Archive for 29 June 2009

Public wages up 3.4% in year

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 29 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The number of people employed in the public sector has risen by 20,000 over the last three years, while average weekly earnings have jumped 12%, according to figures released today … All areas within the education sector rose by around 10%, except for third level where average earnings rose by 17.9% from €928.81 to €1,095.36 per week …” (more)

[Patrick Logue, Irish Times, 29 June]

The Evidence on Online Education

Posted in teaching with tags on 29 June 2009 by Steve

USA“Online learning has definite advantages over face-to-face instruction when it comes to teaching and learning, according to a new meta-analysis released Friday by the US Department of Education. The study found that students who took all or part of their instruction online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through face-to-face instruction. Further, those who took ‘blended’ courses – those that combine elements of online learning and face-to-face instruction – appeared to do best of all. That finding could be significant as many colleges report that blended instruction is among the fastest-growing types of enrolment …” (more)

[Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, 29 June]

Queen’s £43,000 bill for staff trip

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 29 June 2009 by Steve

UK“Queen’s University has spent tens of thousands of pounds on sending its senior staff on two separate trips to the Far East to confer honorary degrees, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal today. The news comes as the university — which will receive £110m in public funding in 2009/10 — announced it was to lay off more than 100 staff and axe its German department …” (more)

[Victoria O’Hara, Belfast Telegraph, 29 June]

Graduation: no animals killed

Posted in Life with tags on 29 June 2009 by Steve

UK“… In fact I have never been to a graduation ceremony at all, not even my own – for any of my degrees (I just got the certificate through the post, in absentia as we say). When I was first graduating with my BA, I just couldn’t face all the rituals – the dressing up in the fur-lined hood, the clasping the fingers of the ‘praelector’, the Latin and the hand-clasping with the vice-chancellor (or the vc’s deputy – the top-dog understandably doesn’t sit in the senate house for three days presiding over this). I also couldn’t face organising the whole show for a pair of divorced parents …” (more)

[Mary Beard, A Don’s Life, 29 June]

Brian Cowen’s Innovation Taskforce, Innovative Policy

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 29 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“… This is excellent, laudable stuff. This is the way of the future, surely. So why is it that this quango is being added on top of the bodies in Enterprise Ireland, the IDA, the HEA, Science Foundation Ireland, the entire Dept of Enterprise Trade and Employment and the multiplicity of business networks already out there? It isn’t the most innovative route to innovation in the economy it seems to me, a suspicion backed up by a glance at the membership list …” (more)

[Irish Election, 29 June]

Low numbers shut French course

Posted in teaching with tags , on 29 June 2009 by Steve

UK“While universities have been warning of a surge in applications for courses this autumn – some language courses are struggling to attract applicants. The University of the West of England is to stop courses in French, Spanish and Chinese this year because they received only 39 applicants. The university has seen a 14% rise in applications for other subjects …” (more)

[BBC News, 29 June]

Debating innovation

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 29 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“A few days ago on June 18 the Oireachtais (Irish Parliament) Joint Committee on Education and Science held a session on ‘Business Innovation and Research’, and heard presentations from invited persons on the topic of research as a driver of economic development. One of those invited was Professor Frank Gannon, Director General of Science Foundation Ireland. From the report (which can be read here) there was a lively discussion. It makes for interesting reading, because the politicians present were making a serious and constructive attempt to understand the significance of investment in science research, and while the questions were probing they were not hostile …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 29 June]

Innovation taskforce appointed to advise Government

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 29 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Taoiseach Brian Cowen has announced the appointment of an innovation taskforce to advise the Government on its strategy for positioning Ireland as an international innovation hub and to assist in making the ‘smart economy’ a reality. The taskforce is to advise the Government on options to increase innovation and entrepreneurship and to ensure that investment in science, technology and research translates into high-value jobs and sustainable economic growth …” (more)

[Colm Keena, Irish Times, 29 June]

900 apply for limited number of places at Teagasc colleges

Posted in teaching with tags on 29 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The demand for places in agricultural colleges has increased dramatically, with over 900 applicants looking for limited places in the system. According to Teagasc, the agriculture and food development authority, applicants for the 2009/2010 courses have increased by 40% this year. The Kildalton centre in Co Kilkenny has received 250 applications for 105 places, and Ballyhaise centre in Co Cavan has received 150 applications for 100 places …” (more)

[Seán MacConnell, Irish Times, 29 June]

Portobello Law School hit by resignations

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 29 June 2009 by Steve

Ireland“A number of law lecturers have resigned from Portobello Law School following an investigation by the company’s owners into staff complaints. Portobello was acquired by Dublin Business School (DBS) two years ago. DBS, which is owned by the US-based company Kaplan, has more than 9,000 students, of whom 300 are studying law. The annual fee for a full-time law course is €5,700. Last March, staff in the law faculty at Portobello raised a number of issues with senior management at Kaplan Higher Education. DBS said the complaints were ‘largely procedural and administrative in nature’ …” (more)

[Kieron Wood, Sunday Business Post, 28 June]