Monthly Archives: November 2014

Reducing entry routes to third level

Some time ago the IUA set up a task group to examine the broad issue of entry to third level education. One of the numerous stated aims of that group is to reduce the number of denominated programmes in the … Continue reading

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Grade Deflation

Consider the data presented below. It’s a plot of the percentage of H1 and H2.1 degrees from a single third level programme over an 11 year period versus median CAO Points at entry. The lack of any correlation between the … Continue reading

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Why should the taxpayer fund curiosity-driven research?

Why indeed. The supposed importance of state funding for curiosity-driven research comes up very few months, usually sparked by a column in the Irish Times. From the outset let me state that I think ‘pure’ research is worth funding. I … Continue reading

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Black Boxes, Assessment and the Junior Cert

In mathematical modelling, we talk about ‘black boxes’. Systems are modelled in such a way that we ignore the internal structure of the system and concern ourselves only with the inputs to the system and how those inputs relate to … Continue reading

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The Economics of Technological Universities

If possible, I like to get the brain in gear by doing a little bit of early morning number crunching – it’s the engineer in me. So here goes… The recent paper on the economic impact of higher education by Brian … Continue reading

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Third Level – where’s the vision?

Why do we talk about third level education in a language that is so different from that used when talking about Second Level? Take the issue of merging third level institutions. My reading of this whole process is that is … Continue reading

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