Jul 28 2012

B.Sc. in Problem Solving and Software Development (PSSD)

Category: Third LevelTeknovis @ 8:37 am

I noticed that DCU has recently launched a new computing degree (B.Sc.) titled Problem Solving and Software Development (PSSD). The novel thing about it is that entry is achieved by showing an aptitude for programming rather than by the traditional exams results method. For more information see DCU School of Computing launches new degree to produce top programmers.

I think that it is a really great idea, and I hope that it is a success! Of course, I assume that the course will be suitably tailored for entrants that have a natural aptitude for computing!

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Jun 07 2012

Irish University Staff Overpayments

Category: Third LevelTeknovis @ 8:58 pm

The Irish Government’s spending watchdog (the Comptroller and Auditor General) has reported on the staff overspending in Irish Universities, and some of the findings are reported in University staff paid €8.1m in excess of approved rates – Comptroller & Auditor General.

The breakdown is as follows:

However, it is not all good news regarding DCU – it bailed out two of its subsidiary companies. I do not understand why these companies were created as commercial ventures in the first place.

WIT (not a university) also receives criticism:

It cites breaches of spending policy on subsistence and hospitality – including €18,452 spent on flowers and €3,067 on gifts.

Unfortunately, I am not surprised by this :o It is not the first time that WIT has been found misappropriating funds (see How WIT Spends the Taxpayers’ Money). WIT seems to have the worst reputation in Ireland based upon the people whom I have met!

I would like to think that the institutions involved have repaid the money, and that the relevant people have been demoted or fired.

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May 22 2012

Unemployable Marketing Graduates

Category: Internet,Third LevelTeknovis @ 8:55 pm

There is another indictment of  our failing third level education system described in Digital Marketing Institute says Ireland has ‘unemployable’ marketing graduates.

This time it relates to marketing graduates, and their lack of digital marketing skills.

The institute’s Ian Dodson said that 100% of marketing jobs now involve digital marketing, but that just 10% of third level graduates have those skills.

I think that digital marketing should be a mandatory requirement!

“Unfortunately, third level students are coming out, not just with poor digital literacy in Office applications, but with woeful levels of literacy when it comes to using the more modern tools and technologies, like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, to promote and market business,” he added.

I often think that academics in Irish universities become lazy, and simply regurgitate the same material despite it often being many years out of date!

It really makes a farce out of the government promoting Ireland as a knowledge economy :|

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May 05 2012

Commercialisation of Irish Universities

Category: Fourth Level,Third LevelTeknovis @ 10:46 am

I read an interesting article during the week by a UCD professor lamenting the drive by Irish Universities towards greater industrial linkage. The article is The bleak future of the Irish university.

I disagree with most of his opinions, and I think it is very important that Irish universities become more relevant to Irish industry!

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Mar 15 2012

Irish Universities Exit Global Top 100

Category: Third LevelTeknovis @ 2:44 pm

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 @ 9:23 am

Morning!

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!)

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Jan 18 2012

Smart Futures Ireland

Category: Events,Second Level,Third LevelTeknovis @ 1:11 pm

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 @ 2:35 pm

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 @ 1:47 pm

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 :(

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Oct 06 2011

Irish Universities Fall Further

Category: Third LevelTeknovis @ 6:51 pm

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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