The Irish Senate (Seanad Éireann) includes six members elected by university graduates. (Total membership of the Seanad is 60.) Three are elected by NUI graduates and three by graduates of the University of Dublin. All are technically considered as independents, though in some cases they have well-established party links.
This is the 25th Seanad, elected in April 2016.
The NUI members are:
- Alice-Mary Higgins (Website¦Oireachtas¦Wikipedia)
- Michael McDowell (Website¦Oireachtas¦Wikipedia)
- Rónán Mullen (Website¦Oireachtas¦Wikipedia)
and the University of Dublin members are:
- Ivana Bacik (Website¦Oireachtas¦Wikipedia)
- David Norris (Website¦Oireachtas¦Wikipedia)
- Lynn Ruane (Website¦Oireachtas¦Wikipedia)
Current arrangements are not universally considered satisfactory – Why should representation be confined to university graduates (as opposed to all those with degrees), and why not include all the universities? A constitutional amendment was passed in 1979 to facilitate change. None however appears to be imminent.
Further reading: Relevant Wikpedia articles are: Dublin University (constituency); Members of the 24th Seanad; Members of the 23rd Seanad; National University of Ireland (constituency); Seanad Éireann; Seventh Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland.
See also: “Seanad meeting in UL would mark need for reform” (Irish Times, 10 March 2009); “FF seeks to cut Seanad university seats to two” (Irish Times, 19 August 2009)
Personally, I do not think that politics, religion or similar divisive organizations belong in education that is seeking truth, for divisive organizations blind or hide the truth for their own economic gain, and power plays. Truth that is set with “Integrity, Transparency and Accountability” are not friends with religion, politics or divisive societies. Freedom of expression is more than art, philosophy, or literature; science in the fields of physics, mathematics, chemistry and medicine also need freedom of expression; the freedom to distribute and discuss what is politically incorrect, or religiously taboo, freedom to submit innovation and compelling ideas without telling them it cannot be done, or is blocked by political, religious or other forms of social insanity! As a Chancellor of an On-Line University we leave research innovation to those doing the research, we do not tell them it cannot be done, or it cannot be discussed, we encourage them to share it with the global community.