Appointment of new CEO by the Higher Education Authority

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

Ireland“The Board of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) met yesterday and approved the appointment of Dr Alan Wall as CEO of the HEA following an open competition managed by the Public Appointments Service …” (more)

[Maura O’Shea, HEA, 20 August]

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Grade inflation is soaring: Are degrees losing all meaning?

Posted in Teaching on August 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“First-class honours and 2.1 grades have increased significantly in most Irish universities, institutes of technology and colleges over the last ten years, an analysis by Noteworthy.ie has found. The upward trend has led academics and recruiters to warn that third-level degrees are becoming ubiquitous, with employers struggling to differentiate one first-class honours or 2.1 degree from another in their search for top talent, and extracurricular activities and work experience becoming increasingly important for students …” (more)

[TheJournal.ie, 13 August]

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Universities Round on Joe McHugh After Government Fee Promise

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 12th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Irish universities have rounded on Minister for Education Joe McHugh after he pledged not to increase student fees in the next five years, calling for ‘positive solutions on funding’ from the government. In a statement released this afternoon, the Irish Universities Association (IUA) said that McHugh’s promise not to increase fees beyond €3,000, made in an interview with the Sunday Independent, ‘tells us what the Minister will not do’ …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee, University Times, 12 August]

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Editorial: ‘Vow on college fees welcome but plans for funding needed’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 12th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Going to college is expensive so Education Minister Joe McHugh’s promise to freeze fees for the next five years will be welcomed by students and their parents. A similar promise has already been made by Fianna Fáil so we can be reasonably sure that fee rises won’t happen for the foreseeable future …” (more)

[Independent, 12 August]

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Minister McHugh announces Capital Investment of €1.8m for Letterkenny IT School of Tourism in Killybegs

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

Ireland“Investment at campus under Project Ireland 2040 for lecture space, library, offices and upgrade works. The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD has today (Sunday August 11) announced funding of €1.8m towards significant building upgrades at the School of Tourism at Letterkenny IT (LYIT) Killybegs Campus …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 11 August]

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Provost: New Government Oversight a ‘Risk’ to University Autonomy

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

Ireland“Provost Patrick Prendergast has warned that new government legislation on higher education could jeopardise the autonomy of universities – a move he said could ‘damage’ the sector. In an interview with the Irish Times during a recent trip to Africa, Prendergast said universities highly value their independence …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee, University Times, 6 August]

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Department reluctant to cede power over higher education

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

Ireland“Born on the eve of 1971, myself and the Higher Education Authority (HEA) Act are the same age. In the near five decades since, I have lost most of my hair, my waist has thickened, and I sometimes forget things. But I have reinvented myself many times, investing in my education and skills, moving from private to not-for-profit to public sector …” (more)

[Graham Love, Irish Times, 6 August]

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Department ‘ignored’ advice on third-level education

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

Ireland“The Government is taking over too much control of the third-level education system and is frequently ignoring the expertise of State advisory bodies, according to the former chief executive of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien and Bill Corcoran, Irish Times, 6 August]

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Third level reforms will have ‘no implications’ for academic freedom

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 25th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Department of Education has insisted that plans for sweeping reforms to the regulation of third level institution will not undermine the autonomy of universities. Minister of State for higher education Mary Mitchell O’Connor has published detailed legislative proposals for the reform of the 50-year-old Higher Education Authority Act …” (more)

[Irish Times, 25 July]

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HEA welcomes the announcement by Minister Mitchell O’Connor in relation to reform of the HEA Act, 1971

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 25th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Higher Education Authority (HEA) welcomes the announcement by the Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, of the latest steps towards reform of legislation governing the HEA and its oversight of the higher education and research system …” (more)

[Malcolm Byrne, HEA, 25 July]

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Third-level institutions guilty of misconduct or poor performance risk funding

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 25th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Third-level institutions guilty of misconduct or poor performance could see grants withheld under the first proposed changes to the current legislation in almost 50 years. In an effort to reform the powers of the Higher Education Authority (HEA), the proposed legislation could see the introduction of a range of sanctions and penalties for higher-level institutes in a bid to secure public accountability …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 25 July]

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Minister Mitchell O’Connor publishes and invites views on detailed legislative proposals and consultation report on reform of regulation of higher education

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 24th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Comprehensive reform of Higher Education Act, 1971 agreed by Government. Priority objectives under the proposed new legislation include: promote and safeguard the interests of students; maintain and enhance the reputation of the higher education sector; re-constitute Higher Education Authority (HEA) as Higher Education Commission with new statutory responsibilities, including regulation and oversight of private higher education bodies …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 24 July]

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Women-only professorships

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

Ireland“Sir, – In their analysis of the Senior Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI), Muireann Lynch and Selina McCoy urge consideration of its ‘unintended consequences’ (‘Will female-only professorships make the difference?’, Opinion and Analysis, July 15th). One such consequence, they argue, is that ‘professors generally do less teaching than lecturers, so the visibility of women to students may best be improved by gender balance at all levels’ …” (more)

[Niall Madden, Irish Times, 24 July]

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Munster tech university deferred amid financial concerns and ‘lack of clear vision and strategy’

Posted in Governance and administration on July 23rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A decision on the long-awaited Munster Technological University, has been set back to early 2020 amid financial concerns and a ‘lack of clear vision and strategy’. A bid by Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and the Institute of Technology Tralee (ITT) seeking to become Munster’s first technological university ‘leaves questions unanswered regarding the specifics of how the two applicant institutions are to become one’, an independent review has found …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 23 July]

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A report on the proposed merger of Cork IT and IT Tralee found financial concerns and ‘a lack of clear vision’

Posted in Governance and administration on July 22nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The creation of a Munster Technological University has been postponed until 2020, amid concerns over the debts of IT Tralee and a ‘lack of clear vision’ for what the new university will look like. An international panel that examined the proposed merger of IT Tralee and Cork IT found a lack of ‘integrated, coherent and effective governance structures’, and said it found ‘questions unanswered’ about ‘how the two applicant institutions are to become one’ …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee, University Times, 22 July]

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Minister for Education and Skills proposes decision on establishment of Munster Technological University in early 2020

Posted in Governance and administration on July 22nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Ministers McHugh and Mitchell O’Connor welcome Report of the Independent Review Panel on Munster Technological University (MTU) Application. Ministers note significant progress made by consortium in meeting eligibility criteria. Establishment of MTU key Government priority to deliver on regional development objectives for South-West region under Project Ireland 2040 …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 22 July]

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The Irish Times view on third-level reform: university autonomy should be protected

Posted in Governance and administration on July 22nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Government plans to introduce greater accountability for the third-level sector, which receives about €1.5 billion in public funding, make sense on the face of it. The Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee has raked over dozens of high-profile examples of inappropriate spending by third-level institutions in recent years …” (more)

[Irish Times, 21 July]

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Tech graduates earn most within five years of college exit

Posted in Life on July 19th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Technology graduates are earning significantly more than other graduates within five years of leaving college, according to major study by the Central Statistics Office. The CSO survey tracked the earnings of hundreds of thousands of graduates who left college between 2012 and 2016 using income recorded through the PAYE system …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 19 July]

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Will new powers to regulate third level erode autonomy of universities?

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 17th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“An ice-sculpture for a €13,000 retirement party. Painted portraits of senior staff commissioned at a cost of €20,000. VIP-style expenses for relocating a staff member including delivery of a fitted kitchen. This is just a selection of examples of mis-spending by some third-level institutions which have been subject to scathing criticism by the Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 17 July]

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Third-level colleges face stringent new penalties for misconduct

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 17th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Third-level colleges face a series of stringent penalties for misconduct including having funding withheld under the biggest shake-up to regulation of higher education in almost 50 years. The measures, to be announced by the Government in the coming days, have sparked controversy within some universities who fear the planned moves will undermine their long-standing autonomy …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 17 July]

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