Archive for 16 April 2009

Senators seek legislation on stem-cell research

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 16 April 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Two prominent independent senators have called on the Government to introduce legislation regulating stem-cell research in Ireland. David Norris and Ivana Bacik say research in this area is legal in Ireland, but the regulations governing such research are inadequate …” (more)

[, 16 April]

Why DCU.SU is not in USI

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

Ireland“As the year ends, it looks like a big question facing the Students’ Union next year will be the question of whether or not to rejoin USI. It’s my belief that USI is not worth the money that DCU.SU would have to pay for membership. The annual cost to your Union of joining USI would be €50,000. To give you an idea of what that would mean, that’s the entire entertainment budget for the year. There is a mistaken belief that USI has more influence with the Government than it actually has. You only have to look to the recent fees campaign to see how ineffectually USI handled it …” (more)

[Niall McClave,, 16 April]

British degrees exported to overseas students

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

UK“British universities are exporting their sought-after degrees to hundreds of thousands of overseas students who can’t afford to study in the UK, new figures show. Nearly 200,000 offshore students studied for qualifications from 112 British universities last year, according to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), earning the sector more than £268m in fees. British universities have long relied on the roughly £2.5bn that overseas students bring when they come to the UK to study, but the new figures reveal for the first time the extent to which students are taking UK higher education qualifications overseas. With student numbers at home restricted by the government, many British universities are looking to expand their offshore operations …” (more)

[Anthea Lipsett, Guardian, 16 April]

Protest at Department of Finance

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

Ireland“Up to 40 students are holding a demonstration outside the Department of Finance in Dublin in protest at the education cutbacks announced in the Budget and the reintroduction of college fees. Some 15 protesters from the Free Education for Everyone (FEE) group have entered the building in Merrion Street and staged a sit-in on the main stairwell. A Garda spokesman said several officers were at the scene and there were no traffic diversions in place. One of the protesters Julian Brophy, a student from UCD, said: ‘This protest is taking place in order to highlight the shameful action on the part of the Government in its recent budget, the implications of which will see unbearable strain placed on young people, students and college workers …’” (more)

[Eoin Burke-Kennedy, Irish Times, 16 April]

‘Religious zealots’ at CUH euthanasia lecture slated

Posted in Legal issues with tags , , on 16 April 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Protesters who forced the cancellation of a controversial euthanasia lecture have been branded ‘religious zealots’ whose actions should be condemned. Fianna Fáil city councillor Terry Shannon launched the blistering attack, after proposing the city council pass a vote of congratulations to the Cork University Hospital (CUH) Ethics Forum which organised the lecture. He branded ‘disgraceful’ the actions of the angry group which heckled and jeered senior British medical ethics expert Professor Len Doyal at CUH last Thursday night …” (more)

[Eoin English, Irish Examiner, 16 April]

New master plan needed for higher education

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

Ireland“The recent announcement of the UCD/TCD research hub with its quite extraordinary prediction of the creation of some 30,000 jobs over these next 10 years, together with the apparently imminent Government announcement of the reintroduction of third-level fees, highlights the urgent necessity for a root-and-branch analysis of our higher education system. There is a need for a debate to arrive at a thoughtful and forward-looking definition of the public purpose of higher education so that we have a clear understanding of the role of the higher education institutions in our society and, conversely, of the Government’s understanding of what it expects from them, and having achieved that, to institute a process of accountability to monitor their adherence to an agreed programme …” (more)

[John Kelly, Irish Times, 16 April]

‘Fake’ colleges

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 16 April 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Today this blog is coming to you from Yorkshire. I am just on a brief visit to England, and one of the major news items right now concerns the alleged use of ‘fake’ higher education institutions as a cover for migrants to the UK whose main objectives are to carry out terrorist actions. Leaving aside the specific circumstances of these concerns and allegations, there clearly is an important issue which, in a global setting, has never been properly addressed: how can we distinguish between reputable universities and colleges on the one hand, and those that are suspect on the other? And it is not just a UK issue. In Ireland we have had occasional news stories about institutions claiming to be universities or accredited institutions that in fact either don’t properly ‘exist’ at all or which are not serious education providers …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 15 April]