Archive for 23 March 2009

Sick of overpaid Irish academics

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 23 March 2009 by Steve

Ireland“It is good that attention is at last being directed at university salaries in connection with the threatened re-introduction of student fees (Irish Independent, March 20). But there is no reason to confine that attention to the astronomical incomes of a few at the top, and there is little economic point in it, morally justified though the attention itself is. Some comparative figures may be useful. In Ireland, lecturers are on a scale rising to €87,000 and professors (nonclinical) get up to about €150,000 a year; in Germany, one of the countries currently being looked to for a possible ‘dig-out’, professors and senior researchers earn a little over €60,000 …” (more)

[James N O’Sullivan, Independent, 23 March]

We are not all rich spoilt brats

Posted in Life with tags on 23 March 2009 by Steve

Ireland“In response to Maurice Fitzgerald who labelled third-level students as ‘rich spoilt brats’ who are ‘not interested in studying’ (Letters, March 20), I would advise him to try looking for a seat in UCC’s Boole library. Due to a demand from us ‘wild and reckless’ youths, there has been a room allocated for night-time studying and there are future plans to introduce a 24-hour library. As a science student, I start my day early in the morning with lectures and compulsory labs that can stretch out into the late evening …” (more)

[Kevin Reale, Independent, 23 March]

Time to charge ‘untouchables’

Posted in Fees and access with tags on 23 March 2009 by Steve

Ireland“So students in our third-level institutions are not willing to share the pain like the rest of us. They will have to. Fees were abolished by Niamh Breathnach (1995), the reason being they benefited the rich and middle classes. As it turned out the badly needed fees were instead directed to private education and grind schools. So much for equality of educational opportunity. The increase in participation by those from disadvantaged backgrounds, it has been discovered, has not been dramatic …” (more)

[John F Fallon, Independent, 23 March]

Miscreant universities

Posted in Life with tags , on 23 March 2009 by Steve

Ireland“… there are days when I cannot help feeling that the profession I chose instead has turned out to be equally shady – I became an academic. Today I bought three Sunday newspapers – two Irish and one British – and each one of them has articles and news items that suggest universities are full of under-performing and over-paid layabouts; and that as institutions they pursue completely useless activities that are a drain on the taxpayer. One particular bit of commentary that caught my eye was in the Sunday Independent, in an article by the economics editor of the radio station Newstalk 106 Marc Coleman. The article generally was about cronyism in government and the public sector …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 23 March]

Greens urged to oppose fees decision

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 23 March 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Green Party ministers are coming under renewed pressure from their members to mount a robust opposition to the Government’s plans to reintroduce third-level fees. Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe has already signalled an end to free third-level education from next year and is preparing to brief his cabinet colleagues on plans to overhaul the system next month. However, a spokesman for the Green Party said the party remains opposed to the reintroduction of third-level fees …” (more)

[Áine Kerr, Independent, 23 March]

Education minister attacks Fine Gael’s proposal on college fees

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 23 March 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Fine Gael last week proposed a new PRSI-based scheme, which would see graduates contribute 30 per cent of the cost of the third-level education over a maximum of ten years. The party said the proposals would raise €500 million a year. However, O’Keeffe, who is to seek the reintroduction of fees from September 2010, said it was not clear on what basis the €500 million was calculated. A spokesman for O’Keeffe said the opposition party document did not outline the number and types of students used for the calculation, the minimum rate of PRSI to be implemented or how the system of payment would operate. ‘This has all the hallmarks of a rushed job, driven by Fine Gael’s haste to produce a document on the minister’s student contribution proposal ahead of our own detailed report to cabinet,’ said the spokesman. O’Keeffe is to bring his own proposal to cabinet within the next two weeks …” (more)

[Martha Kearns, Sunday Business Post, 22 March]

Students warned about rise in mumps

Posted in Life with tags , on 23 March 2009 by Steve

Ireland“More cases of mumps have been reported in the first ten weeks of this year than in all of last year, with 1,172 cases reported since January compared to 1,166 in all of 2008. The figures for the first ten weeks of 2009 contrast sharply with the same period last year, when fewer than 100 cases of mumps were reported. The Health Service Executive’s health protection surveillance centre has warned all young people, particularly second and third-level students, to make sure they are protected against mumps. Following the dramatic rise since the start of 2009, vaccination clinics have been set up at some third-level institutions. Some colleges are now also concerned about a measles outbreak …” (more)

[Michelle Devane and Nicola Cooke, Sunday Business Post, 22 March]

University Quality and Graduate Wages in the UK

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 23 March 2009 by Steve

UK“In a new IZA working paper, Iftikhar Hussain, Sandra McNally and Shqiponja Telhaj examine the links between various measures of university quality and graduate earnings in the United Kingdom. They explore the implications of using different measures of quality and combining them into an aggregate measure. Their findings suggest a positive return to university quality with an average earnings differential of about 6 percent for a one standard deviation rise in university quality. However, the relationship between university quality and wages is highly non-linear, with a much higher return at the top of the distribution. There is some indication that returns may be increasing over time …” (more)

[Geary Behavioural Economics Blog, 22 March]