Messers, Dreamers and Misfits

Posted in Teaching on September 5th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“… I agree with the broad thrust of Fintan O’Toole’s argument. I think the School and University systems are far too focussed on examination and assessment at the expense of genuine education. What I disagree with is the idea that creativity is only to be found in the Arts …” (more)

[In the Dark, 5 September]

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Studying arts while social distancing

Posted in Research, Teaching on October 14th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“All students are grappling with the hurdles of online learning right now regardless of course, but for students in courses such as music, visual arts, and drama, the traditionally physical elements of their subjects have brought additional challenges to the shift online. A piano student needs a teacher to guide their fingers over the keys; a drama student needs to look into another performer’s eyes for full immersion …” (more)

[Olivia Flaherty-Lovy, Trinity News, 14 October]

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‘An arts degree? What are you going to do with that?’

Posted in Life on March 10th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“College has been done and dusted for a year and a half now. The second-hand smoke and that feeling of shared procrastination of the Arts Block are starting to feel like long distant memories. Yet, the angst I feel over that irritating question which pervaded my college years is still as pertinent as ever …” (more)

[Irene Falvey, Irish Times, 10 March]

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We must drop the ‘arts’ vs ‘science’ narrative

Posted in Governance and administration on February 28th, 2018 by steve

“Education for the creative industries has been rapidly growing for many years. New and innovative further and higher education courses, such as creative coding and technology and creative business management, have been introduced to keep ahead of the exploding demands of the world we live in …” (more)

[Bashir Makhoul, Times Higher Education, 27 February]

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Don’t forget importance of the arts, warns UCC President

Posted in Governance and administration on February 21st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The importance of the arts to the economy and the country generally must not be underestimated when the distribution of third-level funding is being decided, the president of University College Cork says. Patrick O’Shea was speaking at the announcement of a €60,000 annual investment by UCC in a collaboration with Cork Opera House that will expand training for future performers and arts organisation leaders …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 21 February]

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Arts degrees

Posted in Teaching on January 23rd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Given the recent successful record of Irish graduates with arts degrees, Conor Kileen, as quoted in Carl O’Brien’s article (January 20th), is right to emphasise their worth. He needed, however, to stress the quality requirement …” (more)

[Eda Sagarra, Irish Times, 23 January]


Are arts degrees past their sell-by date?

Posted in Life on January 20th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“This week a number of major reports confirmed what most recent arts graduates could probably have told you without the need for costly research: they earn less than other students in the years after college. The draft findings of a Central Statistics Office study, which tracked the earnings of thousands of young college graduates over a five-year period, found that IT and computers students earned most …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 20 January]

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Arts graduates earn less than any other group after college

Posted in Life on January 15th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Arts and humanities students earned less than other groups of graduates for up to five years following college, according to the draft findings of a major new study. The Central Statistics Office (CSO) is due to publish research shortly which tracked graduates’ weekly earnings across different fields of study between 2010 and 2015. The draft findings show that arts graduates earned the least in their first year after college (€310 per week) …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 15 January]

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Yes, Let’s Double Science Funding. But Why Not Arts Too?

Posted in Research on January 15th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“As our economy picks up, we can expect more calls like the one this week from Prof Mark Ferguson, the Director of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). Yet his call for a doubling of science funding – pitched as a vital cog in Ireland’s future – is an apt reminder of the vastly unequal funding landscape for arts and science researchers. If the path to research funding is rocky for Ireland’s scientists, it’s an alpine climb for staff in arts faculties …” (more)

[University Times, 14 January]

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Universities need more entrepreneurship in the arts

Posted in Governance and administration on November 9th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Universities should increase the entrepreneurship taught in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, according to a recent report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The review looked at five higher education institutes selected by the Department of Education and the OECD …” (more)

[Shauna Bowers, Irish Times, 8 November]

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Arts degrees: Can universities save them?

Posted in Governance and administration on October 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“They’ve always been an easy target. And nowadays, jibes about arts degrees and low-paying jobs provide plenty of material for meme-makers online. ‘Oh, you have an arts degree?’ says a self-satisifed Willy Wonka in one. ‘Yes, I would like to upsize my combo meals, thanks.’ The stereotype may not be new or accurate, but …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 16 October]

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With a Rethinking of the Arts/Science Distinction, Trinity has the Opportunity to be Pioneering

Posted in Teaching on June 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“With some exceptions, Trinity’s degree structure is divided on clear lines. Much like the campus itself, with its hubs of the Arts Block and Hamilton Building, most students take a course that’s neatly labelled under ‘Arts’ or ‘STEM’, with courses that bridge the divide often finding themselves lost in a confusing and bureaucratic maze …” (more)

[University Times, 25 June]

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The Timely Reform of Irish Arts Degrees

Posted in Teaching on April 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A popular meme that has recently appeared several times on my social media newsfeed outlines the qualifications needed to work in McDonald’s: a degree in geography, English, classics, history, or, practically, any other arts-related degree. This thorough piece of quantitative research highlights the demonisation of arts degrees …” (more)

[Simon Foy, Universty Times, 15 April]

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What’s the point of an arts degree?

Posted in Teaching on April 3rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“A chara, – I note with interest a feature in your paper on the utility of the arts degree (Carl O’Brien, ‘What’s the point of an arts degree’, Analysis, March 18th). Once the default choice of many school-leavers, the BA now faces competition and sometimes displacement from BSc, BComm and many competing disciplines …” (more)

[James Lawless, Irish Times, 3 April]

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In Reforming Arts Degrees, Improving Employability Shouldn’t Overtake the Degree’s Purpose

Posted in Teaching on March 28th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“University College Dublin’s (UCD) large Bachelor of Arts programme is getting a makeover. For the September 2018 intake, the course will get a significant overhaul, seeing the addition of internships, research and a variety of new combinations purportedly aimed at improving educational and employment opportunities. Maynooth University, too, may extend its arts degree from three to four years with potential for internships and research …” (more)

[University Times, 26 March]

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Arts degrees overhaul to target better job prospects

Posted in Teaching on March 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“University College Dublin is to extensively reform its arts degree courses to try and improve the chances of students getting jobs when they graduate. Points for arts degrees have been falling in recent years as students and their parents question the job prospects linked to these qualifications …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 18 March]

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What’s the point of an arts degree?

Posted in Teaching on March 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“You’ve probably heard the joke before: science students spend their careers asking ‘why does it work?’; engineering graduates ponder ‘how does it work?’; while arts graduates, ask : ‘do you want fries with that?’ Gags about arts graduates and Mcjobs may be old, but the latest facts show not a lot has changed …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 18 March]

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Arts for arts sake? Writers on the value of an arts degree

Posted in Governance and administration on September 29th, 2016 by steve

IrelandJoseph O’Connor: I did an arts degree, English and history, at UCD, and it was one of the most valuable experiences of my life. I was very lucky in that my teachers included such great people as Declan Kiberd, Seamus Deane, Hugh Gough, Ronan Fanning, Mary Daly and Michael Laffan …” (more)

[Martin Doyle, Irish Times, 28 September]


Arts degrees: are they worth doing any more?

Posted in Life on September 13th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“These days, all the focus seems to be on how science and technology are the ‘sexy’ subjects everyone should be doing, but employers say arts courses develop crucial skills for the modern workplace …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 13 September]

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CAO cynicism

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 22nd, 2016 by steve

Ireland“It’s that time of the year when the Central Applications Office (CAO) makes offers of third level places to Ireland’s school-leavers. Places are allocated on the basis of a complex but transparent system of supply (of courses by third level institutions), demand (for courses by school leavers), and grades (obtained by school leavers in the second level terminal examination, the Leaving Certificate) …” (more)

[Eoin O’Dell, Cearta, 22 August]

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