Archive for September, 2008

College heads must hold nerve

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 30 September 2008 by Steve

“There were long faces and some bad tempers after last week’s meeting between Batt O’Keeffe and the university presidents. The meeting was a tetchy affair. Several college heads, notably John Hegarty of Trinity and John Hughes of Maynooth, came away convinced that the Minister was not in listening mode – especially on their proposed student-loan system. The presidents – led by current chair Hugh Brady of UCD – talked about the big picture, a vision for higher education into the future. But for Batt, it was all about brass tacks …” (more)

[Irish Times, 30 September]

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NUI Maynooth vs TCD at the top of the Sunday Times university rankings

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 30 September 2008 by Steve

“There are lots of university league tables out there; and the University of Edinburgh maintains an excellent page assessing these various leagues and rankings. For example, Times Higher Education, Newsweek, Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Wuhan University and all produce annual tables of universities worldwide …” (more)

[Eoin O’Dell, Cearta, 29 September]

Political bias in the universities?

Posted in Life with tags , on 28 September 2008 by Steve

“At a recent function I was attending a fellow guest expressed the view that public money given to universities was sometimes spent on disseminating partisan political views. It was no secret, he suggested, that universities were dominated by academics with left-wing views, and that these academics were being paid to indoctrinate impressionable students. I asked for an example of this dangerous phenomenon, and he proceeded to name a lecturer in the university from which he had graduated, and who is indeed a socialist. I pointed out to my fellow guest that, in the same university department at that time, there had been three lecturers with well known conservative views. Ah, but you can’t count those, he said, perhaps not entirely logically …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 28 September]

Furious college heads round on O’Keeffe in talks

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 28 September 2008 by Steve

“Embattled education minister Batt O’Keeffe was “rounded on” by the heads of the universities about the funding crisis in the country’s colleges in their meeting last week. While last Wednesday’s unique meeting between the minister and the seven heads of the universities was described publicly as productive, in truth, several “highly heated” and “frank” exchanges occurred. With Ireland among the lowest in the OECD when it comes to funding from the State, the college heads have said they are at “tipping point”, and if the situation is not addressed quickly, then Ireland will see a major exodus of its leading academics and researchers…” (more)

[Daniel McConnell, Independent, 28 September]

Economist of flawed fees report is friend of minister

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 28 September 2008 by Steve

“The controversial academic commissioned to carry out the flawed study on the return of third-level fees for the Department of Education is the husband of education minister Batt O’Keeffe’s personal assistant. The Sunday Tribune has established that Dr Noel Woods’ wife Katherine was first appointed as the then junior minister’s personal assistant in August 2004. She had also run his constituency office prior to that, sources said, and has stayed working with him since he became the minister for education. Dr Woods, who is a dental economist, estimated in a study “commissioned” by Minister O’Keeffe that the return of third-level fees could yield €530m to the exchequer …” (more)

[Ken Foxe, Sunday Tribune, 28 September]

University Presidents seek commitment from Minister to work with them on a new funding plan

Posted in Fees and access with tags on 28 September 2008 by Steve

“The Presidents of the Seven Universities today called on the Minister for Education and Science, Mr. Batt O’Keefe to commit to a new “bold and imaginative” approach to the funding of Irish Higher Education. The Presidents noted the success of the Government’s Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation, as shown by recent high tech jobs announcements by IDA and Enterprise Ireland. They stressed that investment in our universities to support higher skills and more innovation is the best way to defeat the economic problems facing the country. Meeting Minister O’Keefe the Presidents expressed their grave concern at the emerging financial situation …” (more)

[IUA Press Release, 24 September]

Irish education must spread its wings beyond these shores

Posted in teaching on 26 September 2008 by Steve

“In the emerging markets of east Asia and the Persian Gulf, we are witnessing an unprecedented surge in economic growth. While much has been written about the advances made by Chinese manufacturers or the financial institutions setting up shop in Dubai, there has been an equally strong expansion of the global market in education in emerging economies. It is an incredible opportunity for anybody involved in education, but I fear that Ireland – with a few notable exceptions – is not exploiting this opportunity as well as it could …” (more)

[Feargal Quinn, Irish Times, 26 September]