Archive for 10 February 2010

USI boss says capping numbers will not work

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 10 February 2010 by Steve

“Peter Mannion, President of the Union of Students of Ireland, says the government should not cap the number of students going to college as a knee-jerk reaction to our present financial crisis. ‘There is already a cap in the numbers going to college in the North and there is no evidence that there has been an increase in the quality of education’ …” (more)

[Independent, 10 February]

Higgins calls for Dáil debate on crisis affecting those returning to education

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 10 February 2010 by Steve

“Deputy Michael D Higgins has accused Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe, and the Department of Education and Science of pulling the rug from under the feet of mature students seeking to begin a third-level education by changing the rules mid-stream …” (more)

[Labour Party, 10 February]

EU to reveal 2020 strategic R&D stimulus plan

Posted in research with tags , , on 10 February 2010 by Steve

“The EU Commissioner responsible for R&D, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, has revealed the EU will reveal a strategic science and technology action plan called Europe 2020 to steer Europe through the recession …” (more)

[John Kennedy, Silicon Republic, 10 February]

‘Bologna Reforms: The Case of Physics’

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 10 February 2010 by Steve

“Never heard of the Stakeholders Tune European Physics Studies initiative (STEPS)? But what about the Trans-national European Evaluation Project (TEEP)? Come on, so you do know the head of the SOCRATES program at your department/university?! And she might be the head of the local branch of the Thematic Network (TN) in physics …” (more)

[science:biophysics //NBI, 10 February]

International education needs fixing

Posted in teaching with tags on 10 February 2010 by Steve

“This sector is crying out for a national body to shape its future. The Federal Government’s changes to the skilled migration program will affect thousands of international students. For the industry, the greatest pain will be felt by private colleges. They have boomed because of the present policies and will decline …” (more)

[Stephen Connolly, Sydney Morning Herald, 10 February]

The Truth About the ‘Crisis’ in Higher Education Finance

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 10 February 2010 by Steve

“If Harvard, Yale, and Stanford have to make cutbacks due to their endowments’ stock market losses, it stands to reason that those losses have caused them deep, and the rest of higher education even deeper, trouble. It stands to reason – but it is not true. Those wealthy universities are not really in the financial trouble their announcements of belt-tightening imply …” (more)

[Burton A Weisbrod and Evelyn D Asch, Change, Jan/Feb]

The Limits of Bioethics

Posted in research with tags , on 10 February 2010 by Steve

“On valentine’s day two years ago, Paul Wagner, a 40-year-old Philadelphia purchasing manager, gave Gail Tomas, a total stranger, his left kidney. Wagner met Tomas, a 65-year-old former opera singer, on the internet, at MatchingDonors.com. Her daughter had posted an ad asking some magnificent stranger to save her mother. ‘It was there that I read about a lady in my city, Philadelphia, who was desperate for help’, Wagner said. ‘It has been one of the best decisions I have ever made’. This story had a happy ending. Yet it unfolded amid controversy over whether ethical norms were violated …” (more)

[Sally Satel, Policy Review, Feb/Mar]

Stop funding Mickey Mouse degrees, says top scientist

Posted in teaching with tags on 10 February 2010 by Steve

“A leading scientist has attacked the government for funding students doing ‘Mickey Mouse’ degrees – and called for the money to be spent on science instead. Dr Richard Pike, chief executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, said degrees in celebrity journalism, drama combined with waste management, and international football business management – all of which exist – should be ‘kicked into touch’ …” (more)

[Jessica Shepherd, Guardian, 10 February]

We have failed the university challenge

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 10 February 2010 by Steve

“It has taken a reckless and costly experiment with Britain’s higher education system for ministers to consider returning towards a system which worked. I can’t summon up much sympathy for the ‘generation’ of school-leavers denied places at university this year. It’s a harsh but valuable lesson that a tertiary education, if it is to be worth anything, is a prize and a privilege that must be earned …” (more)

[Liz Hunt, Daily Telegraph, 10 February]

Labour’s dumb university cuts

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 10 February 2010 by Steve

“The row over university cuts does no credit to the government, nor to those universities that have been panicked into destroying the only thing they have to offer – academic teaching. Lord Mandelson has announced cuts of 5%. They come on top of earlier cuts. But the problem is not just less money …” (more)

[Sheila Lawlor, Guardian, 10 February]

Maths Anxiety Among Young Girls

Posted in teaching with tags on 10 February 2010 by Steve

“I have written before about the parlous state of mathematics achievements among our students in Ireland. There is a pressing need to improve maths standards and there seems to be very little consensus on how to achieve improvements. We have had suggestions of increasing the reward for studying maths at the highest levels – by increasing the points for mathematics in the leaving cert …” (more)

[Science, society, stuff…, 10 February]

How repeating Leaving Cert affects points

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 10 February 2010 by Steve

“Last week’s CAO application figures showed a record number of applicants by the February 1 normal closing date, with over 72,000 applicants to CAO colleges this autumn. Application figures published this week by UCAS, the British universities and colleges admissions system, also showed record numbers of applicants in 2010. The total number of applicants to UCAS so far in 2010 is over 600,000, an increase of over 100,000 applicants on last year at this time …” (more)

[Independent, 10 February]

Charles Institute moves ahead on research into skin disease at UCD

Posted in research with tags on 10 February 2010 by Steve

“Minister for Health, Ms Mary Harney TD has unveiled the foundation stone for the Charles Institute, the first national institute devoted to dermatology in Ireland. Funded by the City of Dublin Skin and Cancer Hospital Trust from the sale of the Hume Street premises and by University College Dublin, the Charles institute will undertake research into common skin diseases such as psoriasis, eczema, skin cancer as well as rare genetic skin diseases and training for undergraduate and qualified health professionals …” (more)

[UCD News, 10 February]

Universities recruit students with inadequate English

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 10 February 2010 by Steve

“A BBC investigation has found evidence that suggests some universities under financial pressure accept overseas students who lack adequate English. Money from overseas students totals £1.6bn and makes up a third of university fees in England …” (more)

[Maggie Dolan, BBC News, 10 February]

Visa rules change but the door remains open

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 10 February 2010 by Steve

“Non-EU students still able to pursue sub-degree qualifications. Changes to visa rules for international students aimed at preventing abuse by economic migrants have been announced by the Government. The new requirements in the Tier 4 element of the UK’s points-based immigration system, for students from outside the European Union, are focused on those taking qualifications below degree level …” (more)

[John Morgan, Times Higher Education, 10 February]

Barrett preaches patience in State funding

Posted in research with tags on 10 February 2010 by Steve

“Politicians and funding agencies should not measure the value of science and technology research investments by swiftly-produced intellectual property (IP) portfolios, former Intel chairman and chief executive Craig Barrett said yesterday …” (more)

[Karlin Lillington, Irish Times, 10 February]

Education as a tool for affecting the future

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 10 February 2010 by Steve

“Ronan Lyons has a piece on his blog which is worth a read even though it’s not really anything majorly new in terms of what anyone with an interest in the economic well-being of Ireland should be aware of. He has pointed out that we’re losing a generation of young men to unemployment and education. The question is, what do you do about it? …” (more)

[Things that strike me, 9 February]

Oxford professor ‘tried to block colleague’s promotion’

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 10 February 2010 by Steve

“An Oxford professor attempted to block a fellow academic’s promotion in secret ‘retaliation’ for her bringing a sex discrimination case against the university, a tribunal heard yesterday. Dr Cecile Deer, 41, an education specialist, claims that her emails were infiltrated and her former supervisor turned against her after the discrimination case …” (more)

[Andy Bloxham, Daily Telegraph, 10 February]

Much Ado About Email Spoofing; Climate Economist Has Email Hijacked

Posted in Legal issues with tags , , on 10 February 2010 by Steve

“Every climate scientist in the world must be begging their information technology experts for the latest antivirus, spam and firewall software. In the latest email fracas, Nicholas Stern, who in 2006 led an influential review on the economics of climate change, apparently had his email account hijacked into sending fake emails, along with a virus, to colleagues at the London School of Economic’s Grantham Institute for Climate Change, which Stern heads …” (more)

[John Travis, Science Insider, 10 February]

Philosophers Push Campaign Against Limits on Hiring Gay Professors

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 10 February 2010 by Steve

“Calvin College has become the first institution covered by a new rule of the American Philosophical Association of requiring any college that violates any part of the association’s anti-bias policy to have job listings with the association flagged. The rule was adopted late last year in response to the concerns of many philosophers about having their association list jobs from institutions that do not hire gay professors …” (more)

[Inside Higher Ed, 10 February]