When it comes to gender inequality in academia, we know more than what can be measured

Posted in Research on January 27th, 2021 by steve

“In academia gender bias is often figured in terms of research productivity and differentials surrounding the academic work of men and women. Alesia Zuccala and Gemma Derrick posit that this outlook inherently ignores a wider set of variables impacting women, and that attempts to achieve cultural change in academia can only be realised, by acknowledging variables that are ultimately difficult to quantify …” (more)

[LSE Impact Blog, 26 January]

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Left-wing parties could sink €100m State subsidy for fee-paying schools

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Fee-paying schools are hoping to bounce back from last year’s hiccup when some of them didn’t get their usual crop of top grades across the board. The vast majority of their Leaving Cert students still went to college. But the performance of these schools was equalled by more non-fee paying schools than usual …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 8 January]

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Leaving Cert calculated grades system may need more homework, college tables show

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on January 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Students from lower- and middle-­income backgrounds scooped up more college places in the autumn after the June 2020 Leaving Cert was replaced by calculated grades. They were buoyed by a big rise in the number of CAO offers made to adjust for the extraordinary circumstances of 2020 when teacher assessments combined with a computer algorithm decided the grades of more than 60,000 candidates …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 8 January]

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Getting into college is only half the story – the course is the other half

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A child’s address not only determines their chances of getting into college, but also the course for which they get an offer. A school-leaver from the most affluent background is nine times more likely to be studying Medicine than someone from the most economically disadvantaged family …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 8 January]


More students from Deis schools progressed to third level in 2020

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Deis-designated schools saw an increase in student progression to third-level education in 2020, but social class remains a significant factor in determining the level of educational attainment achieved by students in Ireland, according to figures compiled by The Irish Times …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 8 January]

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Are private schools at the heart of inequalities in our education system?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on December 18th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“I had a Twitter spat recently with conference organiser, Paddy Cosgrave (a spat that made me realise how much time it is possible to waste arguing with people on that platform), and it was all about private schools. Paddy suggested that abolishing private schools was the first step required if we are to create a truly equitable education system …” (more)

[Tales from Academia, 18 December]

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A new Department of Higher Education risks creating a two-tier education system

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on June 12th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“We need to foreground educational equality in the public debate as we seek to rebuild Ireland. More equal societies invariably do better; now is the time to tackle systemic issues of disadvantage to create a fairer, more inclusive Ireland. Indeed, as part of the social contract, we are obliged to strive for equality and social justice …” (more)

[Niamh O’Reilly, Irish Times, 12 June]


Yet Another Source of Inequality?

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

“It is far too early to know what the long-term social, economic and educational impacts of the current pandemic are. However, some predictions are easier to make than others. One unfortunate but obvious side-effect is the perpetuation and accentuation of inequality. This is obviously true when it comes to schooling …” (more)

[Athene Donald’s Blog, 27 April]

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Coronavirus: Primary school measures are reinforcing inequality, report says

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on April 6th, 2020 by steve

“The coronavirus pandemic is reshaping primary school education, but the impact of the changes is reinforcing social inequalities, according to an emergency report prepared for educational professionals. Not all parents have the skills, time or health to help children with distance learning and not all schools and pupils have the necessary technology to enable such learning either, the researchers say …” (more)

[Sheila Wayman, Irish Times, 6 April]

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A Timely Reminder of Higher Education’s Profound Inequalities

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 9th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“This week’s report in the Irish Times – which found that students from private secondary schools have a significant advantage when it comes to earning places on competitive university courses – should have come as no surprise to anyone. History is loaded with evidence that students from affluent backgrounds have the odds stacked in their favour when it comes to excelling academically …” (more)

[University Times, 8 December]


Colleges grapple with tackling student inequality

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 22nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“There’s no doubt that the data the HEA has complied is extremely valuable. It’s also fascinating. It doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t already know however, it just confirms it. The link between socio-economic status, academic attainment, and future earning levels is deep and enduring …” (more)

[Emma O Kelly, RTÉ News, 21 October]

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Abolishing College Fees Will Do Nothing for Educational Inequality

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 3rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“According to media reports, the Higher Education Authority (HEA) is soon to publish the results of a study on levels of inequality in access to third-level. That students from poorer households are less likely to attend college is not surprising to anyone who has been paying attention in recent decades …” (more)

[Declan Jordan, University Times, 2 October]

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Is it time to fall out of love with universities?

Posted in Governance and administration on December 4th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Universities are booming. In many countries close to half of young people now go on to tertiary education. Others, including Ireland, are at that point or beyond: Ireland now sends approximately 60% of its secondary school leavers to third level. Everywhere, young people, parents, and governments agree that universities are the route to success, and the more of them the better. So a good news story? …” (more)

[Alison Wolf, Irish Times, 4 November]

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The Irish Times view on educational inequality: the classroom divide

Posted in Governance and administration on November 2nd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Nearly 2,000 years ago, Roman emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius observed in his Meditations that ‘poverty is the mother of crime’. Nothing has changed since then. While society penalises criminal behaviour, it has been reluctant to confront its root cause …” (more)

[Irish Times, 2 November]


UNICEF highlights education inequalities among children

Posted in Research on October 30th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Ireland ranks second among the 41 wealthiest countries of the European Union and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development at reducing educational inequality, according to UNICEF. Despite the positive findings, the research ‘An Unfair Start: Inequality in Children’s Education in Rich Countries’ says substantial gaps still exist between the best and worst performing students …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 30 October]

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Gender inequality in Irish universities

Posted in Governance and administration on October 12th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Mary Mitchell O’Connor, the Minister of State with responsibility for higher education, is absolutely right in her reported comments on gender inequality in Irish universities (‘Universities have failed to appoint a female president for 426 years, says Minister of State’, News, October 11th). This is a chronic problem entirely of the universities’ own making …” (more)

[Eunan O’Halpin, Irish Times, 12 October]

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Mind the gap: Tackling the class divide at third level

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 6th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“On paper, at least, the odds were stacked against Weronika Nowak going to university. She arrived to Ireland from Poland at the age of 13 without a word of English. She went to school in Ballyfermot, a disadvantaged area with low progression rates to third level. Her school didn’t offer higher level options in many subjects …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 6 March]

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Away from home

Posted in Life on March 6th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Some 44 years ago I became an undergraduate student at Trinity College Dublin. On my first day as a student, I took a guided tour of the institution organised by the Student Representative Council (as it was then called). I started chatting with two other students …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 5 March]

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Feeder schools list reveals scale of social inequality as pupils from fee-paying schools dominate high-points courses

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 7th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The annual list of feeder schools shows the number of students who are progressing to higher education from individual secondary schools. As a measure of academic performance, it is a blunt instrument …” (more)

[Irish Times, 7 December]

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New figures point to culture of ‘have’ and ‘have not’ in third-level education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 7th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Should the day arrive when attendance at third-level is not quite so easily predicted based on which school a student went to, it may be easier to say with confidence that all children are educated equally in Ireland …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 6 December]