Archive for 9 June 2010

One in five drop Higher Level Maths – report

Posted in teaching with tags , on 9 June 2010 by Steve

“… The report was carried out by an industry education group with a mandate to report to Tánaiste and Minister for Education Mary Coughlan. It says bonus points for Maths, if they are introduced, should incentivise these students to stick with Higher Level in the subject …” (more)

[RTÉ News, 9 June]

Can stakeholders unite to fight cutbacks?

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 9 June 2010 by Steve

“… Is an unholy alliance between the pro-fees university heads, the belligerent masses of the student movement, and the trade union movement necessary to fight these cutbacks? University heads have more or less been given the power to make all cuts necessary in a letter sent to them by the HEA (blogged here). They don’t want to do it …” (more)

[Tallyman, 9 June]

Exams come to the bedroom with new invigilation software

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 9 June 2010 by Steve

“It has long been said that exams should be sat in comfort – in loose-fitting clothing and with a glass of water handy. Now scientists have taken this a step further and found a way for students to take tests from their bedrooms at any time of day or night …” (more)

[Jessica Shepherd, Guardian, 8 June]

Science economics: What science is really worth

Posted in Governance and administration on 9 June 2010 by Steve

“President Barack Obama says it. Francis Collins, director of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), says it. University and research leaders elsewhere are saying it, too. The number one current rationale for extra research investment is that it will generate badly needed economic growth …” (more)

[Colin Macilwain, Nature, 9 June]

‘Extra £17m’ student support needed

Posted in Fees and access with tags on 9 June 2010 by Steve

“An extra £17 million is needed to support student loans and grants in Northern Ireland, the Further Education minister has said …” (more)

[Independent, 9 June]

University funding crisis to hit new students hard

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 9 June 2010 by Steve

“The Leaving Cert Class of 2010 face packed lecture halls when they get to university, fewer tutorials, reductions in library facilities and the introduction of waiting lists for counselling services …” (more)

[John Walshe, Independent, 9 June]

What should we publish, and how?

Posted in research with tags , on 9 June 2010 by Steve

“Previously in this blog I have asked whether today’s university system has the balance between teaching and research about right. But if we accept for a moment that research is a key element in an academic career, and that it is right that it should be so, it would still be appropriate to ask how (and possibly even whether) research performance should be assessed …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 8 June]

Leaving Cert grade inflation

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 9 June 2010 by Steve

“Madam, – I was disheartened to read your Front page article regarding the findings of a report on grade inflation at the Leaving Certificate level (June 7th). As a Leaving Cert student with a mere 48 hours left (at the time of writing this) until the exams commence, I was dismayed to read about these statistics and what they might mean for me …” (more)

[Laura Breslin, Irish Times, 9 June]

Nesbitt new university chancellor

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 9 June 2010 by Steve

“Actor James Nesbitt has played a new walk-on role as Chancellor of the University of Ulster. He was installed on the stage of the Riverside Theatre in his home town of Coleraine, Co Londonderry, where he made his acting debut more than 30 years ago …” (more)

[Independent, 8 June]

US Leading Charge on Synthetic Biology Funding

Posted in research with tags , on 9 June 2010 by Steve

“Synthetic biology received about $430 million in U.S. government funding from 2005 to 2010, far outpacing European governments, which gave their synthetic biologists $160 million over the same period. The emerging field received nearly no funding before 2005, according to a new Woodrow Wilson Center report …” (more)

[Alexis Madrigal, Wired, 8 June]

Queen’s University opens new £7.5m technology hub

Posted in research with tags on 9 June 2010 by Steve

“A new £7.5 million international research hub, which will bring major advances in computer hard drives, new and improved sensors and a host of advanced coatings, opened today at Queen’s University Belfast …” (more)

[John Kennedy, Silicon Republic, 8 June]

An Interview with Alex Usher, Higher Ed Strategy

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 9 June 2010 by Steve

KCH: Your firm, Higher Ed Strategy, does a great deal of work in the area of university rankings. I understand that rankings are important to institutions, but do they serve students? Do they direct energy and resources to things that actually help students? …” (more)

[Higher Education Management Group, 8 June]

Need for joined-up thinking in education

Posted in teaching with tags on 9 June 2010 by Steve

“… However in recent times the Googles and others have begun to bemoan the lack of qualified young people in this country. They cannot fill positions in certain areas because the universities and colleges in Ireland are not producing them. So what happened? How have we fallen so quickly from our once lofty position as the brain box of Europe? The answer lies in our education system which hasn’t really changed in decades …” (more)

[Yellowbelly Blog, 8 June]

Security in East Asia, and the soft-power role of higher education

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 9 June 2010 by Steve

“As I struggle with imagining what globalization might mean for higher education, I have come to appreciate finding new sources that help me to increase my understanding of political and business trends around the world. I was recently introduced to a very interesting journal that has been very useful in helping me to look at some of these issues from a distinctly non-US perspective …” (more)

[Changing Higher Education, 8 June]

Higher-Education Programs Are Among Targets of Planned Federal Budget Freeze

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 9 June 2010 by Steve

“… At a news conference on Tuesday, Peter R Orszag, President Obama’s budget director, singled out mathematics and science education, youth mentoring, and job training for cuts …” (more)

[Kelly Field, Chronicle of Higher Education, 8 June]

Anti-capitalist tyre slasher avoids jail with college place

Posted in Legal issues with tags on 9 June 2010 by Steve

“A judge told a man who caused €20,000 worth of damage to car tyres he has a year to find compensation for the owners and to get a place on a college course …” (more)

[Sonya McLean and Conor Gallagher, Independent, 9 June]

Worst universities ‘could be closed’, says CBI

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 9 June 2010 by Steve

“Richard Lambert, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, said the move should be considered by the coalition government as it attempts to cut public spending. He said the country’s top universities should not be forced to ‘pay the price for the incompetence of the worst’, particularly at a time of public sector cuts …” (more)

[Graeme Paton, Daily Telegraph, 8 June]