Universities face stronger governance and accountability requirements

Posted in Governance and administration on October 24th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Stronger governance and accountability measures for third-level institutions will be contained in new legislation to be published next year, Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has said. Speaking at a conference organised by the Irish Universities Association (IUA), he said the agility and flexibility of colleges were key strengths, and this required an appropriate level of autonomy …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 23 October]

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Higher Education Minister Simon Harris promises more freedom for universities

Posted in Governance and administration on October 24th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Higher Education Minister Simon Harris says he wants to give universities more freedom over their affairs but that it must go hand in hand with greater accountability. It was one of the themes in his first major policy speech since taking on the role of leading the first full government department with responsibility for higher education …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 23 October]

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At Funding-Heavy Third-Level Debate, More Squabbles than Solutions

Posted in Governance and administration on February 3rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Political discussions about higher education, it seems, are a bit like buses: you wait ages for one and then suddenly you have politicians and stakeholders in the same room, publicly debating how best to tackle the sector’s many issues …” (more)

[University Times, 2 February]

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Former UCD president calls Brexit a ‘national crisis’ regards higher education

Posted in Governance and administration on October 4th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The former president of University College Dublin has called for immediate action to address a ‘national crisis’ ahead of Brexit. Now the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol, Hugh Brady spoke at the British Irish Chamber of Commerce earlier today, insisting that the ‘state of Ireland’s higher education and research system should be viewed as a national crisis’ …” (more)

[Rebecca Stiffe, Irish Examiner, 4 October]

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Bill threatens autonomy of universities

Posted in Governance and administration on October 3rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The proposed changes to university governance by the Higher Education Authority Bill will severely damage the academic authority of the Irish universities. The proposed modifications to the Universities Act of 1997 are particularly to be deplored …” (more)

[Sarah Alyn Stacey, Irish Times, 3 October]

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Provost: New Government Oversight a ‘Risk’ to University Autonomy

Posted in Governance and administration on August 6th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Provost Patrick Prendergast has warned that new government legislation on higher education could jeopardise the autonomy of universities – a move he said could ‘damage’ the sector. In an interview with the Irish Times during a recent trip to Africa, Prendergast said universities highly value their independence …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee, University Times, 6 August]

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The Irish Times view on third-level reform: university autonomy should be protected

Posted in Governance and administration on July 22nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Government plans to introduce greater accountability for the third-level sector, which receives about €1.5 billion in public funding, make sense on the face of it. The Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee has raked over dozens of high-profile examples of inappropriate spending by third-level institutions in recent years …” (more)

[Irish Times, 21 July]

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Universities and autonomy

Posted in Governance and administration on July 17th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“I suspect that many people in the university sector are upset at government’s desire to exert more and more control over the third level sector. The presumption seems to be that universities will function optimally when allowed maximum autonomy. There is also a strong sense that if the proportion of an institution’s total income that comes from the state is declining, then the degree of control by the state should also be declining. It seems only fair …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 17 July]

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Third-level colleges face stringent new penalties for misconduct

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 17th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Third-level colleges face a series of stringent penalties for misconduct including having funding withheld under the biggest shake-up to regulation of higher education in almost 50 years. The measures, to be announced by the Government in the coming days, have sparked controversy within some universities who fear the planned moves will undermine their long-standing autonomy …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 17 July]

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Student Accommodation Zoning Changes Aren’t an Affront to University Autonomy

Posted in Governance and administration on June 24th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“This Editorial Board sides with universities more often than they probably realise. On the issue of funding, we have long railed against the successive government decisions that have only served to prolong the now almost decade-long funding crisis …” (more)

[University Times, 23 June]

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At Charter Launch, IUA Calls on Government to ‘Step Up’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on September 17th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Universities Association (IUA) today called on the government to ‘step up to the challenge and match the ambition’ of Irish universities, at the launch of a charter designed to make Ireland’s education system the best in Europe by 2026. University autonomy was at the core of the charter, as well as student accessibility …” (more)

[Aisling Marren, University Times, 17 September]

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Published … the alienated academic: the struggle for autonomy inside the University

Posted in Governance and administration on August 30th, 2018 by steve

“I have a new monograph out with Palgrave Macmillan, entitled ‘The Alienated Academic: The Struggle for Autonomy Inside the University’. The book’s abstract is as follows: Higher education is increasingly unable to engage usefully with global emergencies, as its functions are repurposed for value. Discourses of entrepreneurship, impact and excellence, realised through competition and the market, mean that academics and students are increasingly alienated from themselves and their work …” (more)

[Richard Hall’s Space, 29 August]


The Certain Irony to the HEA Chief’s Resignation

Posted in Governance and administration on August 27th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Around a year ago, Dr Graham Love could still have been described as the newly installed beacon of Ireland’s third-level sector. And as CEO of the Higher Education Authority (HEA), he was seemingly on a mission to convince colleges that they had nothing to fear from the increasingly ominous threats to their autonomy …” (more)

[University Times, 26 August]

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Why Irish universities are in thrall to neoliberalism

Posted in Governance and administration on June 20th, 2018 by steve

“In a remarkable speech delivered recently, as he joined academics and historians at the launch of the Cambridge History of Ireland, President Michael D Higgins spoke out against the market model of higher education. Taking unflinching aim at research ratings and rankings, the President criticised metrics as an ‘ideological fad’ of the university …” (more)

[Áine Mahon and Shane Bergin, Irish Times, 19 June]

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Universities need less regulation and more autonomy

Posted in Governance and administration on January 22nd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“When announcing the latest links between university funding and delivery of national priorities, the Government has once again shown that there is a clear need for a wider understanding of the structures and processes of transparency and accountability that are already in place in the higher education sector …” (more)

[Andrew Deeks, Irish Times, 22 January]

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Public funding of autonomous universities: living with the complexities

Posted in Governance and administration on January 16th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Some years ago, when I was still President of Dublin City University, I attended a meeting between Irish government officials and university heads to discuss national higher education strategy. At one point the conversation focused on university autonomy. Everyone agree that such autonomy is vital for an internationally successful higher education system; but what exactly did ‘autonomy’ mean? It quickly became clear that each of the the two groups had a very different understanding of the term …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 15 January]

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New powers to investigate universities spark fears over autonomy

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on November 6th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Universities accused of wrongdoing face the prospect of being investigated by Government-appointed inspectors with the power to enter their premises and access sensitive internal records. The move has sparked concern among university presidents over the scope of these powers and whether it will undermine their autonomy …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 6 November]

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University of Limerick president fears for ‘erosion of autonomy’ after controversies

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on August 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The president of the University of Limerick has expressed fears that the autonomy of universities will be ‘eroded’ if greater powers are granted to the Higher Education Authority. As a result of the UL controversy and high levels of spending in other third-level institutions, the Minister of Education and Skills is finalising provisions to grant more authority to the HEA …” (more)

[Anne Sheridan, Limerick Leader, 23 August]

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How should universities respond when academic freedom is under threat?

Posted in Governance and administration on May 13th, 2017 by steve

“When European university leaders met last month for the annual European University Association conference in Bergen, Norway, top of the agenda was university independence and academic freedom. The focus on autonomy was timely …” (more)

[Paul Boyle, Times Higher Education, 13 May]

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Why Students’ Unions and Universities are on the Same Page Over Autonomy

Posted in Governance and administration on April 6th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Power and autonomy are big words. They’re terms that have come to frame the debate over abortion and the repeal of the eighth amendment. Now, the student movement has found a new use for them …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath, University Times, 5 April]

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