The OECD and Irish education

Posted in Teaching on December 2nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The soon to be released OECD report on the Irish education system will, no doubt, reignite the debate around the Leaving Cert and whether it is fit for purpose in the 21st century (‘Leaving Cert “too narrow and rigid”, OECD review finds’, News, November 30th) …” (more)

[Greg Foley, Irish Times, 2 December]

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What to expect from the OECD review of the Irish Education System

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on November 30th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Lots of bar charts. Lots of talk about ’21st century’ skills. Workplace this, workplace that. Lots of worry about the ‘rapid pace of change’ and education not being ‘fit for purpose’ …” (more)

[Tales from Academia, 30 November]

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OECD unclear how ‘rigid’ Leaving Cert prepares students for future

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

Ireland“The Leaving Cert is ‘too narrow and rigid’ and its main focus seems to be acting as a filter for entry into higher education, according to a review by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The findings of the Paris-based organisation, which represents 36 wealthy nations worldwide, are due to be published later this week …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 30 November]

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Irish teenagers ignoring 21st century careers in favour of traditional occupations – new report

Posted in Research on January 23rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Irish teenagers are part of a worrying global trend of young people ignoring 21st century careers in favour of traditional occupations. Huge changes to the world of work over the past two decades have made little impact on the career expectations of 15-year-olds, according to a report from the international think-tank, OECD …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 22 January]

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How can we attract more girls into Stem?

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

Ireland“Concerns over attracting girls into Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects have been voiced over many years. The vastness and sometimes intangible nature of Stem can act as a deterrent to some who lack a direct connection to the field …” (more)

[Judith Harford, Irish Times, 2 January]

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Why are our PISA science scores declining?

Posted in Teaching on December 9th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“One of the more interesting aspects of the media coverage of the 2018 PISA results is that there was little or no coverage of the fact that our science scores declined for the second time in a row. Whereas, our score was 522 in 2016, it’s now 496. Given the hype around STEM and the huge amount of time and resources devoted to getting students to ‘engage’ with STEM, that does seem a little ironic. Or perhaps it’s not …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 9 December]

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Wealthy students and high-points courses

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on October 24th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – That students from affluent backgrounds are more likely to study ‘high points’ courses should come as little surprise to anybody (News, October 21st). However, the findings of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) report make clear the need for significant additional, targeted investment across all levels of education to afford students an equal opportunity to fulfil their own potential, irrespective of their postal address …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 24 October]

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Trinity’s rankings are in the Government’s hands

Posted in Governance and administration on September 23rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Hundreds of people here and overseas have been asking me about Trinity College Dublin’s fall this month in the Times Higher Education world university rankings. Students and staff, potential students, alumni, employers, industry, politicians and overseas universities. Everybody wants to know how Trinity, of all places, could have suffered the worst fall among any of the world’s individually ranked universities …” (more)

[Patrick Prendergast, Irish Times, 23 September]

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University rankings may not be perfect, but they do matter in globalised world

Posted in Governance and administration on September 12th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Global university rankings matter. Real or not, perceptions matter. In a globalised world, they matter when it comes to competing for research funding from multinational corporations, or other sources that want to believe they are investing in the best talent and infrastructure to optimise the outcomes. Irish graduates have also found they matter to prospective employers, in the US and elsewhere around the world …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 12 September]

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Ireland bottom of class when it comes to class sizes and funding: OECD report

Posted in Governance and administration on September 11th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“While young people in Ireland are among the most educated globally, low national investment in education is leading to overstretched schools, teaching unions have warned. Ireland has a secondary school enrolment rate of 93%, but national investment in the sector is the lowest of 35 countries studied by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 10 September]

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Gender pay gap: Females with a degree earn significantly less than male peers, report reveals

Posted in Life on September 10th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Despite being better educated overall – women aged 25-64, with a degree in Ireland earn 28% less than their male counterparts, according to a new report. This is among the findings in an annual overview of structure, finances and performance of education systems in the developed world, by the international think-tank OECD …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 10 September]

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High gender pay gap among degree holders – OECD

Posted in Life on September 10th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Ireland has the largest pay gap between men and women with third level qualifications in the OECD. Education at a Glance, which was published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, shows that men educated to third level in Ireland earn more than their female peers …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 10 September]

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Mary O’Rourke: ‘Fund universities and colleges – for the sake of all our futures’

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 25th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“August means so many different things to so many people. For those of a literary bent, one can point to the delicious long-ago novel by Edna O’Brien, August is a Wicked Month. Of course, to many it is the month of holidays, particularly schoolchildren who this week are facing the familiar feeling of going back to school after weeks of freedom …” (more)

[Independent, 25 August]

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The problem with problem-solving

Posted in Teaching on July 19th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“It’s all very predictable, It’s the sort of stuff that’s regularly churned out by organisations like the OECD and countless education gurus, consultants and so-called futurists. Indeed, pick up any article about education these days and you’re likely to come across references to problem-solving, creativity and even empathy. Apparently these are the ‘skills’ that graduates will need to acquire if they are to be ‘fully engaged global citizens’ or whatever the cliché of the day is …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 18 July]

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Skills Development

Posted in Governance and administration on June 27th, 2019 by steve

IrelandBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the extent to which he remains satisfied regarding the availability on an ongoing basis of sufficiently qualified young persons with the skill sets sufficient to meet the demands of the modern workplace, academically and technically; the degree to which corrective steps are needed to address deficiencies in this vital area in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 25 June]

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The Irish Times view on university rankings: the cost of failing to invest

Posted in Governance and administration on June 20th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The popularity of university rankings owes much to their simplicity. They claim to identify the best institutions around the world by comparing indicators – such as student-staff ratios, research citations and reputation – and combining them into an aggregated score …” (more)

[Irish Times, 20 June]

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Time to decide on third-level funding

Posted in Governance and administration on April 22nd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Failure to fund higher education stores up problems for the future. It is close to three years since the publication of the report of the expert group on funding Ireland’s third level institutions. According to the Cassells Report, the sector required additional investment of €600m annually until 2021, rising to €1bn from 2030 …” (more)

[Declan Jordan, Irish Examiner, 22 April]

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Prioritising the basics in education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on March 23rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A chara, – If there aren’t enough places in third level to meet demand I can understand why there are those who think the answer is to put more money into the sector (‘Shortage of college places looms unless State invests in higher education, say campaigners’, News, March 22nd) …” (more)

[Patrick G Burke, Irish Times, 23 March]

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Student literacy levels: ‘It is almost as if they are word blind’

Posted in Research, Teaching on February 26th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Lecturer Greg Foley could scarcely believe what he was seeing when marking his students’ lab reports recently. ‘Some of the stuff I was grading was the worst I’d ever seen – even from good students. They just couldn’t see the rubbish they were handing up’, says Foley, an associate professor at Dublin City University’s school of biotechnology …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 25 February]

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‘Huge drop’ in literacy levels of Irish university graduates – OECD study

Posted in Research, Teaching on February 21st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Up to 6% of Irish university graduates are functionally illiterate, according to latest international research. These rates, contained in an OECD study, are significantly higher than in Finland (2%) or the Netherlands (3%), though are similar to the UK (7%) …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 20 February]

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