Archive for 1 February 2010

Obama’s 2011 Budget Proposes More Money for Education and Research

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 1 February 2010 by Steve

“The $3.8-trillion budget President Obama proposed on Monday for the 2011 fiscal year contains increases for federal spending on education, including Pell Grants, and for research financed by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. The increases were proposed despite a net spending freeze on discretionary domestic spending that Mr. Obama announced in his State of the Union address last week …” (more)

[Paul Basken and Libby Nelson, Chronicle of Higher Education, 1 February]

Ministers are short-selling universities

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 1 February 2010 by Steve

“The government is having a second go at curbing the growth in the number of students in universities. A year ago, universities were told to freeze their intakes. But a build-up of stories later in the spring about well-qualified students being turned away persuaded ministers that political discretion was the better part of valour. So they allowed universities to take an additional 10,000 students – unfunded, of course, except for their fees …” (more)

[Peter Scott, Guardian, 1 February]

Students threaten MPs over tuition fees

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 1 February 2010 by Steve

“Students campaigning against an increase in tuition fees are targeting MPs who hold seats in a ‘hit list’ of university cities in England. The National Union of Students says MPs must support their campaign against higher fees – or lose the student vote …” (more)

[BBC News, 1 February]

How long is an hour?

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 1 February 2010 by Steve

“So on Saturday, the Minister for Education announced that he was very worried because two people had told him (possibly over coffee and some nice biscuits) that most academics only work for four hours a week. Now most of the time, with most people, that’d lead to someone looking up what the situation actually is and determining if there was a problem and so no-one would be worried about knee-jerk reactions. Thing is, we’re talking about a Minister for Education who recently decided to abolish the NUI and didn’t tell anyone until the press conference (ignoring the point that abolishing the NUI does not abolish the work they are required to do …)” (more)

[Mark Dennehy, Stochastic Geometry, 1 February]

University of Limerick president’s house ‘a waste of money’ claims MEP

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 1 February 2010 by Steve

“Building a €1.1m residence for a college president in the current climate is like giving a €900,000 bonus to former FAS director Rody Molloy, Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly has said …” (more)

[Mike Dwane and Anne Sheridan, Limerick Leader, 1 February]

Why there is no ‘left-wing case for tuition fees’

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 1 February 2010 by Steve

“I read an article in the New Statesman today that was uncharacteristically off the mark. James Macintyre, commenting on a Daily Mail story which claimed the middle classes were being put off university because of a rise in tuition fees, puts forward what he calls ‘the left-wing case for tuition fees’ …” (more)

[Richard Hall, 28 January]

Cuts will deprive thousands of university place, academics warn

Posted in Fees and access with tags on 1 February 2010 by Steve

“Thousands of young people will be stripped of the chance to study for a degree because of savage government cuts to higher education in England, universities warned today. University funders at the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) will outline where the cuts of nearly £315m will be made today. They are expected to announce that teaching budgets will be reduced for the first time since Labour came to power …” (more)

[Jessica Shepherd, Guardian, 1 February]

Academics only do four hours per week????

Posted in teaching with tags , , on 1 February 2010 by Steve

“The Minister of Education should surely try to align his arguments with government policy. The smart economy funding survived the recent budget in spite of McCarthy’s bizarre recommendations that only research that had a commercial output in 5 years should be funded. The universities, for better or worse, are one of the main vehicles for delivering the government’s agenda. For the Minister of Education, part of a government who has decided on this policy, to complain about university professors and lecturers spending too much time on research is bizarre …” (more)

[Ian Robertson, Irishscience, 1 February]

You Think We’re Rankings-Obsessed?

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 1 February 2010 by Steve

“‘We want to become one of the top 10 universities in the world.’ ‘The government wants a first class university for international prestige.’ ‘What do we need to achieve by 2013? Two universities ranked in the top 20 worldwide.’ Statements like those will sound familiar to anyone who’s been listening to leaders in American higher education and state governments talk for the last few years, as public research universities, particularly, strive to rise in published rankings of institutions. But the comments above – from, respectively, the president of Lithuania, a Korean university chief, and political leaders in Ireland – are but one manifestation of an obsession with rankings that is arguably stronger worldwide than it is in the United States …” (more)

[Doug Lederman, Inside Higher Ed, 1 February]

Murphy burst provides the platform for UCC fightback

Posted in Life with tags , , on 1 February 2010 by Steve

“Despite being five points down with five minutes of normal time remaining, UCC advanced to the final of the Waterford Crystal Cup at Buttevant after extra-time on Saturday. Trailing by 2-9 to 0-10 with 55 minutes on the clock, points by Robert White and an Eoghan Murphy free cut the gap before Murphy found the net with a fine shot from a narrow angle …” (more)

[Independent, 1 February]

The Bologna Process and Alumni Relations, Part II

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 1 February 2010 by Steve

“Back in November of 2009, I looked at the Bologna Process of European higher education standardization and how it might affect alumni relations in Europe. In this second and final post on the topic, I’m sharing a few more comments from Dr. Daniel Guhr and Simon Lange of Illuminate Consulting Group. Illuminate’s consulting practice focuses on international strategic development in higher education. In this post Guhr and Lange address: Threats and challenges to alumni engagement under Bologna; The prospects for alumni loyalty to a specific institution; …” (more)

[Alumni Futures, 1 February]

Clay Shirky on information overload versus filter failure

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 1 February 2010 by Steve

“This Clay Shirky talk from Web 2.0 Expo NY (‘It’s Not Information Overload. It’s Filter Failure’) challenges the idea that we’ve got information overload problems (we’ve had more books than any human could read for hundreds of years) …” (more)

[Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing, 31 January]

Taking pot shots

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 1 February 2010 by Steve

“Clearly it’s still the hunting season for universities. After last week’s events at the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Science, we have now had the Minister for Education and Science, Batt O’Keeffe TD, offering his views on academic staff performance: and he’s not impressed at all, he says …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 1 February]

Undergraduate Awards, 2010

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 1 February 2010 by Steve

“Last week, Peter Sutherland gave a speech about the Irish university sector. It generated quite a lot of controversy at the time, and an edited version appears in yesterday’s Sunday Times. Unfortunately, the speech has rather overshadowed the occasion; this is a pity, since it was the launch of the Undergraduate Awards of Ireland and Northern Ireland 2010. This is the second year of the initiative …” (more)

[Eoin O’Dell, Cearta, 1 February]

Type-A-Plus Students Chafe at Grade Deflation

Posted in teaching with tags , on 1 February 2010 by Steve

“When Princeton University set out six years ago to corral galloping grade inflation by putting a lid on A’s, many in academia lauded it for taking a stand on a national problem and predicted that others would follow. But the idea never took hold beyond Princeton’s walls, and so its bold vision is now running into fierce resistance from the school’s Type-A-plus student body …” (more)

[Lisa W Foderaro, New York Times, 29 January]

70,000 to join public sector industrial action

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , , on 1 February 2010 by Steve

“The government is not prepared to reverse pay cuts already introduced for staff in the public service in return for co-operation with reform plans, official sources indicated yesterday. The move comes as up to 70,000 members of Siptu are today set to join in the industrial action being carried out by other public service unions in protest at the pay cuts introduced in the budget …” (more)

[Stephen Collins and Martin Wall, Irish Times, 1 February]

When Scholars Weigh Publication Options, Tradition Counts

Posted in research with tags on 1 February 2010 by Steve

“Although more and more scholars are interested in trying out new technologies as a way to share or publish their research, the traditional cultures of their disciplines and the high regard accorded to peer review still tend to have the strongest influence on them, according to a substantial new report on scholarly communication from the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California at Berkeley …” (more)

[Jennifer Howard, Chronicle of Higher Education, 31 January]

Education debate ‘should move on’ from resources to quality

Posted in teaching with tags , on 1 February 2010 by Steve

“Discussions on education must move beyond the debate on resources and focus relentlessly on teacher quality, according to Don Thornhill, chairman of the National Competitiveness Council. In a major weekend address, Dr Thornhill also backed greater competition between schools which would give parents and students wider choice and boost quality …” (more)

[Sean Flynn, Irish Times, 1 February]

Joyce gives old college a lesson in finishing

Posted in Life with tags , on 1 February 2010 by Steve

Galway 1-16 GMIT 0-13: Nicky Joyce returned to haunt his old alma mater as Galway qualified for the decider at Moycullen yesterday. Joyce kicked six points during a superb opening half as the holders led 1-10 to 0-3 at the break …” (more)

[Irish Times, 1 February]

British lecturers in Italy win better pay after court ruling

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 1 February 2010 by Steve

“The dream of teaching at ancient universities in stunning Italian towns such as Verona and Padua has proved irresistible to hundreds of British lecturers drawn by Dante and la dolce vita over the past 30 years. What they did not expect was a decades-long nightmare of low pay, denied pensions and missed promotions during a bruising brush with closed shop practices which has left them on a par with lab technicians …” (more)

[Tom Kington, Guardian, 31 January]