HEA Welcomes Publication of Report of Athena SWAN Charter (UK) Independent Review Steering Group

Posted in Governance and administration on March 24th, 2020 by steve

“The Higher Education Authority (HEA) welcomes The Future of Athena SWAN, the report of the Athena SWAN Charter (UK) Independent Review Steering Group published this week. The report is the result of an independent review of the Athena SWAN Charter in the United Kingdom, led by Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, Vice-Chancellor and President of Brunel University London …” (more)

[Maura O’Shea, HEA, 24 March]

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Ministers McHugh, Bruton and Mitchell O’Connor announce €3 million fund to improve energy efficiency in higher education sector

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

“The Government has today (Monday 9 March 2020) announced a €3 million pilot programme to improve energy efficiency and support decarbonisation in higher education institutions as part of targets in the Climate Action Plan. The programme is co-funded by the Department of Education and Skills and Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) under Project Ireland 2040, and administered through the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and Higher Education Authority (HEA) …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 9 March]

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IUA Statement: Universities coordinate contingency planning for dealing with spread of Coronavirus

Posted in Governance and administration on March 11th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The seven universities represented by the IUA are implementing risk mitigation measures across our campuses and are developing detailed contingency plans to respond to the evolving Coronavirus crisis. Our absolute priority is to protect the health and well-being of our staff, students and visitors …” (more)

[IUA, 11 December]

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COVID-19 (coronavirus) Update

Posted in Governance and administration on March 11th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Ireland remains in the Containment Phase regarding the COVID-19 (coronavirus) and all necessary measures, based on public health advice, should continue to be implemented. It is advisable that higher education institutions are appropriately prepared for any incidents which might arise and are ready to take appropriate measures, as required …” (more)

[Maura O’Shea, HEA, 10 March]

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Invitation to Make a Submission to Public Consultation on Mature Student Participation in Higher Education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 27th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Indecon International Consultants have been appointed by the HEA to undertake research on the issues and challenges associated with first-time mature student participation in higher education and to make recommendations for how access to, and participation in, higher education by mature students can be supported in the future. The full terms of reference can be downloaded here …” (more)

[Mari Tighe, Higher Education Authority, 27 February]

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Our university promotions system is designed by men for men

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

Ireland“The purpose of the 20 posts approved under the Senior Academic Leadership Initiative created by Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor was to improve the representation of women in senior positions in the Irish higher educational system …” (more)

[Pat O’Connor, Irish Times, 18 February]

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Students’ welfare is at risk as funding cuts of €550m bite

Posted in Governance and administration on February 10th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Student welfare services in third-level colleges are “overburdened” as a result of Government cuts to funding and day-to-day running costs, now €550m less than in 2007. The strain is among concerns raised at recent meetings of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) about how long the system has to wait before the funding issue will be sorted …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 10 February]

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Trinity Plans €29m Recruitment Drive to Reduce Student-Staff Ratio

Posted in Governance and administration on January 29th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Trinity could spend €29 million to recruit 263 new academic staff members over the next five years, The University Times has learned, as part of an ambitious plan to bring its staff–student ratio in line with other major European universities and arrest a series of rankings slides …” (more)

[Emer Moreau, University Times, 29 January]

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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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