Archive for 17 November 2009

Socnets Complement College Life

Posted in Life with tags , on 17 November 2009 by Steve

“A few weeks ago, college students in Tipperary Institute placed chairs and desks around common areas with descriptions of college societies. At the time, I thought passersby might have also enjoyed learning about the vibrant online societies that occupy students’ time. While at my desk (video at right), I’ve seen several online networks that attract a lot of interest from our third level students …” (more)

[Inside View from Ireland, 17 November]

Professors proliferate amid quest for prestige

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 17 November 2009 by Steve

“University managers without high-level academic achievement are winning the title of professor for ‘authority needs’, according to a confidential report obtained by the HES. Academic distinction at the international level is the traditional criterion for Australian professorship, according to a report for the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority. However, changes to higher education and academic roles over the past decade have had a run-on effect in changing the criteria for conferring the title of professor, according to the report’s author, Kelly Farrell …” (more)

[Guy Healy, The Australian Higher Education, 18 November]

Navy and Garda divers join search for missing student

Posted in Life with tags on 17 November 2009 by Steve

“The search for a college student who has been missing for five days will focus today on the area around the Port of Cork’s city centre quays. Up to 50 people were involved in extensive searches of the River Lee and its banks yesterday for Brían Ó Tuama, a second-year arts student at University College Cork (UCC). The 19-year-old from Ballyvourney was last seen outside the McDonald’s restaurant on Daunt Square …” (more)

[Eoin English and Donal Hickey, Irish Examiner, 17 November]

GMIT signs deal with top Chinese university

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 17 November 2009 by Steve

“Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) has signed a ‘strategic partnership’ agreement with Nanchang University, ranked as one of the top 100 universities in China. Minister for Education and Science Batt O’Keeffe and Higher Education Authority chief executive Tom Boland witnessed the agreement’s confirmation in Galway by GMIT president Marion Coy and Nanchang University president Prof Zhou Wenbin …” (more)

[Lorna Siggins, Irish Times, 17 November]

Is Hugh Brady the Michael O’Leary of education?

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 17 November 2009 by Steve

“UCD president Dr Hugh Brady is one of the most powerful figures in Irish education. Interviewed this week, he talks about his constant (and controversial) quest for excellence. Q. There is a common depiction of you as the Michael O’Leary of education, a tough, demanding figure who will brook no compromise. How do you respond? …” (more)

[Sean Flynn, Irish Times, 17 November]

Academics can hit the X Factor with an appreciation for pop culture

Posted in Life with tags , on 17 November 2009 by Steve

“… So how is this relevant to universities? Well, third-level colleges need at all times to promote and encourage excellence in learning and scholarship. Therefore, intellectually they must present themselves as elite institutions. On the other hand, we cannot and must not be elite socially, and if we adopt the cultural icons and idioms of the upper middle classes we cannot hope to be open and inclusive. But it’s more difficult still than that. We need to do more than just learn a little about popular culture; we need to have some understanding of it …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Irish Times, 17 November]

Cap public servants’ pay at €100k, urges SF

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 17 November 2009 by Steve

“All public servants from the Taoiseach down should have their pay capped at €100,000 a year, Sinn Féin has said. Unveiling its routemap out of the recession, the party called for a third rate of tax to be levied on high earners as part of a new ‘fair tax’ economy …” (more)

[Shaun Connolly, Irish Examiner, 17 November]

Phase One Planning Application lodged for NUI Maynooth Library Extension, 100 construction jobs to be created in first phase

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 17 November 2009 by Steve

“NUI Maynooth has lodged a planning application for the enabling works for the new library extension to be constructed on the University’s south campus. This first phase of construction, the enabling and infrastructure works, is due to commence May in 2010 and will create around 100 construction jobs. The planning permission for the library building will be lodged later in November …” (more)

[Maynooth Town, 16 November]

NUI Maynooth News: Bertie Ahern Meeting/ November 24th Strike

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 17 November 2009 by Steve

“In the last two weeks, activists (both staff and students) from the Social Solidarity Network and Free Education for Everyone have been attempting to organise against the honorary professorship awarded to Bertie Ahern TD by the National University of Ireland Maynooth. On the 16th of November, a meeting called to plan future actions attracted a large mix of students …” (more)

[Free Education For Everyone, 16 November]

Open access to knowledge?

Posted in research with tags , on 17 November 2009 by Steve

“One of the movements that is beginning to get a toe-hold in the academic world is the drive for open access to research. Currently the output of most research is published in academic journals which are then made available to subscribers, whether in print or online. The publishers of these have a captive market, their customers being mainly university libraries, and the subscription rates have in some instances been ludicrously high …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 17 November]

MMU plans up to 127 job losses

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 17 November 2009 by Steve

“Up to 127 jobs will be cut at Manchester Metropolitan University under plans to deal with the impact of the recession and public spending cuts. MMU, which employs about 4,200 staff, announced that it would reduce staffing across a number of support areas. It said the total reduction was ‘potentially 127 posts’ …” (more)

[John Morgan, Times Higher Education, 17 November]

Science ‘can save the world,’ says Boyle winner

Posted in Life with tags on 17 November 2009 by Steve

“Science can save the world, declared the winner of the 2009 RDS/ Irish Times Boyle Medal for scientific excellence. It is also a lot of fun. Prof Luke O’Neill, professor of biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin was speaking tonight at an awards ceremony at the RDS in Ballsbridge …” (more)

[Dick Ahlstrom, Irish Times, 16 November]

Degrees from 2 different universities

Posted in teaching with tags on 17 November 2009 by Steve

“Not many people are reading this blog, which may actually be quite a good thing since it is turning into a bit of a personal core dump. Someone did, however, end up here after doing a search about whether or not they should get degrees from 2 different universities. I don’t know the answer to this, but it did remind me of some discussions I’ve had in my own department about attracting and keeping good PhD students …” (more)

[To the left of centre, 16 November]

Ancient university buildings under threat

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 17 November 2009 by Steve

“Anthony Edwards wasn’t perturbed when he first saw the hole. Given its position in the Regent House Combination Room in Cambridge’s Old Schools, where for three centuries all the business of the university was conducted, it must, he assumed, have been dug to deal with a bout of woodworm, a plumbing problem, or something worthy of archaeological investigation …” (more)

[Rachel Williams, Guardian, 17 November]

Can Academics Be Entrepreneurial?

Posted in research with tags , on 17 November 2009 by Steve

USA“In a recent op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal, Carl Schramm, Robert Litan and Dane Stangler of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation called on policy makers to ‘unleash America’s academic entrepreneurs’ as a way ‘to foster the creation and growth of new businesses’. While I agree with the authors’ view that America’s academic entrepreneurs are an important tool for encouraging new business creation and growth, I believe that they underestimate the scope of academic entrepreneurship …” (more)

[Scott A Shane, New York Times, 16 November]

English education is just too narrow

Posted in teaching with tags on 17 November 2009 by Steve

“Those of us running universities are directly challenged by the government’s latest blueprint for the future, Higher Ambitions, to improve our efforts in widening participation through major culture change. Specifically, we are asked to provide opportunities to study ‘in a wider range of ways than in the past’ …” (more)

[Don Nutbeam, Guardian, 17 November]