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, BreakingNews.ie, 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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Karran, Beiter and Mallinson, ‘Academic freedom in contemporary Britain: A cause for concern?’

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 21st, 2021 by steve

Abstract: Using comparable legal information, and empirical data from over 2000 members of the UK’s University and College Union and 2000 staff in universities of the European states, gathered by means of similar surveys, this paper is a comparative assessment of the de jure protection for, and the de facto levels of, academic freedom enjoyed by academic staff in the UK, when compared to their EU counterparts. The paper examines the legal and constitutional protection for academic freedom and the current levels of, and changes to, the two substantive elements (freedom to teach and freedom to research) and three supportive components (autonomy, governance and tenure) of academic freedom. The study reveals that UK academic staff believe that there is a low level of protection for academic freedom and that it has declined, both in general, and with respect to the two substantive elements and three supportive components of academic freedom. Similar trends are evident in the EU states, but statistical tests reveal that for every measure utilised, the decline in academic freedom is significantly greater in the UK than in the EU states.

Terence Karran, Klaus D Beiter and Lucy Mallinson, Academic freedom in contemporary Britain: A cause for concern?’, Higher Education Quarterly, https://doi.org/10.1111/hequ.12346. First published: 20 July 2021.

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20% of year 2&3 students have no ‘real friends’ at university

Posted in Research on July 19th, 2021 by steve

“One in every five students in years two and three in the United Kingdom say they don’t have a ‘real friend’ at university, according to a survey of more than 12,000 students nationally. The finding has renewed fears that students are struggling with loneliness and declining mental health. Some 42% of students have experienced suicidal thoughts at some time, the survey reveals …” (more)

[Brendan O’Malley, University World News, 17 July]

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Brexit and universities – The last pieces of the puzzle

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration, Research, Teaching on July 17th, 2021 by steve

“Five years since the Brexit referendum and more than six months since the final deal between the European Union and the United Kingdom was agreed, the final pieces are falling into place when it comes to cooperation between universities on both sides of the Channel …” (more)

[Thomas Jorgensen, University World News, 15 July]

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All over higher education, mothers are exhausted

Posted in Life, Research on July 14th, 2021 by steve

“When the first England lockdown was announced in March 2020 we shared a sense of outright panic with many of our colleagues who are parents. But we are lucky to be part of Durham University’s Mothers and Mothers-to-be Support Network (MAMS), which was established in 2013-14 with the aim to support and advocate for mums who work at the university …” (more)

[Nicole Westmarland, Wonkhe, 14 July]

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The Turing Scheme: A Brexit-Induced Alternative to Erasmus

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 30th, 2021 by steve

“‘There is no threat to the Erasmus scheme’, Boris Johnson told a crowded House of Commons in January 2020. Students across the UK breathed a collective sigh of relief but the sceptics among them warned them not to hold their breath. By the time December rolled around, however, things had taken a turn for the worse as Johnson told the British public that a ‘tough’ decision had been made: Erasmus was off the cards …” (more)

[Naoise D’Arcy, University Times, 29 June]

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Cross border John Hume University should be located in Derry

Posted in Governance and administration on June 29th, 2021 by steve

Ireland“Derry is the fifth largest city on the island of Ireland, closely matching Limerick in population size. Of the six largest cities on the Island, Derry is the only one without a university. The decision in 1965 to establish Northern Ireland’s second university, now Ulster University, in Coleraine and not in Derry was strongly influenced by political and sectarian considerations …” (more)

[Colm Burke TD, Irish News, 28 June]

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No More 3-Hour Exams?

Posted in Teaching on June 25th, 2021 by steve

“Traditional three-hour university exams may soon be a thing of the past as leading British institutions eye a switch to online and more ‘authentic’ forms of assessment post-pandemic. The University of Cambridge said that over the next academic year it would ‘draw on the lessons learned’ from the COVID-19 pandemic and respond ‘to the desire of many faculties and departments to move away from the traditional three-hour written examination format as the primary means of assessment for such programs’ …” (more)

[Anna McKie, Inside Higher Ed, 25 June]

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