Back to college

Posted in Teaching on September 16th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – After many frantic, anxious weeks my son finally secured accommodation in Dublin and was really looking forward to getting back to college for his third year after missing some of first and all of second year due to Covid. He’s just received his timetable and is in college for one hour per week with the rest of his lectures pre-recorded …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 15 September]

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Petition Launched to Refund Students With No In-Person Lectures

Posted in Teaching on September 15th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Over 350 students have signed an online petition calling for refunds for those who do not have in-person classes. The petition was created by the TCD Campaign for F2F Teaching and cites approaches from other universities, vaccination rates and the mental health of students and the student contribution charge as reasons for Trinity to provide more in-person teaching …” (more)

[Jennifer Ní Chiara, University Times, 13 September]

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Online learning is not the enemy

Posted in Teaching on August 18th, 2021 by steve

“Claire Taylor and Stefanie Hartley argue that it’s not online learning that is the enemy, but a narrow view of learner diversity and learning needs. There continues to be disquiet expressed in the press over just what the student experience will look and feel like as we head into a new academic year …” (more)

[Wonkhe, 18 August]

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Colleges Must Permanently Integrate Online Learning into College Life

Posted in Teaching on July 12th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Online learning has been widely unpopular among students. However, for many, online learning has been a – long overdue – blessing. Not all students can work off the same timetable – because they have a job, because they have a disability or they have a family to look after. Therefore the news this week that at-risk students returning to in-person classes in September would still have access to online learning should be welcomed …” (more)

[University Times, 11 July]

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Students want recorded lectures to continue when campuses reopen, survey shows

Posted in Governance and administration on June 4th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Students want recorded lectures to continue when campuses reopen for face-to-face teaching. Strong support for the continuation of recorded lectures emerged in a survey of nearly 50,000 students across 25 colleges. The survey explored the impact of Covid-19 on students’ experience of higher education and the picture painted by their responses was mostly positive …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 31 May]

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Aim to have students and staff back on campus this year

Posted in Teaching on June 4th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris has said he expects students and staff to be back on campus for the new academic year. Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Harris said he also expects that most students returning to college will have been fully vaccinated, ‘and obviously staff generally being older than the students should also be overwhelmingly vaccinated’ …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 3 June]

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Third Level Fees – Remote Study

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 4th, 2021 by steve

IrelandRobert Troy (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if there are any refunds or waiver of fees available to third-level students given they have been at home studying remotely for most of the year …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 2 June]

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Online learning should make education open to all. So, why hasn’t it happened?

Posted in Teaching on May 28th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The internet brought us access to almost the entire body of human knowledge, a previously unimaginable ability to connect, share and collaborate. It was inevitable that this would transform the educational landscape, creating a linguistically and culturally diverse learning environment. Fundamentally this environment would of course be open to all, so why hasn’t this occurred? …” (more)

[Ellen McCabe, Irish Times, 27 May]


IUA Welcomes Harris’s Comments on Reopening of Universities Next Semester

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on April 21st, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The Irish Universities Association (IUA) today welcomed Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris’s recent comments in favour of a ‘substantial reopening’ of universities next semester. The Irish Independent reported yesterday that Harris said that the two-metre social distancing rule would likely be replaced with a ‘one metre with a mask’ rule …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 20 April]

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Colleges now planning for ‘substantial return’ of students to campus in autumn

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on April 19th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Third-level and further education colleges are drawing up plans for the widest possible return of students in the autumn. It won’t be ‘business as usual’ because some public-health restrictions are expected to be still in place when the new academic year gets under way in September. Much will depend on the progress of the vaccination programme and the extent of the threat from Covid-19, including from any new variants …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 19 April]

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Will we return to on-campus teaching next academic year?

Posted in Governance and administration, Teaching on April 17th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“As we approach the end of the 20/21 academic year during which most of our teaching has been online rather than face-to-face, a number of students have been asking me whether we will ‘get back to normal’ next September for the start of next teaching year. The answer I give to this is that I don’t know. It depends entirely on the progress of the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic and that has so far proved to be difficult to predict …” (more)

[In the Dark, 17 April]

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Students are sticking with college during the pandemic

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Life, Teaching on March 19th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Students are persisting with college courses despite the challenges posed by remote learning and Covid-19. The pandemic has not triggered a rise in drop-out rates, new figures show. Students have generally stuck with their courses and, in some cases, retention figures are well up on previous years …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 19 March]

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More Professors Ditch Print

Posted in Teaching on February 24th, 2021 by steve

“For the first year on record, more faculty members used learning management systems than print course materials when teaching classes, according a new report released Tuesday from the National Association of College Stores. The 2020 Faculty Watch report is based on a survey of 968 faculty members from 17 two- and four-year, public and private institutions in the United States and Canada …” (more)

[Emma Whitford, Inside Higher Ed, 24 February]

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Students ‘horrified’ by Halls restrictions seek help from unions

Posted in Governance and administration on January 29th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Students who feel ‘terrorized’ by a strict implementation of social restrictions at Trinity Hall (Halls) have raised their concerns ahead of the upcoming semester. In a meeting of the newly-established Trinity College Dublin’s Renters Union (TCDRU) this evening, an issue was raised about the conditions Trinity Halls (Halls) residents have been experiencing over the last few months …” (more)

[Shannon Connolly and Kate Henshaw, Trinity News, 28 January]

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Online Learning Guidelines Spark Student Outrage

Posted in Teaching on January 27th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Since the beginning of the new semester, students have encountered difficulties regarding the access of online lectures. Specifically, the issue of posting lectures that students were not able to attend. The College Tribune has researched University College Dublin (UCD) virtual classroom guidelines, in order to understand how faculty are expected to conduct online learning …” (more)

[Luke Murphy, College Tribune, 26 January]

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Extended Virtual Campuses: EDUROAM

Posted in Governance and administration on January 23rd, 2021 by steve

IrelandRose Conway-Walsh (Mayo, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the reason for including commercial premises in the roll-out of extended virtual campuses by a provider (details supplied); the selection criteria and process for commercial premises; if students will be able to assess the Wi-Fi without being paying customers; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 21 January]

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Thought For The Year

Posted in Governance and administration on January 14th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“In the midst of the January examination period I’ve been thinking about how tough this year has been nd will continue to be for all students in third-level institutions, but especially the cohort currently in the first year of their course. I think it’s now fairly clear that nearly all their study this year will be done remotely …” (more)

[In the Dark, 13 January]

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Government to Extend WiFi Initiative for Students to 90 New Locations

Posted in Governance and administration on January 5th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The government will extend internet access for students to 90 new locations across the country in order to create ‘extended virtual campuses’, Higher Education Minister Simon Harris announced today. HEAnet will lead the initiative, rolling out eduroam – a WiFi connection that students can automatically connect to – to locations accessible to students, such as libraries, museums, public offices, coffee shops and shopping centres …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 5 January]

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Uptick in numbers studying remotely at third-level institutions

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on December 28th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The number of students studying remotely in Irish third-level institutions increased significantly in the years before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new research. The Department of Education report, published on Monday, reveals those studying part-time or in flexible way, including remote online learning, has increased steadily, rising by more than a third from 6,015 in 2015 to 9,207 in 2018 …” (more)

[Sorcha Pollak, Irish Times, 28 December]

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Third Level Fees – Postgraduate Students

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 16th, 2020 by steve

IrelandRose Conway-Walsh (Mayo, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the measures he has taken to urge universities to compensate postgraduate students for the move to online teaching and the much-reduced student experience promised in their prospectus and marketing campaigns; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil debates, 15 December]

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