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]


Call for papers: inequalities of access to higher education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on July 27th, 2015 by steve

France“Sciences Po – LIEPP is organising a conference themed Inequalities of access to higher education: the role of policies, institutions and markets. The conference takes place in Paris, October 8-9, 2015. The conference language is English …” (more)

[Hedda, 27 July]

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Time to challenge the ‘myth of austerity’ – IFUT President, Rose Malone

Posted in Governance and administration on May 9th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“IFUT sees the funding of the universities as a fundamental issue of social justice and educational equity, Rose Malone stated in her Presidential Address to the Conference of the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT), in Dublin …” (more)

[Irish Federation of University Teachers, 9 May]

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Decision to scrap inequality module must be reversed

Posted in Teaching on June 15th, 2014 by steve

“The decision of the Department of Political Science to completely drop a Senior Sophister module on inequality tells us a lot about a number of trends in higher education …” (more)

[Trinity News, 14 June]

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Tuition Fees and Inequality

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 26th, 2014 by steve

Canada“Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: it’s unfair that some people graduate with debt, and others don’t. The ones that do tend to have started off poorer to begin with. And so instead of being a means of social mobility, tuition ends up being a means of perpetuating it …” (more)

[Alex Usher, HESA, 26 May]

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Private school scholarship schemes only point up the crushing inequality in education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on April 22nd, 2014 by steve

“As a retired principal of a second-level DEIS (Delivering Equality In Schools) school serving a designated disadvantaged area, I watch with interest the regular debates about private versus public education …” (more)

[Irish Times, 22 April]

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Third level fees will be a barrier

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on February 10th, 2009 by steve

“The Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe has said third level fees will create equal opportunities for everyone. He is not due to publish a report on the issue until April, yet he seems to already know the answers. As a Leaving Certificate student I fail to see how third level fees will create equal opportunities. Many of my friends will find fees a barrier to the pursuit of their education. Already in Portlaoise, in a county with no third level institution, only 17.5pc of the population have a third level qualification, compared to the national average of 26pc …” (more)

[Bryan Holland, Independent, 10 February]

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