Department of Education clashes with research agency over future direction

Posted in Research on January 20th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Department of Education has clashed with the country’s largest State-funded research agency over how taxpayers’ money should be spent, documents show. Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) has been drawing up a strategy for the years 2020 to 2025 to guide the direction of future investment …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 20 January]

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Over 4,000 Irish students catch the travel bug

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 15th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The number of students studying or doing traineeships abroad is increasing as a growing number of undergraduates see the value of foreign experience. Figures from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) show that the number of students participating in the EU’s Erasmus+ programme has doubled over the past decade …” (more)

[Kim Bielenberg, Independent, 15 January]

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IT Tralee’s planned purchase of technology park stopped on account of financial situation

Posted in Governance and administration on January 3rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“IT Tralee’s planned purchase of a technology park was stopped on account of its financial situation. The information was revealed in documentation sent between the Institute of Technology Tralee and the Higher Education Authority in relation to finances in the third level institute …” (more)

[Radio Kerry News, 3 January]

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HEA says IT Tralee has been running a deficit since 2013

Posted in Governance and administration on December 19th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The HEA says IT Tralee has been running a deficit since 2013. The Higher Education Authority, which leads the strategic development of the higher education and research system, raised the issue of recurring deficits in a letter to the institute in 2015 …” (more)

[Radio Kerry, 19 December]

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‘The impact of Ireland’s new higher education system performance framework on institutional planning towards the related policy objectives’

Posted in Governance and administration on December 18th, 2019 by steve

IrelandAbstract: This research examines the implementation of Ireland’s higher education system performance framework (HESPF), through its first 3-year cycle 2014–2017, in a sample of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). In particular, it examines the extent to which the HESPF aids or inhibits HEI planning towards the related national policy objectives. Integral to the HESPF are performance agreements (PAs) that specify how HEI strategies contribute to national priorities. An exploratory case study design frame is used to address the research question, with cases drawn from small, medium-sized and large institutions. A concurrent triangulation design strategy is deployed with qualitative data drawn from 24 key informants and PAs, and quantitative data elicited from 92 questionnaires. Oliver’s strategic response framework was adapted for deployment in the study. The design of the PAs associated with the HESPF is generally consistent with the core building blocks of PAs internationally. The HESPF is generally considered a good concept that has resulted in constructive relationship building between the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and HEIs.’ Strategic planning capacity building, self-reflection and institutional learning are regarded as strengths of the process. However, it appears that the levers being used by the HEA to bring about performance improvements are having very little behavioural influence. Reputation and a desire to respond to regional and national needs along with global expectations appear to be driving performance. The process is not operating at a sufficiently strategic level and lack of enabling/incentive funding is regarded as a major weakness.

Seamus O Shea and Joe O Hara, The impact of Ireland’s new higher education system performance framework on institutional planning towards the related policy objectives. Higher Education. First Online: 17 December 2019.

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Gender Pay Gap Widens in Years After Graduation, Research Shows

Posted in Research on December 17th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The gender pay gap among third-level graduates widens with time, with men earning an average €14 more per week than women within a year of graduating and €130 more per week after eight years, according to new research from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) …” (more)

[Emer Moreau, University Times, 16 December]

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Graduate gender pay gap widens over time, official figures reveal

Posted in Research on December 16th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A pay gap between male and female graduates opens up within a year of leaving college and widens over time, a study by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) has found. While women outperform men in the Leaving Cert and at third level, pay for men outstrips that of women by, on average, €14 per week within a year of graduating, rising to €130 per week after eight years …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 16 December]

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Ministers McHugh and Mitchell O’Connor announce €10m capital grant scheme for institutes of technology and TU Dublin

Posted in Governance and administration on December 11th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD and the Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD today announced €10 million funding in capital grants for the country’s 11 institutes of technology (IOT) and TU Dublin. The investment is being made under Project Ireland 2040 for the current academic year and the money will be used on small-scale and necessary infrastructure works and improvements …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 11 December]

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Senior academics have little confidence in management of their own colleges – survey

Posted in Governance and administration on November 20th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Senior academics have little confidence in the governance and management capacity of their own higher education institutions, according to a new survey. It also finds many are sceptical over the Government’s ambition to provide the best education system in Europe over the next decade. The findings are contained in a survey of more than 340 senior staff in higher education institutions and agencies by the polling firm Prospectus …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 20 November]

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National programme aims to enhance the digital capacity of university teaching staff to improve the educational experiences and digital skills of Irish university students

Posted in Teaching on November 8th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Universities Association (IUA) today officially launched the Enhancing Digital Capacity in Teaching and Learning in Irish Universities (EDTL) project as the final event of the World Conference on Online Learning. This is an ambitious three-year project, funded by the Higher Education Authority’s Innovation and Transformation Programme …” (more)

[IUA, 7 November]

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IFUT Submission on Proposed Legislative Reform of the Higher Education Authority Act 1971

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on November 8th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Higher Education Commission consultation is a missed opportunity to address all key issues in the sector. The current Government process and consultation aims to update the Higher Education Authority Act, 1971, which sets out the functions of the HEA and provided for its governance. The Act provides for the funding and overall financial monitoring of designated institutions of higher education by the HEA …” (more)

[IFUT, 7 November]

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Trinity Asks Government for Exemption to Higher Education Reforms

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on November 7th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Trinity has appealed for an exemption to controversial government proposals for higher education, asking for time to implement ‘similar reforms’ itself rather than allow the state to make sweeping changes to its governance structures, The University Times has learned …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 6 November]

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Higher Education Institutions – Canteen Facilities

Posted in Governance and administration on November 7th, 2019 by steve

IrelandTony McLoughlin (Sligo-Leitrim, Fine Gael): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his views on the importance of sufficient canteen facilities being made available to third-level students undertaking courses; his further views on whether the service of food is a vital welfare issue for students; if his attention has been drawn to a situation (details supplied); the steps he will take to help resolve same; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 5 November]

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Ministers McHugh and Mitchell O’Connor announce €90m Technological University transformative fund at launch of Technological University Research Network report

Posted in Governance and administration on November 6th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD and Minister of State with responsibility for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD today (6 November 2019) welcomed the report of the TU Research Network (TURN): Connectedness and Collaboration enabled by Connectivity, which was presented to the Department by the TURN high level working group …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 6 November]

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Trinity Rushed Through the Appointment of Top Gender Equality Official

Posted in Governance and administration on November 6th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Trinity rushed through the appointment of a top-ranking officer for gender equality, The University Times has learned, U-turning on an earlier decision not to create the position amid fears that its application for a new government equality initiative would be ‘seriously weakened’ without a senior equality advocate …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee, University Times, 5 November]

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Higher Education System Performance, Institutional and Sectoral Profiles 2016/17 published

Posted in Governance and administration on October 30th, 2019 by steve

IrelandHigher Education System Performance, Institutional and Sectoral Profiles 2016/17 is the seventh in a series of reports from the Higher Education Authority. These profiles, developed in partnership with the Department of Education and Skills and the higher education institutions, have proved invaluable in supporting strategic planning at institutional and system levels. The profiles play an important role in demonstrating the performance of the higher education system to the public and government …” (download)

[David Sheils, HEA, 30 October]

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The two-tier nature of education system

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 28th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The recently published Higher Education Authority (HEA) report on socioeconomic and spatial differences in third-level education (as reported in Carl O’Brien’s article ‘Wealthy students more likely to study high-points courses’, News, October 21st) draws attention to the role that parental income and where you live may play in higher education choices in Ireland. However, a deeper understanding of these relationships is needed …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 28 October]

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Lack of state funding for higher education a major impediment to student access, says IFUT

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on October 24th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The consistent failure of the government to restore funding levels to higher education is a major impediment to access by students from disadvantaged backgrounds, the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) has stated. Responding to new data from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) which found that only 10% of the national student population is from a disadvantaged background …” (more)

[IFUT, 23 October]

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Technological Universities – Athlone IT and Limerick IT

Posted in Governance and administration on October 24th, 2019 by steve

IrelandWillie Penrose (Longford-Westmeath, Labour): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he has received an application from Athlone Institute of Technology and Limerick Institute of Technology to come together to form a new technological university for the region pursuant to the Technological University Act 2018; when a decision will be made thereon; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 22 October]

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The Irish Times view on the class gap at third level: making progress, must do better

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 23rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A new study by the Higher Education Authority shows in stark terms the gap between rich and poor at third level. Students from affluent families are not just more likely to progress on to third level – they also dominate high-points courses and earn more within months of graduation …” (more)

[Irish Times, 22 October]

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