Archive for 12 February 2010

The high cost of low educational performance in Ireland

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 12 February 2010 by Steve

“Recently Mark blogged here about a new OECD report with the above title (minus ‘in Ireland’ of course, you can download the report from the link below). The report was written by Eric Hanushek and Ludger Woessmann. Hanushek gave a talk here this week (at U. Kentucky) which I attended and covered much of the territory from a US angle. I recommend the report to anyone interested in education: its short but there is a lot of important material in it …” (more)

[Kevin Denny, Geary Behavioural Economics Blog, 12 February]

Reform?

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 12 February 2010 by Steve

“Trying to reform the university is like trying to get on the Internet with a typewriter, or like riding a horse to the mall.–Louis Menand” (tweet)

[Robert Herzog, Twitter, 12 February]

New €7.5 million Clinical Research Facility for Galway – Fahey

Posted in research with tags on 12 February 2010 by Steve

“Galway West Fianna Fáil TD Frank Fahey has welcomed the announcement today a €7.5 million Clinical Research Facility is to be developed at University College Hospital Galway. The Minister for Health and Children Mary Harney TD was in Galway today to make the announcement …” (more)

[Fianna Fáil, 12 February]

Looking harder at climate scientists

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 12 February 2010 by Steve

“The University of East Anglia has announced that it will expand its investigation of its climate science unit to include a study of how the scientists handled data. Crucially, UEA will be working with an external group – the Royal Society – to locate external auditors who can maintain impartiality. That’s not what Penn State did with its preliminary look at Michael Mann–who has close ties with the UEA climate unit–nor is it what PSU plans to do with its follow-up inquiry. And PSU is taking considerable heat for it …” (more)

[Critical Mass, 12 February]

Bogus student visas being promoted by Govt inaction – Naughten

Posted in Legal issues with tags , , on 12 February 2010 by Steve

“The fact that people are working in Ireland on bogus student visas, as seen in reports today (Friday), has been facilitated by Minister Dermot Ahern’s failure to reform the student visa system according to Fine Gael Immigration & Integration Spokesman, Denis Naughten TD …” (more)

[Fine Gael, 12 February]

Nature editor quits ‘Climategate’ review panel

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 12 February 2010 by Steve

“A member of a panel set up to independently investigate the University of East Anglia ‘Climategate’ affair has resigned just hours after his appointment was announced. Phil Campbell, editor-in-chief of the journal Nature, was yesterday named as one of a five-strong team to be led by Sir Muir Russell, the former vice-chancellor of the University of Glasgow, that will examine accusations that scientists in UEA’s Climatic Research Unit manipulated data …” (more)

[Zoë Corbyn, Times Higher Education, 12 February]

‘Plagiarism up 700%’ at University of Nottingham

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 12 February 2010 by Steve

“Slight misinterpretation of non-comparable data. According to a shocking report in Impact, which doesn’t let facts get in the way of a sensational story, plagiarism is up 700% at the University of Nottingham: ‘The University of Nottingham has insisted that cheating is not skyrocketing among its students, following the emergence of figures which show a significant rise in recorded plagiarism at the institution in the last five years …’” (more)

[Registrarism, 12 February]

Engineers should be retrained as teachers, report says

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 12 February 2010 by Steve

“One in five science, engineering and technology students drops out of university, a new report reveals. The report claims that many students are ill-equipped to tackle the mathematical content of the courses. However, it is easier to get into these courses than in the past because entry points have dropped …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 12 February]

Investment in maths and science urged

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 12 February 2010 by Steve

“If Ireland does not make investments in teaching maths and science it will cause damage to the economy, according to Engineers Ireland. Speaking after the launch of a report on maths and science education at second level, John Power, director general of Engineers Ireland, pointed to OECD research published this week on the economic cost of poor education standards …” (more)

[John Collins, Irish Times, 12 February]

University: quiet reflection or sharp, focused study?

Posted in teaching with tags , on 12 February 2010 by Steve

“The British Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson, is not perhaps the most popular man right now in academic circles. He is presiding over substantial funding cuts, and in addition seems intent on redefining what a university education is and how universities might best deliver it. He has come in for a fair amount of criticism, some of it no doubt understandable. But what he says in not necessarily out of step with the views now held in industry, politics and maybe even society at large …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 12 February]

History of England starts at 1700, says university

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 12 February 2010 by Steve

“It was claimed that the move by Sussex University risked jeopardising the nation’s understanding of the subject and ‘entrenching the ignorance of the present’. Under plans, research and in-depth teaching into periods such as the Tudors, the Middle-Ages, Norman Britain, the Viking invasion and the Anglo-Saxons will be scrapped, along with the Civil Wars …” (more)

[Graeme Paton, Daily Telegraph, 11 February]

Big rise in college ‘spin-out’ companies

Posted in research with tags , , on 12 February 2010 by Steve

“The number of ‘spin-out companies’ from Irish third-level colleges increased by 250 per cent in 2009, according to new figures from the Irish Universities Association (IUA). The data shows 35 companies were created directly from campus research last year, compared to 10 in 2008. About half of these are in the information technology sector, and half are in the bioscience or food areas ..” (more)

[Gordon Smith, Irish Times, 12 February]

10,000 working here illegally on bogus foreign student visas

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 12 February 2010 by Steve

“Up to 10,000 foreign nationals are working here illegally after entering the country on bogus student visas, the Irish Independent has learned. They represent almost one in three of the students who come here from outside the EU …” (more)

[John Walshe and Tom Brady, Independent, 12 February]

Really Open University @ Leeds

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 12 February 2010 by Steve

“Here at the University of Leeds (UK) a new group called ‘The Really Open University’ has been set up. The ROU aims to help resist the planned £35 million of cuts (in a record turnout the lecturers union, UCU, recently voted to strike), but also to inject a more general critique of the neoliberal university and link to wider social struggles …” (more)

[Parar Bolonha, 12 February]

Access for mature students

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 12 February 2010 by Steve

“… When I started this part-time course in September last year, it was on the premise that both the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) and the maintenance grant would be available to me once I started the degree course next September. Indeed it was the availability of these monies that made going back to college financially possible. Halfway through my Access course, last month, it emerged that the Government had made cuts …” (more)

[Naoise McDonagh, Irish Times, 12 February]

Loose rules no longer suit as economy slides

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 12 February 2010 by Steve

“When the Celtic Tiger was roaring, it suited everybody to bring in overseas students in their tens of thousands. The economy needed them to work in service jobs and officialdom did not worry too much if their attendance record in college was poor. We were not alone in this, as the UK was adapting the exact same ‘laissez-faire’ approach …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 12 February]

Changing the law

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 12 February 2010 by Steve

“Since 2001, students from outside Europe can work part-time during term and full-time during the holidays. Other countries have similar arrangements and the concession has helped Irish colleges to sign up many students from outside Europe …” (more)

[Independent, 12 February]

EU portfolio a ‘coup’ for Ireland

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 12 February 2010 by Steve

“The apointment of Máire Geoghegan-Quinn as the EU’s Commissioner for Research and Innovation represents a tremendous opportunity for Ireland to enhance its reputation in this area and should be viewed as a major coup for the State, according to Martin Schuurmans, chairman of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) …” (more)

[Frank Dillon, Irish Times, 12 February]

University reviewing its climate research

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 12 February 2010 by Steve

“A British university embroiled in an e-mail row ordered a review yesterday of its climate researchers’ work after accusations that they distorted or hid evidence to support the case for man-made global warming. The University of East Anglia said external investigators would check papers published by its Climatic Research Unit …” (more)

[Irish Times, 12 February]

Public sector fury at €21bn pensions ‘cut’

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 12 February 2010 by Steve

“The Government is looking to shave €21bn from the public-sector pensions bill by breaking the link to wage increases. The move is set to be strongly opposed by the 300,000-plus serving public-sector employees and 100,000 retired civil servants …” (more)

[Michael Brennan, Independent, 12 February]