Former GMIT President claims he was lobbied by Fine Gael Ministers

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

Ireland“Former president of GMIT – Dr Fergal Barry – has claimed he was lobbied by former Fine Gael Ministers Mary Mitchell O’ Connor and Michael Ring over a job at the college. According to the Sunday Times, he’s written to the Department of Further and Higher Education outlining the alleged canvassing by both Ministers on behalf of a candidate …” (more)

[Galway Bay FM, 27 September]

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Government Releases Strategy for Increasing Traveller Participation in Higher Education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on July 9th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“On the 4th of July, the Irish Government published their National Action Plan (NAP) for Increasing Traveller Participation in Higher Education. The plan was originally launched last November by TD Mary Mitchell O’Connor in TU Dublin, on World Access to Higher Education Day …” (more)

[Ann Jaffray, College Tribune, 9 July]

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Government launches 17,000 free and subsidised higher education places on Springboard+ 2020 and Human Capital Initiative (HCI) Pillar 1

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

Ireland“The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD, Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor and Minister of State for Training Skills, Innovation, Research and Development John Halligan today announced almost 17,000 new places to be made available to people seeking to upskill or reskill …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 17 June]

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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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USI to Lobby Government for Reform of ‘Shoddy and Broken’ SUSI Grant

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 26th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) will lobby the government for reform of the SUSI grant system, after its national congress voted today in favour of a motion to push for changes to SUSI’s eligibility criteria …” (more)

[Ciaran Molloy, University Times, 26 May]

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Minister Launches Timely Report of the Irish National Digital Experience (INDEx) Survey

Posted in Research on May 7th, 2020 by steve

“INDEx Survey Report Published by National Forum Reveals Digital Lives of Both Students and Staff Who Teach in Higher Education. The Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, officially unveiled data capturing the first national picture of the digital lives of almost 30,000 students and staff who teach across 32 higher education institutions today …” (more)

[Maura O’Shea, HEA, 7 May]

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Surge in applications for student grants

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 4th, 2020 by steve

“Record numbers of students are expected to apply for grants in the coming academic year due to the volume of families affected by unemployment or reduced incomes. Student Universal Support Ireland (Susi) recorded a surge of 10,000 grant applications within a single day of opening its applications for the coming academic year …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 3 May]

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At Board, A Rejection of Change That Came Down, In the End, to Autonomy

Posted in Governance and administration on May 2nd, 2020 by steve

“Last week, when College Board rejected a long-anticipated set of proposals that sought to remodel its future, many members felt like they were dealing less with the results of an internal process of self-reflection, and more with the thin end of a deeply contentious wedge: autonomy …” (more)

[Molly Furey, University Times, 1 May]

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Minister Mitchell O’Connor highlights range of supports available to groups at risk of educational disadvantage in further and higher education during Covid-19

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

“Minister welcomes continuation of funding for students as well as increased access to laptops and desktops. Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor has highlighted the range of supports available to students in higher education, particularly from groups traditionally under-represented in higher level education, during Covid-19 …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 27 April]

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Minister Mitchell O’Connor welcomes deferral of HPAT results

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on April 23rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor has welcomed the decision to defer this year’s HPAT-Ireland results until after the leaving certificate examinations are complete, bringing them in line with previous years …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 23 April]

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Minister for Higher Education strongly criticised for slighting college staff on online exams

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

“The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) has strongly criticised outgoing Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell-O’Connor, for her failure to acknowledge the huge contribution that lecturers and academic planners have played in developing alternative online arrangements for student examinations due to Covid-19 …” (more)

[IFUT, 10 April]

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IFUT Blasts Government Over ‘Slight’ on Academics in Exam Preparation

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

“The Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) has hit out at the government for overlooking the ‘huge contribution’ of academics in developing alternative assessment models for this year’s summer exams. In a press statement today, Joan Donegan, the general secretary of IFUT, condemned Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor – who yesterday praised many higher education stakeholders for their efforts in developing online assessment tools – for ‘pointedly’ refusing to thank lecturers …” (more)

[Molly Furey, University Times, 9 April]

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Wave of Support for No-Detriment Policy as TDs Back Students

Posted in Teaching on April 9th, 2020 by steve

“The campaign for third level institutions to adopt a ‘No-Detriment’ policy has gained a significant amount of political attention over the last week as universities begin to make clear decisions on the issue. Many parties such as Sinn Féin, the Labour Party and the Social Democrats support the policy on a party-wide level whereas Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil continue to dodge the question towards the relevant department with only few TDs from these parties out-rightly supporting the issue …” (more)

[Adam O’Sullivan, College Tribune, 9 April]

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Minister Ignores Calls for No-Detriment Policy in Public Announcement

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor has announced that further and higher education institutions will not be holding written, oral or practical assessments in examination centres during the COVID-19 health crisis …” (more)

[Conor Capplis, College Tribune, 8 April]

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Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor thanks the tertiary education sector for implementing alternative examination arrangements

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“The Minister also announces a student-focused initiative to safeguard integrity of qualifications for 2020 graduates. Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor today (8 April 2020) announced that further and higher education institutions will not be holding written, oral or practical assessments in examination centres during the Covid-19 emergency …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 8 April]

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Students’ qualifications will not be undermined by cancellation of exams

Posted in Teaching on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“Students have been reassured that qualifications they achieve this year will be valued and regarded exactly the same as in any other year despite the cancellation of traditional exams this year. All further and higher education institutions are replacing assessments in exam centres with alternatives including online exams and written assignments as a result of the coronavirus threat …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 8 April]

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Students reassured they won’t be penalised if they can’t take part in assessment replacing traditional exam

Posted in Teaching on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“Students in higher and further education are being assured that they will not be penalised if they cannot take part in an alternative assessment that is replacing a traditional exam this year. New guidelines make clear that such students can progress, as expected, and will have opportunities to complete assessments at a later point …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 7 April]

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Coronavirus: Third-level students will not have to sit traditional exams

Posted in Teaching on April 8th, 2020 by steve

“Third-level students will not have to sit traditional end of year exams, with alternative arrangements being put in place by colleges and universities. Confirming the move on Tuesday, Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor said that instead of written, oral and practical assessments in exam centres, students will be offered online tests, written assignments or rescheduling …” (more)

[Mark Hilliard, Irish Times, 8 April]

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Eoin Ó Broin Blasts Government As Students Fight for Housing Refunds

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

Ireland“Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin has blasted the government for its handling of student accommodation refunds amid the coronavirus, criticising a ‘very disappointing’ response from Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor …” (more)

[Danielle Varley, University Times, 6 April]

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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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