Archive for 2 March 2010

Why the National University of Ireland should continue

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 2 March 2010 by Steve

“Readers of The University Observer whose primary allegiance is – of course – to UCD may not have been too greatly distressed at the announcement of the Minister for Education and Science, Batt O’Keeffe TD, that with the approval of the government, he plans to dissolve the National University of Ireland (NUI). However, as NUI Chancellor and as a graduate, former lecturer and currently adjunct professor in UCD, I believe that this is a bad decision, and not in the interests of UCD students …” (more)

[Maurice Manning, University Observer, 2 March]

Spirited WIT defy Dublin counterparts in hectic finale

Posted in Life with tags , on 2 March 2010 by Steve

WATERFORD IT 0-14 DUBLIN IT 0-12 The fighting spirit that has seen Waterford IT’s emergence as a powerful force in Colleges hurling over the past twenty years was again very much in evidence at James McGinn Park, Ballygunner on Wednesday last where the Waterford side had to dig deep to deny a very good Dublin IT side a first ever Fitzgibbon Cup win over their Waterford counterparts …” (more)

[Phil Fanning, Waterford News and Star, 2 March]

Just like the US?

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 2 March 2010 by Steve

“http://gradeinflation.com/ shows the data generated by TCD academic secretary but for the US….looks pretty similar to her report” (tweet)

[Colm Harmon, Twitter, 2 March]

UCD crash out at Fitzgibbon Cup quarter-finals

Posted in Life with tags on 2 March 2010 by Steve

Limerick IT 1-15 UCD 2-9: UCD’s senior hurlers bowed out of the 2010 Fitzgibbon Cup at the hands of Limerick IT thanks to a marauding performance from Galway’s Joe Canning. Despite a last-minute push from UCD, Limerick IT held on with an impressive display of both attacking prowess and solid defence to progress to the next stage of the Fitzgibbon Cup …” (more)

[Jack Logan, University Observer, 2 March]

Tories will give universities control of A-level content

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 2 March 2010 by Steve

“A Conservative government would immediately overhaul the national curriculum in English, maths and science – and hand control of A-level exam content to universities and academic experts to end ‘political control’, the shadow education secretary, Michael Gove, said today. Every child would get the chance to study all three science subjects – physics, chemistry and biology – separately at GCSE and there would be a return to disciplines such as geometry and algebra in tests for 11-year-olds …” (more)

[Rachel Williams, Guardian, 2 March]

A personal take on grade inflation

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 2 March 2010 by Steve

“The Irish Times carries another front page report on grade inflation in the Irish education sector, citing an unpublished internal TCD study. The statistics presented do seem to indicate a remarkable rise in the percentages of higher grades at third level. This is taken as evidence of grade inflation (I hate the phrase ‘dumbing down’). It is worrying that the Minister seems to be narrowing the focus of his investigation on the rate of increase in higher grades when the underlying causes may be more revealing if he is really committed to reform in the education sector …” (more)

[Declan Jordan, Cork Economics, 2 March]

Grade Inflation

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 2 March 2010 by Steve

“Based on reports we know that Minister for Education, Batt O’Keeffe, is considering the impact of grade inflation in second- and third-level education in Ireland. It has emerged that the Minister has ordered the State Examination Commission to examine Leaving Cert. results and the Higher Education Authority to report on third-level results …” (more)

[Seamus Coffey, Economic Incentives, 1 March]

Student Loans: The New Big Bubble

Posted in Fees and access with tags on 2 March 2010 by Steve

“We had the dot.com bubble and then the real estate bubble, and now we are looking at the student loan bubble. All over the country, tuition is going up, and students are turning to public and private loans in order to finance the cost of their education. Not only does this mean that many students will graduate with huge debts that will take them years to pay off, but the student demand for credit is resulting in a huge gold rush for banks and other private corporations …” (more)

[Bob Samuels, Parar Bolonha, 2 March]

A better question to ask

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 2 March 2010 by Steve

“An inquiry in Irish higher-ed that I would like to see is one that asks are we doing enough for the most talented students” (tweet)

[Liam Delaney, Twitter, 2 March]

Myths

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 2 March 2010 by Steve

“@GTCost There has been a rescaling of grades but to say our education rates are a myth is just plain wrong and an insult to your students” (tweet)

[Liam Delaney, Twitter, 2 March]

Climate scientist admits sending ‘awful emails’ but denies perverting peer review

Posted in research with tags , on 2 March 2010 by Steve

“The scientist at the centre of a media storm over global warming research admitted today he had sent ‘awful emails’ but said he expected to be cleared of accusations that he tried to pervert the scientific process. Phil Jones, head of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, told a parliamentary inquiry that there was nothing in the hundreds of emails released on to the internet last year that supported the claims …” (more)

[David Adam, Guardian, 1 March]

Grade inflation

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 2 March 2010 by Steve

“… I’m not sure how a five fold improvement in the Leaving Cert and a three fold improvement at the top in third level is evidence of grade inflation- well, at third level anyway. If anything it suggests that the third institutes are getting tougher …” (more)

[Declan Jordan, Cork Economics, 1 March]

Google welcomes review of college’s ‘grade inflation’

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 2 March 2010 by Steve

“A review of ‘grade inflation’ in schools and colleges, requested by Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe, has been welcomed by US multinational Google. However, the union representing secondary teachers, the ASTI, has rejected any suggestion that there is a ‘dumbing down’ of standards at Leaving Cert level …” (more)

[Sean Flynn and Ronan McGreevy, Irish Times, 2 March]

Grade inflation, educational standards, and everything …

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 2 March 2010 by Steve

“Yesterday was one of those days – the Minister for Education and Science tells the world (via the Irish Times) that he is investigating grade inflation in the Leaving Certificate and in higher education, and immediately a confused (or at least confusing) debate gets under way about standards. The problem with this is, however, that all sorts of different (and not necessarily even related) issues get thrown together …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 2 March]

Independent inquiry into grade inflation is essential

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 2 March 2010 by Steve

“So the Minister for Education and Science has finally recognised the glaring problem of grade inflation in the Irish education system and has ordered an ‘inquiry’. The fact that, according to the Minister, it is to be more of a “profile” than an inquiry, and that it is to be carried out by the insiders of the educational establishment, suggests that this is going to end up as a whitewash …” (more)

[Brendan Guilfoyle and Simon Quinn, Irish Times, 2 March]

Quality

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 2 March 2010 by Steve

“We even have a board called Irish Universities Quality Board to look after quality. What new scheme has the Minister in mind?” (tweet)

[Liam Delaney, Twitter, 1 March]

Teachers’ pet

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 2 March 2010 by Steve

“Unlike most of his Cabinet colleagues, Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe can afford to relax about the forthcoming Cabinet reshuffle. There are probably only two real possibilities and both represent good news for the minister …” (more)

[Irish Times, 2 March]

Degrees of separation

Posted in Life with tags on 2 March 2010 by Steve

“When astronomy lecturer Dr Andy Young is not researching what happens to hot gases after they fall into black holes, he is usually on a late-night or pre-dawn train. For while he works at Bristol University, his wife, Dr Zoe Leinhardt, works at Cambridge and lives there with their three-year-old son, Jude …” (more)

[Joanna Walters, Guardian, 2 March]

Rising degree of alarm at third-level grade inflation

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 2 March 2010 by Steve

“The Irish education system used to be miserly in the percentages of top grades awarded both in the Leaving and in college. But not any more. The changes are remarkable, no matter how you look at the statistics …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 2 March]

Well, we’re listening now

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 2 March 2010 by Steve

“Google complained about grade inflation & mediocre skills in Ireland ages ago- noone listened in boomtimes when system should’ve been fixed” (tweet)

[Karlin Lillington, Twitter, 1 March]