Archive for 23 October 2009

Wicklow students protest over grants

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 23 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“More than 40 third-level students have occupied the offices of Wicklow County Council in protest at the late payment of Higher Education Grants. The students, who are members of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), ‘stormed’ the council chambers at around 1pm but were removed by gardaí and are now in a lobby area outside the chamber doors, USI’s deputy president Dan O’Neill said …” (more)

[Olivia Kelly, Irish Times, 23 October]

HEA under fire over funding stance

Posted in Legal issues with tags , , , , on 23 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The Higher Education Authority is refusing to allow third level colleges fund student leisure, counselling and other services even though students have paid for those services through their registration fees. Gyms, swimming pools and other facilities in third level colleges have been shut down because the colleges have not been allowed to renew staff contracts …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 23 October]

USI Hold Demonstration in Opposition to the Registration Fee

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 23 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The Union of Students in Ireland will hold a public demonstration in opposition to Ireland’s third level registration fee. The demo will be held at 1pm on Tuesday, October 27th outside Dail Eireann. Ireland’s registration fees have increased by 124% since 2002 and now cost at least €1500 …” (more)

[USI, Irish Press Releases, 23 October]

Earnings data ‘destroys’ case against public pay cuts

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 23 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Official figures revealing public worker wages has risen since last year have crushed the case against pay cuts in the sector, it was claimed today. Business leaders said the average 3.2 per cent salary jump was further evidence public and civil servants were living in a ‘parallel universe’ while everybody else was being crucified by the economic crisis …” (more)

[Irish Times, 23 October]

Education cutbacks must be halted

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 23 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Ógra Shinn Féin has called on the Government to give a guarantee on the commitment not to introduced registration fees for college students. The commitment was made after a dramatic negotiation between Fianna Fáil and the Green Party over the future of the Government. Dubbed ‘third level fees by stealth’, the registration increased from €900 to €1500 this year, leaving many students and their families struggling the make ends meet …” (more)

[Ógra Shinn Féin, 23 October]

Website ban for academic bailed on harassment charges

Posted in Legal issues with tags , , on 23 October 2009 by Steve

UK“A criminal court has banned an academic from adding material to a website criticising Kingston University’s vice-chancellor. Kingston Magistrates’ Court imposed the ban on Howard Fredrics as a condition of bail after he was charged with harassing vice-chancellor Sir Peter Scott. Dr Fredrics was dismissed from his job as a music lecturer at the university in 2006 and has been involved in an employment dispute with the university ever since. He faces up to six months in jail if found guilty …” (more)

[Melanie Newman, Times Higher Education, 23 October]

USI Supports Occupation of Wicklow County Council

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 23 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The Union of Students in Ireland has taken part in the occupation of Wicklow County Council offices today (October 23). The action was organised by UCD students’ union to highlight delays in the processing of student maintenance grant applications by the local authority. USI Deputy President, Dan O’Neill, occupied the building alongside approximately 40 representatives of UDC students’ union …” (more)

[USI, Irish Press Releases, 23 October]

Loans firm tightens debt recovery

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 23 October 2009 by Steve

UK“The firm responsible for managing the student finance system is tightening its procedures for recovering debt as it writes off nearly £29m. The Student Loans Company (SLC) has adopted new ways of tracking debtors’ work and income status and chasing European students returning home …” (more)

[Hannah Richardson, BBC News, 23 October]

UCC launches School of Asian Studies

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 23 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“UCC President, Dr Michael Murphy recently launched Ireland’s first School of Asian Studies. The launch was followed by round table discussions at the National University of Ireland with the Ambassadors of six Asian nations. The launch involved the foundation of the Irish Institute of Korean Studies by the Korean Ambassador, Mr TaoYong Chu, along with the introduction of three new postgraduate courses …” (more)

[UCC Media and Communications, 23 October]

Top universities should get funding to stop ‘mediocrity’, says Russell Group head

Posted in research with tags , , on 23 October 2009 by Steve

UK“The vice-chancellor of Leeds University said that the country’s most successful institutions should get 90 per cent of the £1.5 billion in research funding that is allocated to higher education every year. They currently receive around 80 per cent. Admitting he was being ‘deliberately provocative’, Prof Arthur used a speech at a conference to argue that research funding had been spread ‘significantly more thinly’, which in turn was affecting critical projects …” (more)

[Andrew Hough and Matthew Moore, Daily Telegraph, 23 October]

QUB wins ‘top entrepreneur’ award

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 23 October 2009 by Steve

UK“One of Northern Ireland’s top universities has been named the Times Higher Education Entrepreneurial University of the Year. Queen’s University, Belfast (QUB), was awarded the accolade following a year that has seen it generating a combined total turnover of £102 million in 2009, making it the UK’s top earning institution. Presenting the award, Director of Research and Education at the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship Paul Hannon praised the university for its ‘strong leadership and vision, real student engagement, innovative faculty and clear evidence of the impact they have made in their local environment’ …” (more)

[Association of Teachers and Lecturers, 21 October]

Could the bold vision for a Derry university be realised?

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 23 October 2009 by Steve

UK“Stunning new proposals for a new, independent University of Derry to cater for 10,000 students and creating 4,000 jobs by 2020 have been unveiled. A total of eight faculties and 20 schools, including a major new medical school, have been recommended in the detailed plans, which predict a radical overhaul and break-up of current third level educational institutes …” (more)

[Brendan McDaid, Belfast Telegraph, 23 October]

Call for colleges to provide wider range of part-time courses

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , , on 23 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Third-level colleges must urgently provide a wider range of part-time degree courses, the head of their funding agency has claimed. Higher Education Authority (HEA) chairman Michael Kelly made the call to universities and institutes of technology as more than 150 of Europe’s leading educationalists and business people gathered in Dublin to discuss interaction between third-level colleges and industry. He said the colleges need to significantly increase their portfolio of flexible and part-time learning opportunities …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 23 October]

And while on the subject of Waterford …

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 23 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“My recent post on this blog about the number of universities in Ireland sparked something of a debate about the campaign to have Waterford Institute of Technology given university status. Over recent years various groups and organisations from Waterford and the South-East of Ireland have argued the case for a university in the city, and indeed there is an online petition …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 23 October]

Group seeks to furnish facts on stem cells

Posted in research with tags , on 23 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Debunking false medical claims, educating the public and lobbying government will be key aims of a new body launching today, the Irish Stem Cell Foundation. A group of Irish doctors and scientists has established the foundation and opened a website, http://www.irishstemcellfoundation.org, that goes live today. ‘We are an independent, not-for-profit organisation. We want to give the facts as scientific facts’, stated co-founder Dr Stephen Sullivan …” (more)

[Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times, 23 October]

Exam stress

Posted in teaching with tags on 23 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“This week is by far the most stressful week of the teaching semester for lecturing staff, as Friday marks the deadline for submission of exam papers. If you teach four courses, which is fairly typical for Institute of Technology lecturers, that’s eight papers of questions and model answers to be handed in if you include the repeats. I’m not saying it’s a bad idea in principle to have exams submitted half way through the semester, far from it (besides, the timetable is set by the fact that the papers have to be posted to the external examiners). However, it’s a lot of prep and the stress is twofold …” (more)

[Antimatter, 22 October]

2009 full-time MBA ranking

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 23 October 2009 by Steve

UK“IESE, a Spanish school, tops The Economist’s eighth annual ranking of full-time MBA programmes …” (more)

[Economist, 23 October]

League table plan for all colleges

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 23 October 2009 by Steve

UK“College and university courses should be subject to new league tables based on how many students drop out, their future earnings and how much they enjoyed their classes, a powerful government-sponsored body proposes. The move would introduce a market that would force poorly rated courses to improve or close and could allow the government to strip away up to 30 quangos currently involved in planning education provision in England, saving hundreds of millions of pounds, the review says …” (more)

[Polly Curtis, Guardian, 22 October]

Public sector pension bill to triple in 50 years

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 23 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The cost of paying the public sector pension bill will more than triple in the next 50 years, according to a report from the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG). The C&AG report revealed that the accumulated cost to the state to date of paying for public sector pensions was €108 billion at the end of last year. This equated to 0.5% of gross national product (GNP). However, the report predicted, given various population pressures, the cost will more than triple to 1.8% of GNP by the year 2058 …” (more)

[Conall O Fátharta, Irish Examiner, 23 October]

Government publishes ‘Delivering the Smart Economy’ report on Irish science research activity

Posted in research with tags , , on 23 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“On Thursday the Government published a report – Delivering the Smart Economy – which summarises the science research activity in the State. The report says the combined public and private spend on research is likely to reach €2.6 billion during 2009. Collaboration between State agency Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) researchers and industry increased significantly during 2008, working with 279 distinct companies; 173 multinational corporations and 106 SMEs. These include many blue chip multi-nationals, which employ over 56,000 people in Ireland …” (more)

[Michael Hennigan, Finfacts, 23 October]