Archive for 16 January 2009

University sector needs review of funding system and reform of structures

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 16 January 2009 by Steve

“Fine Gael Spokesperson on Innovation Cork TD Deirdre Clune has expressed her belief that the Government is allowing our third level institutions drift aimlessly by showing no leadership on issues such as funding and reform. ‘The current difficult position that Higher Level Education Institutions find themselves in was summed up well by the recent comments of Dr. Michael Murphy, President of UCC. He described how the University may have to look at reducing staff numbers and curtailing services to stay within budget. A major Irish University being forced into such a position again raises questions about the funding and reform of the third level education sector. Despite the worsening situation the Government has continued to ignore the problems and provide any plan for the future. In the long term our third level institutions will have to play an essential part if we are to recover from the current economic recession and build for the future but this should not involve the re-introduction of college fees …’” (more)

[Deirdre Clune TD, 16 January]

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University of Liverpool offers all staff voluntary redundancy

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 16 January 2009 by Steve

“The University of Liverpool has offered voluntary redundancy to all its staff. The move spells upheaval for the university with trade union sources saying up to 200 redundancies are planned. University sources also claim an unofficial freeze on academic recruitment has been operating since June. The move comes within six months of Sir Howard Newby taking up his post as vice-chancellor at the university. Under the university’s new strategic plan for the next five years, Sir Howard plans to increase total research income per staff member and reach the top 75 in international league tables …” (more)

[Laura Sharpe, Liverpool Daily Post, 16 January]

University fees are looking inevitable

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 16 January 2009 by Steve

“… I think that Michael Murphy, John Hegarty, Ferdinand von Prondzynski and their counterparts in other universities must all be hoping that even if the short run position won’t change, they will be better off in the long run: in particular, if fees come back now, even if set by the government, then the universities can lobby later for the right to set them themselves. But I doubt the success of this strategy, and I fear that we (the universities, their employees, the students, and their parents) will all be worse off as a consequence.” (more)

[Eoin O’Dell, Cearta, 16 January]

Crisis-hit university chiefs demand the return of fees

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , , , on 16 January 2009 by Steve

“Three university presidents yesterday stepped up their campaign for the early return of tuition fees. And one warned that unless fees for all were reintroduced, Irish universities would face a ‘disaster’ within two years. The warning from the presidents of Trinity College, Dublin City University and University College Cork came as some colleges sank deeper into debt amid fears of further cuts before the end of the year. The president of University College Cork, Dr Michael Murphy, said everyone was on the frontline, with neither students nor academic staff immune to cutbacks. ‘I have not seen anything like it,’ he said. ‘There are no rules for coping with this financial situation. In November we estimated a shortfall of €11.5m. Then it was €12m and now the bursar has told me we are a further €4m down’ … ” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 16 January]

Debating fees

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 16 January 2009 by Steve

“I was a guest speaker last night at Trinity College’s University Philosophical Society, participating in a debate on the return of tuition fees. Speaking with me was the Provost of TCD, John Hegarty, and against us was Ruairi Quinn of the Labour Party, and an officer of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). Not surprisingly the vote at the end was against the return of fees, but it was not an overwhelming one, and a significant number of students spoke on the same side of the argument as me; though I would not necessarily have agreed with everything they were saying …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 16 January]

TCD provost says return of third-level fees inevitable

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , , on 16 January 2009 by Steve

“A greater student contribution to third-level funding is inevitable, the provost of Trinity College Dublin has said. Speaking at a TCD Philosophical Society debate entitled ‘Students should bear the cost of the crisis in university funding’, John Hegarty said universities needed more funding if they were to maintain their level of performance and excellence. ‘Our good teachers are in high demand by our competitors overseas and I worry about that,’ he added. Mr Hegarty said that University College London, which was similar in status and tradition to TCD, received 50% more investment per student than TCD did …” (more)

[Pamela Newenham, Irish Times, 16 January]

Entry to medicine now has academic and aptitude elements

Posted in teaching with tags , on 16 January 2009 by Steve

“This year marks the introduction of a new system, by which undergraduate medical places are going to be allocated. This system aims to move away from the situation where only those candidates who secured more than 570 Leaving Certificate points could hope to study medicine at undergraduate level in Ireland …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 6 January]