Creating Our Future – Minister Harris announces a national conversation on research and science

Posted in Research on June 2nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris has today (Tuesday, 1st June 2021) announced plans for a national conversation on research and science. Creating our Future aims to build on the success of research and science in our battle against COVID-19, and ask the public how we can shape a better Ireland research …” (more)

[, 1 June]

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Science and research

Posted in Governance and administration, Research on July 1st, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The creation of a new department is to be welcomed, but the name – Department of Higher Education, Innovation and Science – is problematic and potentially divisive …” (more)

[Daniel Carey, Irish Times, 1 July]

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The last day of term

Posted in Research, Teaching on December 7th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“There is always a great sense of satisfaction on the last day of the teaching semester. That great moment on a Friday afternoon when the last lecture is over, the last presentation is marked, and the last of the term’s teaching materials can be transferred from briefcase to office shelf. I’m always tempted to jump in the car, and drive around the carpark beeping madly …” (more)

[Antimatter, 7 December]

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A welcome mid-term break

Posted in Life, Research on November 4th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Today marks the end of the mid-term break for many of us in the third level sector in Ireland. While a non-teaching week in the middle of term has been a stalwart of secondary schools for many years, the mid-term break only became common in the Irish third level sector as universities, Institutes of Technology (IoTs) and other colleges adopted the model of 12-week teaching semesters …” (more)

[Antimatter, 4 November]

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Trinity staff seek WRC mediation on change to working conditions

Posted in Governance and administration, Research on May 1st, 2018 by steve

“Academic staff in TCD are seeking intervention by the Workplace Relations Commission to mediate a solution on proposed changes to the academic year and holiday arrangements that will seriously impact on time available for research work. The changes, part of the new Trinity Education Project, impact on holiday arrangements and affect staff represented by IFUT, SIPTU and Unite unions …” (more)

[Irish Federation of University Teachers, 30 April]

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Term is over, so a summer of research begins

Posted in Research on May 29th, 2014 by steve

“‘You must be nearly finished for the year?’ Every academic encounters this question/accusation each year from the month of May onwards. It never fails to surprise me, the widespread assumption that academics are free to enjoy the summer once teaching is over …” (more)

[Cormac O’Raifeartaigh, Irish Times, 29 May]

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‘Institutes of technology have a place in Irish education, but it’s not as third-rate universities’

Posted in Governance and administration on October 15th, 2013 by steve

“I teach at an institute of technology, and I have no desire to become a university lecturer. Nor, as far as I’m aware, do any of my colleagues …” (more)

[Irish Times, 15 October]

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In Europe, Contradictory Messages About Teaching and Research

Posted in Governance and administration on September 27th, 2013 by steve

EU“Recently in Europe, as in many other countries, there has been a growing focus on research to the detriment of teaching and learning. There are some signs, however, that the pendulum may be beginning to swing back – ever so slowly …” (more)

[Ellen Hazelkorn, Chronicle of Higher Education, 26 September]

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Institutes of technology not ready for university status

Posted in Governance and administration on September 11th, 2013 by steve

“Higher education is in the throes of change and challenge. Across the world, governments are reforming national systems in the search for prosperity …” (more)

[Brigid Laffan, Irish Times, 11 September]

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Is university research good for teaching?

Posted in Research, Teaching on July 21st, 2013 by steve

Australia“Australian higher education is dominated by its universities, and therefore by institutions that have dual teaching and research missions. There is a long debate about whether these two activities complement or contradict each other …” (more)

[Andrew Norton, The Conversation, 21 July]

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The ‘McAleese’ Report on Third Level

Posted in Research, Teaching on June 24th, 2013 by steve

“The Examiner today has a story about the (upcoming?) EU report on Third Level education. Apparently it is going to propose that the educators get a bit of an education on how to teach. It’s hard to argue with that …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 24 June]

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Don’t discount the role of research

Posted in Research on April 17th, 2013 by steve

“Management scholars have heard these arguments before … Academic research on business is a self-aggrandising exercise by academics, for academics, that results in little practical or relevant insight for today’s managers …” (more)

[Brian Anderson,, 17 April]

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Getting Down To Business In The Business Schools

Posted in Research on April 17th, 2013 by steve

“… a revolutionary proposal to fix ‘the crisis of irrelevance’ that today’s business schools are facing. Business school teachers should teach business. What an extraordinary idea! Apparently academics at business schools now spend a lot of their time doing research for academic journals that is of little practical relevance and that nobody even reads …” (more)

[Steve Denning, Forbes, 17 April]

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Thank God for Research

Posted in Research on January 7th, 2013 by steve

“I met one of my colleagues on the stairs just before Christmas and he just turned to me and said ‘I hate this f***ing job!’ Of course, he didn’t mean all of it …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 7 January]


Simple solution to retain women in research

Posted in Research on November 30th, 2012 by steve

“A large part of science policy concerns funding priorities: how to strategically employ limited resources to ensure the long-term health and productivity of the research sector. Science and technology aren’t always predictable – things change, the frontiers advance, and there is a great need for any system to be adaptable and responsive …” (more)

[Aoife McLysaght, Science Calling!, 30 November]

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Mary Gallagher, Academic Armageddon: An Irish Requiem for Higher Education

Posted in Governance and administration on November 26th, 2012 by steve

“Across the English-speaking world a storm of words has been written about the apparently terminal decline in academic values and standards in today’s colleges and universities. Many observers argue that the intrinsic worth of higher education is being subordinated to a destructively exclusive focus on business objectives and the needs of the free market economy. This is happening across the globe and it appears to be an irreversible trend. This provocative and timely book has two aims. The first is to report on the worldwide coverage of the collapse of academic values in higher education, and to explain why that collapse is a social and cultural catastrophe, not just in the USA and the UK, but also in Australia, Germany, France and elsewhere. The second is to show the relevance of this reality within the Irish context. Bearing witness to her direct experience of the corporate university as it currently operates in Ireland, the author suggests that it may be too late to prevent a similar level of academic bankruptcy …” (more)

[Amazon, November]

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Third Level Lecturers – Research Outputs

Posted in Governance and administration, Research on October 18th, 2012 by steve

Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will consider implementing a review of the type of research output by third level lecturers; if he will consider introducing changes to the existing legislation that would mean that university staff would teach a set number of hours, unless they have a full-time research schedule, which is signed off by a high level in-house committee. [44980/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): The management of staff and the allocation of their teaching hours is a matter for each university. The duties of academic staff include teaching; research; administration; engagement and scholarly activity. The balance of activities undertaken by each academic may vary as agreed by management in order to ensure fulfilment of their total work requirement. All universities have developed or are developing workload allocation models which are designed to ensure an equitable and transparent distribution of workloads while aiding better decision making on planning and resource allocation.”

[Dáil Éireann Written Answers, 17 October]

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Engineering Research

Posted in Research on October 3rd, 2012 by steve

“John Kelly makes a plea for more funding for engineering research in the IT recently and I imagine that the ‘basic researchers’ will be quick out of the blocks to put him in his place. Prof Brian Lucey, of Trinity, was quick to reply but I couldn’t quite follow his argument …” (more)

[educationandstuff, 3 October]

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What have the Romans, sorry Researchers, ever done for us?

Posted in Research on October 2nd, 2012 by steve

“Another day another paean to applied science … well, a thinly disguised call for more money to go to engineering. Coz, they make stuff y’know, not like basic researchers or heaven help us AHSS (arts, humanities and social sciences) dabblers …” (more)

[Brian M Lucey, 2 October]

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On statistics and league tables

Posted in Governance and administration on September 30th, 2012 by steve

“The results of the National Student Survey (NSS) and the Times University Guide 2013, both published within in the last couple of days, have made one thing clear. The best universities for research are not always the best universities for teaching quality …” (more)

[The History Woman’s Blog, 30 September]

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