Archive for November, 2009

Season of protests for University of California

Posted in Life with tags on 29 November 2009 by Steve

“Amid a season of protests across the University of California, the system’s president and the leader of its premiere campus have increasingly found themselves portrayed as the villains …” (more)

[Jack Stripling, University World News, 29 November]

Funding cuts threaten Oxford University tutorial system

Posted in teaching with tags on 29 November 2009 by Steve

“Cash to higher education will be reduced by £180 million next year in a bid to save money. The budget cuts include the withdrawal of nearly £10 million allocated to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Oxford has warned that its distinctive tutorial system, the one-to-one teaching regarded as vital to the ancient institution’s world class ranking, will have to be scrapped if the cuts are made …” (more)

[Julie Henry, Sunday Telegraph, 29 November]

Universities can lead the digital charge

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 29 November 2009 by Steve

“As the digital economy bill grinds through the Lords this week, it’s provoking fascinating debates about the very nature of that economy, the balance between privacy and piracy, digital protectionism versus laissez-faire and whether universal broadband is a social right, like the post office …” (more)

[David Docherty, Guardian, 28 November]

Geoghegan-Quinn secures research and innovation post

Posted in research with tags , on 28 November 2009 by Steve

“Ireland’s incoming EU commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn has secured the research and innovation portfolio targeted by the Government, a mid-level mandate described by commission chief José Manuel Barroso as central to his effort to restore growth to the European economy …” (more)

[Arthur Beesley, Irish Times, 28 November]

Did highly paid academics object because Bertie would do it for free?

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 28 November 2009 by Steve

“Free Education for Everyone, with the inapt acronym FEE, organised up to 1,000 student signatures in protest against the appointment of former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern as a visiting professor at NUI Maynooth (NUIM). They called on the college authorities to suspend the appointment, at least until after the publication of the Mahon tribunal report …” (more)

[Ryle Dwyer, Irish Examiner, 28 November]

Flood-hit UCC pay tribute to helping hands

Posted in Life with tags , , on 28 November 2009 by Steve

“An aerial view of The Mardyke, taken at the height of the flooding last week, shows the entire grounds submerged, including the all-weather hockey pitch (centre). Munster’s hockey community has rallied around the University College Cork (UCC) club after the students’ pitch was left unplayable for ‘the foreseeable future’ following the catastrophic floods that hit Cork last week …” (more)

[Irish Hockey News, 27 November]

Compulsory unpaid leave to be focus in talks with public sector

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 28 November 2009 by Steve

“The introduction of a compulsory unpaid leave arrangement for staff in the public service next year is emerging as a central feature of any alternative deal between unions and the Government for reducing the public sector pay bill without across-the-board pay cuts …” (more)

[Martin Wall, Irish Times, 28 November]

In league with an outdated ethos?

Posted in Fees and access with tags on 28 November 2009 by Steve

“The annual publication of the secondary-school league tables is greeted with equal measures of cynicism, curiosity, smugness and anxiety. This week’s effort at producing percentages that purportedly measure educational quality is no different. It has been greeted critically by those who doubt that sending 100 per cent of students to a high-points university course is necessarily an indication of a school’s ability to produce well-rounded individuals …” (more)

[Kate Holmquist, Irish Times, 28 November]

College-bound students opt for choices closer to home

Posted in Fees and access with tags on 28 November 2009 by Steve

“The vast majority of the country’s students don’t stray too far from home when they go to university. Although the seven Irish universities all aspire to be national institutions, new figures show they are essentially regional in nature …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 28 November]

Class twittering

Posted in teaching with tags , on 27 November 2009 by Steve

“For those who have wondered – as I have – whether the ‘micro-blog’ site Twitter could be used successfully in teaching, here’s a story that suggests that it could be. According to a report in the US Chronicle of Higher Education, Purdue University in Indiana has set up a program that allows student to ask questions in class by using Twitter on their computers or phones; they can even make their questions anonymous …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 27 November]

Research appointment extremely important for the future

Posted in research with tags , on 27 November 2009 by Steve

“The announcement that Máire Geoghegan Quinn has been made Commissioner for Research and Innovation in the European Commission sends a very positive signal about Ireland’s commitment and engagement with Science Technology Innovation …” (more)

[Frank Gannon’s Blog, 27 November]

UCD hunts developers to build apartments for students – complete with all mod cons

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 27 November 2009 by Steve

“UCD is appealing to developers to build apartments for student accommodation. University College Dublin has put out to tender for accommodation which is due to be ready by August 2010. It is thought this is the first time the university has put out feelers for new accommodation …” (more)

[Claire Murphy, Herald, 27 November]

Trinity Students’ Union to withdraw from Forum for University Students’ Unions

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 27 November 2009 by Steve

“Trinity Students’ Union will secede from the Forum for University Students’ Unions (FUSU). The motion was passed at a meeting of the Students’ Union’s Council on November 17 by a unanimous vote. Under the terms of the motion the President of the Students’ Union is mandated to ‘take the necessary steps to withdraw from the FUSU’ …” (more)

[Simone Hall, University Times, 25 November]

College authorities seek power over student publications

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 27 November 2009 by Steve

“A working group setup to redraft a section of the draft Terms of Reference for the Capitation Committee is to recommend that the Capitation Committee not have the power to confiscate copies of publications …” (more)

[Carl Doherty, University Times, 25 November]

Public sector strike renders College effectively shut down

Posted in Life with tags , on 27 November 2009 by Steve

“Trinity College staff picketed the College on November 24 in the national day of protest for the public service sector. The College was severely disrupted by the one day work stoppage. All lectures and labs were cancelled on the day due to an ‘unacceptably high’ risk to health and safety. The College said that it carried out an assessment of risk to health and safety and the professional advice was that lectures and labs should be cancelled …” (more)

[Carl Doherty, University Times, 25 November]

Students at TCD campaign over cut in books budget

Posted in research with tags , , on 27 November 2009 by Steve

“Students at Trinity College Dublin have begun a campaign against what they claim is a €650,000 cut in the purchasing budget of the college library – and cuts in opening hours. Yesterday, a TCD spokeswoman acknowledged that cuts had been made in the library budget. But she said the cut was significantly less than €650,000 …” (more)

[Seán Flynn, Irish Times, 27 November]

Time to ditch the Leaving Cert?

Posted in teaching with tags , on 27 November 2009 by Steve

“Madam, – In favour of HPAT, Louise Holden (Education Today, November 24th) writes that it ‘was introduced to evaluate a candidate’s ability to use knowledge rather than just learn things off by rote’ and that ‘those who oppose these tests say they undermine the Leaving Cert and have not been properly researched for use in the Irish system’ …” (more)

[Greg Scanlon, Irish Times, 27 November]

Exclusive interview with Minister Batt O’Keeffe

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 27 November 2009 by Steve

“Minister for Education and Science Batt O’Keeffe joined me in studio on Wednesday to discuss third level funding, maintenance grants, the registration fee and of course tuition fees. During the interview Minister O’Keeffe reveals his reasons for opening the tuition fees debate, plans for the rate of the maintenance grant for the next academic year and explains the formulation of the registration fee …” (more, mp3)

[Tallyman, 26 November]

Professor Bertie Ahern

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 27 November 2009 by Steve

“NUI Maynooth has appointed Bertie Ahern as a visiting professor. Think about that now for a minute. Professor Bertie Ahern. I remember a time when professors were widely-read people with interests and knowledge extending far beyond their area of specialisation …” (more)

[Bock the Robber, 26 November]

ASTI renews its criticism of feeder school tables

Posted in Fees and access with tags on 27 November 2009 by Steve

“Secondary School teachers renewed their criticism of feeder school lists yesterday after the publication of the latest tables. Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI) general secretary John White said school league tables were a product of the raw market philosophy and distort the facts about schools. The National Parents’ Council (post primary) backed the ASTI in opposing the lists …” (more)

[Seán Flynn, Irish Times, 27 November]