Archive for October, 2009

Universities threatened by market-based funding, warn international experts

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 31 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Universities are being subjected to the same market-based, profit-driven policies that caused the crisis in the financial markets and face an increasing risk of a crisis in academic standards and credibility, David Robinson, Associate Executive Director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), stated at the IFUT seminar in Dublin. Mr Robinson warned that the drift in western countries towards commercialised universities and dubious quality providers must be resisted if universities are to preserve their function as reservoirs of research and innovation ….” (more)

[IFUT blog, 31 October]


Crisis of Cars

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

UK“Every university has its problems and Queen’s is no different – low attendance, too much alcohol to name but a few. However, it could be said that one of the major problems for Queen’s University students, especially those who drive, is the never ending struggle with traffic, parking, and public transport. One must deal with the traffic jams, one way streets which are easily blocked and being constantly late to class. Many would say that it is a student’s responsibility to leave home in plenty of time but how can one predict that an ambulance will be parked on University Street for half an hour? …” (more)

[Melissa Devlin, The Gown, 31 October]

Thomson Reuters chosen to support world university rankings

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 31 October 2009 by Steve

USA“Thomson Reuters, the authority on research citation data for more than half a century, announced today that it will be the sole provider of data used to calculate the annual World University Rankings produced by the Times Higher Education. ‘In addition to unmatched data quality, Thomson Reuters provides a proven history of bibliometric expertise and analysis’, said Jonathan Adams, director of research evaluation at Thomson Reuters …” (more)

[Thomson Reuters, 30 October]

State ‘needs Catholic university’

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 31 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The setting up of a Catholic university in Ireland has been called for by a prominent educational leader. Dr Peadar Cremin, President of Mary Immaculate College of Education in Limerick, said it was time to take stock of the standing of denominational education at third level. ‘The State now has seven secular, state-funded universities, as well as 14 institutes of technology. At a time of severe cutbacks in state funding, the dominance of the State … has to be a matter of concern’ …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 31 October]

Prestigious International Ranking for Department of Economics at UL

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 31 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The CHE – Centre for Higher Education Development, in Germany, has recognised the Department of Economics, Kemmy Business School (KBS) at the University of Limerick (UL) as having achieved ‘Excellence Group’ status in Economics. UL is one of only three Irish Universities to receive excellence group status this year and is placed alongside NUI Dublin (Economics) and Queen’s University, Belfast (Political Science) in this category …” (more)

[Education Ireland, 30 October]

Solidarity Appeal – Protesters threatened with cautions for anti-fees occupation

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

Ireland“FEE (Free Education for Everyone) activists in Ireland involved in an occupation of Paul Gogarty TD’s offices (Green Party Education Spokesperson) in December 2008 have now been threatened almost a year later with ‘adult cautions’ by the Gardai. This is an appeal for solidarity emails and phone calls to remove that threat. The occupation was a peaceful protest (pictures and story here) against the threat to re-introduce full third level fees …” (more)

[Free Education for Everyone, 31 October]

Professor of chemistry who supported Carnsore project

Posted in Life with tags on 31 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Seán Ó Cinnéide, who has died aged 86, was a former professor of inorganic chemistry at University College Galway. He previously worked at Harwell, Britain’s first atomic energy research establishment. He first made his name when as an undergraduate he discovered a chemical reaction now known in scientific circles as the ‘Kennedy/Dillon reaction’. Many years later, in 1978, he delivered the annual Oireachtas na Gaeilge lecture …” (more)

[Irish Times, 31 October]

Course fee refund in row on accreditation

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

Ireland“First-year law students at a private college are being offered their money back because of a problem over the recognition of their course by the King’s Inns. The students, who paid €5,700 a year to Portobello College in Dublin, are also being offered the option of transferring to Griffith College. Law graduates who want to become barristers must have an approved law degree to sit entrance examinations for King’s Inns, the training body for barristers …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 30 October]

Do Professors Matter?

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

USA“My high school chemistry teacher used to exhort us to study hard lest the only college that would take us would be ‘Joe’s Barber College’. We were smart kids. We got the joke. We knew you weren’t a college just because you called yourself one. You needed certain accouterments – such as a highly-trained and stable faculty. But would this joke have as much traction in the 21st century? For instance, until relatively recently you could visit the Web sites of any number of for-profit colleges – especially, but not exclusively, those specializing in distance education – and search in vain for any sign of their faculty …” (more)

[Peter Katopes, Inside Higher Ed, 30 October]

Students angry at call for college fee hike

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

Ireland“Students have reacted angrily to the call by University College Cork’s president for a hike in the €1,500 registration fee in the upcoming budget. Dr Michael Murphy said the extra funding was needed to guarantee the quality of education for the university’s 19,000 students following the recent decision that the Fianna Fáil-Green Party coalition will not reintroduce tuition fees. But UCC Students’ Union president Eoin Hayes said Dr Murphy was out of touch with his students …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 30 October]

Trinity lecturer hits out as UCD claims it’s best in Ireland

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

Ireland“A Trinity lecturer has slammed another leading Irish university for making a false claim that it is Ireland’s best university. Dr Gerald Morgan from Trinity has urged University College Dublin (UCD) to clarify why it is dubbing itself ‘Ireland’s Premier University’ on its website, when it is only ranked the second-best university in Ireland. On the welcome note to UCD on Google, the university quotes itself as ‘Ireland’s premier University, a 35 school institution with over 20000 students’ …” (more)

[Geraldine Gittens, Herald, 29 October]

Budget must support research – UCC president

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

Ireland“The reputation and capacity of Irish universities to earn research income will plummet internationally if the Government fails to continue supporting research in the December Budget, University College Cork president Dr Michael Murphy has warned. Dr Murphy said it was critical that the Government continues to back universities in winning research income through funding the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and other agencies if Ireland is to maintain its reputation …” (more)

[Barry Roche, Irish Times, 30 October]

Europe’s ‘best universities’

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

EU“A league table that isn’t actually a league table: via ‘European best universities’ – ZEIT ONLINE …” (more)

[Registrarism, 29 October]

Students’ union calls for cap on registration fees

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

Ireland“The Union of Students in Ireland has called for a cap on registration fees for third-level students following a warning that they would have to rise to maintain quality of services and avoid a funding crisis. USI vice-president Dan O’Neill said yesterday: ‘The 67 per cent rise in fees [this year] was a hard hit for students and families. Everybody has to take a hit, but we’ve already taken one. Student fees have increased by 124 per cent since 2002’ …” (more)

[Orla Tinsley, Irish Times, 30 October]

Measuring the economic value of Canada’s international education ‘industry’

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

Canada“Yesterday, Canada unveiled a report assessing the economic contributions that international students make to the country. Entitled Economic Impact of International Education in Canada, the report was presented by Stockwell Day, the Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, at a meeting of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) …” (more)

[GlobalHigherEd, 29 October]

An academic bonus?

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

Ireland“Right now the word ‘bonus’ – when applied to special payments that supplement salary – has become a dirty word, suggesting greed and abuse by corporate managers at times when their organisations are failing and people are losing their jobs. So it may seem counter-intuitive for higher education institutions to experiment with bonus payments at this time – but that is what has been done at Kent State University in Ohio. Apparently 820 academics are due to get bonuses of around $2,500 based on progress the university has made in student retention, research income and philanthropic fundraising …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 30 October]

What Is Academic Freedom for?

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 30 October 2009 by Steve

USA“… Academic freedom is often taken as an unexamined given on university campuses and is often viewed from outside the academy with some bafflement. Both of these situations should be a cause of concern. Properly understood, academic freedom is of enormous importance to our society and to the well-being of our academic institutions, and is central to the contributions universities can make. The threats to academic freedom come from both outside and within the academy. An examination of academic freedom, its meaning and purpose, can increase understanding outside the academy, and also clarify its meaning within the academy, providing us all with better understanding for informed action …” (more)

[Robert J Zimmer, Univeristy of Chicago, 21 October]

College ‘fees by the backdoor’ as registration fee guaranteed to rise – Hayes

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , , , on 29 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Students and parents are certain to be charged even more ‘fees by the backdoor’ as the college registration fee is now set to rise after college heads called for a hike today (Thursday), Fine Gael Education Spokesman, Brian Hayes TD, said. Deputy Hayes said that Batt O’Keeffe is fooling nobody by claiming that the registration fee is nothing to do with him and that the Minister is using students as ‘cash cows’ to generate cash for the under-funded third level sector …” (more)

[Fine Gael Blog, 29 October]

Higher education, and shifting the geopolitical balance of power

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

Ireland“… The question now is whether those rankings will still look the same in 10 years time. Well, to save time let me say that they won’t. The position of Asian universities will have improved dramatically, as the key countries there are channelling big investments into their higher education systems right now. As the US Chronicle of Higher Education has observed, investment by countries like Singapore in new world class universities demonstrates a sense of driven purpose …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 29 October]

USI Supports ICTU Protests

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

Ireland“The Union of Students in Ireland is supporting planned strikes by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) next month. The USI is opposed to government plans to slash the public sector wage bill by €1.3 billion. This decrease in the pay bill will only lead to a further unrest among the teachers of Ireland and it will also further stifle the recovery of the economy …” (more)

[Irish Press Releases, 29 October]