Archive for December, 2008

Catholic institute of theology may be established at Trinity

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 22 December 2008 by Steve

“A Catholic institute of theology may be established at the once Protestant bastion of Trinity College Dublin (TCD) if negotiations, currently in train with the Jesuit-controlled Milltown Institute in Dublin, are successful. The Milltown Institute had discussed setting up a programme along similar lines with UCD but the university founded by Cardinal John Henry Newman rejected its advances. A UCD spokesperson has dismissed suggestions from informed sources that this was because senior academics there were anxious lest it would once again be tagged as ‘the Catholic University’. It is intended that the institute would focus on teaching and research in areas currently addressed by the civil degree section of the Milltown Institute …” (more)

[Patsy McGarry, Irish Times, 22 December]

Too much science at Science Foundation Ireland?

Posted in research with tags on 22 December 2008 by Steve

“Following on the CSET announcement last week by the Tanaiste (see below), Chris Horn has a challenging blog post on both the public perception of the value of science and tech R&D, and a spicy take on the broader issue of what SFI is funding and why and the (lack of a ) bigger picture …” (more)

[Karlin, techno-culture, 22 December]

The insanity of RAE

Posted in Governance and administration, research with tags , on 21 December 2008 by Steve

“Those happy souls who live in the real world will not know that last Thursday saw the culmination of nonsense on stilts in the British university world — the release of the latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) results. In a nutshell, RAE is the extension of ‘targets’ and bean-counting to the world of ideas, and it’s a crazy system. In one major academic department I know, the most creative and original member of the department was excluded from the RAE by his colleagues because his pathbreaking work ‘didn’t fit the narrative’ — i.e. the story being carefully crafted to impress the bean counters. The mainstream media know nothing of this, however …” (more)

[John Naughton, Memex 1.1, 21 December]

University of Ulster in shock campus move

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 19 December 2008 by Steve

“The University of Ulster is planning to move the majority of its Jordanstown courses to its Belfast campus, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal today. The university will formally announce details of major ‘strategic development plans’ involving the Belfast and Newtownabbey campuses in the New Year. Expansion of the city centre campus is one of the options being considered and most likely to get the go-ahead. Jordanstown is the largest of the four UU sites – with 13,200 students and 1,700 staff. This compares with 1,200 students and 300 staff based at the Belfast campus in the Cathedral Quarter. Ulster Unionist MLA for East Antrim Ken Robinson said today he was ‘extremely concerned’ …” (more)

[Kathryn Torney, Belfast Telegraph, 19 December]

The government’s plan for universities: rationalisation

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 19 December 2008 by Steve

“On Thursday the government published its ‘framework for sustainable economic renewal’, entitled Building Ireland’s Smart Economy. The introduction explains that the framework ’sets out the Government’s vision for the next phase of Ireland’s economic development’. A significant part of the focus is the encouragement of research and development, and entrepreneurship. The government plans to create an ’Innovation Island’, making Ireland ‘the innovation and commercialisation capital of Europe – a country that combines the features of an attractive home for innovative multinationals while also being an incubation environment for the best entrepreneurs from Europe and further afield.’ …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 19 December]

Getting ‘hammered’ at Stephen’s Day massacre

Posted in Life with tags , on 19 December 2008 by Steve

“They say university days are the best of your life but the UCC 1990-94 experience seemed to be a three-pronged combination of evasion (lectures), rejection (dance floor) and humiliation (rugby). It was a less than vintage period for UCC RFC, emphasised by the annual St Stephen’s Day fixture with Cork Constitution in Temple Hill – a festive fling-about in front of a huge, well-watered crowd that would only keep half an eye on the game …” (more)

[Hugh Farrelly, Independent, 18 December]

Review of Australian Higher Education

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 18 December 2008 by Steve

“The Review of Australian Higher Education was released 17 December 2008. It was conducted by an expert panel, led by Emeritus Professor Denise Bradley. The Australian Government will respond to the report in ‘early’ 2009. The report makes some useful recommendations, such as flexible and collaborative delivery arrangements in partnership with TAFE. Unfortunately the effort put into preparing the content of the report has been wasted due to the poor formatting of the document. While the text of the report says that Australia needs modern universities the report has been disseminated as an old fashioned facsimile of a paper document. I spent some time trying to reformat the recommendations of the report into a readable document but the poor quality of the source material made this difficult …” (more)

[Net Traveller, 18 December]