The Coronavirus Has Betrayed the Weaknesses of Relying on Commercialisation

Posted in Governance and administration on July 13th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“For years, Trinity’s critics have been shouting into the wind that commercialisation is a flimsy revenue-generating strategy – and means students end up playing second fiddle to firms collaborating with College. This week’s news that Trinity’s years-long partnership with Bank of Ireland would be ending next month may have proved them right …” (more)

[University Times, 12 July]

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It’s time to stop the commercialisation of our universities

Posted in Governance and administration on January 31st, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Higher education institutions and students fuel industries, contribute to our economy, develop and enrich public spaces and help us to realise ideas and solutions to issues in our society and make it better. As student activists, over the last number of years we have taken to the streets and lobbied against the chronic underfunding of our higher education sector, to little response from the government …” (more)

[Joanna Siewierska, Irish Times, 30 January]


Provost, a ‘Believer’ in Public Funding, Defends College’s Commercial Strategies

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

Ireland“Provost Patrick Prendergast has defended the College’s record on philanthropy and commercialisation, insisting that relying on government funding would mean that ‘everything would have continued to tumble down’. Speaking frankly about the state of public funding in an address to staff and students …” (more)

[Eleanor O’Mahony and Donal MacNamee, University Times, 19 November]

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WIT’s management of company sale criticised in report

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on November 13th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The State’s financial watchdog has criticised how Waterford Institute of Technology managed the development and subsequent sale of a campus company called FeedHenry Limited for €63.5m. The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) said that due to the potential value of the technology …” (more)

[Ingrid Miley, RTÉ News, 13 November]

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The True Cost of College’s Commercialisation is Starting to Show

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

Ireland“It’s safe to say that Trinity’s fall in the QS World Rankings earlier this year has left the College’s reputation looking less than pristine. Disgruntled at best – and indignant at worst – figures from all aspects of campus life are looking to reverse the seemingly continuous drop, not least Provost Patrick Prendergast, whose approach to funding must now be called into question …” (more)

[Jack Synnott, University Times, 21 September]

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Reviews finds weaknesses in safeguards over sale of college spinout firms

Posted in Research on February 9th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“An independent review into the sale of intellectual property by third-level colleges has found weaknesses in the way conflicts of interest among research staff are managed in the sale of lucrative spinout companies. The review was prompted by concerns raised at the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee last year over potential conflicts of interest in this sector, particularly where research staff are also shareholders in companies that end up being sold for large sums of money …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 9 February]

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Review of Intellectual Property Policies and Procedures in Higher Education Published

Posted in Legal issues, Research on February 8th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“The Higher Education Authority (HEA) and Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) are pleased to announce the publication of the Review of Intellectual Property Management and Conflicts of Interest, which provides a framework for the strengthening of IP policies and procedures in higher education …” (more)

[Gemma Duke, Higher Education Authority, 8 February]

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Minister Bruton and Minister Halligan welcome latest rolling review project for the Higher Education Sector

Posted in Research on May 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Higher Education Authority (HEA) and Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) are to commission a review of Intellectual Property (IP) policies and their implementation and the policies and procedures in the HEIs for the management of Conflicts of Interest in respect of the commercialisation of intellectual property …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 22 May]

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Trinity on Track to Make €33m Through Commercialisation in 2021

Posted in Governance and administration on April 11th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Having made €24 million in 2015/16, Trinity is on track to meet its target of generating €33 million in 2020/21 through commercial activity, The University Times has learned, according to a new five-year plan for the College’s commercial revenue wing …” (more)

[Jenna Clarke-Molloy, University Times, 10 April]

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We don’t have students any more – just customers

Posted in Governance and administration on December 13th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“With the globalisation and deregulation of trade, governments are increasingly susceptible to the influence of powerful commercial interests. Organisations such as the OECD, the World Bank and the EU mediate this influence and thereby exercise in direct control over national higher education systems …” (more)

[Kathleen Lynch, Irish Times, 12 December]

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Universities Inc

Posted in Research on September 23rd, 2016 by steve

UK“In a research park in Culham, a sleepy village south of Oxford, a driverless car pootles around a short track. The ride is steady, the experience unspectacular. But the software directing the car could one day challenge that produced by Google and Uber …” (more)

[Economist, 23 September]


New €60m fund looking to invest in early stage companies from Irish colleges

Posted in Research on June 17th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A new €60m fund, established by one of Europe’s top performing tech funds, will look to invest in early stage companies with global potential that are built from research at all of Ireland’s third-level institutions. Atlantic Bridge, the firm behind the new fund, will look to accelerate the commercialisation of research conducted at Irish colleges …” (more)

[Michael Cogley, Independent, 17 June]

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The Vast Majority of Trinity’s Commercialisation Initiatives Should be Welcomed

Posted in Research on May 16th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“As a student or an academic, it is easy to view Trinity’s ‘commercialisation strategy’ cynically. In universities, where the pursuit of knowledge – often for its own sake – is one of the ultimate end goals, the idea of money-spinning activities and a focus on profit making seems anathema …” (more)

[University Times, 15 May]

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We don’t need no free-market education

Posted in Governance and administration on February 23rd, 2016 by steve

Ireland“What do universities and restaurants have in common? Quite a lot, it appears, if you happen to endorse free-market values of education.Consider the following comments by Ruairí Quinn when he was minister for education a few years ago …” (more)

[Stephen O’Brien, Irish Times, 23 February]

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Academics shun engagement with business

Posted in Life on January 12th, 2016 by steve

UK“UK universities have failed to encourage academics to engage with businesses and the community in so-called third stream activity, a series of candid interviews has revealed. Lecturers felt that teaching and research were much higher priorities …” (more)

[David Matthews, Times Higher Education, 12 January]

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Zhang, Larkin and Lucey, ‘The Connected University: Ireland’s Higher Education Institutions and Their Knowledge Exchange Activities’

Posted in Governance and administration on October 9th, 2015 by steve

IrelandAbstract: We present the results of a survey of Irish higher education staff, the aim of which was to ascertain a broad picture of the nature and extent of their engagement with various stakeholders. Contrary to the stereotype of academics living in ‘ivory towers’ and not being engaged with ‘the real world’ the evidence here is quite different. A broad level of engagement is evident across four main realms – commercialisation, engagement with persons, with communities and in problem solving situations. 33% responded that they saw their research mainly having relevance for non-commercial external bodies, with 22% seeing it mainly as having commercial research. Direct engagement in commercial activity is limited with 8% having taken out a patent or formed a consultancy … (more)

Zhang, Qiantao and Larkin, Charles James and Lucey, Brian M, The Connected University: Ireland’s Higher Education Institutions and Their Knowledge Exchange Activities (October 9, 2015).

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Ireland’s narrow research focus on commercial technology is short-sighted

Posted in Research on April 30th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Research funding remains almost exclusively targeted at certain technological areas that are considered important. A recent letter to The Irish Times, signed by more than 1,100 scientists, noted that funding for scientific research in Ireland has become increasingly focused on the commercialisation of technological applications …” (more)

[Cormac O’Raifeartaigh, Irish Times, 30 April]

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Ibec says Government should increase science research funding

Posted in Research on April 23rd, 2015 by steve

Ireland“The Government should establish a fully independent advisory body for science and should also increase State funding for research, Ibec has said. These and other recommendations were included in a submission from the business representative body to an InterDepartmental Cabinet committee currently devising a new national science policy …” (more)

[Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times, 23 April]

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Students worldwide fight back against commercialisation of universities – in pictures

Posted in Governance and administration on April 20th, 2015 by steve

International“Over recent months, academics and students in countries including Canada, the Netherlands and the UK have staged protests against funding cuts to courses, privatisation and precarious working conditions. We asked readers to share pictures of university protests and occupations taking place …” (more, pictures)

[Guardian, 20 April]

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University protests around the world: a fight against commercialisation

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on March 25th, 2015 by steve

International“Academics and students in Canada, the Netherlands and the UK explain why they are taking a stand against their institutions. Students at University of the Arts, London, took over their university’s reception area last Thursday to protest against proposed cuts to some of its course programmes …” (more)

[Rebecca Ratcliffe, Guardian, 25 March]

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