Remote learning proves challenging for marginalised groups

Posted in Teaching on July 22nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Further education and training (FET) students in direct provision, lone parents, Traveller and Roma learners, and those with disabilities were more likely to face barriers while learning remotely. The latest annual report from the National FET Forum found they struggled with access to devices, mental health, and motivation …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 21 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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English-language teachers raise concerns about return to classroom due to Covid-19

Posted in Teaching on July 19th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“English-language teachers are set to join students on Monday at a protest in Dublin to raise concerns about the safety of reopening language schools when Covid-19 case numbers are on the rise. The Unite English Language Teacher’s Branch has called a protest against the reopening on Monday at 12.30pm at the Spire on O’Connell Street, from where participants will march to the Department of Further and Higher Education on Marlborough Street …” (more)

[Sorcha Pollak and Grace Donnellan, Irish Times, 19 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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Colleges Must Permanently Integrate Online Learning into College Life

Posted in Teaching on July 12th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Online learning has been widely unpopular among students. However, for many, online learning has been a – long overdue – blessing. Not all students can work off the same timetable – because they have a job, because they have a disability or they have a family to look after. Therefore the news this week that at-risk students returning to in-person classes in September would still have access to online learning should be welcomed …” (more)

[University Times, 11 July]

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Fellows Ask College for All Students to Return on September 27th

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on July 10th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Trinity’s Fellows have written to the Vice Provost asking that all students return to College on September 27th, rather than having separate start dates for first years and all other years. College announced last month that freshers’ week will take place the week of September 20th, with first years to start classes the week after – two weeks later than all other students …” (more)

[Emer Moreau, University Times, 9 July]


IUA: Vulnerable Students Will Still Have Access to Online Lectures

Posted in Teaching on July 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Vulnerable students will be able to access online lectures even if students return to in-person teaching in September, the Oireachtas education committee has heard. Addressing the committee, Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, the chair of the Irish Universities Association (IUA) told the committee that ‘we will be using what was learned this year in order to support vulnerable students and students who may not be able to access campus’ …” (more)

[Emma Taggart and Emer Moreau, University Times, 8 July]

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Decision due soon on large lectures at third-level in September

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on July 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Government is likely to decide within the next two weeks whether third-level students will be able to attend larger-scale lectures when they return to college in September. The Cabinet is expected to meet on July 19th when a decision is due to be made about large-scale lectures which in some universities can include up to 500 students …” (more)

[Marie O’Halloran, Irish Times, 8 July]

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Interaction in Lectures

Posted in Teaching on July 7th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“There’s been dismay among many students at the University of Manchester at the news that said institution is planning to keep lectures online next year. If the reason for that decision were that campuses are likely to be closed again by September then I would consider it wise, but it seems this is to be a permanent thing; see the following excerpt …” (more)

[In the Dark, 6 July]


‘I Signed Up to Write College Essays for Rich Kids. I Found Cheating Is More Complicated Than I Thought.’

Posted in Teaching on July 6th, 2021 by steve

“Like many English majors before me, I found myself walking across the graduation stage in 2019 knowing my college days were behind me – and that I’d soon be unemployed. Despite giving it my all and winding up with a near-perfect GPA, my only immediate options were continuing my part-time bartending job or going to grad school. Since I had already amassed nearly $70,000 in student loans, I chose the former …” (more)

[Slate, 6 July]


Return of colleges and international travel on track despite Delta threat

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on July 5th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Plans to welcome students back to college campuses and the return of international travel remain on track, despite the threat of the Delta variant. Taoiseach Micheal Martin said plans to implement the EU’s Digital Covid passport on July 19 are ‘on track’, despite reports ministers privately fear there will be delays …” (more)

[James Ward, Independent, 5 July]

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Leaving Cert

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on July 5th, 2021 by steve

IrelandCatherine Murphy (Kildare North, Social Democrats): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of plans to reform the leaving certificate exams; her engagement with the State Examinations Commission in respect of same; and if she envisages a blended and or option for continued assessment to become a permanent choice for students …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 1 July]

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Stepping Down

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on July 3rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“I was planning to be on leave now; I intended to make up for the fact that I didn’t get a summer holiday last year by taking most of July off. Unfortunately that was not to be and I have to stay at work for at least another week to participate in an interview panel …” (more)

[In the Dark, 3 July]

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Tailored approach needed to catch-up learning post-COVID

Posted in Teaching on July 1st, 2021 by steve

International“Nearly a year and a half after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, universities are no longer what they used to be. International mobility has been affected heavily, many universities have faced severe financial problems and campuses worldwide have been locked down for weeks or even months …” (more)

[Gero Federkeil and Frans van Vught, University World News, 26 June]


Third-level students should be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccines

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on June 29th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“All across the country right now there are current and prospective third-level students wondering if they should book student accommodation for the coming academic year. Equally, many parents are fretting about budgets, plans and the practicalities of next year. Meanwhile, third-level college staff, at the end of an exhausting year of online education, attend planning meetings with a strong whiff of deja vu …” (more)

[Molly Byrne, Irish Times, 29 June]

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Online learning should change the way that exams work

Posted in Teaching on June 29th, 2021 by steve

“As university students wait on their mid-year exam results, some will no doubt be thinking about more than just passing. Since COVID-19 pushed teaching and testing online last year, the issue of cheating has come into sharper focus …” (more)

[Linda Rowan and Fiona Murray, University World News, 26 June]

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Unvaccinated Students Can Return to Campus in September, Says Harris

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on June 28th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has said that college re-opening plans will go ahead, even if some students are not vaccinated by September. Last week, Damien McCallion, who oversees the coronavirus vaccination rollout, told the Oireachtas health committee that ‘those in their 20s’ will be vaccinated in August and September …” (more)

[Jody Druce, University Times, 28 June]

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Has the Government Jumped the Gun Again on College Reopening?

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on June 28th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Has Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris – once again – jumped the gun on college reopening plans? Just over two weeks ago, the government announced the re-opening plans for next year for third level, promising that college students would have some in-person teaching in the coming academic year …” (more)

[University Times, 27 June]

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Sexual consent classes to be offered to third-level students

Posted in Teaching on June 28th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Classes on sexual consent are to be offered to third-level students and colleges will in future have to put in place new mechanisms for the anonymous reporting of sexual harassment. Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris will on Monday announce a new plan that will see colleges commit to offering consent classes as well as specialised training for staff in dealing with harassment complaints …” (more)

[Jennifer Bray, Irish Times, 28 June]

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No More 3-Hour Exams?

Posted in Teaching on June 25th, 2021 by steve

“Traditional three-hour university exams may soon be a thing of the past as leading British institutions eye a switch to online and more ‘authentic’ forms of assessment post-pandemic. The University of Cambridge said that over the next academic year it would ‘draw on the lessons learned’ from the COVID-19 pandemic and respond ‘to the desire of many faculties and departments to move away from the traditional three-hour written examination format as the primary means of assessment for such programs’ …” (more)

[Anna McKie, Inside Higher Ed, 25 June]

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