Archive for Ferdinand von Prondzysnki

NUI redux

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , , on 17 March 2011 by Steve

“In January 2010 the then Minister for Education and Science, Batt O’Keeffe (now retired from politics), announced that he intended to ‘dissolve’ the National University of Ireland (a statement that made the NUI appear to be a kind of giant Alka Selzer) …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 17 March]


Bankrupt universities?

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 9 March 2011 by Steve

“… Even in stable financial times, universities in these islands tend to be run on a knife edge financially. They do not record big surpluses, and they tend to be highly reliant on a small selection of (sometimes inter-dependent) income streams …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 9 March]

The public good in higher education

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 3 March 2011 by Steve

“… If there is discussion and debate, it is not particularly coherent. At the heart of the confusion appears to be a failure to have any kind of consensus on what higher education is actually for. Politicians are tempted to focus on higher education as a labour market management mechanism, and so academics start to argue that everybody wants to turn education into a commodity that gets traded on a market …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 3 March]

The English fees debate on Twitter

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 21 February 2011 by Steve

“Speaking of Twitter, if you want some lively and often sarcastic commentary on current higher education events, it’s a good place to go …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 21 February]

The ‘free fees’ debate – AGAIN!

Posted in Fees and access with tags , on 10 November 2010 by Steve

“Ferdinand Von Prondzynski is at it again in The Irish Times of Tuesday, November 9, 2010. He argues that there is no way adequately to fund universities without the reintroduction of fees. That may be so but it is long past time to hear his argument stripped of nonsense …” (more)

[Colum McCaffery’s Weblog, 10 November]

Keeping universities traditional (2)

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 10 September 2010 by Steve

“Last Sunday morning I was very struck by the discussion between the participants on BBC Radio 4′s programme ‘Broadcasting House’ (you can listen to the podcast here). One of the issues raised was that of how a university should be organised and structured; it became clear that the participants all felt that a ‘real’ university needed to arrange its teaching on a campus in a classroom setting …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 10 September]

The best country?

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 19 August 2010 by Steve

“It’s a day for league tables in this blog, but before we get to a university table, here’s one on countries: Newsweek magazine has ranked the world’s countries in accordance with which are the ‘globe’s true national champions’ – meaning which countries are best when you take into account the economy, politics, health and quality of life …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 19 August]

The disconnected academic?

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 15 August 2010 by Steve

“… Declan Kiberd is, rightly, hugely respected in the academic community; but he is also capable of coming out occasionally with some fairly amazing nonsense. An example of that was to be found in yesterday’s Irish Times, in a piece by him under the title ‘Internet can leave you disconnected’. In fact it is more a rant than an article …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 15 August]

Summer schools

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 24 July 2010 by Steve

“You know it’s summer in Ireland when June’s relatively good weather has turned into wind and rain and when you start to read reports about the MacGill Summer School …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 24 July]

Dropping down the rankings – will it matter?

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 10 June 2010 by Steve

“As we try to get realistic about Irish higher education’s prospects in the era of budget cuts and staffing reductions, one conclusion we must draw is that the recent successes of Irish universities in the global rankings are likely to be reversed shortly, perhaps dramatically …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 10 June]

Directing research

Posted in research with tags , on 21 May 2010 by Steve

“Over the past decade or so, Irish universities have pushed for far more generous research funding. While we do not know right now how such funding will develop during the current difficult economic climate, there is no doubt that in recent years funding levels became much more competitive when benchmarked against other developed countries …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 21 May]

The illegitimacy of management?

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 6 May 2010 by Steve

“It has become common within universities to identify and criticise something described as ‘managerialism’. in 2007 a research team led by Professor Rosemary Deem of the University of Bristol published an article in which they identified a pattern called ‘New Managerialism’, which in essence was said to consist of a drive to create a centralised strategic direction in universities …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 6 May]

The high risk resulting from university expansion when funding is cut

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 19 April 2010 by Steve

“As we have noted here before, universities in Ireland are currently being encouraged to increase student numbers while they simultaneously suffer significant reductions in resources. The reduction, it has to be remembered, is right now principally affecting the number of academic faculty who can be recruited or retained …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzysnki, University Blog, 19 April]

‘Grade inflation’ – so what happens this weekend?

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , on 3 March 2010 by Steve

“According to the information revealed so far, the Minister for Education and Science, Batt O’Keeffe, has asked for the results (or an interim version of these) of the ‘investigations’ on grade inflation to be made available to him before the end of this week. As we already know this will tell him that, over a period of time, the proportion of higher classifications in examination or assessment results has increased in both the Leaving Certificate and in higher education. So he will be told that this is the case. Then what? …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzysnki, University Blog, 3 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]

Bonus points for mathematics?

Posted in Fees and access with tags , , on 1 March 2010 by Steve

“As many readers of this blog will know, for some time now the issue of how to persuade more Irish students to take Higher Level Mathematics for the Leaving Certificate (Irish final school examinations) has been a topic of heated debate in Ireland. Part of the backdrop is that the number of those taking this option has been declining for some time, and according to an Irish Times report last summer is now below 20% …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzysnki, University Blog, 1 March]

Changing higher education by stealth

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 26 February 2010 by Steve

“Irish higher education has until now been based on a number of assumptions, some of which are quite old and venerable, while others are of more recent origin. The key assumptions are that there should be tuition that allows the student to develop independent thinking and that monitors his or her progress through individual encounters with tutors and through small group teaching …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzysnki, University Blog, 26 February]

Students preparing for work

Posted in Life with tags on 23 February 2010 by Steve

“One of the distinctive elements of the programmes offered by my university, DCU, is that they involve a work placement as part of the syllabus. These placements run under the name INTRA (INTegrated TRAining), and their existence has often conferred a benefit on DCU graduates when they are looking for employment: employers often take the view that work placements prepare students much better for their working lives and make them more confident when commencing work …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzysnki, University Blog, 23 February]

Higher education: winning over a sceptical public

Posted in Governance and administration with tags on 21 February 2010 by Steve

“I have recently come across a rather interesting American organization: Public Agenda. This is a non-profit, non-partisan body which aims to do research and put important information and metrics into the public domain in order to support and assist public debate and policy-making. Recently Public Agenda has undertaken a survey into the public’s attitudes towards universities …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzysnki, University Blog, 21 February]

And answer came there none …

Posted in Governance and administration with tags , , on 19 February 2010 by Steve

“@themadderhat TCD/UCD, UL/NUIG, DCU/RCSI/NUIM (in discussion). UCC?” (tweet)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Twitter, 19 February]