Archive for 20 January 2009

O’Keeffe starts telling the truth

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 20 January 2009 by Steve

“So, is this game over for the fees debate? Forgive me my bias, or not, but I find it ironic that he made the admission at the launch of a ‘Barnardos Brigher Futures Centre’. Have a bright future. But don’t be an idiot and dream of going to college. What Batty fails to clarify is what will happen to current third level funding. It’s been well known for years that the sector doesn’t have enough money to maintain standards, let alone compete internationally. On the one hand, bringing back fees (and you’ll forgive me if I don’t think for a second that they’ll bring with it the first fair grants system in the history of the state) is supposedly about generating extra funds for third level. But that presumes the government will maintain current levels of funding, pitiful and all as they are …” (more)

[Sharona’s Shambles, 20 January]

Dungarvan site may be transformed into campus for US college

Posted in teaching with tags on 20 January 2009 by Steve

“A site in Dungarvan, Co Waterford, which had been earmarked for decentralisation may be transformed into the only European campus of a US college. Mercyhurst College of Erie, Pennsylvania, has confirmed it is establishing a presence in Ireland for its students, many of whom are taking courses in areas such as intelligence and forensics with the aim of joining the FBI. The first batch of students from Mercyhurst will arrive in Dungarvan this year …” (more)

[Jennifer Long, Irish Times, 20 January]

Proposed points scheme for maths misses the point

Posted in teaching with tags , on 20 January 2009 by Steve

“The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs has recently issued a report making a series of recommendations aimed at improving the overall performance of students studying maths in Irish schools and colleges. Many of its recommendations are extremely useful, but the one that received the most media attention, that there should be a system of bonus points for those taking higher level maths, is a deeply flawed one …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 20 January]

O’Keeffe says he will bring proposal on third-level fees

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 20 January 2009 by Steve

“Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe yesterday confirmed his intention to bring proposals to Government this spring in relation to third-level fees, but said it would be ‘premature’ to go into detail. Speaking at the official opening of a Barnardos Brighter Futures Centre in Knocknaheeny, Cork, Mr O’Keeffe said he was asked by the Government to put together a report in terms of student commitment in the future and funding for third-level education. ‘I hope to be in the position in the first two weeks of April to bring proposals to Government on that particular issue’ …” (more)

[Olivia Kelleher, Irish Times, 20 January]

Tomorrow’s decision on new rules for allocating research funding could see some big names lose out

Posted in research with tags , on 20 January 2009 by Steve

“Tomorrow, the broad principles determining what funding universities receive next year will be set. The final allocations for university funding in 2009-10 are not due until 4 March, but vice-chancellors are already lobbying for their financial futures. Around £1.5bn a year in research funding is at stake as officials at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) work out what money will follow December’s research assessment exercise (RAE). The national project to judge the quality of British research revealed a much wider spread of top researchers than before ….” (more)

[Anthea Lipsett, Guardian, 20 January]

Universities await signs of Obama’s intentions

Posted in Fees and access with tags on 20 January 2009 by Steve

“… During his presidential campaign, he promised to create a new tax credit towards tuition fees for university students and their parents worth $4,000 (£2,700), in exchange for a commitment from each student to conduct 100 hours of community service. And he has pledged to streamline the application process for financial aid, a relatively uncontroversial idea that was also supported by his Republican opponent, John McCain. But the biggest question remains whether President Obama will siphon part of his proposed near-trillion-dollar economic stimulus plan to help the universities …” (more)

[Jon Marcus, THE, 20 January]

Internet Textbook Businesses Could Help Curb Textbook Piracy

Posted in teaching with tags on 20 January 2009 by Steve

“Funding for higher education has always been a touchy topic for politicians. While few dispute that an educated population is beneficial for society, it is often less clear who should foot the bill for this benefit. Of course, a large part of the cost is tuition, but more and more, the costs of textbooks are beginning to factor in. A Toronto Star article recently observed that a common method of reducing these costs is to photocopy entire textbooks. Although students often argue that this is the only way they can afford these books, this may not necessarily be the case as there are many internet businesses which may allow cost savings without breaking copyright law …” (more)

[Julian Ho, IP Osgoode, 19 January]