Referendum result on extending Seanad vote may be put into effect after 41 years

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 22nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“More than 40 years after a referendum was passed to extend Seanad voting rights to graduates of all third level institutions, legislation to finally give effect to the result could be among the first Bills debated if a new government is formed …” (more)

[Marie O’Halloran, Irish Times, 22 June]

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Third Level Education – Estimated Losses

Posted in Governance and administration on June 19th, 2020 by steve

IrelandThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated loss in funding for higher education institutions, research funding through institutions and loss in income from student accommodation likely in 2020 and 2021 for universities, institutes of technology, further education colleges and English language schools; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 16 June]

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No Mention of Higher Education Dept in Draft Programme for Government

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

Ireland“Despite a public appeal by more than 1,700 academics, as well as an intervention from Provost Patrick Prendergast, higher education is unlikely to get its own department under the next government …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee, University Times, 15 June]

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New Government to Bring ‘Renewed Focus’ to Third-Level Funding

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

Ireland“Ireland’s next government will put a ‘renewed focus’ on higher education funding, but college fees will remain the same, Fianna Fáil’s education spokesperson has said …” (more)

[Emer Moreau, University Times, 15 June]

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Technological Universities

Posted in Governance and administration on May 30th, 2020 by steve

IrelandThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status the development of each of the proposed technological universities …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 27 May]

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Third Level Admissions

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on May 30th, 2020 by steve

IrelandThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the consultation which has taken place to date on the provision of additional spaces at third-level institutions for the coming term; if agreement has been reached that these places will be made available to current leaving certificate students; if additional supports will be provided to third-level institutions; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 27 May]

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Third Level Reform – Cassells report

Posted in Governance and administration on May 23rd, 2020 by steve

IrelandThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of an analysis conducted by the European Commission of the options outlined in the Cassells report; if it will be completed in Q2 2020 as previously stated; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 20 May]

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TDs claim predictive grade Leaving Cert discriminates against working class students

Posted in Teaching on May 13th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Concerns have been raised over the Leaving Certificate predictive grade mechanism and how it will impact students. Last week the Government cancelled the Leaving Certificate exams which were due to begin on July 29. Instead, students will now be offered the option of accepting grades calculated by their teachers or sitting the Leaving Certificate at a later date when the pandemic eases …” (more)

[Irish Examiner, 13 May]

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‘That is a disgrace’: Row erupts over claims ‘school profiling’ will discriminate against some students

Posted in Teaching on May 13th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“A row erupted in the Dáil this afternoon over concerns raised about the Leaving Certificate predictive grade mechanism and how it will impact students. Last week the Government cancelled the Leaving Certificate exams which were due to begin on July 29 …” (more)

[TheJournal.ie, 13 May]

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Fianna Fáil Will Seek State Funding for Extra College Places if in Government

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 9th, 2020 by steve

“Fianna Fáil will seek to secure state funding for extra college places if it forms a government, its education spokesperson has said, amid fears that some students could be disadvantaged due to the introduction of calculated grades in this year’s leaving certificate …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee, University Times, 8 May]

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Extra Third Level Places Must Be At The Heart Of Any Leaving Cert Alternative – Byrne

Posted in Governance and administration on May 5th, 2020 by steve

“Fianna Fáil Education Spokesperson Thomas Byrne has today welcomed the call from the Irish Universities Association for funding for extra places this year. Universities and Institutes of Technology are likely to lose international students this year as a result of the COVID-19 public health crisis …” (more)

[Fianna Fáil, 4 May]

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‘Plan B’ for Leaving Cert exams under active consideration

Posted in Teaching on May 4th, 2020 by steve

“A contingency plan for awarding grades to Leaving Certificate students in the event that summer exams are cancelled is being actively examined by senior officials, according to well-placed sources. It is understood that detailed planning for how a ‘plan B’ could work has been stepped up in recent times with a focus on what role teachers might play in determining students’ grades in the absence of an exam …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, University Times, 4 May]

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‘Let students opt out of the State exams’

Posted in Teaching on May 3rd, 2020 by steve

“Each Leaving Cert student should be given the choice of sitting an exam this year or having their marks calculated on a mixture of past results and overall national averages, says an education expert. It would be kinder to students and better for their mental health if the State examinations were formally cancelled and replaced with a series of options …” (more)

[Alan O’Keeffe, Independent, 3 May]

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‘Cancel the Leaving Cert’ – Fianna Fáil says uncertainty causing stress

Posted in Teaching on May 2nd, 2020 by steve

“The Leaving Cert must be cancelled and ‘fair alternatives’ to the State exams must be worked on, Fianna Fáil has said. Speaking following the publication on Friday night of the Government’s plan for exiting the coronavirus lockdown, the party’s education spokesman Thomas Byrne said it had added to the ‘already heightened anxiety’ among students …” (more)

[Patrick Logue and Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 2 May]

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Call for urgent plan to safeguard third-level sector from serious financial fallout due to Covid-19

Posted in Governance and administration on April 29th, 2020 by steve

“An urgent plan to safeguard the Irish third-level sector from serious financial fallout due to the Covid-19 crisis must be a top priority for the Government. That is the warning as Irish universities face potential revenue losses running into the hundreds of millions due to the Covid-19 crisis …” (more)

[Jess Casey, Irish Examiner, 28 April]

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Byrne Calls For Clarity On Summer School Time For Leaving Cert Students

Posted in Teaching on April 13th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education Thomas Byrne has written to the Education Minister to seek clarity in relation to the rearranged Leaving Certificate exam. Plans to delay the exams until late July or August were announced last week but parents and students still have many unanswered questions surrounding the exams …” (more)

[Fianna Fáil, 13 April]

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Pre-Paid Rents Must Be Returned To Students Who Have Left University Accommodation – Byrne

Posted in Governance and administration on March 31st, 2020 by steve

“Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education, Thomas Byrne, has called on the University of Limerick to do the right thing and refund rent to students who had to leave campus accommodation early due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Deputy Byrne said that UL should be following in the path of other Universities who are refunding pre-paid rents to students who have left …” (more)

[Fianna Fáil, 30 March]

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Cancel the Junior Cert – says Fianna Fail TD

Posted in Teaching on March 31st, 2020 by steve

“The Junior Cert should be cancelled to alleviate pressure on families during the coronavirus crisis, Cork South West Deputy Christopher O’Sullivan said, joining calls by Fianna Fáil education spokesperson Thomas Byrne that all efforts be directed to ensuring the Leaving Cert goes ahead …” (more)

[Bryan Smyth, TheCork.ie, 30 March]

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Private Student Accommodation Providers Must Refund Students – Byrne

Posted in Governance and administration on March 25th, 2020 by steve

“Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education, Thomas Byrne, has called on those providing private student accommodation to return prepaid rents to students who have had to go home as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis …” (more)

[Fianna Fáil, 25 March]

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Political parties rule out student loans to fund third level

Posted in Governance and administration on January 29th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“All major political parties have ruled out a student loan scheme as a way of funding higher education over the coming years. The comments were made at a debate on the future of higher education involving the spokespeople for the main political parties at Trinity College Dublin on Tuesday moderated by Newstalk’s Shane Coleman …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 28 January]

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