COVID has changed students’ needs and expectations. How do universities respond?

Posted in Teaching on December 17th, 2021 by steve

International“One could be forgiven for thinking moving lectures online is the only change to the higher education experience to come from the COVID-19 pandemic. Barely a day goes by without a headline that another university will conduct ‘lectures’ in online mode only. But there is so much more potential for change in the wake of the pandemic … (more)

[Shirley Alexander and others, The Conversation, 16 December]

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University staff strike over pay and pensions

Posted in Governance and administration on December 1st, 2021 by steve

“Staff at 58 universities are taking part in a three-day strike over pay, working conditions and pensions. Students, facing more disruption after 18 months of remote learning during Covid, have been urged to check with their lecturers to see if their classes are running …” (more)

[Hazel Shearing, Elaine Dunkley and Branwen Jeffreys, BBC News, 1 December]


Universities vs Elsevier: who has the upper hand?

Posted in Research on November 14th, 2021 by steve

“The academic publisher Elsevier is currently negotiating a deal with UK universities. In Oxford, as in other universities, there have been extensive discussions about the proposed deal; the goals are to reduce costs to sustainable levels and to provide full and immediate open access to UK research …” (more)

[BishopBlog, 14 November]

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European universities warn of risks as UK remains outside EU science

Posted in Research on November 7th, 2021 by steve

“Lobby groups for over 1,000 universities have urged the European Commission to finalize the UK’s association to the EU’s research and innovation program, as Britain remains frozen out over Brexit disputes …” (more)

[Cristina Gallardo, Politico, 4 November]

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UK university staff back strikes over pay and conditions

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

“Disruption at UK universities is set to widen this winter after staff backed strikes over pay and working conditions, joining colleagues who voted for strikes over pensions earlier this week …” (more)

[Richard Adams, Guardian, 5 November]


Brexit Hits UK Universities as EU Students Look Elsewhere

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 28th, 2021 by steve

“UK universities are reaping a reverse ‘Brexit dividend’ with a sharp drop in the number of applications from EU students. The news leaves higher education in the U.K. bracing itself for a financial hit from the loss of international students, on top of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic …” (more)

[Nick Morrison, Forbes, 27 October]

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British scientists being ‘frozen out’ of EU research due to NI row, claims MP

Posted in Research on October 25th, 2021 by steve

“UK scientists are being ‘frozen out’ of the £80bn EU research programme Horizon Europe because of the ongoing dispute over the Northern Ireland Brexit protocol, a House of Lords committee has claimed …” (more)

[Lisa O’Carroll, Guardian, 24 October]

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Universities see EU students halve post-Brexit as non-EU numbers rise

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 10th, 2021 by steve

“Universities have seen the number of European Union students halve and a rise in non-EU learners since Brexit, a vice chancellor has said. David Richardson said the University of East Anglia’s EU student numbers had dropped by 50% in 2021, which was the picture ‘across the sector nationally’ …” (more)

[Simon Dedman and Nic Rigby, BBC News, 9 October]

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University funding Garda patrols following violent incidents involving students in Limerick

Posted in Governance and administration on September 15th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“The University of Limerick (UL) has been funding garda patrols in estates near the Casteltroy campus for the past week, to help keep local residents ‘safe’, following a number of violent incidents and parties involving large gatherings of students, a University spokesman confirmed …” (more)

[David Raleigh,, 14 September]

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Irish academic Hugh Brady takes top role at Imperial College London

Posted in Governance and administration on September 8th, 2021 by steve

“Irish professor Hugh Brady has been appointed the next president of one of the world’s most prestigious universities. The 62-year-old Dubliner, a former president of UCD, will take up the role at Imperial College London next August, it has been announced …” (more)

[Brian Hutton, Irish Times, 8 September]

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Book Review: Dark Academia: How Universities Die by Peter Fleming

Posted in Governance and administration on September 5th, 2021 by steve

“In Dark Academia: How Universities Die, Peter Fleming explores the destructive impact of the bureaucratic and neoliberal structures of academia, which have turned universities into toxic workplaces. The book powerfully evokes despair and despondency at the loss of the intellectual environment promised of academics, writes Chelsea Guo, yet she questions whether the traditional academic institution has ever truly been a sanctuary for everyone …” (more)

[Impact of Social Sciences, 5 September]


Leaving Cert student almost lost place at London university due to results delay

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 4th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A student who received eight H1 grades in his Leaving Certificate has said that a decision not to publish the results until September 3rd nearly lost him his place at the prestigious King’s College in London …” (more)

[Olivia Kelleher, Irish Times, 4 September]

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Is the concept of exit velocity for final-year students fact or fiction?

Posted in Teaching on September 3rd, 2021 by steve

“Does exit velocity actually exist? Or is it merely a convenient fiction, which should not be used to determine algorithms? The Universities UK/Guild HE Understanding Degree Algorithms (2017) report showed us that of 100 responding institutions, 87 used exit velocity in their algorithm for calculating degree classification …” (more)

[Katie Akerman, Wonkhe, 3 September]

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56% plunge in EU students accepted at British universities

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 24th, 2021 by steve

“University chiefs were prepared for the worst when applications from European Union students to study on undergraduate courses in the United Kingdom fell by 43% by the time of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) deadline of 30 June …” (more)

[Nic Mitchell, University World News, 19 August]

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Anti-vax academic Cahill gave invalid address to police

Posted in Legal issues on August 22nd, 2021 by steve

Ireland“UCD professor Dolores Cahill provided an invalid Dublin address to British police, who are now seeking her arrest to answer charges over attending an illegal anti-lockdown rally in Trafalgar Square last year. An arrest warrant was issued last month by a London court for the anti-vaccine and anti-mask academic …” (more)

[Ali Bracken, Independent, 22 August]

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Warrant issued for the arrest of UCD professor Dolores Cahill

Posted in Legal issues on August 18th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“A bench warrant has been issued in London for the arrest of UCD professor Dolores Cahill, who has failed to turn up to a number of hearings. The prominent Covid sceptic and anti-vaccination campaigner is facing charges arising out of an allegedly illegal rally in Trafalgar Square in September last year …” (more)

[Ronan McGreevy, Irish Times, 18 August]

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How should universities support students with long Covid?

Posted in Governance and administration on August 16th, 2021 by steve

“Universities are planning to deliver the vast majority of their teaching and learning face-to-face – with most seminars, group study, practical work, extra-curricular activities, social events and sports taking place in-person …” (more)

[Jim Dickinson, Wonkhe, 16 August]

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Half of all A-levels entries in North awarded top A* or A grade

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 11th, 2021 by steve

“Half of all A-level entries in Northern Ireland this year were awarded the top A or A* grade. Students in the North received the results of A level, AS level and BTec exams on Tuesday after exams were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic for a second year in a row …” (more)

[Freya McClements, Irish Times, 10 August]

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Q&A: Will record A-level give UK students the edge in CAO points race?

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 11th, 2021 by steve

IrelandA-level results are out in the UK. How did students fare this year? A-level results in the UK soared this year with record numbers achieving top grades. The proportion awarded at least an A grade (80% or more) increased from 39% to 45%. In Northern Ireland, almost 51% of entries were awarded top grades …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 10 August]

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Ulster University leaps to second place in postgrad research survey

Posted in Research on July 30th, 2021 by steve

“Ulster University (UU) has risen to second place in the UK rankings for researcher satisfaction in the latest Postgraduate Research Experience Survey. The PhD benchmarking exercise surveyed postgraduate research students from 89 universities about their experiences, with UU leaping from eighth in the table in 2019 …” (more)

[Mark Bain, Belfast Telegraph, 30 July]

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