The Irish government, via Minister Bruton, is to “clamp down” on essay mills. That trying, in effect, to outlaw d’internet is doomed to failure is indicative of how little sensible focus is exerted on real challenges facing the higher education sector. Here are ten things that are more deserving than essay mills of ministerial press releases, actions, legislation, appearances on morning radio. There are at least a dozen more but this is a start.
Via Jack Horgan-Jones, and the Sunday Business Post, a list of all companies who have used the controversial Jobbridge programme was listed today. Jobbridge is a program of labour market activation whereby persons on unemployment get paid €50 extra to be placed in a otherwise fulltime position. It is supposed to be a training and reintegrating into the workforce scheme.
Included within are some higher education institutions. See below for the list. In total, 90,000 working days actual or proposed seem to have been used by these institutions. Im pretty conflicted by this. At one level job activation schemes are a good idea. But without careful monitoring they become a way for workers to be exploited and for employers to get cheap work done that might otherwise have to paid full market rate.
I don’t know why I am surprised at Renua. I guess its that when a new political party emerges there is an opportunity for it to really take a radical, evidence based look at areas and suggest alternatives to how we do things. Renua, in its election manifesto education proposals, has merely produced an ideological grabbag of tropes and clichés. It is barely worth a passing grade. It would result in a gradgrindian system and should be rejected forthwith.
The Cassells report on future university funding, widely leaked (remember when government decisions were taken and then announced and when leaks were newsworthy not news?) has good and bad points in plenty. Continue reading