Equitable remuneration for early career researchers welcomed by the IUA as Minister announces €3.2m investment in the IRC

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on January 30th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The IUA welcomes today’s announcement by Minister Simon Harris TD, of an investment of €3.2m in 2021 to address the funding gap for Irish Research Council (IRC) postgraduate students and post-doctoral researchers. IRC postgraduate students will now receive a stipend similar to that offered by other national funders. For IRC postdoctoral researchers, this now brings their salaries in line with those agreed under the National Researcher Career Framework, recently published by the IUA …” (more)

[IUA, 29 January]

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Temporary changes to the Disability Access Route to Education (DARE) makes application process easier to complete for Leaving Cert students facing extended school closures

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 28th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Recognising the difficulty applicants and school staff are facing due to extended periods of secondary school closure, temporary changes have been made to the 2021 DARE process to help students to make their applications. To ensure supporting documentation reaches CAO in time for the March 15th deadline, schools will now be able to electronically sign off students’ supporting documentation …” (more)

[IUA, 27 January]

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IUA Requests Funding Increase for Research and Development among Irish Universities

Posted in Governance and administration, Research on January 25th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“In a recent report conducted by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Ireland was ranked 23rd out of 37 OECD countries in relation to research spending in 2018, a drastic drop of nine places since 2008. As a result, the Irish Universities Association (IUA) called for ‘a step change’ in R&D investment …” (more)

[Mollie Downes, College Tribune, 25 January]

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Access to Higher Education: DARE

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 23rd, 2021 by steve

IrelandAodhán Ó Ríordáin (Dublin Bay North, Labour): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to delays in some schools in completing school-based attainment testing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which have led to a concern among parents that testing will not take place in time to apply for the disability access route to education, DARE, programme; and if he will extend the DARE deadline from 1 March 2021 to prevent the exclusion of candidates who might otherwise qualify …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 21 January]

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IUA universities account for four-fifths of higher ed research spend

Posted in Research on January 21st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The IUA welcomes the publication of the Higher Education Research & Development Survey (HERD) by the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar TD. This latest HERD survey clearly shows the need for a step change in research and innovation investment in Ireland given the fall in our research spend rankings from 14th to 23rd place in the OECD list …” (more)

[IUA, 20 January]

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PhD rights have been ignored in new employment framework, says SIPTU

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

Ireland“Conditions for postgradaute researchers are not addressed in the new career framework for researchers, according to SIPTU. The Researcher Career Development and Employment Framework (RCF) was published by the Irish Universities Association (IUA) earlier this month. It states ‘the PhD stage is not included in the grading and salary structure set out in this Framework as it is not typically a salaried employment’ …” (more)

[Maria Dealney, Noteworthy, 29 December]

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The IUA say student experience is a priority for universities in semester two

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

Ireland“In a statement, the Irish Universities Association (IUA) said that universities are conscious of the uncertainty students are facing and have therefore planned to begin semester two of the academic year predominantly online. This has been done to provide students with more certainty in the coming months but according to the IUA, ‘the ambition is to increase in person teaching and face-to-face activities on campus should evolving public health guidelines permit it’ …” (more)

[Aoibhín Meghen, The College View, 9 December]

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Local UCD student says move to online learning has affected the mental wellbeing of students

Posted in Life on December 5th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A local UCD student says the move to online learning has affected the mental wellbeing of students. Over 70% of college students want more on-campus learning, according to a survey by the Irish Universities Association …” (more)

[Northern Sound, 3 December]

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Demand for mental health support doubles in some universities

Posted in Governance and administration on December 5th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Demand for mental health support in some universities has doubled as students struggle with isolation and the shift to online learning. Dr Patrick Prendergast, Provost of Trinity College Dublin, told an Oireachtas education committee on Thursday that a lack of personal contact with other students was affecting the mental health and wellbeing of many students …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 3 December]

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Universities face funding gap of up to €200m due to pandemic

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

Ireland“Irish universities could be facing a deficit of up to €200m due to the ongoing pandemic in the event of a ‘worst-case scenario’, higher education representatives have warned. Even taking on board positive forecasts for 2021, universities are still estimated to be facing a combined deficit of at least €102m between this academic year and the last, according to the Irish Universities Association (IUA) …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 3 December]

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Universities facing €102m deficit, committee hears

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

Ireland“The country’s seven universities will run an estimated combined deficit of €102 million between last year and this year, the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education has heard. The Provost of Trinity College, Dr Patrick Prendergast, told politicians that the Covid-19 crisis has had a severe impact on an already seriously underfunded sector …” (more)

[Emma O Kelly, RTÉ News, 3 November]

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Covid 19: Universities warn of ‘devastating’ financial losses this year

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

Ireland“Universities are due to run a combined deficit of more than €100 million this year due to a ‘devastating’ drop-off in commercial income and vacant student accommodation. The Irish Universities Association will the Oireachtas education committee on Thursday that emergency funding will be needed next year to cover unavoidable losses in the sector …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 2 December]

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Priority for universities for the next term is the safety of staff and students and maximising the student experience

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on November 27th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“As the country prepares to adapt to further changes in the public health guidelines, the universities represented by the IUA are now completing the process of communicating with their staff and students on plans for the next semester …” (more)

[IUA, 27 November]

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Education around consent should be a requirement, not an option in third level institutions – Harris

Posted in Governance and administration on November 26th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A survey is set to be carried out into harassment, sexual harassment and bullying in the country’s higher education institutions. The survey, which will look into harassment and bullying of both staff and students, was confirmed by Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris …” (more)

[Michelle McGlynn, Irish Examiner, 26 November]

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Uni Life: Charleville student shines in new college TV series

Posted in Life on October 27th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A young woman from the Traveller community in Cork who is the first in her family to progress to third-level education features in a new documentary about access to higher education …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 27 October]

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Universities face stronger governance and accountability requirements

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

Ireland“Stronger governance and accountability measures for third-level institutions will be contained in new legislation to be published next year, Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has said. Speaking at a conference organised by the Irish Universities Association (IUA), he said the agility and flexibility of colleges were key strengths, and this required an appropriate level of autonomy …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 23 October]

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Higher Education Minister Simon Harris promises more freedom for universities

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

Ireland“Higher Education Minister Simon Harris says he wants to give universities more freedom over their affairs but that it must go hand in hand with greater accountability. It was one of the themes in his first major policy speech since taking on the role of leading the first full government department with responsibility for higher education …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 23 October]

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Some positives for higher education in Budget 2021 but many missed opportunities

Posted in Governance and administration on October 14th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The provision of €50m extra supports for students and the confirmation of ongoing funding for the extra 5,000 places in higher education in addition to further demographically-driven places next year are welcome features of Budget 2021 …” (more)

[IUA, 13 October]

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Third-Level Stakeholders Express Disappointment Over Budget 2021

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on October 14th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A number of third-level stakeholders have expressed disappointment over Budget 2021, which was announced earlier today. Some €3.3 billion was allocated to the Department of Further and Higher Education under Budget 2021 – up from €2.8 billion last year – which includes a €50 million fund to assist third-level students experiencing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic …” (more)

[Molly Furey, University Times, 13 October]

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A Baffling Budget Dashes Hopes for Dramatic Change in Higher Education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on October 14th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“In June, a new dawn broke for universities. They finally had a government department for themselves – a seat at the cabinet table – and a real chance of concrete reform for the sector. And, on the whole, summer had been a hopeful time for the sector. Higher Education Minister Simon Harris had proven an energetic figure, indicating that he felt higher education needed to be rejigged – and that funding was a priority …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 13 October]

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