Archive for 9 October 2009

TUI and IFUT dismiss ESRI research as ‘patently flawed’

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , , on 9 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“In a joint statement today, the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) and Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) rejected as ‘misleading’ and ‘flawed’ the findings of an ESRI survey on a pay differential between public and private higher education staff. The latest ESRI figures on a public and private pay differential between higher education staff are extremely misleading and yet again mischievously add to the drip-feed of misinformation supporting a patently flawed agenda. By failing to compare like with like, this piece of research is essentially redundant …” (more)

[IFUT Blog, 9 October]

TUI to ballot on action over cuts

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 9 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The Teachers’ Union of Ireland is to ballot 15,000 members in second level schools, further education colleges and Institutes of Technology on industrial action. The executive committee of the union this afternoon decided to ballot on a range of industrial action measures, up to and including strike action, to oppose Government measures that would worsen teachers’ working conditions …” (more)

[Irish Times, 9 October]

Problems with Online Research

Posted in research with tags , on 9 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The act of finding and reading published research has changed so much in the last 10-20 years. Ask any old-timer – anyone over 30 ;) – and they’ll tell you how literature searches used to involve looking up abstracts in hardback paper indexes and CD-ROMs; trying to find missing print journal issues from library shelves and waiting weeks for interlibrary loans from the British Library. Now you can do everything from your desktop in your office or at home …” (more)

[Jack Hyland, Read Around Research, 9 October]

USI and IFUT Condemn Government’s Third Level Recruitment Embargo

Posted in Legal issues with tags , , , on 9 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) and the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) have condemned the Government’s recruitment embargo in third level institutes. The Higher Education Authority (HEA) demanded that, this year, all Higher Education institutes cut employment to 3 per cent below 2008 levels. Since then, USI and IFUT have been inundated by a litany of reports from colleges that staff moratoriums have directly adversely affected their students and teachers …” (more)

[Irish Press Releases, 9 October]

Big pay gaps within public sector

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 9 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“A new study from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) indicates significant differences in rates of pay within the public sector. Following on from an ESRI report issued last month which showed that public sector workers were earning up to 26 per cent more than their counterparts in the private sector in 2006, the latest study indicates that the greatest public sector premium on offer is for those employed in education …” (more)

[Charlie Taylor, Irish Times, 9 October]

Will work for Beer

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 9 October 2009 by Steve

USA“A new study suggests that the cliché of a full-time college student working a low-wage job to pay her tuition and getting lower grades than she’d have if she wasn’t working is more fiction than fact. If the student works fewer than 20 hours a week, she may, in fact, have a higher grade point average than her jobless peers and be spending her paychecks on ‘beer money’ or other non-tuition expenses …” (more)

[Kevin Denny, Geary Behavioural Economics Blog, 9 October]

University rankings

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 9 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The strong showing of the Irish university sector in the prestigious Times Higher Education/QS World University Ranking is an impressive achievement which should be widely applauded. Yes, the rankings – like most education league tables – can be flawed and open to manipulation but they still represent an internationally-recognised benchmark. Trinity and UCD are now safely ensconced within the elite group of the world’s top 100 colleges. NUI Galway and UCC have also shown spectacular growth. There is evidence here of a sector which is continuing to perform and innovate …” (more)

[Editorial, Irish Times, 9 October]

Students ‘kept in dark’ over fees

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 9 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Students have accused the Government of keeping them ‘in the dark’ about the possible reintroduction of third-level fees amid growing anger over rising registration costs. A week of protest across the south of the country continued yesterday when up to 1,500 students turned out in Carlow to march against the Government’s education policy. The week is the beginning of a ‘winter of change’ by student protesters …” (more)

[Conor Kane, Independent, 9 October]

After Saturday, le déluge?

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 9 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“I think we had better start looking at what may be about to happen in Ireland. As I have mentioned in a previous post, right now negotiations are taking place between the two parties who (with some independent members of the parliament) make up the government of this country right now … Why does all this matter to me? Because there are several processes under way in the higher education sector that have the capacity to subject it to fundamental change. They are the higher education strategic review, the discussion about tuition fees (and a decision on this expected very shortly), the reform of quality assurance oversight, and so on …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 9 October]

Our young scientists key to economy’s future success

Posted in teaching with tags , on 9 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“How do you encourage an interest in science and technology in students? The issue, as we all know, has been highlighted ad nauseam of late as the nation wrestles with its economic problems, both short and long term. The slide in student numbers in the sciences has been hitting headlines for several years – and we are right to be concerned. But it is not all doom and gloom …” (more)

[Karlin Lillington, Irish Times, 9 October]

Context for the Government’s 500 Million: Digital Media in Online Higher Ed

Posted in teaching with tags , on 9 October 2009 by Steve

USA“Frederick M Hess wrote an interesting piece for Inside Higher Ed in which he questioned the logic and fairness of the U.S. government’s initiative to ‘provide $500 million to develop free, and “freely available”, online college courses’. He suggests that the initiative is short-sighted and serves to undercut existing commercial providers …” (more)

[Keith Hampson, Higher Education Management Group, 8 October]

Universities told to cap extra places at 10,000

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 9 October 2009 by Steve

UK“Students applying to start university next autumn face a tougher battle for places, after universities were ordered to cap the number of extra places at just 10,000. Funding chiefs wrote to vice-chancellors this week informing them of the decision to fully fund a limited number of extra places, a week before the 15 October deadline for Oxbridge applications. Pressure on places at top universities will be acute, as many of the 10,000 extra places have already been allocated to ‘higher education centres’, to offer degree teaching outside traditional institutions …” (more)

[Polly Curtis, Guardian, 8 October]