaining a permanent position, is low. Because of this, early-career researchers, including PhD students, postdocs and junior faculty members, are vulnerable to extra stresses. From June to October 2020, we surveyed 151 such researchers in different fields and from multiple countries in Europe to better understand how they were affected by pandemic-related lockdowns and associated relief efforts …” (more)

[Edyta Swider-Cios, Katalin Solymosi and Mangala Srinivas, Nature, 15 July]

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All over higher education, mothers are exhausted

Posted in Life, Research on July 14th, 2021 by steve

“When the first England lockdown was announced in March 2020 we shared a sense of outright panic with many of our colleagues who are parents. But we are lucky to be part of Durham University’s Mothers and Mothers-to-be Support Network (MAMS), which was established in 2013-14 with the aim to support and advocate for mums who work at the university …” (more)

[Nicole Westmarland, Wonkhe, 14 July]

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Funding of €40 million for North-South research announced

Posted in Research on July 5th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Government has announced €40 million for a North-South research programme under the Shared Island Fund. The package is intended to support deepening of links between higher education institutions (HEIs), researchers and research communities on the island of Ireland – and is the single largest allocation from the €500 million fund to date …” (more)

[Kevin O’Sullivan, Irish Times, 5 July]


Pandemic pressures made parents consider quitting academia

Posted in Life, Research on June 29th, 2021 by steve

“The stress of balancing work and home life during the COVID-19 pandemic has left many medical scientists with children questioning their future careers, and women are the hardest hit, according to a survey at a US university …” (more)

[Nature, 28 June]

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Is the world splitting into opposing science ‘blocs’

Posted in Research on June 28th, 2021 by steve

“A race for supremacy in global science and technology has kicked off as China has announced a raft of ambitious policies to promote self-sufficiency in scientific research and technological advancement, and the United States has mapped out a major push in science and technology backed by huge rises in spending …” (more)

[Yojana Sharma, University World News, 23 June]

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Ireland punches above its weight for innovation and third-level education

Posted in Research on June 24th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Ireland is punching far above its weight when it comes to innovation and third-level education, outperforming the EU average, according to the European Commission’s latest findings. Innovation is broadly defined as developing new methods, ideas, and products to advance civilisation. Examples include researching and developing products all the way to market in fields such as medical devices, an industry in which Ireland has become a global player …” (more)

[Pádraig Hoare, Irish Examiner, 22 June]

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Research Involving Human Embryos

Posted in Research on June 24th, 2021 by steve

IrelandCarol Nolan (Laois-Offaly, Independent): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if any Irish university, centre of further education or scientific research is currently engaged in research involving the use of human embryos; if so, if such research is funded through his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 22 June]

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Scientific Research – CERN

Posted in Research on June 18th, 2021 by steve

IrelandRose Conway-Walsh (Mayo, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated cost to the Exchequer of Ireland becoming a full member of CERN; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 16 June]

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Students face 3% lower income over lifetime due to Covid-19

Posted in Research on June 14th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The impact of Covid-19 on children’s education will widen the gap between rich and poor and impose long-term losses of income for all students, according to a policy document by Social Justice Ireland. It warns that pupils affected by the pandemic face long-term losses in income and an average student can expect about 3% lower earnings throughout their lifetime …” (more)

[Marie O’Halloran, Irish Times, 14 June]

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Minister Harris launches national consultation on the future of research and innovation in Ireland

Posted in Research on June 11th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD today (Friday) launched a national public consultation to hear people’s views on the future of Ireland as a world leader in research and innovation. The aim of the public consultation is to develop the next National Research and Innovation Strategy which will build the capacity and capability of the research and innovation system to tackle the big issues facing our country …” (more)

[Merrion Street, 11 June]

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European Commission drops plan to ban UK from science projects

Posted in Research on June 8th, 2021 by steve

“The European Commission has dropped plans for a blanket ban on UK involvement in EU research on space projects and supercomputers after a backlash from member states and leading scientists. Thierry Breton, the former French finance minister who is now the EU internal market commissioner, had claimed the EU needed to keep control of intellectual property and that the UK’s involvement was an unacceptable security risk …” (more)

[Daniel Boffey, Guardian, 7 June]

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Creating Our Future – Minister Harris announces a national conversation on research and science

Posted in Research on June 2nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris has today (Tuesday, 1st June 2021) announced plans for a national conversation on research and science. Creating our Future aims to build on the success of research and science in our battle against COVID-19, and ask the public how we can shape a better Ireland research …” (more)

[gov.ie, 1 June]

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‘Students as consumers? The perspectives of students’ union leaders across Europe’

Posted in Research on May 26th, 2021 by steve

Abstract: Various scholars have argued that higher education is becoming increasingly similar across Europe as a result of processes of marketisation and neo-liberalisation, as well as the creation of a European Higher Education Area. While much of this body of work has focussed on governance, institutional structures and reforms related to teaching and learning, some have suggested that the subjectivities and perspectives of students have also altered – becoming more consumer-like in their orientation. Nevertheless, there has been relatively little work across the continent that has explored, in a comparative manner, students’ own perspectives or those of students who represent other students. This article starts to redress this omission by drawing on interviews conducted with students’ union leaders across six European nations to examine the extent to which they shared the same understanding of students, focussing specifically on the concept of student-as-consumer.

Rachel Brooks, Students as consumers? The perspectives of students’ union leaders across Europe, Higher Education Quarterly, https://doi.org/10.1111/hequ.12332. First published: 24 May 2021.