Archive for 2 June 2009

Clune says silence on fees is deafening

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 2 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Cork South Central TD, Deputy Deirdre Clune has described the Government’s silence on their planned reintroduction of third level fees in the run up to the local and European Elections as deafening. She said that Fianna Fáil / Green Ministers, TDs and election candidates have been careful to avoid the issue of how and when they intend to reintroduce third level fees during this election campaign and that parents are increasingly worried about what news they may receive on this after the elections …” (more)

[, 2 June]

Finals and Irish Summer

Posted in teaching with tags , on 2 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“I thought I’d write a quick post about exams at Trinity, since they’re very different from the ones at Brandeis. My finals period started a couple weeks ago and luckily, I only had three spread over three weeks, plus the Irish exam which didn’t count for a grade. The exams here are really intense, probably because, for many classes, the entire grade rests on the one test …” (more)

[Zach’s adventures in Ireland, 2 June]

Welcome aboard!

Posted in research with tags , , on 2 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“As some visitors have commented the number of visitors to the blog has been pretty low so far – that’s because we wanted to get to grips with the idea before we invited the entire research community on board. Well, now we are doing just that. If you have something to say about research commercialisation in Ireland, welcome to your blog …” (more)

[Research Commercialisation, 2 June]

Europe to launch rival ranking index

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 2 June 2009 by Steve

EU“The European Union has decided to enter the university ranking game with a serious rival to the Shanghai Jiao Tong and Times surveys, and is expected next week to announce a consortium to undertake a ‘multi-dimensional’ world ranking. Odile Quintin, the European Commission’s director-general for education, told the HES that the Shanghai Jiao Tong was ‘firmly concentrated on research’, anchored to the production of Nobel laureates, and narrow in scope …” (more)

[Luke Slattery, The Australian Higher Education, 3 June]

Colleges aim to attract international students

Posted in teaching with tags , on 2 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Dublin City Council is teaming up with third level colleges in the city to attract international students to come here and study. International scholarships to the Dublin universities and Institutes of Technology will all now be called Lord Mayor of Dublin International Scholarships in order to foster closer links with the city. The Lord Mayor will personally welcome students on the new scholarships to Dublin and the City Council will interact with them to help make their stay in Dublin a productive, happy and memorable one …” (more)

[Aoife Carr, Irish Times, 2 June]

English changing the global face of learning

Posted in teaching with tags , on 2 June 2009 by Steve

UK“A relentless global rise in the learning of English is transforming higher education, according to Mike Milanovic, chief executive of language exam organisation Cambridge Educational Services Overseas Limited. ‘What a lot of countries are doing now, at the tertiary level, is offering courses through the medium of English,’ Dr Milanovic said. ‘It’s changing the nature of where people go to get their tertiary education in English. Typically it’s been UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US. You’ve got choice now. You could go to France (or) to Spain’ …” (more)

[Bernard Lane, The Australian Higher Education, 3 June]

‘Thousands’ of bogus UK students

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 2 June 2009 by Steve

UK“There could be tens of thousands of bogus students in the UK, who entered before the tightening of student visa regulations, MPs have been told. College leaders told the home affairs select committee they had been warning about bogus colleges for a decade …” (more)

[BBC News, 2 June]

NUI Galway to repatriate Maliseet canoe to Canadians

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 2 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“NUI Galway is to repatriate a 180-year-old birch-bark canoe, built by native Americans and acquired by an Irish soldier serving with British imperial forces in Canada. The Maliseet canoe, which is believed to be the oldest of its type in the world, is to be donated by the university to the ‘Canadian people’, following an appeal for its return by a native American community in New Brunswick. The Grandfather Akwiten canoe, as it is known, was one of three …” (more)

[Lorna Siggins, Irish Times, 2 June]

My goodness, we’re struggling with the innovation idea

Posted in research with tags , on 2 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“For about the last four years we have, as a country, been courting the idea of innovation as the driver of the economy. Maybe it all started when we read Michael Porter’s argument that as an economy matures it needs to move from being investment-driven to being innovation-driven. As we digested this, our approach to competitiveness was adjusted, and the government adopted the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation. More recently we have obscured the innovation agenda slightly by moving the language to concepts such as a ’smart economy’ – which sounds good but doesn’t really disclose through the label what it means; but on the whole the innovation agenda is still alive …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 2 June]

The art of coping with boredom

Posted in Life with tags on 2 June 2009 by Steve

UK“University is where students discover the excitement of learning and the ability to cope with boredom. While being bored at school derives from a monotonous timetable of subjects and activities, at university it’s about tackling just one or two subjects day after day, for at least three years. In fact, the higher you move up the educational ladder, the higher your boredom threshold has to become. Sign up for a master’s and you’ll spend a year on just one aspect of your undergraduate degree; take a PhD and it’ll be about four years on an aspect of a topic of the subject of your degree. This is not to deny that university offers many thrilling opportunities. But it does emphasise autonomous learning, which means you have to make your own fun …” (more)

[Harriet Swain, Guardian, 2 June]

Students opting out of higher level maths

Posted in teaching with tags on 2 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Less than 20 per cent of Leaving Cert students have opted to take higher level maths in the Leaving Cert this week. The trend will alarm Government and business leaders, working to build interest in a key subject. In a related move, the Department of Education has postponed plans to update the Leaving Cert course in engineering …” (more)

[Seán Flynn, Irish Times, 2 June]

Warning on language cuts

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 2 June 2009 by Steve

UK“A new report on university languages serves as a stark warning of what is at stake if something is not done about their decline. It comes amid concerns of cuts to several high-profile university language departments and a government review of the health of higher education language research and teaching, due in September. What is at stake? British scholarship’s international reputation, the marginalisation of researchers, the country’s competitive edge and its ability to tackle serious global challenges, according to the British Academy’s report, to be launched tomorrow …” (more)

[Anthea Lipsett, Guardian, 2 June]