Maynooth University: ‘We are planning for a number of scenarios’

Posted in Governance and administration on May 11th, 2021 by steve

IrelandQ: How ready is Maynooth University for a return to campus? A: We would like to bring our students back to the campus as soon as we can. Ultimately, the key factor is the public-health guidance that is in place in September. We are planning for a number of different scenarios, in consultation with the Department for Higher Education. While on-campus, in-person activity remains at the core of what we do in the university, there are aspects of the online teaching and learning environment that we would like to retain to further enhance the student experience …” (more)

[Irish Times, 11 May]

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Our resilient third-level students deserve action

Posted in Life on April 30th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“I teach sociology at Maynooth University which means I used to spend most of my waking hours surrounded by 18- to 22-year-olds, not to mention a good number of mature students. During the pandemic, I have heard people saying that third-level students, like mine, are impatient, demanding, materialistic, selfish and above all they are the ‘snowflake’ generation – fragile and lacking in resilience. They have no backbone or strength. To this I ask: Have you met my students? …” (more)

[Rebecca Chiyoko King-O’Riain, Independent, 30 April]

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Prison university project to ‘bring third-level to those furthest away from it’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on April 19th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A programme to support prisoners to go to university, and ‘bring third-level education to those furthest away from it’ will be unveiled on Monday by Minister for Justice Helen McEntee and her colleague, Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris. The Mountjoy and Maynooth University (MJMU) project aims to become a template across the prison service to ‘disrupt the inevitability’ of a life in and out of the prison system for many offenders …” (more)

[Kitty Holland, Irish Times, 19 April]

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Spring Return

Posted in Life on April 12th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“After a few days off last week following the Easter Bank Holiday weekend it’s time to get back into the swing of things for the four weeks of teaching term that remain. It’s back to school today for all school students in Ireland too, so good luck to them on their first day in the classroom since Christmas! …” (more)

[In the Dark, 12 April]

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Maynooth University Library Cat Update

Posted in Life on March 19th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Yesterday I was summoned to a meeting on Campus so on the way there I took the opportunity to check up on Maynooth University Library Cat who I haven’t seen for over a month …” (more)

[In the Dark, 19 March]

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A Year of Closure

Posted in Life, Teaching on March 13th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Today is 12th March 2021, which means it is exactly one year since Maynooth University campus closed because of Covid-19. Last year 12th March was on a Thursday and I remember doing my Computational Physics lecture in the morning and a computer lab in the afternoon and then heard we couldn’t go back to teaching the following day …” (more)

[In the Dark, 12 March]

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Fears for STEM at Maynooth

Posted in Governance and administration on March 11th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“On Monday I reported that Maynooth has selected a new President in the form of Professor Eeva Leinonen who is currently Vice Chancellor at Murdoch University in Australia. I was initially pleased to see the announcement, but news is coming out now that is filling me and my colleagues in STEM subjects with a sense of alarm …” (more)

[In the Dark, 11 March]

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Eeva Leinonen unveiled as next Maynooth University president

Posted in Governance and administration on March 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Maynooth University has announced the appointment of Prof Eeva Leinonen as its next president. Prof Leinonen will formally assume the position on October 1st and replaces Prof Philip Nolan who has led the university for the last 10 years …” (more)

[Mark Hilliard, Irish Times, 8 March]

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Minister Harris launches National Gender Equality resource for Higher Education Institutions

Posted in Governance and administration on March 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has today marked International Women’s Day by launching the National Gender Equality Dashboard for Higher Education Institutions. The dashboard, developed by Maynooth University, provides an invaluable resource on gender equality in Higher Education Institutions …” (more)

[, 8 March]

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Announcement of the Next President of Maynooth University

Posted in Governance and administration on March 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Governing Authority of Maynooth University today appointed Professor Eeva Leinonen to be its next President effective from 1 October 2021. Professor Leinonen will succeed Professor Philip Nolan who has led the University for the past 10 years. Professor Leinonen has held the role of Vice Chancellor of Murdoch University, Perth, Australia since 2016, having previously been Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia …” (more)

[Maynooth University, 8 March]

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Academic on €154,000 salary has no work to do, Labour Court hears

Posted in Legal issues on March 6th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“An academic on a €154,000 salary claims he has had no role or work at Maynooth University for the last 4½ years as a result of being penalised by the institution’s authorities for making a protected disclosure …” (more)

[Sean McCárthaigh, Irish Times, 5 March]

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A Year of Covid-19 in Maynooth

Posted in Life on February 22nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“One useful thing about having a blog is that I can look through my back catalogue of posts quite easily to remind me exactly when things happened. Doing that over the weekend I discovered that it was exactly a year ago today that I travelled from Maynooth into Dublin to see a production of Fidelio …” (more)

[In the Dark, 22 February]

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College costs have fallen but expect return to ‘normal’ in 2021

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Life on January 12th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Student budgets, like the rest of the world, have been thrown upside down by the pandemic. For some, the costs of living have increased because they’re out of work, still paying rent and paying higher broadband, heat and electricity bills as a result of working at home …” (more)

[Peter McGuire, Irish Times, 12 January]

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Cold Spell

Posted in Life on January 9th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“It’s bitterly cold in Maynooth today. We haven’t had much snow but it sure is freezing. As I write it’s 1pm and the temperature is only -4°C. I went to put some stuff in the wheelie bin just now but the lid was frozen shut …” (more)

[In the Dark, 9 January]


There’s a Moose Loose Aboot this Hoose!

Posted in Life on January 8th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“I am working from home at the moment owing to Covid-19 restrictions on campus activity but I have been informed by on campus staff that an unauthorized mouse bas been seen in the Department of Theoretical Physics. This is a very serious situation as access to the Science Building is for essential work only and this does not include rodents …” (more)

[In the Dark, 8 January]

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Remote Exam Time

Posted in Teaching on January 7th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“It’s the day before the start of the January examination period at Maynooth University so I thought I’d do a quick post on the topic of examinations or, as they are right now, online timed assessments. First, for readers elsewhere, full-time undergraduate students at Maynooth what is called 60 ‘credits’ in a year, usually split into two semesters of thirty credits each …” (more)

[In the Dark, 7 January]

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Last Day Off

Posted in Life, Teaching on January 3rd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Tomorrow is officially my first day back at work after the Christmas break. Not that I’ll be going back to my office on campus in the morning. Thanks to the state of the Covid-19 pandemic I will be working from home for the foreseeable future. It’s looking pretty grim at the moment, and I think it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better …” (more)

[In the Dark, 3 January]

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DCU, Maynooth, UL to Stay Online for Second Semester

Posted in Teaching on November 7th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Dublin City University (DCU), Maynooth University and the University of Limerick (UL) have all decided to remain online for next semester, the Irish Independent reported today. The move is a surprising one, considering the government has yet to publish public health guidelines for next semester …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 6 November]

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Universities tell students no return to campus next semester

Posted in Teaching on November 6th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A number of universities have told students that there will be no general return to campus for the second half of the academic year. It means that some students may not set foot on the campus for the entire 2020/21 year, with lecture halls remaining silent and students logging on to classes from their bedrooms …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 6 November]

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Mountjoy prisoners gain access to third-level education during pandemic

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on October 30th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Prisoners at Mountjoy Prison have been granted online access to college lectures and tutorials during the coronavirus pandemic and this could be instrumental in establishing third-level education in Irish prisons in the longer term, a review of a new project involving the Dublin jail and Maynooth University has concluded …” (more)

[Conor Lally, Irish Times, 29 October]

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