After Rankings Slump, Third-Level Has to Be an Election Issue – Now, Not in May 2020

Posted in Governance and administration on September 16th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“If it’s fair to say this week has been pretty dismal for higher education in Ireland, then it’s hard to imagine what the mood must have been like in the Provost’s House. On Wednesday we discovered that the College, Ireland’s top-ranked university, had tumbled 44 places in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, to an all-time low of 164th …” (more)

[University Times, 15 September]

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Student Manifesto – Local and European Elections

Posted in Governance and administration on May 2nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Access to Education: If you are a local candidate: Will you support fully publicly funded third level education in Ireland; Will you reject any move towards a student loan scheme system in Ireland; …” (more)

[USI, 2 May]

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Seanad elections and third-level sector

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

“Sir, – Technological University Dublin is on the way, a most welcome development. Are its graduates to continue to be discriminated against when it comes to voting in Seanad elections, as their constituent colleges are today? Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the passing of the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution allowing for graduates of third-level institutes …” (more)

[Gay Mitchell, Irish Times, 21 July]

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Save Mayo GMIT campaigners considering general election move

Posted in Governance and administration on March 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Campaigners involved in rescuing the Mayo GMIT campus from further decline and possible closure are lining up a candidate to run in the next general election, The Connaught Telegraph has learned …” (more)

[Tom Kelly, Connaught Telegraph, 22 March]

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Higher Education Funding Becomes Central in TV3 Seanad Candidate Debate

Posted in Governance and administration on April 21st, 2016 by steve

Ireland“While candidates largely agreed on the topics of free fees and access to education, the question of how to strike the ‘balance’ in the funding of higher education became central in last night’s Vincent Browne debate between 13 of the 16 candidates for the Seanad’s TCD panel …” (more)

[Sinéad Baker and Edmund Heaphy, University Times, 21 April]

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Seanad election and the NUI panel

Posted in Governance and administration on April 18th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – A total of 30 candidates are seeking election to the Seanad on the National University of Ireland panel. To assist in identifying possible preferences, I made the following rough breakdown of candidates’ attributes under some admittedly arbitrary classifications, based on their election literature and selected other accessible information …” (more)

[Michael Walsh, Irish Times, 18 April]

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Former NUIG president in Seanad election row following ‘inappropriate support’ of election candidate

Posted in Governance and administration on April 5th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A former president of NUI Galway has been accused of ‘inappropriately’ supporting Aer Arann boss Pádraig Ó Céidigh in the Seanad elections by a leading member of the college’s governing authority. Professor Iggy Ó Muircheartaigh, former NUIG president, has encouraged voting for Aer Arann boss in poll. Iggy Ó Muircheartaigh, President of NUI Galway from August 2000 until March 2008, has in recent days sent out an email to members of the NUI electorate, strongly endorsing Mr Ó Céidigh’s nomination saying he is a ‘man of integrity and energy’ …” (more)

[Daniel McConnell, Irish Examiner, 5 April]

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Seanad University Panels are Elitist, But Reform Shouldn’t Lose What Makes them Valuable

Posted in Governance and administration on April 4th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“With the Seanad elections in full swing, and votes due to be counted by the end of the month, ‘reform’ is a word that is being thrown around once again. As with the Seanad abolition referendum, the primary focus of most reform discussions is on the elitist nature of who gets to vote, and this almost always ends up being focused on the university panels …” (more)

[University Times, 3 April]

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Seanad reform and Independents

Posted in Governance and administration on March 21st, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Noel Whelan is right to draw attention to woeful lack of conviction from successive Governments of all political parties to reform the Seanad (‘Disgrace that Seanad still being elected in archaic way’, March 18th). There isn’t a candidate currently running for the Seanad that isn’t loudly advocating reform …” (more)

[Barry Johnston, Irish Times, 21 March]

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Inaction on the University of the South East

Posted in Governance and administration on January 4th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Compared to the big noises made during the 2011 general election campaign, when both Fine Gael and Labour promised a University of the South East, there is only silence this time around. In 2011, they both also promised not to develop Fianna Fáil’s technological university proposal. In power they forgot both of these promises …” (more)

[University of the South East Campaign, 4 January]

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In General Election Debate, the Opposition Parties Won – But Mostly Because the Government Didn’t Show Up

Posted in Governance and administration on November 5th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union’s general election party debate included representatives from almost every party in Ireland, representatives who had come to engage with the audience on issues relating to higher education in advance of the upcoming general election. However, as topical issues such as funding, accommodation and student loans were discussed, one could come away believing that it really didn’t matter who you vote for …” (more)

[Sinéad Baker, University Times, 4 November]

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USI Plan to Register Massive Ten Thousand Students to Vote

Posted in Governance and administration on October 2nd, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Another 10,000 students are set to be registered to vote by the Union Students in Ireland (USI) this Tuesday in their latest drive for an increase in student support services …” (more)

[Brein McGinn,, 2 October]

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Higher Education and the 2015 UK General Election

Posted in Governance and administration on March 23rd, 2015 by steve

UK“Margaret Thatcher once said ‘There is no alternative’, a mantra which has since been taken up with force by David Cameron and the Coalition. But things are changing, things are always changing, and alternatives may be appearing on the horizon again after almost 30 years of neoliberal hegemony …” (more)

[David Ridley, Campaign for the Public University, 22 March]

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Coming to grips (or not) with tuition fees

Posted in Governance and administration on March 3rd, 2015 by steve

Scotland“From the frequency with which politicians present promises or assurances over tuition fees before elections, we must assume that they believe that fees are an issue that can help improve a party’s electoral fortunes …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 3 March]

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Graduates’ Seanad vote to cost €6.5m

Posted in Governance and administration on February 5th, 2014 by steve

“Giving a vote in the Seanad elections to every college graduate in the country will cost the taxpayer €6.5m, a confidential Government memo reveals …” (more)

[Fionnan Sheahan, Independent, 5 February]

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Students Vow To Form United Voting Block Using New USI Database

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 16th, 2013 by steve

“Politicians were warned earlier today that any attempt to target students in the upcoming Budget will cost them their seats, as a new USI voting campaign was announced …” (more)

[Dean McHugh, University Times, 15 August]

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Higgins leads among student voters with Norris second

Posted in Life on October 12th, 2011 by steve

“Michael D Higgins is leading the presidential race among the electorate in the State’s seven universities, with a poll putting the Labour candidate on course to secure support from more than one-third of students …” (more)

[Steven Carroll, Irish Times, 12 October]

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Higgins tops nationwide poll of students’ Aras intentions

Posted in Life on October 11th, 2011 by steve

“Labour’s Presidential candidate Michael D Higgins has topped a new nationwide opinion poll of students’ voting intentions. Higgins can count on the support of 34% of students intending to vote in the October 27 ballot, according to the poll …” (more)

[, 11 October]

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The pre-election pledge: A stunt, a lie and an insult to students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on July 19th, 2011 by steve

“… It is simply not credible that the union leadership were naive enough to believe that while implementing that austerity, student fees would be left untouched. A betrayal similar to that of the Liberal Democrats in the UK is and was, always inevitable. So why did the Union go to such great lengths in influencing their members to vote Labour? Not satisfied with the impact of the pledge alone, the USI continued to pimp Labour in the lead up to the election on their facebook page …” (more)

[Nicky O’Donnell, Free Education for Everyone, 19 July]

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Campaign Review

Posted in Governance and administration on May 2nd, 2011 by steve

“… The first lesson learned is that you can’t run a successful election campaign without a long planning phase. While I put out a few feelers the week before the General Election, we only decided to run the campaign three days before the close of nominations. That meant there was no chance to get friends and classmates back on the electoral register, no time to get the campaign website online before the candidates were announced in the press, no time to do some proper brainstorming on campaign message and tactics …” (more)

[Pass Level Politics, 2 May]

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