IUA Submission on HEA Act Reform to the Oireachtas Education Committee 06.07.21

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The IUA welcomes the publication by the Minister for Further, Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science of the ‘General Scheme of the Higher Education Authority Bill 2021’ (the ‘Scheme’). The legislation governing the sector is now half a century old and requires updating to provide for the significant changes since then and to provide a legislative base that will enable the sector to grow and develop in the years ahead …” (more)

[IUA, 7 July]

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Universities’ Autonomy Must be Protected Under Governance Bill, Says IUA

Posted in Governance and administration on July 6th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The autonomy and agility of third-level institutions should not be compromised by any changes to how the institutions are run, the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Further and Higher Education has heard …” (more)

[Emer Moreau and Mairead Maguire, University Times, 6 July]

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HE institutional autonomy is under siege across the world

Posted in Governance and administration on June 27th, 2021 by steve

International“A small group of international higher education and quality assurance experts got together and held an informal virtual conversation in June 2021. Our topic was the all-important issue of institutional autonomy. Why this conversation again – and now? After all, this has been a much-discussed topic within higher education for many years. An excellent example is the Council of Europe Global Forum on Academic Freedom, Institutional Autonomy and the Future of Democracy held in 2019 and its ensuing Declaration …” (more)

[Judith Eaton and Stamenka Uvalic-Trumbic, University World News, 26 June]

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Skilful Backroom Negotiations Are Required to Protect Trinity’s Autonomy

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on May 10th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris this week granted Trinity a golden opportunity to avoid harsh blows to its autonomy. In the heads of a bill to reform university governance structures, Trinity was the only university specifically mentioned as being potentially excluded from some of the proposed reforms to college governance. How exactly this will affect changes to College Board down the line is yet to be seen …” (more)

[University Times, 9 May]

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Govt Leaves Door Open to Flexibility on Restructuring of College Board

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on May 7th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The government has today left the door open to more flexibility in how Trinity is governed in the future, likely easing concerns that the department would grant the Higher Education Authority (HEA) sweeping powers to control how College is run …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 6 May]

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Colleges face sanctions for funding non-compliance

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on May 7th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Colleges that do not comply with funding conditions will face sanctions, including having their grants withheld, under new published legislation aimed at reforming the governance of the Higher Education sector. Under the legislation, the Higher Education Authority (HEA) will be able to set conditions for funding third-level institutions and guidelines on how much of a university’s budget should be applied to its different activities …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 6 May]

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‘Sweeping reforms’ not to threaten autonomy of universities

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on May 7th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Government has insisted that sweeping governance changes to the higher education sector will safeguard the autonomy of universities and protect academic freedom. Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris published the Higher Education Authority Bill (2021) on Thursday which amount to the biggest shake-up in third level governance in 50 years …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 6 May]

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We shouldn’t take the independence of our universities for granted

Posted in Governance and administration on May 4th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The great Renaissance humanist Erasmus said he longed to be a citizen of the world. I’ve always liked this quote because it sums up so much of the university ideal. Universities have been reaching out into the world for centuries – something that benefits both the institutions themselves and the country as a whole …” (more)

[Patrick Prendergast, Irish Times, 4 May]

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Cabinet to consider third-level governance and minimum alcohol prices

Posted in Governance and administration on May 4th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Cabinet is expected on Tuesday to approve draft laws on university governance, which would increase centralised supervision and give a regulator the power to fine colleges for breaching rules. The laws, to be introduced by Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris, aim to redraw the relationship between government and the institutions for the first time since the 1970s …” (more)

[Pat Leahy and Marie O’Halloran, Irish Times, 4 May]

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Govt Must Listen to Trinity’s Case for an Exemption From Board Restructuring

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

Ireland“This week, The University Times reported on Trinity’s submission to the government on the proposed reforms of drafted legislation which would overhaul College’s governance structures. In the submission, Trinity outlined a swathe of reasons as to why it should be exempt from the proposed legislation, including existing traditions and a ‘distinct context and legal heritage’ that distinguishes it from other universities …” (more)

[University Times, 28 March]

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How horrible are we? More sweeping reforms for academics to look forward to

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

Ireland“The basis for these changes is of course, familiar enough, throughout the English-speaking world. The important thing, apparently, is to ensure that academics can never ultimately be masters of their own house. At the most strategic level of governance, academics must always be outvoted by non academics. You don’t hear the same demands made of doctors or lawyers …” (more)

[conradbrunstrom, 27 March]

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Universities fear sweeping reforms will undermine autonomy

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on March 26th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Universities are concerned that sweeping Government reforms aimed at strengthening the accountability of higher education institutions will restrict their autonomy. The Irish Times reported on Thursday that Trinity College Dublin has expressed alarm that the planned reforms could damage its academic standing and end its tradition of collegiate governance …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 25 March]

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Trinity seeks legislation to exclude it from sweeping Government reforms

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on March 25th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Trinity College Dublin is seeking private legislation to exclude it from sweeping Government reforms aimed at strengthening the accountability of higher education institutions. In an unpublished submission to Government, it says planned changes threaten to undermine its autonomy, damage its academic standing and end its tradition of ‘collegiate governance’, which has served the college well for over 400 years …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 25 March]

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Proposed Governance Restructuring is Bullish, Ill-Timed and Rushed

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

Ireland“Last November, Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris said that current legislation regarding higher education governance is ‘not fit for purpose and does not reflect the world in which we live’ – his bullish solution to this issue, however, overreaches and is a threat to Trinity as we know it …” (more)

[University Times, 7 March]

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Trinity College Dublin fears third-level reforms will threaten its autonomy

Posted in Governance and administration on March 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Trinity College Dublin has expressed alarm over Government plans to reform university governance which it says could threaten its autonomy and independence. The university said it wants to be excluded from planned legislation that would give regulators ‘dawn raid’ powers to conduct audits and abolish its long-standing systems for resolving internal disputes which date back hundreds of years …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 8 March]

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If Harris has his way, Irish universities will surrender their valuable independence

Posted in Governance and administration on March 4th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Tomorrow Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris will close the door for submissions to his document on the reform of Higher Education Authority (HEA) legislation. The minister opened consultations on February 23 …” (more)

[Sean Barrett, Independent, 4 March]

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University Autonomy is Under Threat. Colleges Must Step Up

Posted in Governance and administration on February 1st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Alarm bells sounded last week when this newspaper reported that the government is considering a bill which would give the Minister for Higher Education the power to suspend or replace the governing bodies of a state-funded universities if it has serious concerns about how the institution is being run …” (more)

[University Times, 31 January]

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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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