Archive for July, 2009

Tribunal told of DCU lecturer’s blog

Posted in Legal issues with tags , , on 31 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“A university lecturer who is in dispute with DCU called the president of the university ‘a person without honour’ and referred separately to three university colleagues as ‘criminal’, ‘traitor’ and ‘idiot’ in his blog, the Employment Appeals Tribunal heard yesterday. Dr Sean O’Nuallain was a lecturer in computing at the university from 1987 until the dispute arose in 2002. He subsequently set up the University Blog on Academic Tenure in Ireland …” (more)

[Pamela Duncan, Irish Times, 31 July]


Engaging the politicians

Posted in Legal issues with tags , , on 31 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“On this blog I have now conducted two interviews with senior politicians about higher education and other matters. Both politicians – Brian Hayes TD of the Fine Gael Party TD, and Ruairi Quinn of the Labour Party – expressed similar thoughts and concerns on certain issues, and it will be important for the higher education sector to address these, and to develop clear views on them. The key issues are the following …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 31 July]

College president denies attempt to ‘gag’ lecturer

Posted in Legal issues with tags , , on 31 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“A university head yesterday denied he had tried to ‘gag’ one of his lecturers and told how he received a ‘lashing’ from a government minister over controversial comments the lecturer had made. DCU president Ferdinand von Prondzynski claimed that lecturer Sean O’Nuallain had ‘repudiated’ his contract of employment by being absent from his duties for prolonged periods, failing to turn up for meetings and for not being there for students …” (more)

[Fergus Black, Independent, 31 July]

Chickens come home to roost as recession bites

Posted in Life with tags on 31 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“With unemployment soaring, graduates and their parents have little choice but to lower their sights. ‘Do you realise there’s a recession going on!’ a friend shrieked down the phone to her 18 year old who right now is inter-railing across Europe with a borrowed grand in her back pocket and seemingly no intention of coming home. But come home she must, having flunked her first-year exams at university …” (more)

[Orna Mulcahy, Irish Times, 31 July]

Simmering university dispute boils over with ‘Nazi’ blog posts

Posted in Legal issues with tags , , on 31 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“A row between a college lecturer and his university boss boiled over onto the internet when a web blog called on the president to reveal whether his father was a member of the Nazi party. The blog was one of a number of exchanges in a dispute that has dragged on for more than six years and centres on whether a college lecturer was dismissed or resigned from his post as a computer applications lecturer at Dublin City University in 2003 …” (more)

[Fergus Black, Independent, 31 July]

Students quarantined with suspected swine flu

Posted in Life with tags , , on 31 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Seven language students were in quarantine at a Dublin university with suspected swine flu tonight as health chiefs confirmed 19 people have been taken to hospital. The teenagers, who were attending English language classes at University College Dublin, are remaining in on-campus residences …” (more)

[, 30 July]

Business students taking time to reflect

Posted in teaching with tags , on 31 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“… Much has been made in the press recently of the role MBA graduates had in causing the ongoing and ever-evolving financial crisis. From the pages of the Wall Street Journal to more general publications like the New York Times, fingers have been pointed at graduates of schools such as Wharton and Harvard Business School for their part in creating the economic turmoil that is now gripping the world …” (more)

[Gareth Keane, Irish Times, 31 July]

Did you see the big bubble in Trinity College today?

Posted in Life with tags , , on 31 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“They were pushing a big bubble around Trinity College this morning. Well okay, not a bubble – a zorb – but it was all to do with the new exhibit at the Science Gallery , entitled ‘Bubble’, appropriately enough. The interactive exhibition – promising fizz, froth and foam – runs from tomorrow, July 31 culminating with a Foam Party as part of Culture Night on September 25th …” (more)

[, 30 July]

Student outrage as grants are frozen

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 30 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Students have voiced fury over a Government decision to freeze grants for a second year in a row. Despite rising education costs, grant payments will stay the same, affecting around 60,000 students. The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) has said the decision will result in fewer people being able to access third level education …” (more)

[Andrew Phelan, Herald, 30 July]

Publisher ‘threat’ to open access

Posted in research with tags , on 30 July 2009 by Steve

UK“Elsevier approaches v-cs about taking repositories out of universities’ hands. A multinational journal giant is understood to be courting vice-chancellors in an effort to win their support for an alternative to open-access institutional research repositories. Elsevier is thought to be mooting a new idea that could undermine universities’ own open-access repositories. It would see Elsevier take over the job of archiving papers and making them available more widely as PDF files …” (more)

[Zoë Corbyn, Times Higher Education, 30 July]

FG unveils plan to attract international students

Posted in teaching with tags , on 30 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Fine Gael has unveiled a plan aimed at doubling the number of international students studying in Ireland by 2015. The party says the move could generate €400m annually for the Irish economy and help ease financial difficulties for Irish colleges and universities …” (more)

[Independent, 30 July]

Fury as thousands of farmers’ children to lose college grants

Posted in Fees and access with tags on 30 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Thousands of farmers’ children and low earners will lose out on higher education grants from next year. The move, which is set to cause uproar among farmers suffering falling incomes, follows the Government’s decision to make key changes to the eligibility criteria for means-tested grants from 2010. The most controversial is the removal of stock relief for farmers – a move condemned as ‘discriminatory’ last night by the Irish Farmers’ Association …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 30 July]

Lecturers’ beliefs on duties ‘disturbing’

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 30 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The taxpayers’ watchdog has described a belief among some third-level lecturers, that their obligations cease after providing 16 class contact hours a week, as disturbing. This was among the findings of an independent review for Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) after it discovered in 2007 one of its staff was also working full-time for National University of Ireland Galway …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 30 July]

UCC and IMI begin merger negotiations

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 30 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The Irish Management Institute (IMI) and University College Cork (UCC) have begun negotiating a merger in a move designed to bolster its provision of executive education. The two organisations said they had begun ‘exclusive negotiations’ aimed at reaching a merger. ‘Both organisations view this significant development as mutually enhancing the delivery of their strategic objectives in the area of executive education,’ they said …” (more)

[Laura Slattery and Seán Flynn, Irish Times, 30 July]

A law of motion: scientists follow the money

Posted in Life with tags , , on 30 July 2009 by Steve

UK“The world’s leading scientists are increasingly mobile but those who migrate are not necessarily more productive than their stay-at-home colleagues. Research led by Andrew Oswald, professor of economics at the University of Warwick, says that nearly half the world’s most-cited physicists work outside the country of their birth, with the majority migrating to the US early in their career …” (more)

[Times Higher Education, 30 July]

60,000 students hit by grants freeze

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 30 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Up to 60,000 students have been left counting the cost after their grants were frozen for a second year in a row despite an 11% rise in third-level education costs in the same period. In a move that will put many hard-pressed students and their families under more pressure, Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe has announced rates of between €345 and €6,690. However, Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures show third-level costs have increased by 5% in the last year …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 30 July]

A Festival of Ideas

Posted in Life with tags on 30 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“It was nice to see TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) receive such coverage in much of the press last week although one suspects that it is perhaps the celebrity attendees (via the ‘entertainment’ part of the label) that may have lured the photographers at least. TED though is both a celebration of ideas and a binge of creativity, style and eloquence. Carefully selected speakers are each given just 18 minutes to describe their ‘big idea’ or reflect on a particularly resonant experience to a live audience on stage, surrounded by cameras and in the knowledge that it will be broadcast to the world via the website, YouTube and iTunes …” (more)

[Iain Mac Labhrainn, University Blog, 29 July]

Least well-off to be hit by college grant changes

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 30 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Rural people, mature students and the least well-off will be most affected by planned changes in how grant applications are assessed, according to the Union of Students in Ireland (USI). Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe announced yesterday that changes will be made from next year to the way applications are assessed from farmers’ children, from people living in Ireland less than three out of the previous five years, mature students and some social welfare recipients ..” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 30 July]

From where I sit – Measuring the unmeasurable

Posted in research with tags , on 30 July 2009 by Steve

USA“Assessment and impact: these are the new watchwords in higher education. We have assessment indicators in the social sciences, the physical sciences and our business and law schools, which ask: ‘What does this research do? What footprint does it leave? Are its benefits worth the costs?’ Alas, the humanities do not respond well to these questions. One might as well ask the business and finance ends of campus what they contribute to the aesthetic richness of our lives – but, oddly, no one ever does …” (more)

[Michael Bérubé, Times Higher Education, 30 July]

Numbers applying for study grants will soar

Posted in Fees and access with tags on 30 July 2009 by Steve

Ireland“A massive increase in the number of students applying for higher education grants is expected over the next few weeks. The rise will add to the Government’s financial woes as the grants scheme already costs €300m a year. The jump in applications is largely due to the worsening jobs’ crisis, which is pushing thousands of additional families below the threshold set in order to qualify for grants …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 29 July]