Archive for 18 February 2010

Statement by Minister O’Keeffe at the announcement of strategic alliance between UL and NUI Galway

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 18 February 2010 by Steve

“I am delighted to join the Taoiseach and Tánaiste in welcoming the announcement of this strategic alliance between NUI Galway (NUIG) and the University of Limerick (UL). The alliance, which is being led at the highest level in the universities, will combine the institutions’ strengths and create synergies across the range of activities from undergraduate through to research for the benefit of students, the institutions themselves, their regions, and the country as a whole …” (more)

[Batt O’Keeffe, Fianna Fail, 18 February]

Limerick – Galway: announcement from Limerick

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 18 February 2010 by Steve

“Colleagues: I am delighted to share with you an announcement which will be made public later today. The University of Limerick and NUI Galway have entered into a Strategic Alliance across all key areas of our activity. Our two Universities are committed to working together to deliver a better service to our students, to our business and industry partners, to our region and to our various stakeholders …” (more)

[Don Barry, University Blog, 18 February]

Universities unite to boost investment

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 18 February 2010 by Steve

“NUI Galway and the University of Limerick have announced a strategic alliance which they say will boost enterprise and foreign direct investment and strengthen research and industry partnerships. The universities have a combined student population of more than 27,000 and almost 4,000 staff …” (more)

[Alison Healy, Irish Times, 18 February]

Dismantling of the NUI will threaten university standards

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 18 February 2010 by Steve

“Dear Editor, As a retired head of a medical school department in the National University of Ireland (NUI), I consider that dismantling the organisation, intended by the Minister for Education, could well lead to low standards and abuse by vested interests …” (more)

[EG Everard-Hewson, Irish Medical Times, 18 February]

Doctor cheated in postgraduate exam

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 18 February 2010 by Steve

“A doctor working in psychiatry who cheated in a postgraduate examination was yesterday found guilty of professional misconduct by the Irish Medical Council. A fitness to practice inquiry held by the council heard that Dr Muhammad Zafar Iqbal (44) from Pakistan had worked at a number of Irish hospitals, including St Fintan’s in Laois, St Brigid’s in Ballinasloe and St Brendan’s in Dublin, before travelling to the Britain in 2004 …” (more)

[Eithne Donnellan, Irish Times, 18 February]

School used student laptop webcams to spy on them at school and home

Posted in Legal issues with tags , , on 18 February 2010 by Steve

“According to the filings in Blake J Robbins v Lower Merion School District (PA) et al, the laptops issued to high-school students in the well-heeled Philly suburb have webcams that can be covertly activated by the schools’ administrators, who have used this facility to spy on students and even their families. The issue came to light when the Robbins’s child was disciplined for ‘improper behavior in his home’ and the Vice Principal used a photo taken by the webcam as evidence. The suit is a class action, brought on behalf of all students issued with these machines …” (more)

[Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing, 17 February]

‘The Challenge of Bologna’

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 18 February 2010 by Steve

“The ‘Bologna Process’, under which European nations have agreed on common higher education standards – with the goal of making degrees and students recognized and respected across borders – continues to attract increased attention in the United States. In his new book, Paul L. Gaston, Trustees Professor at Kent State University, considers the evolution of Europe’s plans and their impact on American higher education …” (more)

[Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, 18 February]

JK Rowling accused of plagiarising from 1987 children’s wizard book

Posted in Legal issues with tags , on 18 February 2010 by Steve

“J.K. Rowling is facing a multimillion-pound lawsuit after being accused of stealing ideas for her Harry Potter series from the British author of another children’s book. The estate of the late Adrian Jacobs added the world’s richest author as a defendant to a lawsuit that alleges that a substantial part of Mr Jacob’s 1987 book The Adventures of Willy the Wizard: No 1 Livid Land was replicated in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, published 13 years later in July 2000 …” (more)

[Anne Barrowclough, Times, 18 February]

Plagiarism, or just ‘mixing’?

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 18 February 2010 by Steve

“Berlin literary scandal poses the question – when everything is available free online, what is the meaning of copyright? The news that a 17-year-old Berliner, Helene Hegemann, has run into a storm of abusive publicity over the authenticity of her cult teen bestseller Axolotl Roadkill looks like another of those plagiarism rows that surface from time to time in the European press …” (more)

[Robert McCrum, Guardian Books Blog, 15 February]

Annual review of university rankings

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 18 February 2010 by Steve

“EUA (the European University Association) has said it intends to publish an annual review of world university rankings. Given the growing number of league tables and rankings, national and international, and the impact of these on ‘decision-making and activities in universities across Europe’ EUA has, rather helpfully, decided to publish an annual review of university rankings …” (more)

[Registrarism, 18 February]

Night on tiles warning for students

Posted in Life with tags , , on 18 February 2010 by Steve

“It is a stark reminder of the pitfalls of drinking too much. Students using the toilets in UCD will now be confronted with life-sized images of passed-out young people. The campaign is to make students aware of the perils of drinking too much during Rag Week …” (more)

[Independent, 18 February]

Universities, colleges and institutes and what they (might) do for you …

Posted in teaching with tags on 18 February 2010 by Steve

“Brian Mulligan – an inspirational type of guy who works out of Sligo IT – asked me some time back if I might give an input to a webinar series he was putting together. And because there were a few unfilled hours on the odd Saturday and Sunday night between me and it, I had a rush of blood to the head and agreed …” (more)

[Belfield, 18 February]

‘Frankensite’ monsters loom as universities lose control of content

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 18 February 2010 by Steve

“Universities have been warned that they are losing control of their websites, with scholars and departments posting conflicting material and creating ‘Frankensites’. The websites are often hard for visitors to navigate because of a lack of ‘digital governance’ in universities, according to Precedent, a digital-marketing consultancy. With so many people able to contribute to sites, which often include individual pages for each academic, the result is often incoherent and potentially damaging, it said …” (more)

[Hannah Fearn, Times Higher Education, 18 February]

‘Make it easy’ science courses recipe for disaster

Posted in teaching with tags , on 18 February 2010 by Steve

“Former Intel CEO Craig Barrett, quite rightly, has said our education system, especially in the sciences, is on the high road to disaster. I retired from teaching many years ago. Even then, as a science teacher, I and many of my colleagues were bewailing the dumbing down of the curricula …” (more)

[Partick Browne, Irish Times, 18 February]

Defenders of the academy? More like the status quo, says Lord Mandelson

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 18 February 2010 by Steve

“Lord Mandelson has accused some academics of using the battle over funding cuts as an excuse for ‘resistance to any form of change’. The First Secretary mounted a strong defence of government policy on university funding when he spoke at the Lord Dearing memorial conference on ‘The Future of Higher Education’ …” (more)

[John Morgan, Times Higher Education, 18 February]

The business model for higher education: I. What doesn’t work?

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 18 February 2010 by Steve

“The economic downturn has led to numerous calls from a wide variety of sources for higher education Ato make hard choices (and Ato think more strategically about cutting costs). Thus far, there have indeed been many hard choices made in both public and private sectors …” (more)

[Changing Higher Education, 17 February]

Best Practice Guidelines for PhD Programmes

Posted in teaching with tags , on 18 February 2010 by Steve

“The Irish Universities Quality Board in Ireland issued this document last year. It spells out best practice guidelines for PhD programmes. It is worth looking at. From my purely on-the-ground perspective as someone involved in supervising students, the committee structure is certainly an improvement on the standard one-to-one structure …” (more)

[Liam Delaney, Geary Behavioural Economics Blog, 17 February]

Another look at fees

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 18 February 2010 by Steve

“As the debate in Ireland on tuition fees rumbles on, with no clear sense of where and how it might end, and with the somewhat surreal handling of the student registration charge thrown in, it might be of interest to look at an analysis of the UK situation recently published by the think tank Policy Exchange …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 18 February]

From where I sit: Discerning palates

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 18 February 2010 by Steve

“When Private Eye takes notice, it’s a sure sign that something’s afoot. So when the satirical magazine ran its recent piece ‘Brussels is Oxbridge blue’, it confirmed that university league tables are big news. The European Commission is creating a ‘global, multidimensional’ university ranking system. Cherpa, the Consortium for Higher Education and Research Performance Assessment (made up of groups from Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands – including my centre), has been awarded a two-year pilot scheme covering 150 institutions in 40 countries …” (more)

[Paul Benneworth, Times Higher Education, 18 February]

Teaching is the highest purpose, argues thinker

Posted in teaching with tags , , on 18 February 2010 by Steve

“Research is a ‘drag’ on universities and an obstacle to their primary purpose: teaching students. So argued John Haldane, professor of philosophy at the University of St Andrews, in a lecture titled The value of a university at the Lord Dearing memorial conference on 11 February. ‘The mass of researchers has become a drag upon and even an obstacle to the pursuit of the primary purpose of universities, namely the education of undergraduates’, Professor Haldane said …” (more)

[John Morgan, Times Higher Education, 18 February]