The struggle to save and remake public higher education

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

International“Public higher education is at serious risk. Universities premised on knowledge creation and dissemination for the public good are on shakier terrain than before. The higher education sector in South Africa and globally was already in a fragile condition – some would say a crisis – before the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated campus shutdowns began …” (more)

[Laura Czerniewicz, University World News, 30 April]

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IFUT Calls for ‘Urgent’ Funding Extensions on PhD Research Projects

Posted in Governance and administration, Research on April 15th, 2020 by steve

“The Irish Federation of University teachers (IFUT) has expressed concerns that PhD students and postdoctoral researchers may be forced to drop out of their contracts if their grants are not extended due to the coronavirus pandemic. A number of grant funders have committed to providing no-cost extensions to research projects that have fallen behind schedule due to the closure of universities, but they have not committed to extending funding for these projects …” (more)

[Alex Connolly, University Times, 15 April]

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Staff Continue to Receive Pay as Campus Shuts for Business

Posted in Governance and administration on March 22nd, 2020 by steve

“Businesses on UCD campus and around Ireland have abruptly shut down due to the university shutdown, which has affected their staff. This is one of many disruptive changes on campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. The UCD Clubhouse has been forced to close its doors for an indeterminate length of time. While many students would give their right arm to be back there now, the closure means uncertainty for its staff. The bar has committed to pay all full-time salaried staff and also part-time staff up to the end of the current published roster …” (more)

[Conor Paterson, College Tribune, 22 March]

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We are all precarious now. Can technology help us?

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

“Universities in their modern, globalised, massified, form have emerged amid the general belief that the world is a safe place. Being predictable and safe meant that the only thing to worry about was gaining certificates, skills, jobs and a place to live. Coronavirus has quickly changed this reality …” (more)

[Mark Johnson, Wonkhe, 18 March]

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Coronavirus: Campus closure leads to loss of catering jobs at UCC

Posted in Governance and administration on March 15th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“University College Cork is to seek a meeting with Kylemore Services Group (KSG) after the company laid off catering staff at the campus following its closure this week arising out of the Covid-19 outbreak. A spokesman for UCC said he was unable to comment on the specifics in relation to KSG …” (more)

[Olivia Kelleher, Irish Examiner, 15 March]

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Coronavirus: Solidarity with catering workers laid off at UCC

Posted in Governance and administration on March 15th, 2020 by steve

“There has been widespread solidarity shown with catering workers in University College Cork, who have been laid off from their posts amid the shut-down of the campus. Kylemore (KSG) has the contract to provide catering services to UCC but, following the Government’s directive to close colleges, it is understood a number of staff who worked in the university have been laid off …” (more)

[Sarah O’Dwyer, EchoLive, 15 March]

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The consequences of overtime in Dutch academia

Posted in Governance and administration on January 21st, 2020 by steve

“Today, I joined three colleagues to head to The Hague to hand over a report of 720 formal complaints of structural overtime in academia and its negative consequences to the Labour Inspectorate. These complaints were filed as a single collective complaint by two labour unions, on behalf of WOinActie, the activist group of academics that tries to improve working and learning conditions in academia …” (more)

[Ingrid Robeyns, Crooked Timber, 20 January]

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Strikes over pay and conditions to hit a number of third-level institutions

Posted in Governance and administration on December 4th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Irish third-level institutions are to be affected by strikes and other actions over pay and conditions in the coming months. This comes as lecturers and researchers in 60 universities across the UK and Northern Ireland began an eight day strike on Monday over pensions, pay and conditions …” (more)

[, 1 December]

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Postgraduate and ‘casual’ teaching staff are taken for granted by Trinity

Posted in Governance and administration on December 4th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Contrary to popular belief, teaching and lecturing at university by no means automatically guarantees secure employment, ample time to pursue research, and a cosy office in which to do it. Over the past decade or so, especially since the recession in 2008/09, Irish universities, and indeed universities throughout the world, have begun to rely more and more on hourly paid or temporary staff to cover tutorials, seminars, lectures, and lab sessions …” (more)

[Trinity News, 3 December]

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Postgraduate students campaign for better terms and conditions

Posted in Governance and administration on October 29th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and the trade union Siptu have joined forces to campaign for improved terms and conditions for postgraduate students who carry out teaching and other work in third level colleges. Many postgraduates experience precarious working conditions and low pay within their higher education institutions, according to Siptu organiser Dave Curran …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 29 October]

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‘I had to give up hope of finding a permanent job in an Irish university’

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

Ireland“Looking for a job in Irish universities was demoralising as there were no permanent contracts for the type of role I was applying for. In Ireland, you get a graduate visa for two years after completing a postgrad in order to find a job. This is difficult when the role you want doesn’t offer permanent contracts, which is the case for most graduate jobs in third levels these days …” (more)

[, 20 October]

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Behind the Lace Curtain

Posted in Governance and administration, Life on September 17th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The term ‘lace curtain poverty’ was coined to refer to situations where the objective reality of being impoverished is compounded by the additional complication whereby your circumstances are assumed by neighbours and the wider community to be at a much more comfortable (even prosperous) level than they actually are …” (more)

[IFUT, 16 September]

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IFUT Agrees a Protocol with the Irish Universities Association (IUA) on Implementation of the Cush Report

Posted in Governance and administration on September 3rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“IFUT has agreed on a protocol with the IUA on the implementation of the Report of the Expert Group on Fixed-Term and Part-Time Employment in Lecturing (the Cush Report) …” (more)

[IFUT, 2 September]

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SIPTU says proposed reform legislation cannot ignore funding crisis in education

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 18th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“SIPTU representatives have today (Wednesday, 17th July) said that any proposed legislation to introduce greater regulation and reform to the governance of higher education cannot be used to divert attention away from the growing funding crisis facing the sector …” (more)

[SIPTU, 17 July]

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Exploitation of Workers in University Sector

Posted in Governance and administration on June 5th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Mike Jennings represented IFUT as a member of the ETUCE (European region of Education International) delegation to the quadrennial conference of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) in Vienna from May 21 to 24, 2019 …” (more)

[IFUT, 4 June]

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Trade Unions Condemn Third-Level Gender Inequality

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

Ireland“Trade unions have demanded an end to the ‘staggering’ levels of inequality in third-level institutions, as well as warning of the impact of perilous working conditions on women employed in the sector …” (more)

[Rachel O’Leary, University Times, 11 March]

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Unions call for end to ‘staggering’ gender inequality for third-level staff

Posted in Governance and administration on March 9th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Trade unions have called for an end to the ‘stark inequalities’ and precarious working environments facing workers, particularly women, in higher and further education roles. Union representatives from third-level institutions across the country gathered in Liberty Hall on International Women’s Day to discuss the ‘staggering’ levels of gender inequality and precarious working conditions which persist among university and college academic and management staff …” (more)

[Sorcha Pollak, Irish Times, 8 March]

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16 years of precarious work in English language schools caused me to develop anxiety

Posted in Life on December 8th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“For 16 years I was a precarious worker. I was an experienced English language teacher but in all that time I never had a permanent contract. I never had sick pay, or holiday pay, unless it was ‘rolled into’ my hourly rate of pay. I never had guaranteed hours of work and for 16 years I didn’t get a pay rise …” (more)

[, 8 December]

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Gender inequality in Irish universities

Posted in Governance and administration on October 12th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Mary Mitchell O’Connor, the Minister of State with responsibility for higher education, is absolutely right in her reported comments on gender inequality in Irish universities (‘Universities have failed to appoint a female president for 426 years, says Minister of State’, News, October 11th). This is a chronic problem entirely of the universities’ own making …” (more)

[Eunan O’Halpin, Irish Times, 12 October]

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Third Level Staff Data – Part-time staff

Posted in Governance and administration on June 21st, 2018 by steve

Kathleen Funchion (Carlow-Kilkenny, Sinn Fein): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of university teaching staff employed on a casual basis …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 19 June]

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