Varadkar rules out ‘significant’ public service pay rise

Posted in Governance and administration on November 23rd, 2020 by steve

“Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar has ruled out significant pay rises for government employees in the next public service agreement. But he described pay inequality for post-2012 recruits as an unfair ‘running sore’, which had never been intended to last forever …” (more)

[Ingrid Miley, RTÉ News, 23 November]

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Third Level Institutions – Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on October 9th, 2020 by steve

IrelandMairead Farrell (Galway West, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Trade, Enterprise and Employment if universities and third level institutions are bound by SI 146 of 2000 Industrial Relations Act 1990 (Code of Practice on Grievance and Disciplinary Procedures); and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 7 October]

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Scientific Research – CERN

Posted in Research on July 16th, 2020 by steve

IrelandColm Burke (Cork North Central, Fine Gael): To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if the application by Ireland to become a full member of CERN will be progressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 14 July]

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College Students Among Worst Hit From Cuts To Pandemic Unemployment Payment

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 7th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“On Friday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced cuts to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment for part-time workers from €350 to €203 a week, affecting students who were working part-time during the academic term. For many students, the summer months are a time for saving money to pay for college accommodation and student fees. The payment cut affects those who were working part-time and making less than €200 a week prior to Covid-19 …” (more)

[Rachel Healy, College Tribune, 6 June]

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USI call for students to be entitled to €350 pandemic payment for work lost during summer months

Posted in Governance and administration on June 6th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Union of Students’ in Ireland (USI) has called for the government to allocate adequate unemployment payment to students who will miss out on summer work due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This follows Taoiseach Leo Varadakar’s statement yesterday that the unemployment payment is due to be cut for some part-time workers …” (more)

[Shannon Connolly, Trinity News, 5 June]

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WIT President: ‘We Have Earned the Title of University’

Posted in Governance and administration on June 1st, 2020 by steve

Ireland“While admitting to feeling ‘a little let down’ in the wake of last week’s Munster Technological University (MTU) announcement, WIT President Willie Donnelly has told staff: ‘We have earned the title of University’ …” (more)

[Dermot Keyes, Waterford News and Star, 31 May]

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Government announces decision on Munster Technological University application

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

Ireland“An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD, Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD and Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor today (26 May 2020) announced the decision to grant Technological University Status to the TU Consortium made up of Cork Institute of Technology and Institute of Technology Tralee …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 26 May]

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Leaving Cert 2020: Students to be assessed using predictive grades

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on May 8th, 2020 by steve

“This year’s Leaving Cert students are expected to be assessed through predictive grades, in a radical departures from the normal State exams. These grades would be based on their performance in school, under plans that are set to go before the Cabinet on Friday …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 7 May]

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Leaving Cert ‘Plan B’ could see grades based on class rankings

Posted in Teaching on May 7th, 2020 by steve

“Leaving Cert students may be awarded grades based on their class ranking and their performance in recent assessments under a potential ‘Plan B’ to the summer exams. The Irish Times understands that a draft Department of Education plan could involve school principals signing off on a process where teachers award provisional grades based on student performance to date …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien and Marie O’Halloran, Irish Times, 7 May]

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‘Let students opt out of the State exams’

Posted in Teaching on May 3rd, 2020 by steve

“Each Leaving Cert student should be given the choice of sitting an exam this year or having their marks calculated on a mixture of past results and overall national averages, says an education expert. It would be kinder to students and better for their mental health if the State examinations were formally cancelled and replaced with a series of options …” (more)

[Alan O’Keeffe, Independent, 3 May]

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‘Cancel the Leaving Cert’ – Fianna Fáil says uncertainty causing stress

Posted in Teaching on May 2nd, 2020 by steve

“The Leaving Cert must be cancelled and ‘fair alternatives’ to the State exams must be worked on, Fianna Fáil has said. Speaking following the publication on Friday night of the Government’s plan for exiting the coronavirus lockdown, the party’s education spokesman Thomas Byrne said it had added to the ‘already heightened anxiety’ among students …” (more)

[Patrick Logue and Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 2 May]

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NUIG says funding will support Covid-19 focused research

Posted in Research on April 29th, 2020 by steve

“The President of NUI Galway has said significant investment in profound research focused on helping human health and well-being during the current health emergency will be announced today by the Taoiseach. Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh said the funding will support medical, technical and social research projects specifically focused on Covid-19, a number of which are based at NUI Galway …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 29 April]

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‘We Need You’, Taoiseach Tells Trinity’s Graduating Medicine Students

Posted in Governance and administration on April 28th, 2020 by steve

“Taoiseach Leo Varadkar today told Trinity’s graduating medicine students that they’ll play a vital role in battling the coronavirus pandemic, in an online graduation ceremony held so students can join the frontlines in the next month …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee, University Times, 28 April]

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1,000 internships to be offered to graduating doctors in pandemic fight

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

“Almost every graduating doctor this year is to be offered an internship in a bid to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has pledged. For the first time, more than 1,000 internships are to be offered to this year’s medical students as they graduate, according to Mr Varadkar …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 17 April]

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Taoiseach to address medical graduates at historic UCC graduation

Posted in Governance and administration on April 17th, 2020 by steve

“The Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar will address 197 medical graduates at University College Cork (UCC) in a special video message tomorrow (Friday, April 17th) as they take part in the University’s first-ever online graduation ceremony. Their graduation has been brought forward to assist the health service during the COVID-19 pandemic …” (more)

[Mary Corcoran, EchoLive, 16 April]

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Leaving Cert Students Likely to Start College Late, After Exams Postponed

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on April 11th, 2020 by steve

“This summer’s leaving certificate exams have been postponed until late July or early August, the government has announced, meaning students are likely to start college later than planned. The decision, announced this afternoon by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Education Joe McHugh, means sixth-year students around the country will start their college courses much later than they normally would …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee, University Times, 10 April]

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Leaving Cert postponed until late summer; Junior Cycle replaced with class tests

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on April 10th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Leaving Cert exams scheduled in June are to be postponed and will now run from late July until August, the Government has announced. The Junior Cycle, meanwhile, is set to be replaced by school-based exams which will run in the new academic year. The changes mean tens of thousands of students who are due to progress to third level and further education are likely to commence their courses much later than they originally anticipated …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 10 April]

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State exams may be delayed until late summer or autumn

Posted in Teaching on April 9th, 2020 by steve

“State exams may now be held in late summer or autumn as the Government believes it is unlikely that Covid-19 restrictions will be lifted in time for the usual June start date. Students have been urged to continue with their studies as senior officials in the Department of Education consider a range of contingency options due to the coronavirus crisis …” (more)

[Jennifer Bray and Éanna Ó Caollaí, Irish Times, 9 April]

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Government plans for Leaving Cert and Junior Cert exams to go ahead

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on April 3rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Plans are being developed to allow for the Leaving and Junior cert exams to go ahead this year. Yesterday, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the Government wants sixth year students to be able to start college later this year …” (more)

[, 3 April]

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Varadkar says the Junior and Leaving Cert WILL definitely be going ahead this year

Posted in Teaching on April 2nd, 2020 by steve

“In what can only be described as absolutely unprecedented times, hundreds of thousands of children are at home and not going to school for a very elongated period. Leo Varadkar has said that as things stand, the State exams of the Junior and Leaving Certificates will be going ahead in the summer …” (more)

[James Brennan,, 2 April]

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