Drop-out rates in some third-level STEM courses hitting 80%

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on March 29th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Between 60% and 80% of students in some third-level computing and engineering courses are dropping out, new data shows. Young men with low Leaving Cert points are at a particularly high risk of failing to complete their college courses. The findings are contained in a study by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) which tracked the progress of thousands of students who started third-level courses over a 10-year period …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 29 March]

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Fears for STEM at Maynooth

Posted in Governance and administration on March 11th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“On Monday I reported that Maynooth has selected a new President in the form of Professor Eeva Leinonen who is currently Vice Chancellor at Murdoch University in Australia. I was initially pleased to see the announcement, but news is coming out now that is filling me and my colleagues in STEM subjects with a sense of alarm …” (more)

[In the Dark, 11 March]

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Research and Science students – On-site Access for Practical Work

Posted in Governance and administration on February 12th, 2021 by steve

IrelandRóisín Shortall (Dublin North West, Social Democrats): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will respond to matters raised in correspondence by a person (details supplied) in relation to research and science students; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 10 February]

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Science Graduates

Posted in Governance and administration on February 6th, 2021 by steve

IrelandBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the degree to which he expects science to play an increased role in the higher education sector with particular reference to ensuring an adequate number of graduates to meet the demands of the workplace; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 4 February]

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Covid and why we need to teach the scientific method

Posted in Teaching on November 18th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“I’ve been teaching budding scientist for over thirty years now and while I love the idea of choice (I was always fond of UCD’s Horizon project) I’ve always been wary of students becoming Jacks of all Trades and masters of none. So, I reject the idea of STEM as a ‘thing’. Furthermore since my entire career has involved teaching on a course that seeks to integrate biology and bioprocess engineering, I know something about how hard it is to integrate subjects, especially subjects that have very different signature pedagogies …” (more)

[Tales from Academia, 18 November]

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‘We must reduce barriers and encourage women to participate in STEM’ – Archibald

Posted in Governance and administration on February 11th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sinn Féin MLA Dr Caoimhe Archibald has said we must break down barriers and challenge misconceptions which limit women’s participation in STEM subjects and careers. Speaking on International Day of Women and Girls in Science the East Derry MLA said: ‘The theme for this year is “Investment in Women and Girls in Science for Inclusive Green Growth” focusing on the empowerment of women and girls, promoting the achievement of full and equal access to careers in science …'” (more)

[Sinn Féin, 11 February]

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We need clarity on Leaving Cert science

Posted in Teaching on January 28th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – I would like to write to support Prof Ainé Hyland’s concerns about the proposed revision of the Leaving Certificate (Letters, January 21st). I have been an active observer and supporter of science teaching in Irish schools since 1978, in particular the teaching of chemistry. The proposed minimalist specifications for the Leaving Certificate science subjects leave much to be desired as satisfactory and workable curriculum documents …” (more)

[Peter Childs, Irish Times, 28 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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Gender gap in science, maths and tech subjects on offer in girls’ and boys’ schools

Posted in Research on November 4th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A stark gender gap between boys’ and girls’ schools in the number and choice of Stem subjects they offer their pupils is shown in new figures. While there is universal uptake in maths, and biology is popular among female pupils, other Stem subjects don’t get the same look-in at girls-only schools …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 4 November]

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Most secondary school girls face ‘confidence gap’ over science, technology and maths

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 12th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Many secondary school girls face an ‘information and confidence gap’ over so-called Stem subjects such as science, technology, engineering and maths, according to a new survey. Some 64% of girls say they don’t know enough about Stem, while 26% of students say here are easier ways of getting CAO points than choosing to study Stem …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 12 September]

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Students follow the money for science and tech careers

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 16th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Universities handed out a record number of CAO round one offers to meet the growing demand from school-leavers chasing jobs in the economy. They opened more places in courses leading to careers in areas such as Stem and second-level teaching where employers are crying out for graduates …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 16 August]

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More girls studying Stem is the only way things will change in the ‘bro culture’ of tech

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 8th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“In June, we were the first company to put an unmanned self-driving truck on a public highway. We test-drove a commercial truck for nine miles along the Florida Turnpike in the United States with nobody in it, changed lanes and kept a speed of 55mph …” (more)

[Rebecca Feeney Barry, Independent, 8 August]

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Women-only professorships

Posted in Governance and administration on July 19th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – In examining the new female-only professorships scheme, Muireann Lynch and Selina McCoy argue that we would be better off tackling gender inequality by changing the Stem (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) stereotypes that shape education and career choices from childhood (‘Will female-only professorships make the difference?’, Opinion and Analysis, July 15th) …” (more)

[Rachel Hilliard, Irish Times, 19 July]

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Will female-only professorships make the difference?

Posted in Governance and administration on July 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Gender balance in higher education institutions is on the way, but not fast enough. This, in a nutshell, is the argument for female-only professorships. But will they make a difference? The recent report of the gender equality taskforce concluded that, based on current trends, it could take 20 years to reach a situation were 40% of professors are women …” (more)

[Muireann Lynch and Selina McCoy, Irish Times, 15 July]

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Appointments to the Irish Research Council

Posted in Research on July 13th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education and Skills invites applications from the STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) Academic Community to fill 3 vacancies on the Irish Research Council. Candidates must demonstrate in their application evidence of the following at an appropriately senior level: …” (more)

[StateBoards.ie, 12 July]

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School subjects strongly influence whether girls study Stem at college

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on March 18th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Fewer girls than boys are choosing to study Stem subjects in college due to the choices they make at Leaving Cert level, new research has shown. The Understanding Gender Differences in STEM study, published by the UCD centre for economic research, reveals that the subjects female students choose to study during the Leaving Cert cycle strongly influence whether or not they will go on to study courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) at third level …” (more)

[Sorcha Pollak, Irish Times, 18 March]

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Why tech success rates have turned around

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Teaching on March 13th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Recent headlines about high dropout rates in technology courses probably caused a wobble among some students currently considering their CAO choices. There are graduate jobs aplenty out there right across the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) spectrum, and they are very well paid. But are they only for a select band of maths geniuses? …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 13 March]

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Apprenticeships and snobbery

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

Ireland“In their opinion piece (Irish Times, 19th Feb), sparked it would seem by recent reports of ‘high’ dropout rates from Irish third level institutions, Ellen Hazelkorn and Tom Boland make the inevitable plea for a ‘systems approach’ to higher education and the creation of a new agency …” (more)

[An Irish Blog about Education, 23 February]

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Hundreds of Chinese students to graduate through Maynooth University venture

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 17th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Maynooth University has announced a partnership with a major Chinese university which will see 1,200 Chinese science and engineering students graduate with its qualifications over the coming years. The alliance, designed to grow Maynooth’s number of postgraduate students by 60% over the next five years, will see it establish a joint international college of engineering with Fuzhou University in Fujian province …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 17 October]

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