Archive for 2 June 2010

IFUT’s ‘utter astonishment’ at threat of more funding cuts to universities

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

“The Irish Federation of University Teachers has reacted with utter astonishment to the prospect of more funding cuts to universities as reported in The Irish Times today, 2 June 2010. ‘I note that in a panic reaction to the prospect of more cuts, some university sources are allegedly considering redundancies for academic staff’, said Mike Jennings, General Secretary of IFUT …” (more)

[IFUT, 2 June]

The SES gradient in educational attainment: some comparative evidence

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

“My recent paper on the abolition of university fees in Ireland emphasized the importance of the socio-economic gradient in educational attainment: children from better off backgrounds get more Leaving Cert points and this explains the socio-economic gradient with regard to university …” (more)

[Kevin Denny, Geary Behavioural Economics Blog, 2 June]

UL invites Irish High-Tech Professionals to share their opinions in Online Survey

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

“…The survey is part of the project ‘Nomadic Work/Life in the Knowledge Economy’, and seeks to find ways to understand and improve the Knowledge Economy in Ireland, from the viewpoint of its professionals and those living abroad …” (more)

[Irish Press Releases, 2 June]

Audio Boo and the Choice of a Textbook

Posted in teaching with tags on 2 June 2010 by Steve

“Hold your horses folks, it’s not quite as boring as it sounds. Choosing a textbook for 300+ students is no joke, which is why I’m thinking about it on June 2, 2010, 4 months before the course starts. Bernie Goldbach also introduced me to audio boo today, so here’s my first ‘boo’ on the subject of choosing a textbook …” (more, audio)

[Stephen Kinsella, 2 June]

Ireland’s higher education strategy lies in tatters

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

“The report in today’s Irish Times that universities will have to face further cuts in their budgets is disappointing but unsurprising. The government’s higher education strategy is in complete disarray because of the massive economic crisis Ireland is currently experiencing. Funding has been repeatedly yet the number of students is still growing, particularly as high unemployment is driving the demand for upskilling and re-training …” (more)

[Ruairi Quinn TD, Labour Party, 2 June]

Re-Inventing the University – Creating a New Vision

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

“… We thus need to urgently engage in re-inventing the university and creating a new vision. This conference will explore the general situation in Ireland and two major interlinked themes for the future. There is a compelling argument that the traditional disciplinary boundaries, which have compartmentalized knowledge generation for hundreds of years, are now providing diminishing returns …” (more)

[Tallyman, 2 June]

Social Segregation in Irish Schools

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

“Social segregation in schools refers to the uneven distribution across schools of children from different socio-economic backgrounds. Why should we care? One simple reason is that not all schools are as good as others so if particular groups are concentrated in ‘good schools’ (however that is measured) that has implications for inequality …” (more)

[Kevin Denny, Geary Behavioural Economics Blog, 2 June]

Universities need glaziers and golf experts, too

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

“… That confident celebration of the craftsman as well as the academic is something our nation has lost, and which we need to recapture. Skills and craftsmanship are essential for rebalancing the economy away from its dependence on financial services. Winston Churchill put it very well as Chancellor, saying he wanted a country where ‘finance was less proud and industry more content’. That means more apprenticeships and more work-based learning …” (more)

[David Willetts, Daily Telegraph, 2 June]

Rank Me Not!

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

“At a recent conference in Asia, a university president confided to me: ‘I am torn: the government wants me to pay more attention to world-class university rankings and my agenda is overflowing with student access problems. Despite its reputation as a powerhouse, people forget that Asia still has massive poverty’. Unfortunately, this type of observation seems to be largely confided to private discourse …” (more)

[Anatoly Oleksiyenko, 21st Century Scholar, 2 June]

University heads told courses and jobs at risk in funding cut

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

“University presidents are being told to brace themselves for unprecedented cuts which could force them to cut staff and cancel courses. In a confidential letter to the seven presidents, the chief executive of the Higher Education Authority (HEA), Tom Boland, says he is alerting all colleges now to take ‘whatever action is needed’ to prepare for the next academic year …” (more)

[Sean Flynn, Irish Times, 2 June]

Innovation Taskforce Implementation Group – inaugural meeting

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

“The inaugural meeting of the Innovation Taskforce Implementation Group was held this evening, from 5pm-6.30pm, at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, with Minister O’Keefe in the chair, and also attended by Minister of State Lenihan …” (more)

[Chrisjhorn’s Blog, 1 June]

Does the Constitution really protect a right to ‘academic freedom’?

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 2 June 2010 by Steve

“Last week the University of Virginia decided to fight a sweeping subpoena served upon the institution in late April. State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli subpoenaed documents in connection with five grants awarded to Michael Mann – a former UVA climate-change scientist who now teaches at Penn State …” (more)

[Dahlia Lithwick and Richard Schragger, Slate, 1 June]

€20m training fund targets low-skilled and unemployed

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

“Training for work in green energy, pharmaceutical and eco-tourism is being offered for low-skilled and unemployed people through a €20 million fund targeting people whose previous qualifications are no higher than the Leaving Certificate …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 2 June]

Lecturers threaten to strike over jobs

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

“University lecturers are warning of national strike action over redundancies in the wake of public spending cuts totalling £1.2bn this year. Fifteen universities and colleges have already taken strike action this year over threatened compulsory redundancies …” (more)

[Richard Garner, Independent, 2 June]

Courses and jobs at risk? And despite that, more and more students?

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

“Here’s what’s coming our way. The Irish Times today reports on a letter sent by the HEA to the universities warning them of further cuts in budgets and staffing expected in the academic year 2010-11. The key issue highlighted by the letter is the likelihood of further staffing cuts, coming at a time when universities have already lost 6 per cent of total staff numbers over two years while admitting additional students …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 2 June]