Boys, not girls, benefit from unconscious bias in maths

Posted in Research, Teaching on December 21st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“In its recent report on the Leaving Certificate results and the standardisation process undertaken, the State Examinations Commission highlights unconscious bias favouring female students …” (more)

[Selina McCoy, Delma Byrne and Pat O’Connor, Irish Times, 21 December]

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Research-intensive universities have a gender problem

Posted in Governance and administration on November 30th, 2021 by steve

International“Female enrolment in higher education globally has grown tremendously in recent decades. However, the latest gender analysis by U-Multirank confirms that more work still needs to be done to close the gender gap in academic careers …” (more)

[Gero Federkeil, University World News, 27 November]

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Great News for Astrophysics & Cosmology at Maynooth!

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

Ireland“Great News for Astrophysics & Cosmology at Maynooth! I couldn’t resist a quick post in reaction to the announcement by the Irish Government of ten new senior professorial positions under the Strategic Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI). I blogged about this scheme here. Among the positions just announced is a new Chair in Observational Astrophysics or Cosmology at Maynooth University …” (more)

[In the Dark, 29 November]

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Minister approves 10 more academic positions in gender equality initiative

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

Ireland“The Minister for Further and Higher Education has approved 10 more positions at senior academic level in higher education under an initiative to progress gender equality in academia. Simon Harris’s announcement on Monday was made under the Senior Academic Leadership Initiative (Sali) …” (more)

[Mary Carolan, Irish Times, 29 November]

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Time to de-gender Stem subject choices in Irish schools

Posted in Research on October 27th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The I Wish’s 2021 Survey of Female Students’ Attitudes to Stem found that 55% of girls interested in engineering did not have access to the subject and 77% are not confident in their ability to do Stem. The study concluded it is time to rethink how Stem subjects are presented in schools with over three-quarters (78%) of teenage girls saying lack of choices is a barrier to a career in Stem …” (more)

[Irish Times, 27 October]

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The disappearance of women researchers in times of pandemic

Posted in Research on October 20th, 2021 by steve

International“When an article is published in a scientific journal, three authorship positions indicate who the study’s principal researchers are: first author, last author and corresponding author. These positions are used for decision-making, particularly in the evaluation of scientific careers and the awarding of possible promotions. Previous studies have shown that women less frequently occupy these authorship positions than men do, especially as last authors, a position reserved to senior scientists …” (more)

[AlphaGalileo, 20 October]

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Horizon Funding and Gender Equality Plans

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

Ireland“Higher education institutions applying for Horizon Funding will be required to have Gender Equality Plans in place for proposals with deadlines in 2022 onwards. All organisations applying for Horizon Europe funding must submit a self-declaration at the proposal stage, through a specific questionnaire confirming they have a Gender Equality Plan (GEP) in place …” (more)

[Maura O’Shea, HEA, 14 October]

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Study reveals 83% of girls fear gender inequality in science and tech careers

Posted in Life on October 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A lack of subject choices in school is a clear barrier to pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering and maths, according to four in five (78%) of girls surveyed. And a remarkable 83% of Irish teenage girls also warned there is a widespread perception of a lack of gender equality in the STEM careers area …” (more)

[Ralph Riegel, Independent, 8 October]

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Female graduates expect to earn less than men

Posted in Research on September 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Women graduates expect to be paid up to 14% less than men, despite new legislation that promises to address the gender pay gap. A survey of more than 10,000 third-level students reveals the low expectations of graduates in several disciplines …” (more)

[Independent, 9 September]

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Girls get Leaving Cert results boost from ‘unconscious bias’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 6th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“There is evidence of ‘unconscious bias’ in favour of girls in the estimated marks provided by schools for this year’s Leaving Cert students, according to an official analysis of grades. A report by the State Examinations Commission (SEC) says while female students do better on average than males in exams, the gender gap was wider in school estimates compared to traditional exams …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 6 September]

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Trinity is Dragging its Feet on Proper Gender Recognition

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

Ireland“Transgender people have existed throughout history, and recent advancements in human gender expression have made space for people who are neither male nor female. The general term for this is non binary – that is, not part of the binary gender division …” (more)

[Annie Humphrey, University Times, 18 August]

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Will a woman provost of Trinity College Dublin make any difference?

Posted in Governance and administration on April 15th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“After 429 years, the male dominance of the leadership of Irish universities has been shattered with the election of Linda Doyle as provost of Trinity College. Women now head up four of the 10 universities, or 40%. It is a striking figure when compared with the European average of 14%. This will help break the equation between masculinity and power and it is symbolically important. But will it make a difference? …” (more)

[Pat O’Connor, Irish Times, 15 April]

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Is it time we renamed our degrees?

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

“Do you ever think about why your degree is called a Bachelor’s or a Master’s? Where did these titles come from? Why do university degrees confer such male-orientated titles? How does this make our graduates feel? …” (more)

[Christine Broughan and Tahereh Riahi, Wonkhe, 9 April]


Glass ceiling has finally broken in higher education leadership

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

Ireland“This weekend will mark a momentous occasion in the history of Trinity College Dublin. For the first time in its 429-year history, Ireland’s oldest university will elect a female leader. The appointment of a new, female provost reflects a welcome trend in higher education leadership, with four of the last seven presidential appointments in Irish colleges being women …” (more)

[Ross Woods, Irish Times, 6 April]

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Are we asking the right questions about gender equality in higher education?

Posted in Governance and administration on April 2nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“In Ireland for the first time, after 429 years, the male dominance of the Presidency of Irish public universities has been shattered. Women have been appointed to head up four of the 10 public universities (University of Limerick – Prof Kerstin Mey; Munster Technological University, Prof Maggie Cusack; Maynooth University, Prof Eeva Leoinen; and one of the three women in contention in Trinity College Dublin) …” (more)

[Pat O’Connor, Irish Examiner, 28 March]

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Leaders of Irish Universities Are No Longer Only Men

Posted in Governance and administration on April 2nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Until last summer, no Irish university had been led by a woman. Next week, four of 10 universities will be led by women. The election of Trinity College Dublin’s first female provost will cap a remarkable 12 months for Ireland’s traditionally male-dominated higher education leadership, with almost half of the country’s universities soon to be led by women. Until last summer none of Ireland’s universities had ever appointed a female president, but that 428-year tradition of male leadership was brought to an end last July …” (more)

[Jack Grove, Inside Higher Ed, 2 April]


If Academia is a Meritocratic Endeavour, Then Where Are All The Women?

Posted in Governance and administration on March 18th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“I was genuinely excited when I got my timetable this term, because it looked like one of my lecturers might be a woman. I had never had a female lecturer in that subject before. In fact, I had never had a female lecturer in most subjects before. When it turned out that the timetable was wrong and that all of my lecturers for this term are men, I was disappointed – but only mutedly so …” (more)

[Megan O’Driscoll, University Times, 17 March]

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Improvements to Gender Balance in Universities Must Happen Across the Board

Posted in Governance and administration on March 15th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“his week, Maynooth University announced that Prof Eeva Leinonen will begin her term as president of the college next October, making her the third-ever female president of an Irish university. Despite its considerable importance in the context of higher education, it obtained comparatively little media attention. This Editorial Board previously wrote that the University of Limerick’s appointment of a female interim president was a step in the right direction, but would not ‘shatter the glass ceiling’ …” (more)

[University Times, 14 March]


Minister Harris launches National Gender Equality resource for Higher Education Institutions

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

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today marked International Women’s Day by launching the National Gender Equality Dashboard for Higher Education Institutions. The dashboard, developed by Maynooth University, provides an invaluable resource on gender equality in Higher Education Institutions …” (more)

[, 8 March]

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Gender bias and predicted grades

Posted in Teaching on March 2nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – A decision has been made to use predicted grades again for the 2021 Leaving Certificate, as well as optional actual exams. When teachers and schools are predicting the grades of their students, they should be aware that in 2020 there was a bias in favour of female students and against male students. How do I know there was bias against males? The Department of Education report on the predicted grades in 2020 says so and has some interesting data to illustrate it …” (more)

[Oliver Murphy, Irish Times, 2 March]

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