Archive for 6 October 2009

Students in the South Fight Against Fees

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , , on 6 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The Union of Students in Ireland will hold a succession of protests on college campuses around the south of Ireland as part of its campaign against the reintroduction of fees. Protests will be held by University College Cork, the Limerick School of Art and Design and the Institutes of Technologies in Carlow, Limerick Tralee and Waterford from October 7–14. Hundreds of students, representing their individual colleges, will come out to voice their opposition to the reintroduction of fees at each event …” (more)

[Irish Press Releases, 6 October]

European Commission wants total overhaul of research policy to close gap with US, others

Posted in research with tags , on 6 October 2009 by Steve

EU“Europe must increase funds for research and eliminate nationalistic reflexes that have turned the continent from science leader to laggard, the European Commission said Tuesday. As President Barack Obama plans for a new era in US science and technology, and research efforts gather pace in emerging powers such as China and India, Europe must start taking drastic action, an EU policy report said …” (more)

[The Gaea Times, 6 October]

Lecturers get ‘scruffy’ jeans ban

Posted in Legal issues with tags , , on 6 October 2009 by Steve

UK“Lecturers have been told they will be sent home to change if they come to work in jeans or scruffy trousers. The UCU lecturers’ union is protesting against Birmingham Metropolitan College acting like the ‘fashion police’ …” (more)

[Sean Coughlan, BBC News, 6 October]

Protestant brain drain … again!

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 6 October 2009 by Steve

UK“It has become almost an annual ritual that some unionist politician or other complains about the fact that Protestant students are more likely to study in Britain than in Northern Ireland, and thus are less likely to end up living here. This year’s contribution to the ritual comes from DUP MLAs Alex Easton and Jonathan Craig …” (more)

[Ulster’s Doomed!, 6 October]

Oxford professors ‘hacked into emails’

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 6 October 2009 by Steve

UK“Dr Cecile Deer told an employment tribunal that she believed her private computer correspondence had been illegally accessed by supervisors after she complained about her treatment. The 41-year-old won an out-of-court settlement with the university in 2008 after she sued them for sex discrimination when she was excluded from the women’s football team. However, after receiving the settlement, Dr Deer claims Professor Geoffrey Walford victimised her by refusing to give her a job reference …” (more)

[Daily Telegraph, 6 October]

Law to back academic freedom

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 6 October 2009 by Steve

Australia“Draft legislation to enshrine academic freedom and limit ministerial interference in university research could be released next year. The legislation would also aim to thwart racist or other extreme attacks by academics on members of the public. After years of quiet lobbying over the issue, the National Tertiary Education Union has won a commitment from the Australian Labor Party to ‘legislate to provide strong and effective protection for academic freedom’ …” (more)

[Guy Healy, The Australian Higher Education, 7 October]

Protestants and universities: the students hit back

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , , on 6 October 2009 by Steve

UK“Student leaders have slammed claims that Northern Ireland’s two main universities are putting off Protestants. Speaking as the Assembly prepares to debate the migration of school-leavers today, student representatives have rejected DUP suggestions that a religious imbalance in Northern Ireland’s academic institutions is because Protestants do not feel welcome. Gareth McGreevy, student campaigns officer at QUB, said: ‘To suggest that Queen’s is a house for republicanism is an unfounded suggestion …’” (more)

[Belfast Telegraph, 6 October]

Reading, reading, reading

Posted in teaching with tags , on 6 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Hey everyone! Second week of classes has started and now it’s ‘the real thing’. Last week everything was more or less introduction (read: handing out the reading list and going over it superficially). This week we are supposed to have read articles and/or books (but mostly introduction and conclusion), so we can have a debate in class. In ‘Approaches to historical research’ however, the topic was academic writing …” (more)

[A Trinity Tale, 6 October]

Educated women ‘aid long life’

Posted in Life with tags , on 6 October 2009 by Steve

Sweden“A well-educated woman positively influences both her own and her partner’s chances of a long life, Swedish research suggests. A man whose partner had only a school education has a 25% greater risk of dying early than if she had had a university education, it suggests …” (more)

[BBC News, 5 October]

Amazon Comes to Academic Publishing

Posted in Life with tags , on 6 October 2009 by Steve

USA“Amazon is famous for a lot of things, but foremost among them is the customer reviews that are appended to virtually every product it sells (the company went so far as to patent its approach). The company sells books, but it isn’t a publisher, so it has an interest – at least theoretically – in letting its customers say what they don’t like as well as what they like about specific titles …” (more)

[Inside Higher Ed, 6 October]

Education cuts reversal key to keep Greens in coalition

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 6 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“….The Green Party is seeking a return to September 2008 school staffing levels, which have been reduced by between 800 and 2,000 teachers – depending on whether the calculations of Mr O’Keeffe or teacher unions are to be believed. This and an insistence that third level fees should not be reintroduced in any form – despite Mr O’Keeffe’s known preference for a graduate loans system – are among key demands the Greens have brought to the talks, ahead of their party conference to seek approval for a revised programme on Saturday …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 6 October]

The End of German Studies – Who Cares?

Posted in teaching with tags , , on 6 October 2009 by Steve

UK“German students at Queen’s University Belfast are a dying breed. A first final lesson came at the end of the 2nd semester in June this year, when administrators announced that the German Studies department was no longer financially viable. After being questioned on this decision Queen’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Gregson was quick to point out that, seemingly, there is not enough interest for this language at degree level among Northern Ireland’s A’ level students …” (more)

[Barbara Boyle, The Gown, 5 October]

For the sake of the unemployed, spare education more cuts

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , , on 6 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“There is an emerging consensus that all Government departments – including Education – must take their share of the pain during this economic crisis. I don’t agree. What Colm McCarthy and his Bord Snip team have failed to consider is the fact that cuts in expenditure in one area can (and often do) lead to even higher increases in expenditure in others …” (more)

[Brian Mooney, Irish Times, 6 October]

Irish business school in FT top 100 rankings

Posted in teaching with tags , on 6 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“An Irish master’s degree programme has been ranked in the world’s top 100 list of full-time master’s in management by the Financial Times. The master’s in management degree programme at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School placed at No 38 in the FT’s list – the only Irish business school to feature in the rankings …” (more)

[Business and Leadership, 5 October]

File under – ‘Silly comments by middle-aged university managers’

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 6 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Last week I was walking across the DCU campus when I came upon a frantic young man in a car who, as he told me, had an urgent appointment in the university but couldn’t find anywhere to park. On this occasion I was able to help him, but these days we have constant car parking issues. In his book, The Uses of the University, Clark Kerr, the late chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley, suggested that a university president has three key tasks that the institution’s main stakeholders will expect to see achieved: ‘sex for the students, athletics for the alumni, and parking for the faculty’. Only the last of these, Kerr suggested, presented a problem …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Irish Times, 6 October]

1,000 college places for students with disabilities

Posted in Life with tags on 6 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Anne Marie Scarry’s vision impairment failed to act as a barrier to her getting a third-level degree. More than 1,000 college places are now due to be reserved for students with disabilities from next year. The Cork student is completing a masters degree in applied psychology at University College Cork where she already completed a primary degree thanks to the disability support service’s help …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 6 October]

Display of innovation in science

Posted in research with tags , on 6 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“What’s the best way to get potentially life-saving vaccines to the people who need them? How can you reduce the misery and cost of hospital-acquired infections? And can you predict whether someone will develop life-threatening complications after surgery? These are among the big questions to be tackled by innovators at a conference in Dublin next week …” (more)

[Claire O’Connell, Irish Times, 6 October]

The future of legal education – part 2: gazing in the crystal ball

Posted in teaching with tags on 6 October 2009 by Steve

UK“So, where do my musings, based on the previous post, lead me? Let’s start with the biggest change. I anticipate that we will see the gap between elite and local institutions widening, with a greater degree of mission and market differentiation than at present. By 2029, what we might think of as the modern ‘compleat university’ will I think be the preserve of a few elite institutions.Why? First, I think it will be recognised that the demand for graduate employment has been misjudged and that the HE sector has become bloated …” (more)

[Julian Webb, hEaD space, 5 October]

The man who ‘knows more than anyone about Irish education’

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 6 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“John Coolahan is education’s everyman. He’s a household name in thousands of Irish homes not because of his public profile, but because he has stood before so many pupils and students. For the past 50 years, Coolahan has been a primary teacher, a secondary teacher, a teacher-trainer and a university professor. He has been a principal mover in every major piece of education legislation produced in the past four decades. There is barely a corner of Irish educational policy that he hasn’t coloured and yet, until recently, Coolahan has not entered public debate on policy issues. He prefers to use his vast network to influence reform behind the scenes. So when he drew the media to his criticism of the McCarthy report last month, it stopped many policymakers in their tracks …” (more)

[Louise Holden, Irish Times, 6 October]