Archive for 4 February 2010

Are They Students? Or ‘Customers’?

Posted in teaching with tags on 4 February 2010 by Steve

“A recent article in The Chicago Tribune described a continuing debate in business schools over whether their enrollees should be regarded as ‘customers’ rather than as traditional students. Should the students have more say over what they are taught and even how they are judged? …” (more)

[New York Times, 4 February]

Gene Patents Under Legal Attack

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 4 February 2010 by Steve

“Federal court hearings continued Tuesday on a lawsuit that could transform biotechnology in the United States by eliminating gene patents. The case hinges around the claims of Utah-based Myriad Genetics on BRCA1 and BRCA2, a pair of genes closely linked to breast and ovarian cancer. Myriad ‘owns’ the genes, and says its patents make it possible to profit on diagnostic tests. The company argues that if you remove the patents, the tests — indeed, commercial biotechnology as we know it — will vanish …” (more)

[Brandon Keim, Wired, 4 February]

Milestone for UCC Doctoral Students

Posted in research with tags , on 4 February 2010 by Steve

“UCC has marked a significant achievement in doctoral education as, for the first time in its history, there are over 1,000 doctoral students now registered in the University. This number has more than doubled since 2003, and students from all over the world are now studying for doctoral degrees in almost every discipline within UCC …” (more)

[UCC Media and Communications, 4 February]

Google to Invest in Cambridge University Initiative

Posted in research with tags , , on 4 February 2010 by Steve

“Google yesterday announced investment in a number of university research projects across the US. The University of Cambridge however is set to become the only university outside of the US to receive a grant in this round of funding. The investment will go to Cambridge University’s green technology initiative …” (more)

[The Next Web, 4 February]

Counter-terrorism officers target universities

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 4 February 2010 by Steve

“A number of institutions have been identified by counter-terrorism officers amid fears students are in danger of being groomed by fanatics. David Lammy, the Higher Education Minister, insisted the threat posed to universities had been exaggerated but admitted that it remained an ‘extremely serious issue’ …” (more)

[Graeme Paton, Daily Telegraph, 4 February]

What kind of economics should we teach?

Posted in teaching with tags on 4 February 2010 by Steve

“If you’re interested in economics education, and the type of economics we teach on a daily basis, have a listen to this debate at the LSE on different types of economics, the profession’s obsession with mathematics, and where some of the profession’s leading lights have gone astray …” (more)

[Stephen Kinsella, 4 February]

Double standards on fees?

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 4 February 2010 by Steve

“Grave anxiety in the Times that middle-class students might have to pay higher contributions post-graduation … difficult to feel a huge amount of sympathy for this special pleading, especially in the light of another piece in the same edition of the paper which explains how much middle-class parents are prepared to stump up for extra tuition …” (more)

[Registrarism, 4 February]

NUIG to host Galway launch of major business and photography exhibition

Posted in Life with tags on 4 February 2010 by Steve

“A new photographic portrait exhibition, The Face of Corporate Responsibility, Ireland, will go on display at NUI, Galway from Tuesday February 9 to Sunday 14 in the university’s Orbsen Building. The exhibition consists of unique portraits taken by photographer Kevin Fox in the studios of the National Gallery of Photography. Each portrait is accompanied by a caption explaining the reasons why this particular employee was nominated to take part in the exhibition …” (more)

[Kernan Andrews, Galway Advertiser, 2 February]

Students slam ‘juvenile’ row between WIT and lecturers over exam papers

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 4 February 2010 by Steve

“Protesting students have described, as ‘juvenile’, a row between lecturers and management at Waterford Institute of Technology which has prevented Christmas exam results from being issued. Around 1,500 concerned students yesterday took their anger out in rallies at WIT’s two campuses, where their representatives called on both sides to sort things out …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 4 February]

Griffin is key to GMIT’s victory

Posted in Life with tags , , on 4 February 2010 by Steve

SIGERSON CUP/GMIT 1-18 Dundalk IT 0-9: Donegal’s Stephen Griffin was a key figure as GMIT advanced with an impressive display at Moycullen. The Galway college led by 0-8 to 0-5 at the break but within two minutes they were out of sight as Pat Regan pointed and then full forward Griffin blasted home a great goal to put them 1-9 to 0-5 in front …” (more)

[Irish Times, 4 February]

Protest over delayed exam results

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 4 February 2010 by Steve

“More than 1,000 students gathered outside Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) yesterday in protest over the college’s failure to release the results of exams sat before Christmas. Management and unions at WIT are involved in a dispute about the rates paid to lecturers for correcting exams at the end of each semester …” (more)

[Steven Carroll, Irish Times, 4 February]

Becoming a cramming factory?

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 4 February 2010 by Steve

“It’s that time of year again, and the deadline has passed for applications to the CAO for student places in 2010-11. Of course we don’t yet know how this will be distributed across programmes and courses, but what we do already know is that this year sees a record number of applications, as young people opt for the safety of a better qualification. We are told therefore that numbers of applicants are up 10 per cent on last year …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 4 February]

Campus Islamic extremists under police scrutiny

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 4 February 2010 by Steve

“Special Branch officers are being deployed in universities particularly at risk of being targeted by Islamic extremists, the BBC has been told. Higher Education Minister David Lammy said the government was concerned about a number of institutions …” (more)

[BBC News, 4 February]

Leaving Cert pupils drop maths to get ‘soft’ points

Posted in Fees and access with tags on 4 February 2010 by Steve

“Leaving Certificate students are picking ‘soft’ subjects at the expense of higher-level maths as a way of winning points for college entry. They are dropping higher-level maths because of the workload and because they get more points by concentrating on other subjects, such as Home Economics and Business …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly, Independent, 3 February]

How America’s Universities became Hedge Funds

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 4 February 2010 by Steve

“In August 2009, just one month after the state of California cut over a billion dollars from its higher education budget, the University of California (UC) turned around and lent the state $200 million. When journalists asked the UC president, Mark Yudof, how the university could lend millions of dollars to the state, while the school was raising student fees (tuition), furloughing employees, canceling classes, and laying off teachers, Yudof responded that when the university lends money to the state, it turns a profit …” (more)

[Nelson Fraga, Parar Bolonha, 4 February]

O’Driscoll on hand to break NUIG hearts

Posted in Life with tags , , on 4 February 2010 by Steve

“Two injury-time points helped give UCC a win by the narrowest of margins against NUIG in the second round at the Mardyke yesterday. Trailing by 1-5 to 0-7 as the game entered its 60th minute, a close-range free by Daithi Casey drew the home side level and then, with extra-time looming, substitute Barry O’Driscoll sent over a huge left-footed effort …” (more)

[Independent, 4 February]

Refusal to comply on impact failing to sink grant applications

Posted in research with tags , , on 4 February 2010 by Steve

“Researchers who refuse to predict the future ‘impact’ of their work in grant applications are not necessarily less likely to secure funding, Times Higher Education can reveal. Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act provide the first picture of how academics have responded to the requirement that they describe the potential impact of their work on the economy or society in applications for research council funding …” (more)

[Zoë Corbyn, Times Higher Education, 4 February]

‘Hockey stick’ graph creator Michael Mann cleared of academic misconduct

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 4 February 2010 by Steve

“The American scientist who produced the ‘hockey stick graph’ showing a sharp rise in global warming was largely cleared of misconduct by an academic investigation today. The board of inquiry at Pennsylvania State University said it found no evidence that Michael Mann, a leading climatologist, had suppressed or falsified data, tried to destroy data or emails, or misused information. It will convene a second panel to investigate whether he had violated academic practices, including those governing exchanges between scholars …” (more)

[Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian, 3 February]

Evaluating education policy

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 4 February 2010 by Steve

“Lovely non-technical paper on how to evaluate education policy – http://bit.ly/9Lxz46” (tweet)

[Colm Harmon, Twitter, 4 February]

Government paying €450,000 for inaccurate on-line history lessons

Posted in teaching with tags , on 4 February 2010 by Steve

“The Government is paying out €450,000 a year to Encyclopedia Britannica and World Book for schools to access online material which contains farcical inaccuracies about the Irish Civil War, according to Fine Gael Seanad Education Spokesperson, Fidelma Healy Eames. The Galway senator said this week that it was ‘beyond comprehension’ that teaching material would document one of Ireland’s most critical periods in history in such an inaccurate way …” (more)

[Martina Nee, Galway Advertiser, 2 February]