Archive for 12 January 2009

O’Keeffe to bring fees proposal to Cabinet

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 12 January 2009 by Steve

“Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe says there are no ‘soft choices’ on higher education funding, reaffirming his strong personal backing for the return of fees for the better off. Mr O’Keeffe said he now expected to present a memo to Cabinet in April setting out the various policy options on student contributions, including the return of fees and other alternatives like student loans and a graduate tax. The Minister will also make his own recommendation to Cabinet, who will make the final decision …” (more)

[Seán Flynn, Irish Times, 12 January]

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Participation in higher education

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 12 January 2009 by Steve

“Back in the dark ages when I was a student, I was one of the very small percentage of the population that had the privilege of a university education. We have come a long way since then, and by the middle of the current decade the participation rate in higher education had risen to 55 per cent. When the National Development Plan 2007-2013 was published, it included an investment programme for the sector that was based on an assumption of a further significant increase in participation, which the government subsequently declared should rise above 70 per cent …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 12 January]

New medical studies tests ‘favour better-off students’

Posted in teaching on 12 January 2009 by Steve

“A new grinds industry has sprung up around aptitude tests which were designed to make entry to medical studies less elitist. There are fears that the rich will now have an undue advantage in the Health Professions Admission Tests (HPATs) which are being introduced this year. At least three existing grind schools are running so-called preparatory courses and charging fees of up to €400 to prepare for the tests. But the Institute of Guidance Counsellors says these preparatory courses are not necessary …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 12 January]

Technology institutes trump universities at innovation

Posted in research with tags on 12 January 2009 by Steve

“Institutes of technology are continuing to beat universities in terms of their participation in a scheme aimed to drive innovation among small Irish firms, according to new figures released by Enterprise Ireland. The innovation voucher scheme, which was a recommendation of the Small Business Forum, was first introduced by the government in March 2007 to help support small businesses. Under the scheme, small businesses can apply for vouchers of €5,000 which can be used for research on their behalf in universities, institutes of technology and other organisations. The scheme, which is operated by Enterprise Ireland, follows a similar initiative in the Netherlands. According to Enterprise Ireland figures, a total of 204 research projects have been completed under the scheme so far. Carlow Institute of Technology has worked with the most companies to date, having completed a total of 29 innovation voucher research projects. Waterford Institute of Technology ranks second, having completed 27 research projects to date under the scheme …” (more)

[Emma Kennedy, Sunday Business Post, 11 January]

Why I came to library and information science

Posted in Life with tags on 12 January 2009 by Steve

“My academic career includes degrees in biology and computer science, teaching computer science in two universities, research in a high-tech, R&D firm, teaching in a college of education, and teaching now in a school of library and information science. My dissertation adviser was in philosophy, and the dissertation itself was in mathematical logic and artificial intelligence. I’ve published in a variety of journals, including those in other fields. People have often asked: Is there any rationale for this? Were you just booted from one place to another? I could give a practical account of why I moved to a library and information science school nine years ago, but that wouldn’t explain how I think of the field and what led me to that decision. To do that, I need to start a bit earlier …” (more)

[Chip’s journey, 11 January]