Archive for 21 January 2009

Waterford students mount fees protest

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 21 January 2009 by Steve

“Students took to the streets in Waterford today to protest at the Minister for Education’s proposals to re-introduce third level tuition fees. Gardaí estimate that around 2,500 students from the Waterford Institute of Technology took part …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 21 January]

Galway students to protest fees re-introduction

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 21 January 2009 by Steve

“Thousands of Galway students are expected to travel to national protests next month against the re-introduction of third level fees. Speaking to the Galway Independent yesterday, Muireann O Dwyer of NUI, Galway Students’ Union said that if the Government pushes forward with plans to re-introduce fees, it was cause crisis for colleges across the country. The union is currently running an information campaign on campus to educate students on the impact of the Government plans and say that suggestions of student loans and graduate taxes are not the answer …” (more)

[Marie Madden, Galway Independent, 21 January]

Huge student protest planned against fees

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , , on 21 January 2009 by Steve

“Up to 30,000 students are planning to protest next month over the proposed re-introduction of tuition fees. Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe yesterday repeated his plan to bring firm proposals to Cabinet in April about college fees. But the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) responded by saying it was stepping up its campaign against fees with a protest in Waterford tomorrow and a massive march in Dublin on February 4 …” (more)

[John Walshe and Ralph Riegel, Independent, 20 January]

What Are Universities For?

Posted in Life with tags on 21 January 2009 by Steve

“In 1852, John Henry Newman, in one of his discourses on ‘The Idea of a University’, said ‘a University is, according to the usual designation, an Alma Mater, knowing her children one by one, not a foundry, or a mint, or a treadmill’. Thirty years later, Thomas Henry Huxley said ‘The medieval university looked backwards; it professed to be a storehouse of old knowledge… The modern university looks forward, and is a factory of new knowledge.’ I believe Newman’s criteria to be as valid today as they were when he voiced them. That they no longer appear to be so is not because the reason for a university’s existence has changed; it is because our society has found it expedient to pervert its purpose to a degree which has come close to destroying its true function. The ideal of a bounteous mother, for which Newman fought with such luminous hope and fervour, has been forgotten in the shift from a place of enlightenment toward a corporate enterprise …” (more)

[David Inman, Academic Matters, 20 January]

UL boss calls for action over funding crisis

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 21 January 2009 by Steve

“The Department of Education was yesterday accused of refusing to take action to rectify a funding crisis in third-level education. Speaking at winter conferrings at the University of Limerick (UL), college chancellor, Peter Malone, issued a renewed call for a review of higher education to be undertaken urgently. Mr Malone said: ‘The third-level sector has consistently delivered for the nation, providing a solid foundation for the knowledge economy — a foundation that is all the more needed in these difficult times if we are to secure prosperity in future years. But there is a serious funding crisis at third-level due to under-investment in recent times and world-class teaching and research standards cannot be attained unless additional state financing is provided …” (more)

[Examiner, 20 January]

RAE brings to light cracks in university structure

Posted in research with tags , on 21 January 2009 by Steve

“The controversy about how research funding will be distributed between universities following the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) has exposed a basic problem in the way our higher education system is organised … In the present economic crisis there is more need than ever to focus universities on several key missions: being at the leading edge of research; producing graduates with the skills needed for business and the public services; and providing effective knowledge transfer to firms, large and small, established and newly-founded. What we are doing wrong is trying to deliver on all of these missions with a single set of incentives …” (more)

[Luke Georghiou, Guardian, 20 January]