Archive for 25 October 2009

Anger as university staff get pay rises of up to 19%

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 25 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Ireland’s university staff have received recent pay increases of up to 19%, the Sunday Tribune can reveal. And because the rise was due to be implemented two years ago, many top-brass and professors are currently receiving backdated payments as well. The huge increases at a time of widespread cutbacks in the education sector have been criticised by the Irish Federation of University Teachers …” (more)

[Jennifer Bray, Sunday Tribune, 25 October]

TCD clamps down after ‘kill spree’ guide

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 25 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Trinity College Dublin has amended its disciplinary code in the wake of a controversial campus magazine article advising would-be killers on how to maximise the death toll of a college killing spree. The satirical publication Piranha raised concerns within the university when it published a spoof map of the campus under the heading: ‘Going out with a bang – How to leave Trinity in style’ …” (more)

[Mark Hilliard, Sunday Tribune, 25 October]

Dáil and Seanad spent €160k sending staff to college

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , , on 25 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“The Houses of the Oireachtas have spent almost €160,000 paying for staff university fees since 2008. According to new figures, €93,878 was spent in 2008 when 41 staff members or members of the Dáil and Seanad decided to avail of the ‘free-fees’ scheme. To date this year, 28 people have received a total of €63,602 towards taking up a part-time or further-education course in Ireland’s top universities …” (more)

[Jennifer Bray, Sunday Tribune, 25 October]

University league tables

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 25 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“There is an interesting article by John Walshe, the Irish education journalist, on the increasing obsession with university league tables & an OECD report on the subject, link below. Personally, I am pretty skeptical about these tables in terms of how they are constructed, how they are interpreted & the uses to which they are put. It never ceases to amaze me that academics who are highly trained at sniffing out nonsense and in carefully investigating arguments and evidence are quite uncritical when faced with a table with lots of university names …” (more)

[Kevin Denny, Geary Behavioural Economics Blog, 25 October]

How are we going to pay for a Learning Society?

Posted in Fees and access with tags on 25 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“It is necessary to point out that no society anywhere in the world provides ‘free education’. Paying for teachers, other staff, materials, buildings etc comes from the public purse and households and businesses through various taxes, fees and levies. In some parts of the world, businesses contribute to vocational education through a corporate levy (e.g. through the chambers of commerce in Germany). Generally, primary and secondary education are ‘free’ …” (more)

[Slí Eile, progresssive-economy@TASC, 24 October]

State ministers urge Bologna changes

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 25 October 2009 by Steve

Germany“Germany’s state education and science ministers are to put more pressure on higher education institutions to revise the structure of new masters and bachelor courses, following angry student protests last summer. Federal Education Minister Annette Schavan welcomed the move, saying it would boost the Bologna process while simultaneously creating greater acceptance of the new degrees by everyone involved …” (more)

[Michael Gardner, University World News, 25 October]

Students unworried by radical reputations

Posted in teaching with tags , on 25 October 2009 by Steve

France“During the three month-long lecturer strikes and student movements last spring and summer, which seriously affected more than half of France’s universities, the press and the government frequently claimed the strikes were suicidal for universities. Students, they said, would boycott universities and instead would choose private institutions that were relatively little affected by the strikes. Lecturers were shooting themselves in the foot, we were told …” (more)

[John Mullen, University World News, 25 October]

Scientists hope to network Facebook-style

Posted in research with tags , , , on 25 October 2009 by Steve

USA“Cornell University and six other institutions will use a US$12.2 million federal stimulus grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a Facebook-style professional networking system to link biomedical researchers across America. Participants say by making it easier for scientists to find each other, researchers will be able to improve their ongoing studies and forge collaborations that could lead to new discoveries. The new network will be called VIVOweb …” (more)

[William Kates, University World News, 25 October]

Clean energy ambitions unveiled

Posted in research with tags , , on 25 October 2009 by Steve

EU“The European Commission’s recent publication proposing massive spending by the 27 European Union countries on wind and solar energy, carbon capture and nuclear power could put billions of dollars in the hands of European universities and research institutions over the next 10 years. Brussels says the switch from fossil fuels to clean and renewable sources will require €50 billion (US$74 billion) of spending over the decade, which will require almost tripling the annual investment in the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan from €3 billion to €8 billion, giving university researchers new impetus to study alternative energy …” (more)

[Alan Osborn, University World News, 25 October]

Luring the foreign student

Posted in teaching with tags , on 25 October 2009 by Steve

Australia“The commercials are ludicrous but no-one is really surprised when Foster’s claims people who drink its lager can withstand hurricanes and tame violent tribesmen. The idea that ‘getting some Australian in you’ can move mountains is considered acceptable for a national advertising campaign, despite the fact the drink is brewed in the EU and is not that popular in Australia. When it comes to marketing education, however, a much more sensitive approach is called for …” (more)

[Liz Lightfoot, University World News, 25 October]

Digital library launched

Posted in research with tags on 25 October 2009 by Steve

EU“Thousands of EU publications have been made available to the public for free following the launch in Frankfurt of a new digital library, the EU Bookshop. The website hosts an electronic library containing 12 million scanned pages from more than 110,000 historical publications while a further two million pages from more recent documents are also included …” (more)

[University World News, 25 October]

Online Education’s Great Unknowns

Posted in teaching with tags , on 25 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]

Sorbonne or not Sorbonne?

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 25 October 2009 by Steve

France“The question of who may, or should not, adopt the name of France’s most celebrated university has been raised by Paris’ chief education officer. Patrick Gérard has asked three institutions to ‘re-examine the question of the designation’ of a higher education and research cluster they are jointly setting up which they propose to call ‘La Sorbonne’ …” (more)

[Jane Marshall, University World News, 25 October]

FEE NUIM urges Maynooth Students to march on November 6th

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , , on 25 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“On November 6th, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions is staging a series of nationwide demonstrations. Many students return home on Thursday night and Friday morning, with Friday traditionally the quietest day on campus. We would urge students, and their families, to attend one of the demonstrations on November sixth. There are 8 regional protests, and all commence at 2.30pm on November 6th …” (more)

[Free Education for Everyone, 24 October]

Cowen’s backtrack on cuts in public pay

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 25 October 2009 by Steve

Ireland“Taoiseach Brian Cowen and his Finance Minister Brian Lenihan have started to backtrack this weekend on tackling public sector pay and their promise of no further tax increases in the Budget on December 9, to the considerable anger of business leaders. There has been a clear shift in position from both the Taoiseach and his Finance Minister on their previously stated position that public sector pay would have to be cut and that no new taxes, except a carbon tax, would be revealed on Budget day …” (more)

[Daniel McConnell, Independent, 24 October]