Higher Education is Headed for a Quality Cliff Edge. It Must Help Itself

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

Ireland“Is it time we changed the conversation about higher education funding – a conversation that to date has been a dialogue of the deaf? For at least a decade the Higher Education Authority (HEA), informally and formally, has been advising the government about the risks to quality due to recession-related resource cuts and unfunded growth of student numbers …” (more)

[Tom Boland, University Times, 19 April]

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Grade inflation and academic standards

Posted in Teaching on January 4th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – Considering how much coverage your newspaper gives to education, the shallowness of your analysis (in your editorial ‘Keeping an eye on standards’ of January 3rd) of ‘grade inflation’ in Irish third-level institutions, and the implied suggestion that our quality systems are somewhat lacking, is surprising …” (more)

[Letters, Irish Times, 4 January]

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Defining Quality in Third Level Education

Posted in Governance and administration on October 2nd, 2014 by steve

Ireland“In a recent, thought-provoking blog, Ferdinand Von Prondzynski, pointed out that we currently have no real definition of quality in the third level sector. He also made the important point that constantly saying that the sector has maintained quality while suffering substantial cuts might be a case of shooting ourselves in the foot …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 2 October]

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MacGill Summer School: Ruthless focus on quality of education urged

Posted in Governance and administration on August 2nd, 2013 by steve

“If Ireland holds any ambition to build one of the best education systems in the world, people will have to be far more willing to ‘ruffle feathers’ in order to make improvements …” (more)

[Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times, 2 August]

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Has Higher Education Lost Control Over Quality?

Posted in Governance and administration on May 23rd, 2013 by steve

“Educational quality is now a hot topic in higher education globally.In recent months, I have been involved in institutional assessments and government meetings on the topic in Finland, Romania, Ireland, and the United States …” (more)

[Ellen Hazelkorn, Chronicle of Higher Education, 23 May]

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Three higher education trends to watch for in 2013

Posted in Governance and administration on January 19th, 2013 by steve

International“International higher education by its very nature sits at an intersection of socio-cultural, economic and geopolitical variables. Over the years, we have seen the complex interaction of the factors that influence patterns of student mobility, institutional strategies and national policies …” (more)

[Rahul Choudaha, University World News, 19 January]

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Dimensions of Quality

Posted in Governance and administration on January 7th, 2013 by steve

“Quality is an elusive concept. It may, for example, simply describe the properties of something while at the same time implying a false claim to superiority …” (more)

[Martin Hall, University of Salford, 7 January]

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Focusing on the Total Quality Experience

Posted in Governance and administration on May 15th, 2012 by steve

“The university rankings debate is heating up – again. Hopefully, this time it will be different and with better outcomes for everyone. At a time when many nations are experiencing high levels of public and private debt and higher education is in great demand, university rankings have encouraged a preoccupation with the trials and tribulations of a handful of ‘world class’ universities …” (more)

[Ellen Hazelkorn, Chronicle of Higher Education, 15 May]

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Higher education sustainability – numbers versus quality versus money (fees?)

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 9th, 2011 by steve

“In his RIA speech in May of this year the Minister announced a linear programming study on the funding framework for higher education in Ireland. Actually, he didn’t announce a linear programming study. What he said was ‘we have to reconcile future demand for participation growth with limitations on public resources and a need to protect and enhance core quality’ and he called it a sustainability study …” (more)

[Richard Thorn, BlueBrick.ie, 9 August]

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Is access the enemy of quality?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 8th, 2011 by steve

“As higher education massification continues across much of the world, and as assumptions about the appropriate proportion of the population that should have a university degree change further, questions are also being asked about whether in such circumstances the traditional higher education quality can be maintained …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 8 August]

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Can We Measure the Value of College Teaching?

Posted in Teaching on February 8th, 2011 by steve

“A popular notion within the academy is that teaching quality cannot be measured, but this is an article of faith, not a demonstrated fact. Very few institutions have made a systematic effort to measure teaching quality, largely because the faculty is opposed to it and administrators have little incentive to discover true teaching value added …” (more)

[Robert Martin and Andrew Gillen, Minding Campus, 7 February]

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Quality in Irish Higher Education

Posted in Teaching on January 24th, 2011 by steve

“Adrian Weckler asks a thoughtful question, ‘Why can’t Irish education produce a Nobel laureate?’ It’s something I thought about when watching Patrick and John Collison jet off to the States for their university experience …” (more)

[Bernie Goldbach, Inside View, 24 January]


Why can’t Irish education produce a Nobel laureate?

Posted in Teaching on January 24th, 2011 by steve

“It’s sad. There is little or no debate about quality in third-level education. It’s all about access and free fees. For example, how many patents do we file? How many world-class scholars do we produce? Any Nobel laureates? (And no, neither Seamus Heaney nor Brian Friel are products of the Irish education system.) …” (more)

[Adrian Weckler, YourTech, 23 January]

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Setting Quality Standards in Higher Ed

Posted in Governance and administration on September 9th, 2010 by steve

“The growing chorus of criticism of U.S. higher education is focusing on quality, and rightly so. Quality is or should be the central issue in the higher education enterprise. It is too often overlooked in the quest for reform and change in other important areas such as cost containment, expansion, accessibility and higher graduation rates. We should always be on the lookout for ways to improve quality – but some caution in our approaches is warranted …” (more)

[A Lee Fritschler, Inside Higher Ed, 9 September]

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Need for joined-up thinking in education

Posted in Teaching on June 9th, 2010 by steve

“… However in recent times the Googles and others have begun to bemoan the lack of qualified young people in this country. They cannot fill positions in certain areas because the universities and colleges in Ireland are not producing them. So what happened? How have we fallen so quickly from our once lofty position as the brain box of Europe? The answer lies in our education system which hasn’t really changed in decades …” (more)

[Yellowbelly Blog, 8 June]



Posted in Governance and administration on March 2nd, 2010 by steve

“We even have a board called Irish Universities Quality Board to look after quality. What new scheme has the Minister in mind?” (tweet)

[Liam Delaney, Twitter, 1 March]

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How is (Irish) University Quality Measured? And are Irish Universities Obviously of Such Low Quality?

Posted in Governance and administration on January 7th, 2010 by steve

“There is a very provocative post entitled ‘Low Quality of Irish Universities Confirmed’ by Michael Moore here. There are a great many points worthy of commentary in the post. The essence of the post though is that Irish Universities perform badly or very badly on the annual Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings, and Irish Universities (or two of them –TCD and UCD) perform well on another measurement system …” (more)

[Shane O’Mara, Irishscience, 6 January]

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