UL drops out of top 500 universities

first_imgWhatsApp University of Limerick appoints first ever woman president of an Irish university Email Breaching the gender barrier at UL The main building at the University of LimerickThe University of Limerick has dropped out of the world’s top 500 universities.The 2016 World University Rankings, published last week, ranks UL in the 501-550 band, a significant fall from its previous position of 471.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The Irish Universities Association (IUA) has responded to this news by referring to a decade of austerity and its “corrosive effect” on our higher education system.Stating that the “continued slide” of the Irish Universities should be “greeted with alarm” the IUA said that positive strides in research and the internationalisation of the staff and student cohort was being “undermined by the negative impact of underfunding on key indicators such as the student:faculty ratio.”IUA Chief Executive, Ned Costello said: “We can no longer hide from the corrosive effect which years of cutbacks are having on our higher education system. At a time when we are more dependent than ever on the talent of our people for our economic future, we simply must invest in our universities.”“An immediate injection of funding is required in the upcoming Budget and Estimates to fund more lecturers, deliver smaller group teaching and restore quality in our system,” Mr Costello concluded.Between 2007 and 2014, state funding for universities in this country fell by 28%, from €722.8m in 2007 to €522.2m in 2014.Conversely there was an increase in full-time enrollment in Irish universities of 18%, from 78,577 in 2008 to 93,023 in 2014.Reacting to these figures, the General Secretary of the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT), Mike Jennings, said, “It is shocking to realise that student to academic staff ratios were worse in 2011 than those described in the report of the Commission on Higher Education (1967) and increased from 19:1 in 2007 to 23:1 in 2011.”Mr Jennings echoed the need to address this issue in this year’s budget, “The forthcoming Budget must address this crisis as a priority. The government must provide adequate funds to enable universities to recover from a decade of what now seems like deliberate neglect and downgrading of third-level education,” he said.All but one of Ireland’s universities have dropped in the listings, with only National University of Ireland in Galway improving upon last year’s position by rising from 271st to 249th.Trinity College Dublin remains Ireland’s highest ranked university in 98th place. For the fifth year running the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has been rated as the world’s best university.Out of the 32 OECD countries featured in the rankings, Ireland’s expenditure on third-level institutions was the fourth lowest. Linkedin Twitter Previous articleSocials – Press Ball 2016 LaunchNext articleLimerick councillors fobbed off by transport authority Editor Advertisement Limerick Post Show | Careers & Health Sciences Event for TY Students center_img Print NewsEducationUL drops out of top 500 universitiesBy Editor – September 8, 2016 995 TAGSUL Facebook University of Limerick came out on top at this years Smedia Awards Intermediate Care Facility patients benefiting from holistic healthcare model RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Limerick Post Show | CSSI 2020last_img read more

University group attends Vatican conference on nuclear weapons

first_imgSarah Olson | The Observer Professor Michael Desch and University students Mackenzie Nolan and Kathleen Kollman discuss their  recent trip to the Vatican. The group met the pope and attended a conference focused on nuclear disarmament.In a panel hosted Tuesday night, the group discussed their experiences at the Vatican, as well as Pope Francis’s condemnation of nuclear weapons.For the group that traveled to the Vatican, the highlight of the visit was meeting personally with the pope, Powers said. The pope met with over 300 strangers, yet greeted each one with so much energy it seemed as though he was greeting the first, Powers added.Chris Haw, a doctoral student in theology at the Kroc Institute, echoed  Pope Francis’s message in support of nuclear disarmament and said the conference helped him solidify his stance.“Even with what we have … one of the overarching themes is that they are sapping our world of resources and that they are now increasingly destabilizing us,” Haw said. “We need to come to grips that they are increasingly destabilizing international diplomacy.”The use of nuclear weapons was utopian, shortsighted and irrational, Haw said. “Deterrence is building on sand, increasingly building on sand,” he said. “Lasting peace is built by vigilant diplomatic efforts and human development.”Haw said in one sense “the multi-national chorus of peace-builders was even more thrilling than meeting the pope.” “We’re all connected in that whether we destroy or safeguard nature, our fear or our courage, all of these things affect our brothers and sisters,” he said. “We’re living amidst a moral emergency for which we are all co-responsible. We in the nuclear countries live in a haze of moral deprivation and logic distortion. If we don’t change, things won’t change.” Political science professor Michael Desch challenged Haw’s stance.“In general, it was a terrific couple of days. And the high point of the audience with the Holy Father is something I know I’ll never forget,” Desch said. “In terms of the concrete message of the conference, I came away not convinced.” Twelve Notre Dame students and recent alumni and five faculty members travelled to the Vatican to meet the pope and attend a conference on a topic that continues to dominate headlines: nuclear weapons.“This was probably the most public and high-level event on this issue since the end of the Cold War,” Gerard Powers, director of Catholic peacebuilding studies at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, said. “After the Cold War, the Holy See was increasingly outspoken about the immorality of the use of nuclear weapons. This is the first time that a pope condemned not only the use, but the possession of nuclear weapons.” Photo courtesy of Notre Dame Junior Monica Montgomery shakes the pope’s hand while on a trip to the Vatican. Montgomery joined 11 other University students, alumni and five faculty members in attending a conference hosted by the pope.Desch said nuclear deterrence is not a theory of nuclear use. Rather, it is a theory of purposive non-use of nuclear weapons.“Deterrence is not nuclear use, and we shouldn’t forget that,” he said. “The position of the Church … wrongly assumes that counter-value or population targeting has been a part of U.S. nuclear strategy for most of the Cold War. On that score they’re fundamentally wrong.”There has been significant nuclear drawdown since the Cold War, Desch said.“There’s still plenty of nuclear power out there, but the idea that nothing has changed is very hard to sustain,” he said. “We now have nine nuclear powers. This is a bad thing in one sense, but in another sense we could have a world, and we expected a world of 50 nuclear powers back in the days of proliferation studies. At least five states have walked back from pretty serious nuclear programs.”Desch said he is a realist and thinks it is idealistic to believe a world without nuclear weapons could become reality.“I was very unpersuaded by the integral nuclear disarmament view that everything is connected,” he said. “It seems to me hard to sustain the argument that if there weren’t nuclear weapons that huge amounts of money … that if we cut this out we would be spending a lot of money on other worthy causes, particularly the elimination of poverty. The bottom line for me is we ought to be careful what we wish for.”Junior political science and Arabic major Mackenzie Nolan said the discussion with nuclear weapons does not just stop at deterrence. What is necessary now, she said, is education.“We were lucky enough to go to this conference, and I think it’s our responsibility now to bring it back to campus,” Nolan said. “We all have different backgrounds, so I think understanding those backgrounds will help improve discourse.”Graduate student at the Keough School of Global Affairs Kathleen Kollman said students should be educated on the gravity of the threat of nuclear weapons. Until then, she said, students cannot selectively focus on sole issues such as mass migration or climate change.“Unfortunately we don’t have the luxury of focusing only on those issues. The issue of nuclear weapons stands in our way,” Kollman said. “What it took for me to care was a wake-up call from reality that the threat from nuclear weapons is far from over.”Tags: nuclear disarmament, nuclear weapons, Pope Francis, Vaticanlast_img read more

Appeals court temporarily halts Dakota Access line shutdown

first_imgBISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal appeals court has temporarily halted a judge’s order that the Dakota Access Pipeline be shut down in three weeks. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday issued an “administrative stay” of the judge’s order. But The Bismarck Tribune reports that the appeals court said its order “should not be construed in any way as a ruling on the merits” of the case. The stay will remain in place until the appeals court rules on whether developer Energy Transfer can keep oil flowing while the court decides its appeal of the shutdown order. The pipeline runs from North Dakota through South Dakota and across 350 miles of Iowa, ending up at a refinery in Illinois.last_img read more