Irish universities are losing international competitiveness by failing to invest in digital infrastructure, such as faster broadband and online education tools, according to a new study by academics. Photograph: Getty Images

Report says Irish universities losing competitiveness by failing to invest in technology

The selfless and often lifelong work of Irish missionaries “has been a powerful expression of the vision of the church of the poor”, says President Michael D Higgins. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Irish missionaries praised for showing ‘a commitment that goes beyond logic’

Girls experience much higher stress levels than boys in the Leaving Cert, an ESRI  study  suggests. File photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Girls link success in exams more closely to their personal identity, ESRI study finds

 Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times.

Senior UCD staff give 14 days unpaid public service a year, according to consultants

The quality of education being provided at pre-schools will be assessed for the first time after the summer under a new inspection regime

Service providers will be invited to give their views on new inspection regime

‘Sometimes Plato is better than Prozac.’ Illustration: Thinkstock

If you don’t have meaning in your life you won’t have mental health, says Stephen J Costello

 A secondary school exam hall. The junior cycle reform deal agreed this week seems to satisfy both teachers unions and the Department of Education. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Teachers unions and Department of Education save face with new agreement

Teachers will assess own their students in two classroom-based projects for each subject under the latest junior cycle reform plan published on Friday and signed by Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’Sullivan. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

New ‘profile of achievement’ to be issued by schools rather than the state

TUI president Gerry Quinn and ASTI president and Philip Irwin, who were both part of the negotiating team on Junior Cert reform. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Union members express concern they are being given little time to analyse the deal

Extra resource teacher posts are a response to growth in the student population, increased diagnosis of complex needs and a recent decision  to extend resource hours to children with Down Syndrome.

Extra resource teacher posts allocated to primary and secondary schools

Minister for  Foreign Affairs  Charlie Flanagan. The State is  being urged to sign up to a global declaration aimed at giving places of learning special protection from military use under international law  File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The declaration aims to give places of learning special protection from military use

TUI president Gerry Quinn (l) and ASTI president Philip Irwin during  teacher protests earlier this month. The executive committees of both unions are meeting to decide whether to recommend acceptance of a new deal on junior cycle reform. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Unions to discuss whether to recommend agreement with Department of Education

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan, along with the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald, have proposed new regulation for English language schools

Reform proposals to go before Cabinet today also to seek details on ‘shadow directors’

President of Institute of Guidance Counsellors Betty McLaughlin with a student at her school, Colaiste Mhuire in, Mullingar Co Westmeath. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Counsellors’ Institute says austerity measure leading to inequality in education system

‘We can’t hide from children that there are some things that are complicated.’ Photograph: Thinkstock

School debating is no substitute for Socratic inquiry, argues author and campaigner Peter Worley

 Betty McLaughlin, school guidance counsellor at Coláiste Mhuire in Mullingar, Co Westmeath and PRO for the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, discusses third- level options with students. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Less serious impact of cuts on fee-charging schools put down to ‘parent power’

The Teaching Council says many teachers are opposed to the notion of continuing professional development being mandatory. Photo: David Sleator

Proposal to link training credits to teaching register in doubt following backlash

In a statement yesterday, the Cork History Teachers’ Association said, “We cannot understand why ASTI/TUI would single out CSPE for preferential treatment over other subjects. In these circumstances, we are opposed to their demand to confirm CSPE as a State-certified exam.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times

Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) being singled out for ‘preferential treatment’

 Enda O’Doherty, a subeditor at the ‘Irish Press’ group, giving out the final issue of the XPress – the publication produced by NUJ members during the dispute. Photograph: Jack McManus/The Irish Times

Journalist’s sacking in May 1995 led to a lock-in; the newspapers never returned

Prof Vani Borooah, of Ulster University, said there was no performance gap between pupils receiving free school meals and their peers in London because they were generally drawn from the new immigrant community who “may be poor in income but they are rich in aspiration”.  Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

There is no point in ‘Séamus and William sitting together’ if they can’t read or write, seminar told

The SS Dundalk sank with the loss of 19 lives after it was hit by a torpedo in October 1918.

October 1918 sinking of ship investigated by primary school pupils in all-island contest

The most common minimum standard among all employer organisations was to have at least a 2.1 degree.  Some 69 per cent of indigenous firms and 71 per cent of foreign firms had this requirement. File photograph: Reuters

Degree grades the biggest determinant of whether graduates secure a job interview

GDP would be boosted by 2.3 per cent if universal basic skill levels were achieved

Researchers said “we cannot be certain that the use of internet in the class caused” the higher scores but a strong “relationship” was identified.

Schools teaching design and graphics programme set to benefit from €7m in grants

File photograph showing members of staff with gardaí outside the Leinster College language school on Harcourt St, Dublin, following its closure. The Department of Justice has told international students that they should seek  guarantees that their fees will be protected before paying private language schools. File photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Department of Justice issues statement addressing concerns over regulation of sector

Building blocks: ‘If we see children as our moral equals, then we should be in favour of student-centred education that is not authoritarian and not designed primarily to indoctrinate.’ Photograph: Thinkstock

Parents must seek the ‘consent of the ruled’, argues political theorist Dr Allyn Fives

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan said the employment of teachers was a matter for school management authorities. Photograph:  Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Department should take steps to ‘ensure newly-qualified teachers have first call’ - FF

‘I would like to see the Berlin Wall between science and poetry demolished,’ says physicist and poet Dr Iggy McGovern

Science ‘doesn’t do feelings’ but it should not ignore poetic truths, argues physicist and poet Iggy McGovern

Peter Cassells is chairman of the expert group on third-level funding, which needs ideas and fast. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

The idea has been likened to an ‘SSIA for higher education’

The study into the predictability of the senior cycle exams found that the issue was “not very problematic” across six subjects investigated. Photograph: The Irish Times

Targeted reforms could reduce risk of overreliance on rote learning among students

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan says an agreement with teacher unions over junior cycle reform is “within closer reach than at any point over the last few years”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Joint Managerial Body says evidence of discrimination lacking to justify admissions Bill

A meeting of university presidents and international policy experts at DCU heard that commercial rankings are at risk of skewing academic priorities.

Impossible to compete ‘unless you have got billionaires on your doorstep’

Minister for Education  Jan O’Sullivan: said a new study’s findings showed “the Leaving Cert exams are not in fact very predictable and that those who rely on their predictability too much often do not perform as well as those who prepare more fully for the examinations”. Photograph: Eric Luke

Claims Leaving Cert questions easy to predict deemed by research to be unfounded

Dublin Institute of Technology remains unchanged at 94th in the index. Photograph: The Irish Times

DIT and Ulster University make top 100 for the up-and-coming third-level institutions

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan said the new system is about marking achievement, not rewarding failure. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

New points scale for CAO to be published in September under college entry revamp

Trinity College Dublin: Led the way with five top 50 rankings in the QS World University Rankings by subject, mainly in humanities. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

Eight top 50 rankings for Irish universities highlights implicit strength of humanities

HEA boss Tom Boland: started with a few well-timed jabs

In his address, Tom Boland of the Higher Education Institute questioned academics on Irish universities’ commitment to Englighten(...)

Gerry Quinn, TUI president, and Philip Irwin, Asti president with teachers at Newpark Comprehensive, Co Dublin, on a picket in January. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Figures raised questions about strength of teachers’ opposition to reforms

Anything that eases strain for students is worth it, say guidance councillors

File photograph of Trinity College Dublin. The Student Universal Support Ireland website is now accepting applications for college financial aid for the 2015/2016 academic year. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Student Universal Support Ireland now accepting inquiries on college financial aid

‘Philosophical realists attribute the persistence of disagreement to ignorance and/or verbal misunderstanding’

It’s not easy but there is a third way to the realist and relativist approaches to truth, says UCD professor of American philosoph(...)

Students at work at Cork Institute of Technology. Industrial action begins at CIT on Monday over its plans to merge with IT Tralee. File photograph:  Joe St Leger/The Irish Times

Upheaval in third-level sector escalates on Monday with industrial action at Cork IT

Studying geography: around 58 million children of primary school age are still without schooling, an event in Dublin, organised by the Irish Coalition for the Global Campaign for Education, was told

Humanitarian funding to education in emergencies critically low, conference told

Peter Cassells, chair of advisory group on third-level funding. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times

Number in universities and institutes of technology set to grow by 30 per cent

The chairman of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Social Protection, Labour TD Joanna Tuffy, accused the USI of doing “a bit of a fudge” on the grant issue

USI wants inequalities removed from grants system but seeks no move against ‘asset rich’

The new president of Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) Prof Willie Donnelly

New management put in place after institute’s withdrawal from merger talks with IT Carlow

Almost a third of higher education institutions believe they will fail to achieve performance targets upon which a portion of their funding depends, a new survey reveals. Photograph: Thinkstock.

Universities seeking more fee-paying international students to boost finances, forum hears

ASTI president-elect Máire Ní Chiarba and outgoing president Philip Irwin. Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Two delegates from Fermoy branch make influential contribution at conference

‘Bob may know a fact or two about financial markets and think he can invest smartly when actually much more should be taken into account.’ Photograph: Thinkstock

We should not eradicate doubt but use it to our advantage, says philosopher Luciano Floridi

Only about a dozen English teachers have attended training sessions for the new junior cycle programme, the Department of Education said

Department says industrial action will harm current English students

The growth of commercial websites offering to carry out student assignments showed how “the depersonalisation and de-professionalisation of education will create problems”. File photograph: iStockphoto

Union’s members express concerns over impact of technology on higher education

Tom Boland, chief executive of the  Higher Education Authority,  said some universities were  “lamentably slow, even contradictory” in reducing number of courses.

Universities backtrack on plan to reform ‘bewildering’ CAO system

DCU: one of a number of institutions that are altering their methods of assessment, in tandem with the rollout of ‘cut-and-paste’ detection software, to combat academic fraud. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Universities increase measures to combat academic fraud as websites offer to do work

The proposed design for the “model” UCD Confucius Institute for Ireland

Building costing €7.4m being funded in part by Chinese and Irish government contributions

Proposed design for the UCD Confucius Institute: the institutes are designed to promote Chinese language and culture

Terms of 50-year agreement for €7.4 million cultural centre ‘a good outcome’, says college

Teachers protesting outside Modern Educational Centre on Dublin’s Harcourt Street.

Modern Educational Centre blames ‘surprise’ reforms for creating turmoil

A report of the Comptroller and Auditor General has raised concern at the high level of successful appeals by applicants to Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) for college grants. Image: susi.ie

Staffing and outsourced costs for awards agency ‘significantly higher than envisaged’

Missing student Karen Buckley (24) is one of about 2,000 Irish students who travel to the UK to attend university each year

Scotland a popular destination as no tuition fees charged to Irish students

Cambridge professor John MacBeath has voiced his support for the Government’s new school self-evaluation process, saying it will help to strengthen schools. File photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

John MacBeath voices support for new SSE process ahead of Dublin conference

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan: said the picketing ‘sits uneasily’ with the unions‘ commitment to knowledge and learning.

Only a handful of non-unionised teachers have crossed the picket lines to date

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan said last week she hoped teachers “will come in numbers” to attend CPD

Department criticises unions for impeding members from ‘professional development’

Jan O’Sullivan, Minister for Education and Skills, addresses delegates at the Clayton Hotel in Galway. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy.

Minister hailed for her ‘great skill at defusing rows’ gets a merit badge from the unions

Staff and students with Gardaí outside The Leinster College language school on Harcourt Street which closed its doors last year due to financial issues. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

Students’ body warns against weakening of regulations to meet business demands

TUI general secretary John MacGabhann: said there were aspects of the proposal the ASTI would have difficulties with even though it would support the thrust of the motion

Teachers in further education threaten industrial action over ‘privatisation’ plan

Educate Together chief executive Paul Rowe said  “the fact that an increasing number of Irish parents consider that it is necessary to get their children baptised in the Catholic faith in order to access publicly funded schools, rather than out of personal religious conviction, is a shocking alarm note for a modern democratic state.”

Rule giving church dominant role in 90% of primary school patronage not changed in new Bill

An ESRI report into supports for disadvantaged schools suggests they should be rebalanced in favour of urban recipients as rural ones are already outperforming the national average. Photograph: The Irish Times

Report notes current junior cycle creating ‘disengagement among working-class boys’

Department of Education secretary general Seán Ó Foghlú and Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan during TUI president Gerry Quinn’s speech. Photograph: Tommy Clancy

TUI praises Jan O’Sullivan for making ‘a fairly good attempt’ to resolve dispute

 Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan: “I firmly believe that staff and their unions should have the right to be consulted and provided with information on any proposed changes to their employment.” Photograph: Patrick Browne

Croke Park hours of ‘great value’ to department, says senior official

Gerry Quinn, TUI president and Philip Irwin, ASTI president have issued a joint statement to members urging them to “hold firm” at this “critical” stage of junior cycle reform talks. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill/The Irish Times

ASTI and TUI say they ‘want to resolve the dispute’ but only if conditions are met

MInister for Education Jan O Sullivan: Urged INTO delegates to be realistic on pay demands and  was not invited to address ASTI delegates. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

ASTI chief says union to seek restoration of common basic scale for all teachers

INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan said “the cuts will affect the quality of the education and outcomes they achieve for generations to come”. Photograph: The Irish Times

Sinn Féin Minister admits reductions in education budget will cause ‘huge problems’

An interdepartmental group is being set up to investigate the operation of the DEIS scheme for disadvantaged schools

ESRI cites ‘need for joined-up thinking between education and broader social policy’

Schools are in danger of being “micromanaged” by the department of education under new legislation governing admissions policies, a leading management body has said

Bill’s failure to address religious favouritism ‘outrageous’, says humanists

Minister for Education and Skills Jan O’Sullivan says teachers “need to be realistic” about the Government’s capacity to restore the pay losses of the austerity era. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

‘We make no apology for looking for our money back’ - INTO general secretary

Ignoring developments in neuroscience means neglecting a chance to become more ethical, argues Prof William T O’Connor

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan. The restriction on past pupils forms part of the Admission to Schools Bill. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Admissions Bill provisions will lead to phasing out of waiting lists

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan  recently rejected a value-for-money report which had recommended further rationalisation. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Union says less than 5 per cent of graduating primary teachers get permanent job

Nevin Economic Research Institute director Tom Healy told the INTO conference “societies should not spare on investment in the early years”.

Children need protection from ‘tax-cutting mania’, says Nevin institute director

ASTI general secretary Pat King is due to retire at the end of the year, and a plan is afoot to appoint his successor through a plebiscite of members. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

The ASTI seems to be taking its cue from the famous Millwall football chant ‘No one likes us, we don’t care’

About 38 per cent of the 1,100 respondents in a survey of lecturers at institutes of technology said the additional hours had a ’very high’ impact on stress levels

Lecturers say two hours teaching added to workload equals six hours actual work

The State Examinations Commission is critical of a number of practices, including poor record keeping. Photograph: The Irish Times

Report on Leaving Cert Applied reveals inappropriate level of guidance in some schools

The conferences of the INTO, ASTI and TUI are a barometer for the state of our education system. Photograph: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

Studies show the single most important factor in education is the quality of teachers

Fianna Fáil spokesman on mental health, disability and special needs Colm Keaveney obtained data showing hundreds of children with special needs are awaiting support. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Promised early intervention teams have yet to materialise in Dublin

Almost three quarters of post-primary teachers surveyed by the Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) believe the use of technology is increasing their workload

TUI members suggest Croke Park hours should be put to better use

Minister for Education Jan O Sullivan said the money would go towards ‘vital school works’. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Funding directed at ‘vital school works’ including repairs and facility upgrades

Releasing balloons to mark World Autism Day. File photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Youngsters forced out of education due to lack of supports, says Irish Autism Action

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar says he wants to see schools spending more time on exercise and sport as part of a review of “Well-Being” programmes in education.

New survey will be used to evaluate Relationships and Sexuality Education programme

Barry Hazel, Martin McMullin, Andrew Phelan and Fergal Greene at a recent ASTI convention: Mr Phelan says he hopes to play a more central role in influencing the union’s policies. Photograph Patrick Browne

Teacher who disrupted last year’s congress opposes ‘wearing people down with ballots’

Claire Grant of the Asti and Jimmy Kelly of the TUI at Newpark Comprehensive,  Newtownpark Avenue, Blackrock, Co Dublin, during a work stoppage in January. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

ASTI says ‘any precipitous action’ by Minister for Education would escalate dispute

The ESRI report into the educational experience of children with disabilities identifies an apparent gap in resources at primary and secondary level for children with emotional, psychological and mental health problems. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

ESRI research questions whether pupils ‘receive adequate social and personal support’

Dr Charlotte Blease: would truthfulness about therapy make it less effective?

Although their work is usually helpful to patients, therapists are slow to acknowledge that there is a ‘Wizard of Oz’ element to (...)

Trinity College Dublin, along with UCD, were scored on 12 indicators, getting eight As and six As respectively. Photographer: Dara MacDónaill/The Irish Times

Multirank system indicates Irish universities falling behind in ‘teaching and learning’ skills

Queen’s University Belfast. Northern Ireland’s  two universities, Queen’s and Ulster University, charge lower fees for Northern students than their British counterparts.  Photograph: Alan Betson

A-Level students with three A* grades will yield 540 points – up from 450

Jan O’Sullivan: ‘In the post-primary sector more than one in three teachers are on a fixed-term or part-time contract.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Teachers recruited in 2011 to get €900 in arrears in next pay cheque

The department said there would be no changes to the variables required under the revised circular, and schools would not be required to resubmit any data.

Department of Education backtracks on plans to keep data until 30th birthday

Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan announced details of the revised plan on Thursday at a seminar with school management bodies and other stakeholders, despite the teacher unions’ continuing industrial action and campaign of non-cooperation. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Minister reveals details of implementation plan, saying she can’t ‘wait indefinitely’ for unions

NUI Galway has revealed a five-year strategy to become a top 200 university in global rankings by 2020, including progress on gender equality at the college. Photograph: Getty Images/ File photo

Prof Jim Browne presents five-year plan, including progress on gender equality

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