Archive for 12 October 2009

Thanks to Greens, increase in third level fees by back door, a real prospect

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , , on 12 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“I welcome the apparent admission by the Government that third level fees would be a block on those who want to receive a higher education. This has been the Labour Party position since we abolished fees in 1995. However, there is no guarantee in the new Programme for Government that the old trick of increasing the college registration fee won’t continue. Third Level Fees already exist. They are just disguised as registration fees …” (more)

[Ruairi Quinn TD, Labour Party Blog, 12 October]

College Heads Did Not Want Fee Hike

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 12 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Brian Hayes has responded to Minister Batt O’Keeffe this evening by saying: ‘Will the Minister for Education finally confirm that, last year, the Universities’ Presidents did not look for increase in the registration fee? The presidents of the universities appeared in the Oireachtas Education Committee and stated that they did not look for a registration fee increase for the academic year 2009/2010. In the Budget, Batt O’Keeffe and his Government hiked it from €900 to €1500 …'” (more)

[Brian Hayes, Fine Gael Blog, 12 October]

Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett – a new Discworld novel – is out now

Posted in Life with tags on 12 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Imagine my surprise, me, a so-called self respecting pTerry fan, when walking into Chapters yesterday I saw there’s a new Discworld book out. A full novel. Unseen Academicals. The 37th in the Discworld series. A hardback. €19.99. A book I didn’t know was due out so soon …” (more)

[Darragh Doyle, Culch.ie, 12 October]

Hayes ‘confused’ over how college registration fee operates – Minister O’Keeffe

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 12 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education and Science, Batt O’Keeffe TD, has rejected Brian Hayes’ statement today about the college registration fee, saying the Fine Gael spokesman doesn’t understand how the charge operates. Minister O’Keeffe said: ‘Let me make it clear for Deputy Hayes who appears to be confused on the issue …’” (more)

[Fianna Fáil Blog, 12 October]

O’Keeffe refuses to rule out fees

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 12 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe said today he did not consider resigning over the Government’s commitment not to introduce third-level fees and that some form of student contribution remained his objective. Mr O’Keeffe signalled earlier this year he was considering some form of fee structure for the country’s universities and institutes of technology. However, the Government’s revised Programme for Government has given a commitment not to introduce university fees, not to increase pupil-teacher ratio numbers and to begin recruiting 500 teachers immediately …” (more)

[Jason Michael, Irish Times, 12 October]

Hayes calls O’Keeffe ‘clueless’

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 12 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education, Batt O’Keeffe’s interview on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland this morning makes it clear that he is ‘either clueless when it comes to third level funding and the registration fee or he is misleading all those in the area’ Fine Gael Education Spokesman, Brian Hayes TD has said. ‘It is astonishing that the Minister for Education would make such a claim. On Morning Ireland this morning, Batt O’Keeffe attempted to kick to touch the issue of registration fees saying it relates to student services. He then made the astounding claim that he cannot hike the fee …”’ (more)

[CorkPolitics.ie, 12 October]

Ryan: Universities have to manage resources better

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 12 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Green Party minister Eamon Ryan has said Ireland’s universities will have to manage their resources better following the Government’s decision not to re-introduce third-level fees …” (more)

[BreakingNews.ie, 12 October]

Civil Service pay cuts not the answer

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 12 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“… Benchmarking remains one of the great misunderstood phenomena of the Celtic Tiger era. As the Report of the Public Service Benchmarking Body states, it was introduced to carry out ‘a detailed examination into the jobs, pay and conditions of public servants’ and to compare these ‘with jobs of equal size in the private sector using representative data on pay and conditions’ …While the 2002 benchmarking report recommended increases for the great majority of public servants, the most recent benchmarking report (December 2007) recommended a zero award for the vast majority of public servants, with the exception of a small number of grades. This fact is conveniently ignored …” (more)

[Dave Thomas, Irish Times, 12 October]

Comments by Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe TD on the Programme for Government

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 12 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“In April, the Minister asked his officials preparing a Government-mandated report on the student contribution to take into account changes arising from the Budget and their impact on income levels. He said that any new form of student contribution must be ‘family-proofed’ so that students and families wouldn’t be unfairly burdened in the context of the Budget measures. It has become clear that, as families face mounting job losses and sharply declining incomes and living standards, the introduction of a student contribution in whatever form would neither be affordable or fair at this time. It’s the Minister’s view and that of the Government that such a move would fail the ‘stress test’ for many students and their families in this recession …” (more)

[Fianna Fáil Blog, 12 October]

Would you invest in a business student?

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 12 October 2009 by Steve

France“An investment vehicle that tries to model future earnings is seeking to revolutionise the way students fund their MBA degrees. The ‘community education bond’, unveiled by French business school Insead in conjunction with British company Prodigy Finance, circumvents the traditional bank-based method of MBA finance by allowing alumni to invest in a fund that will be used to provide loans to students. Investors pledge money to the company, which then matches investors with prospective students and pays their tuition fees directly to Insead. Over a period of seven years, students make repayments to Prodigy, which redistributes the funds to lenders …” (more)

[Jonathan Liew, Daily Telegraph, 12 October]

Reforming the Humanities PhD

Posted in teaching with tags , , on 12 October 2009 by Steve

USA“The right combination of money and policies can make real progress in reducing the time to degree for earning humanities doctorates, but the six-year humanities Ph.D. is probably not in the cards. Those are among the key findings of one of the most ambitious efforts ever to reform the humanities Ph.D., as discussed in one of the most thorough (and frank) evaluations of such an effort. The reform effort was the Graduate Education Initiative of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which spent about $85 million over a 10-year period on both financial aid and other enhancements at 54 doctoral departments at 10 leading research universities …” (more)

[Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, 12 October]

Schwarzenegger Vetoes Limits on Administrators’ Pay

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 12 October 2009 by Steve

USA“California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Sunday vetoed a bill that would have barred most salary increases and bonuses for executives at the University of California and California State University systems in bad budget years, such as this one. In his veto message, the governor criticized the measure as too broad and intrusive …” (more)

[Inside Higher Ed, 12 October]

No fees but student charges will soar

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , , on 12 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“College registration fees are expected to rise substantially again next year, despite the Green Party’s commitment on third-level fees in the coalition deal with Fianna Fail. The current maximum registration fee of €1,500 is being considered for a further hike in the December Budget. Education Minister Batt O’Keeffe still believes students will have to pay fees at some point in the future when the economy improves …” (more)

[Fionnan Sheahan, Independent, 12 October]

Major blow for education minister

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 12 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The scrapping of third-level fees and concessions on primary class sizes is a major blow for education minister Batt O’Keeffe, who has not been afraid to make unpopular decisions in the face of stiff opposition from the teachers’ unions. The reintroduction of third level fees was first mooted by O’Keeffe in August 2008 …” (more)

[Martha Kearns, Sunday Business Post, 11 October]

King’s Inns fails to tell students whether it recognises degree

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 12 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“King’s Inns has not accredited the first year of the law degree for Dublin Business School (DBS). It is understood that a number of students who signed up for the three-year course at €5,700 a year have now demanded the return of their fees, and have applied for law courses at other colleges. Law graduates who wish to study to become barristers must have a primary law degree approved by the King’s Inns …” (more)

[Kieron Wood, Sunday Business Post, 11 October]

The government, fees and such stuff: some last comments

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 12 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Of course the dust will settle over the past few days, and normal business will resume. But when that happens, we will need to know how to plan for a future for higher education that is sustainable and that delivers acceptable quality. Right now it seems to me that the government parties have entered into a commitment – i.e. the commitment not to introduce higher education tuition fees – that is really about protecting people from a cost, but they have not considered what that will mean for the higher education sector and how it can remain viable …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 11 October]

Teachers welcome education measures

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 12 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The INTO has described the education measures outlined in the Programme for Government as a ‘genuine attempt’’ to protect primary education in a very difficult economic environment. The ASTI and the TUI have also welcomed key features of the programme … However, university presidents have reacted with dismay to the scrapping of plans for new student charges and maintain these are inevitable ‘sooner or later’ …” (more)

[Seán Flynn, Irish Times, 12 October]

Hike in college registration fees looms

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 12 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Cash-strapped universities will be left to increase registration charges to compensate for the Green Party winning the fight to stop the Government formally introducing third level fees. The Green Party leader, Minister John Gormley, said while he did not want to see stealth fees by way of increased annual registration charges, he conceded he was powerless to stop it happening …” (more)

[Conor Ryan, Irish Examiner, 12 October]

Leaders emphasise global connections

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 12 October 2009 by Steve

EU“European university leaders fear the Bologna process is being seen as a mechanism to make Europe ‘too Europe-centred’. At the European University Association’s autumn conference in Giessen last week, the leaders were anxious that Europe be viewed by the rest of the global academic community as outward looking and ready to engage with those beyond its shores …” (more)

[David Jobbins, University World News, 11 October]

UL ranks bottom of league of universities

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 12 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The world ranking of universities has placed the University of Limerick at the bottom of the Irish league, while a number of other Irish universities saw a dramatic boost in their ratings. UL also fared poorly in the Sunday Times Irish university guide this year, which ranked it at seventh place – below every other Irish university …” (more)

[Anne Sheridan, Limerick Leader, 9 October]