56% plunge in EU students accepted at British universities

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 24th, 2021 by steve

“University chiefs were prepared for the worst when applications from European Union students to study on undergraduate courses in the United Kingdom fell by 43% by the time of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) deadline of 30 June …” (more)

[Nic Mitchell, University World News, 19 August]

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Karran, Beiter and Mallinson, ‘Academic freedom in contemporary Britain: A cause for concern?’

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 21st, 2021 by steve

Abstract: Using comparable legal information, and empirical data from over 2000 members of the UK’s University and College Union and 2000 staff in universities of the European states, gathered by means of similar surveys, this paper is a comparative assessment of the de jure protection for, and the de facto levels of, academic freedom enjoyed by academic staff in the UK, when compared to their EU counterparts. The paper examines the legal and constitutional protection for academic freedom and the current levels of, and changes to, the two substantive elements (freedom to teach and freedom to research) and three supportive components (autonomy, governance and tenure) of academic freedom. The study reveals that UK academic staff believe that there is a low level of protection for academic freedom and that it has declined, both in general, and with respect to the two substantive elements and three supportive components of academic freedom. Similar trends are evident in the EU states, but statistical tests reveal that for every measure utilised, the decline in academic freedom is significantly greater in the UK than in the EU states.

Terence Karran, Klaus D Beiter and Lucy Mallinson, Academic freedom in contemporary Britain: A cause for concern?’, Higher Education Quarterly, https://doi.org/10.1111/hequ.12346. First published: 20 July 2021.

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Brexit and universities – The last pieces of the puzzle

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration, Research, Teaching on July 17th, 2021 by steve

“Five years since the Brexit referendum and more than six months since the final deal between the European Union and the United Kingdom was agreed, the final pieces are falling into place when it comes to cooperation between universities on both sides of the Channel …” (more)

[Thomas Jorgensen, University World News, 15 July]

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Report on European Commission’s Findings on Cassells Expected in Autumn

Posted in Governance and administration on July 14th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has said that he expects to publish a report on the European Commission’s analysis on the Cassells report this autumn. The report, which sets out three options for the future funding of Ireland’s higher education sector, was sent to the European Commission in January 2019, when the government applied for economic advice on the report …” (more)

[Emer Moreau, University Times, 13 July]

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Ireland punches above its weight for innovation and third-level education

Posted in Research on June 24th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Ireland is punching far above its weight when it comes to innovation and third-level education, outperforming the EU average, according to the European Commission’s latest findings. Innovation is broadly defined as developing new methods, ideas, and products to advance civilisation. Examples include researching and developing products all the way to market in fields such as medical devices, an industry in which Ireland has become a global player …” (more)

[Pádraig Hoare, Irish Examiner, 22 June]

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European Commission drops plan to ban UK from science projects

Posted in Research on June 8th, 2021 by steve

“The European Commission has dropped plans for a blanket ban on UK involvement in EU research on space projects and supercomputers after a backlash from member states and leading scientists. Thierry Breton, the former French finance minister who is now the EU internal market commissioner, had claimed the EU needed to keep control of intellectual property and that the UK’s involvement was an unacceptable security risk …” (more)

[Daniel Boffey, Guardian, 7 June]

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Students call for end to highest fees in EU

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

Ireland“NUI Galway Students’ Union has joined students across the country in calling for an end to the extortionate €3,000 Student Contribution Fee. The fee means students in the Republic of Ireland pay the highest undergraduate fees in the European Union …” (more)

[Michael Malone, Galway Daily, 3 June]

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Irish third level sector needs ‘significant funding’ to capitalise on Brexit

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 1st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Third level institutions will find it difficult to cater to the demand from Erasmus students who are opting to study in Ireland instead of the UK due to Brexit, the Seanad Special Select Committee on the Withdrawal of the UK from the EU has heard …” (more)

[Aine Kenny, Irish Times, 31 May]

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‘Lion’s Share’ of Additional College Applicants Coming from the EU, Says CAO Chair

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 1st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The ‘lion’s share’ of this year’s 7,000 additional CAO applicants are coming from the EU, according to Prof Pól Ó Dochartaigh, the chair of the CAO. Approximately 5,000 of the additional applications have come from the EU. The increases may be related to Brexit, as the UK, in comparison, has seen a major drop in EU applicants …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 31 May]

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End Israeli access to Horizon and billions in EU funding – Rose Conway-Walsh TD

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

Ireland“Sinn Féin spokesperson on Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Rose Conway-Walsh TD, has said there is a ‘window of opportunity’ to use the powerful lever of Horizon funding to pressurise Israel to end its apartheid regime. Teachta Conway-Walsh said …” (more)

[Sinn Féin, 26 May]

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Education Policy – Funding

Posted in Governance and administration on May 24th, 2021 by steve

IrelandCathal Crowe (Clare, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of progress of the Cassells report with input from the European Commission; when the report will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 20 May]

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Minister Harris meets European Commissioner Gabriel to discuss Education, Innovation and Research

Posted in Governance and administration on May 20th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris has today (Wednesday, 19 May 2021) met with European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel. The meeting focused on Ireland’s plans for a new national Strategy for Research and Innovation, and an expansion of the European Universities Initiative …” (more)

[gov.ie, 19 May]

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Student surge puts focus on funding

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on May 17th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The annual jamboree-cum-auction around third-level places is underway and a combination of the pandemic and Brexit has moved the goalposts spectacularly. A 31% increase in overseas applications, most of them from the EU means an extra 4,500 suitors for a place at an Irish college. That may not translate into students, as EU applicants’ final enrolment rate is generally below 50% …” (more)

[Irish Examiner, 16 May]

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International Student Exchange Will Be ‘More Inclusive’ Than Erasmus

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 8th, 2021 by steve

“A new international student exchange scheme will provide more opportunities for US students and be more inclusive than its predecessor, according to the UK’s universities minister. The EU’s long-running Erasmus program gave students the chance to study abroad, as well as running an exchange scheme for staff …” (more)

[Nick Morrison, Forbes, 7 May]

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A Career for EU: Minister Byrne launches Ireland’s new EU careers strategy

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

Ireland“On Thursday 6 May, Minister of State for European Affairs, Thomas Byrne TD launches ‘A Career for EU’, Ireland’s Strategy to increase Irish representation in the European Union’s Institutions and Agencies. The new strategy aims to significantly increase the numbers of Irish officials in both permanent and temporary positions within the EU Institutions, to increase the number of Irish people applying for jobs in the EU institutions, while improving awareness of EU careers in Ireland across all sectors …” (more)

[MerrionStreet.ie, 6 May]

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Ireland to push graduates towards EU jobs to combat ‘demographic cliff’

Posted in Governance and administration on May 3rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Government is set to launch plans to increase the number of Irish people being hired into the European Unions institutions amid concerns of a waning Irish influence and presence in powerful roles. The Government has drawn up the strategy in response to what is described as an impending ‘huge demographic cliff’, with many senior Irish figures in EU institutions about to retire …” (more)

[Naomi O’Leary, Irish Times, 3 May]

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Irish students in the EU

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on April 30th, 2021 by steve

IrelandSeán Canney (Galway East, Independent): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will consider amending the Student Support Act 2011 to support Irish students studying within the EU who would qualify for SUSI support if they were studying in Ireland; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that third-level education fees are lower in most other EU states than they are in Ireland; the estimated cost of such a change; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 28 April]

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Universities call on EU not to restrict Horizon access

Posted in Research on April 26th, 2021 by steve

“Research-intensive university groups representing 77 universities across Europe have signed a joint statement urging the European Union not to restrict access for associated countries, such as the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Israel, to parts of its multi-billion-euro Horizon Europe research programme, including those covering space and quantum projects …” (more)

[Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 23 April]

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Startling fall in EU applications to study in the UK

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on April 15th, 2021 by steve

“Applications from the United Kingdom’s number one overseas student market have plummeted by 40% for undergraduate courses starting in 2021-22, but it is Brexit and not COVID-19 that is to blame for the fall …” (more)

[Nic Mitchell, University World News, 14 April]

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Irish Erasmus students to have hotel quarantine paid for by State

Posted in Governance and administration on April 13th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“About 500 Irish college students studying in EU countries which have been added to the mandatory hotel quarantine list are set to have their accommodation paid for by the State under new plans. The move to add five EU member states – Austria, Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg – to the quarantine list has sparked alarm within higher education due to the costs facing returning Irish students …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 12 April]

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