Archive for 22 October 2009

Academic Cassandras: Iceland and Ireland

Posted in research with tags , on 22 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Timely warnings were issued by academic commentators in both Iceland and Ireland long before the collapse. On Iceland’s sidelining of its most internationally-prominent economist, see my recent book review for the Irish Times. The Sunday Independent afforded me the chance, a few weeks ago, to review the policy concerns that I had been expressing over the last decade (see here). I was not in any way a lone voice …” (more)

[Frank Barry, The Irish Economy, 22 October]

Speech by the Minister for Education and Science, Batt O’Keeffe TD

Posted in research with tags , , , on 22 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“… The challenge for us now is to create new competitive strength for Ireland and for Europe in building stronger higher education-enterprise partnerships. We’re starting from a strong base in Ireland where interaction between the worlds of business and higher education is a well-established and well-accepted concept. Our speakers today will no doubt provide us with many examples of good practice. There are some initiatives worth highlighting …” (more)

[Fianna Fáil Blog, 22 October]

Online Education’s Great Unknowns

Posted in teaching with tags , , on 22 October 2009 by Steve

USA“Distance learning has broken into the mainstream of higher education. But at the campus level, many colleges still know precious little about how best to organize online programs, whether those programs are profitable, and how they compare to face-to-face instruction in terms of quality. That is what Kenneth C. Green, director of the Campus Computing Project, concludes in a study released today in conjunction with the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications …” (more)

[Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed, 22 October]

Dashboard Fever

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 22 October 2009 by Steve

USA“As public and political pressure have built on colleges and universities to prove their performance to increasingly questioning external audiences, many institutions have realized that they must start by better understanding their own strengths and weaknesses. That has led increasing numbers of individual institutions, public university systems (like the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities), and state higher education entities (like Indiana’s Commission of Higher Education) to collect and organize data from massive and complex data warehouses in easily digestible forms, resulting in an explosion of dashboards and other mechanisms. Most of them relate to things such as finances, facilities and, increasingly, student persistence …” (more)

[Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, 22 October]

Public service faces €1.3bn in cutbacks

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 22 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“ICTU general secretary David Begg said the planned mass protest was ‘a once in a lifetime opportunity’ to stave off new pay cuts. The Government wants €1.3bn of the €4bn it needs to save in the Budget to come from the public sector pay and pensions bill …” (more)

[Senan Molony and Shane Hickey, Independent, 22 October]

Improved CAO college offers come too late for 44 students

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 22 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Forty four students are getting improved college offers from the CAO, but most will have to wait a year before they can avail of them. For some, it is a ‘wasted year’, according to Peter Mannion, President of the Union of Students in Ireland. He said with mid-term breaks looming, it was too late to switch course this year and he was critical of the delay in issuing the revised results …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 22 October]

‘Rent arrears’ student wins right to graduate

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 22 October 2009 by Steve

UK“A student denied her degree because of alleged rent arrears has won her fight to be allowed to graduate. Maria Lavelle, who completed a performing arts degree from the University of Winchester with a 2:1 pass this summer, will graduate tomorrow. Her case was highlighted by The Independent which revealed that hundreds of students were in a similar situation …” (more)

[Richard Garner, Independent, 22 October]

Customers, consumers, traders? What are students?

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 22 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Just over a year ago I raised the question of whether it is appropriate or helpful to think of university students as customers. Are they buying something from us (or is the state doing so on their behalf), and if so, what does that suggest should be their attitude and ours to the ‘transaction’ between us? Across the Irish Sea in the UK, this is a question that is being asked with increasing frequency …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 22 October]

Postgrads deserve better

Posted in teaching with tags on 22 October 2009 by Steve

UK“Postgraduates are our future. Without them, the academy is unsustainable: they are the teachers and researchers of tomorrow. But even beyond that, educating postgraduates is important for the future prosperity of the nation. First Secretary Lord Mandelson, who knows a good business opportunity for UK plc when he sees one, announced a review of postgraduate provision this summer, describing it as ‘a major export earner for the UK, and one which we have perhaps taken too much for granted’ …” (more)

[Ann Mroz, Times Higher Education, 22 October]

A place to call home

Posted in teaching with tags , on 22 October 2009 by Steve

UK“‘Grad school’: it is a quintessentially North American term, conjuring up images of autumn leaves drifting across campus lawns and idle students decked out in Abercrombie and Fitch gear. Until the mid-1990s, UK postgraduate students rarely had a dedicated base to call home, with the administration, management and support of their research efforts typically being bundled in with the day-to-day business of their academic departments. Yet with the rapid growth in postgraduate numbers, UK universities began to emulate the graduate-school model in an attempt to manage their burgeoning research-student populations …” (more)

[Hannah Fearn, Times Higher Education, 22 October]

Irish Technology Leadership group announces launch of US-Ireland venture fund of $100m

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 22 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The US-based Irish Technology Leadership group announced today the launch of a venture fund of $100m and is also setting up an Irish tech centre next year in Silicon Valley in California. In September, the group signed a cooperation agreement with UCD and Trinity College in Dublin and is now participating with two universities in the North to help emerging companies in the IT sector …” (more)

[Finfacts, 21 October]

Collegiate spirit drives us to help advance the academic enterprise

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 22 October 2009 by Steve

UK“Administrative staff do not deserve demonisation because they too are committed to the university’s unique mission. In 1976 I attended an introductory course for university administrators in Leeds where Sir Edward Boyle, who was vice-chancellor then, solemnly advised us that we should look at ourselves in the mirror every morning and recite: ‘I know I’m an evil, but am I a necessary evil?’ …” (more)

[David Allen, Times Higher Education, 22 October]

Microsoft’s Vision for Higher Ed and Lecture Capture

Posted in teaching with tags on 22 October 2009 by Steve

USA“… Microsoft is in danger of becoming irrelevant at the front-lines of learning and teaching. How much space does Microsoft’s products and services occupy in the minds of our students? From what I can see not much. Ray Ozzie should be worried about this. Our community would benefit if we could help Microsoft invest some of the $30 billion it has in cash in educational technology companies and projects …” (more)

[Joshua Kim, Inside Higher Ed, 21 October]