Archive for 28 January 2009

Protest meeting to support setting up of pro-choice group at UCC

Posted in Life with tags , , on 28 January 2009 by Steve

“On Monday evening this week the Societies Guild at UCC rejected an application, backed by over 100 student signatures, to set up a pro-choice student society. The ‘reason’ the Societies Guild gave for their disgraceful decision was: ‘Your society application was brought before the Guild last evening. Unfortunately status was not approved. It is a decision that was ultimately made by a previous Guild and is being upheld. A society already exists which caters for debate in the area of abortion and choice …’” (more)

[Alan Davis, Indymedia Ireland, 28 January]

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French President Attacks ‘Infantilizing System’ of ‘Weak Universities’

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 28 January 2009 by Steve

“President Nicolas Sarkozy of France has infuriated a key part of the country’s higher-education establishment with the tone of a speech he delivered last Thursday on France’s national strategy for research and innovation. Calling the country’s higher-education system ill-adapted to the challenges of knowledge and growth in the 21st century, Mr. Sarkozy said France trailed other industrialized nations in research and innovation because ‘too often we have retreated from the necessity of reforming our universities and research institutions’. Mr. Sarkozy was unsparing in his description of a system his government has already done much to reform …” (more)

[Aisha Labi, Chronicle, 28 January]

Cash for university arts research under threat

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , , on 28 January 2009 by Steve

“Funding for research in university science departments and medical schools is being safeguarded at the expense of arts, humanities and social sciences, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) announced today. Outlining spending plans for 2009-10 to vice-chancellors, the council said research funding would be as selective as in previous years. Overall, universities will share £8bn, up 3.8% in cash terms on last year. At present, 82% of funding goes to just 29 universities, but last December’s national research assessment exercise (RAE) to judge the quality of university research revealed excellence right across the sector …” (more)

[Anthea Lipsett, Guardian, 28 January]

British degrees are out of date, vice-chancellors admit

Posted in research with tags , on 28 January 2009 by Steve

“The British degree classification system is out of date, vice-chancellors admitted today, calling for more complete records of students’ skills and achievements. In evidence to the Commons universities select committee, university heads also conceded that not all degrees were of equal value, but defended standards overall. Doubt over degree standards peaked last summer when Buckingham University’s Professor Geoffrey Alderman suggested that lecturers were under pressure to inflate marks and ignore plagiarism. Professor Les Ebdon, vice-chancellor of Bedfordshire University and chair of the Million+ group, said the degree classification system was outmoded …” (more)

[Anthea Lipsett, Guardian, 28 January]

Holocaust denier to speak in Galway

Posted in Life with tags on 28 January 2009 by Steve

“Controversial right-wing figure David Irving is set to speak at NUI, Galway this March, after a large majority voted in favour of him delivering a lecture at the college. At the meeting of NUI, Galway’s Literary and Debating society, a packed 300-seat Kirwan theatre of Galway students debated and voted on the motion ‘That This House Would Allow David Irving to Speak at This House’. The majority sided with the proposition. The society had previously been in correspondence with this prominent right-wing figure, who spent three years in an Austrian prison under Holocaust Denial Legislation. Mr Irving had expressed an interest in visiting the longstanding society to speak on his theories about the Nazi Holocaust …” (more)

[Marie Madden, Galway Independent, 28 January]

UCD head to meet staff amid concerns over debt

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , , , , on 28 January 2009 by Steve

“The president of University College Dublin (UCD), Dr Hugh Brady, has called staff to a special meeting tomorrow amid growing concerns about the college’s rising debt levels. But college sources stress there is no question of job losses among the 3,500 staff. Last year, UCD posted a record debt of more than €13 million. In an e-mail to staff yesterday, Dr Brady refers to the ‘unsustainable position’ in which the college now finds itself …” (more)

[Séan Flynn, Irish Times, 28 January]

Colleges braced for harsh cutbacks

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , , , , on 28 January 2009 by Steve

“Staff at two universities have been called to urgent meetings to be told of severe cuts. They include pay restraint, a freeze on filling most vacancies, restrictions on travel to conferences abroad, reductions in funding for schools and departments, and higher charges. In Cork, UCC president Dr Michael Murphy addressed staff yesterday. It will be UCD’s turn tomorrow …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 28 January]