Budget 2021 Betrays a Lack of Vision for Third-Level Sector

Posted in Governance and administration on October 19th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The creation of a dedicated Department for Higher Education earlier this year was met with much fanfare by those in the sector who had been advocating for such a move for years. The existence of the dedicated department has already proven useful, with the Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris already providing increased third-level spaces to deal with the inflated leaving certificate grades and promising to prioritise hot-topic issues such as on-campus sexual assault …” (more)

[University Times, 18 October]

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TD raises fresh concerns over future strategy for Mayo third level facility

Posted in Governance and administration on October 18th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Further answers sought on the ring-fenced funding committed to Mayo GMIT Campus and filling of permanent vice-president role at Castlebar centre. A Mayo TD has sought clarity on the recent correspondence issued to staff working in the Department of Business, Humanities and Technology at the GMIT Mayo Campus in respect of the closure of the facility’s business school …” (more)

[Connaught Telegraph, 18 October]

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Minister Harris announces targeted funding of €47 million for researchers affected by COVID-19

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

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, has today (12 October 2020) confirmed that €47 million will be provided to support contract researchers and research students whose work has been seriously disrupted by the pandemic …” (more)

[DFHERIS, 12 October]

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The First 100 Days of the Department of Further and Higher Education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on October 11th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“For many years now, much-needed reform has been found wanting within Irelands higher education system. Students, whose numbers have increased rapidly over recent decades are now paying the second-highest undergraduate fees in Europe. At the same time, government funding has failed to keep up with this rise in demand …” (more)

[Stephen Kennedy, College Tribune, 10 October]

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‘Broadband has to be a priority’: CIT president says everyone must be able to learn from home

Posted in Teaching on October 9th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) president Dr Barry O’Connor wants progress on the National Broadband Plan to ensure that students and lecturers in rural areas can participate in e-learning and can access online resources. Dr O’Connor praised the Department of Education and the Higher Education Authority (HEA) for providing funding to combat the pandemic and support learning during the lockdown …” (more)

[Darragh Bermingham, EchoLive, 8 October]

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Statement from the Minister for Education Norma Foley TD and the Department of Education and Skills regarding Leaving Certificate 2020 Calculated Grades Process

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on October 4th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD has updated Leaving Certificate 2020 students on matters relating to the corrected, higher Calculated Grades which are to issue to some students. The Department of Education and Skills will re-open the student Calculated Grades portal at 6pm today, Saturday 3 October, and all students who are due to receive corrected, higher grades, will be able to access their results …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 3 October]

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Minister Harris welcomes historic €1 billion in funding from Horizon 2020

Posted in Research on September 29th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Ireland has reached the momentous milestone of having won just over €1 billion to date from the current European Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020. Horizon 2020 began in 2014 and will conclude in the main at the end of this year, with the launch of the next Framework Programme, Horizon Europe in 2021 …” (more)

[DFHERIS, 28 September]

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Former GMIT President claims he was lobbied by Fine Gael Ministers

Posted in Governance and administration on September 28th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Former president of GMIT – Dr Fergal Barry – has claimed he was lobbied by former Fine Gael Ministers Mary Mitchell O’ Connor and Michael Ring over a job at the college. According to the Sunday Times, he’s written to the Department of Further and Higher Education outlining the alleged canvassing by both Ministers on behalf of a candidate …” (more)

[Galway Bay FM, 27 September]

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Minister Simon Harris welcomes enhanced measures in Higher and Further Education Institutions

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on September 19th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD, has today (Friday) welcomed the initiation of enhanced measures by the higher and further education sectors in light of heightened COVID-19 restrictions in Dublin, saying …” (more)

[gov.ie, 18 September]

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Dublin universities introduce enhanced measures in response to increased Covid-19 incidence

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on September 18th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The universities in Dublin have agreed a set of enhanced measures in response to a request from government / NPHET to deal with the rising incidence of Covid-19 in the county. All universities already have detailed plans in place for the safe re-opening of campus over the next two weeks. Arising from the request from government, Dublin universities have made further provisions as follows …” (more)

[IUA, 18 September]

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Public Service Stability Agreement 2013-2020 and the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017 – Application of revised rates of salary with effect from 1 October 2020

Posted in Governance and administration on September 17th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education and Skills and the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science wishes to inform of the application of revised rates of salary with effect from 1 October 2020 …” (more)

[DES, 16 September]

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The Education Departments Were Uncoordinated Last Week. Best Not Let it Fester

Posted in Governance and administration on September 7th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“No one said a Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael coalition was going to be easy. Two rival parties, so used to maligning each other over the past century, now must work together – and so far things have not been running smoothly. Last week, we saw how the current fissure could hurt the third-level sector …” (more)

[University Times, 6 September]

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Higher Ed Department Angling to Increase High-Points Course Capacity

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 29th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris is preparing a plan to increase the number of places in high-demand courses in an effort to ease pressure on college applicants, the Irish Times reported today …” (more)

[Sárán Fogarty, University Times, 28 August]

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English language schools should suspend recruitment, Department says

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 28th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“English language schools should suspend the recruitment of international students until 2021, the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science has recommended. In a three-page letter sent to language school representative groups as part of talks regarding the sector’s reopening, the Department said it would welcome ‘a voluntary moratorium’ which would put a stop to the enrolling of new international students to English language schools in Ireland …” (more)

[Jessica Doyle, Irish Times, 28 August]

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Dept of Higher Education: What’s been done so far?

Posted in Governance and administration on August 21st, 2020 by steve

Ireland“At the end of June, Fine Gael’s Simon Harris, who previously served as Minister for Health, was appointed Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science with the separate department for Further and Higher Education created alongside his appointment …” (more)

[Brigid Molloy, College Tribune, 21 August]

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‘Implementation Guidelines for Public Health Measures in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)’

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on August 6th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business, combined with the HSA Return to Work Protocols and ongoing public health advice provide the over-arching framework for all parts of society to reopen facilities and premises. The government has also published Guidance for Further and Higher Education for returning to on-site activity in autumn 2020. That Guidance provides for further ‘context-specific measures approved by government within public health guidelines’ …” (more)

[FHERIS, 6 August]

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Statement on Procurement Process from the Department of Education and Skills and Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science

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

Ireland“On 14 June the Department of Education and Skills published a Request for Information (RFI) to identify PPE, Consumables and Equipment Suppliers to support the education sector. This procurement has been managed as a negotiated procedure …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 30 July]

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UCD Expects One Metre Distancing On Campus, Against Government Guidance

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on July 30th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“University College Dublin (UCD) is still working under the expectation of 1-metre physical distance measures on campus in the upcoming Trimester, despite recent guidance from government suggesting a 2-metre distance. Sources have told The College Tribune that the University expects an announcement from the government shortly which would allow a reduction in physical distancing from 2-metres to 1-metre, in cases where students wear face masks, which will be mandatory for students on UCD campus …” (more)

[Nessa Collins, College Tribune, 30 July]

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A Month Since its Creation, the Higher Education Dept is Proving its Worth

Posted in Governance and administration on July 27th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“If higher education’s stakeholders had been told a few months that the government would go on to announce a €168 million package for third-level institutions to support them through the pandemic, they probably would have had a hard time believing it …” (more)

[University Times, 26 July]

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Ministers and Secretaries and Ministerial, Parliamentary, Judicial and Court Offices (Amendment) Bill 2020: Second Stage

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 25th, 2020 by steve

IrelandSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael): I move: ‘That the Bill be now read a Second Time’. It is a great pleasure to present to the House the Ministers and Secretaries and Ministerial, Parliamentary, Judicial and Court Offices (Amendment) Bill 2020, which passed all Stages in the Seanad yesterday. This Bill establishes, for the first time in the history of the State, a Department focused on further and higher education, research, innovation and science. We will now have a Department whose chief remit will be the further and higher education needs of our economy and our people …” (debate, resumed debate)

[Dáil debates, 24 July]

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