Mar 15 2012

Irish Universities Exit Global Top 100

Category: Third LevelTeknovis @ 14:44

The decline of Irish universities continues, and there are no longer any in the global top 100, according to No Irish universities make top 100 list. (I wrote about this most recently in Irish Universities Fall Further.)

However, I disagree with one issue in the article:

Today’s list will raise renewed questions about a long-term funding base for higher education. Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has signalled that the student contribution fee, currently €2,250, will rise to €3,000 within three years.

But university presidents say even this will not be enough as their budgets are only about 60 per cent of those available to comparable colleges in the UK and the rest of the EU.

I am not convinced that the fall can be attributed solely to revenues! I also think that we radically need to restructure the costs (particularly the staff costs) within education.

In my experience the abilities and calibre of Irish students must also be a factor, and these appear to be in free fall :(

Jan 23 2012

Irish Collegiate Programming Contest 2012

Category: Events,Fourth Level,Software Development,Third LevelTeknovis @ 09:23


Registration for the Irish Collegiate Programming Contest (IrlCPC) opened a few minutes ago!

It sounds like a really good event, and this year it is being held in UCC.  (Interestingly, last year’s photos show that the attendees all look exactly like the stereotypes you would associate with such an event. That is a pity in terms of trying to broaden its appeal!)


Jan 18 2012

Smart Futures Ireland

Category: Events,Second Level,Third LevelTeknovis @ 13:11

Smart Futures is an initiative designed to encourage students to pursue careers in technology.

Smart Futures is a national campaign for second-level students in Ireland highlighting career opportunities in information and communications technology (ICT) in association with e-Skills Week 2012. It includes a digital content competition, an online careers fair from 23-27 January 2012, and regular updates on our blog about the sector, career stories and competitions.

It is a really good idea, and I think that it is very necessary! There are some very well known companies behind it, including Cisco, Ericsson, HP, Microsoft, Openet, SAP.

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Jan 17 2012

New Irish University

Category: Third LevelTeknovis @ 14:35

Ireland is due to get a new university, according to Quinn to approve technology university in southeast.

I think this is a bad move :o I think that the new university will not be up to existing university standards in Ireland, and I think that it will ultimately damage our reputation.

I would prefer to see the number of universities in Ireland reduced, and the standard of student improved!

Jan 12 2012

UCC and Taxis

Category: Third LevelTeknovis @ 13:47

I read a fascinating story about overspending in Irish Universities – ‘Worrying’ level of overspending at Irish universities, says TD.

The most surprising revelation related to UCC:

The deputy was particularly critical of the University College Cork’s €138,000 spend on taxis in the 12-month period.

It really is depressing to see (yet again) that some in the public service do not yet have an understanding of where their money comes from, and the price that we are all paying for it :(

I really would love somebody to be held accountable for this, but unfortunately accountability is not valued in Ireland :(


Dec 03 2011

Academic Paper Abstract

Category: Fourth LevelTeknovis @ 09:08

A friend told me about a very interesting academic paper during the week. The paper is titled Can apparent superluminal neutrino speeds be explained as a quantum weak measurement?, and it is available for download from

I am sure the paper is interesting to those who work in that area. However, in a more general sense the abstract is a really great! It is a perfect example of “less is more”!

Oct 06 2011

Irish Universities Fall Further

Category: Third LevelTeknovis @ 18:51

Exactly a month after I last wrote about Irish Universities falling in global rankings (see Irish University Rankings)  there is another rankings list published that indicates an even greater fall. TCD is now the highest placed university in position 117. See The World University Rankings 2011-2012 for the complete list.

According to some articles, such as Government faces fees pressure as universities slide, the universities believe that the solution lies in reintroducing university fees:

UCD president Dr Hugh Brady said: “We are working harder and longer with far less but it will be difficult for us and for all of the Irish universities to compete in the years ahead unless the nettle of higher education funding is grasped.”

This is interesting coming from the seventh highest earner in education in Ireland (see The top 100 best-paid in education).

Personally, I believe that the Irish universities mismanage a lot of the money which they receive. I think that academics are paid too much in Ireland, and increasingly their performance is failing. Perhaps this is part of the general falling standards in Irish universities.

I personally know some academics working in EU universities that are ranked higher than the Irish universities, yet they earn significantly less than their Irish counterparts.

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Oct 04 2011

The 50 Most Influential People in Education

Category: EducationTeknovis @ 19:26

I read an interesting article about the most influential people in education in Ireland – The 50 most influential people in education.

The two things that surprised me most were:

  • A lot of the people in the top 10 are not typically associated with Irish education!
  • Brian McCraith, President of DCU, is the only university representative with a leadership role in the top 10 – well done!

It would be interesting to correlate this list with the list cited in Top Educational Salaries in Ireland!

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Sep 16 2011

Unusual TCD Staff Member

Category: Humour,Third LevelTeknovis @ 16:10

Some Friday afternoon humour regarding an unusual staff member in TCDTrinity ‘expels’ barbarian teacher.

Have a good weekend!


Sep 06 2011

Irish University Rankings

Category: Third LevelTeknovis @ 14:11

There are new university rankings published this week, and it is bad news for all of the Irish universities. See Most Irish universities fall further in world ranking for details of the Irish situation, and QS World University Rankings 2011/2012, now with fees information for the complete rankings. As an aside, I think the DCU satisfaction at improving four places is seriously over optimistic!

Additionally, as one UCD researcher whom I know said:

I wonder will Des Fitzgerald’s salary be reduced in line with UCDs falling performance.

Personally, I think it is unlikely :| (The background to this comment is in The top 100 best-paid in education.)

Maybe the solution from an Irish point-of-view is to create a good university and a bad university, in the style of the banking solution. Actually, maybe not when it is considered how well the Government have managed that!

So in summary, Irish universities are delivering poor service at exceptionally high costs. Welcome to the knowledge economy – Irish style!

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