The war through american eyes
The Mighty Boosh interview inside
The College Tribune
March 23rd 2010
The Difference is we’re independent
Grade inflation dismissed as hot air l l
Issue 10 Volume 23
An electoral storm
Irish most employable graduates in Europe Reports of artificially high grades “convoluted” Philip Connolly
International recruiters believe that Ireland produces the most highly-employable graduates in the world, according to a European Commission study of thirdlevel education. Universities in other countries have rated Ireland’s institutions as “excellent” in the report, which was prepared for the Commission’s Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs. The report’s release comes in light of a review into supposed “grade inflation” in Irish universities, which came about following comments from some multinational business leaders to Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe about the quality of Irish graduates. The report was based on a study of the efficiency and effectiveness of public spending on tertiary education. It found that Ireland was the top of a list of countries which recruiters found were producing the “most employable” graduates. Ireland came out ahead of second place Britain. Ireland also came second, behind Finland,
in the list of countries that was rated by their peers as having the best universities. “Considering their size, Finland, Ireland and Sweden are the countries with more universities pointed out by peers as being excellent,” according to report. In analysing the efficiency of the various third-level systems worldwide, it found that Ireland, Japan, Sweden, Britain and the Netherlands were top of most efficiency lists. According to Dr. Padraig Walsh, chief Executive Officer and Secretary to the Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB), the issue of grade inflation was blown out of proportion by the media. The concept of inadequate education levels actually began with the Junior Cert. “That got translated into higher education. If there is an increase in the number of high grades, how can this be if we are scoring averagely in that? The whole thing got convoluted.”
INSIDE Focus, Page 7
Students gather for the election results in Astra Hall as Paul Lynam is elected to succeed Gary Redmond as next year’s UCDSU president. Lynam, who was uncontested, received 68% of the vote, leaving 32% of the electorate supporting RON. Photo by Barry Hennessy
Happy recession Mr. President Cathy Buckmaster As the university wallows in huge budget deficits and funding cuts, UCD President Dr. Hugh Brady has racked up travel expenses of nearly €100,000. Brady’s bunch of flights has cost the university €97,737 between 2005 and 2010. In addition to his €220,000 a year salary, the president travels in business class and dines in the best eateries. According to figures from the Freedom of Information Act, Brady clocked up the expenses in restaurants, golf clubs, five-star accommodation as well as the flights, all
funded by the Irish tax payer. This contrasts with UCD’s current budget deficit which stands at €11 millon, down from the previous €20m. Expenses include €7,642 on flights between Dublin, Shanghai and Beijing for conferences as well as €1,247 at the fivestar Hyatt Hotel in Beijing. An excursion to New York produced a bill of €2,851. A further €2,072 was spent on accommodation and dinner at the five-star NY Waldorf Astoria Hotel while Dr Brady was attending an American-Ireland Fund Symposium. Brady made light work of his €20,000 limit
UCD President clocks up huge travel bill University in debt of millions
UCD credit-card, by eating at Ireland’s top restaurants. Statements listed a €457 dinner at Shanahan’s on the Green and €122 for lunch at Town Bar and Grill. The records also showed that Brady hosted a number of events at the famous Golf resort, the K Club in Co Kildare, for donors and business people with over €2,000 paid in total. In 2006 Brady claimed €61 on his credit card for a Sky Digital connection in his office which has been cancelled since. A spokeswoman for UCD defended Brady when she commented that given the tight turnaround of his foreign trips and the
heavy workload, the president’s use of business class was justified. She also commented: “He doesn’t take down time when he is there, he works on the plane he works non-stop on the ground. Much of Dr Brady’s foreign duties are to do with income generation, primarily through philanthropic donations, and he has to visit the countries where these donors live.”
INSIDE Continued, pg 3
News International students wanted 2
March 23rd 2010
Fine Gael launches initiative University head sceptical
Karina Bracken Ireland needs to tap into the international student market, according to Fine Gael. The party has launched a new programme to bring students from abroad to Irish universities. Substantial increases in students choosing to study here could double revenue from international education to €1.8 billion and create up to 6,000 jobs, say the party. Fine Gael claim that Ireland is “punching below its weight” when it comes to attracting international students. There are a number of reasons inhibiting growth, including the difficulty for students in some countries to get study visas from the Department of Foreign Affairs. Minister for Education and Science Batt O’Keeffe has been among those speaking about Ireland’s potential in the international student market. He believes that Ireland should be particularly targeting key countries such as India and China. Fine Gael’s education spokesman Brian Hayes said that the party would work to develop Ireland as a prime international education destination. This would include the establishment of an International Ed-
ucation Office within the Department of Education and Science, which would seek to drive student recruitment and link various educational institutions. They would also seek the appointment of a Minister of State with direct responsibility for the sector. Fine Gael says it would implement a third level reform policy and regulate the provision of education services to ensure a standard of quality for international students. Hayes says that Fine Gael would spearhead the campaign for a new “userfriendly” student visa procedure. This would include a “fast-track system in key markets”, including China, United States, India, Russia and Taiwan. Fine Gael hopes to give international students more freedom to pursue part-time work outside of their full-time study. Furthermore, PhD graduates are currently entitled to a six months residency permit following completion of their studies, so Fine Gael suggest issuing green cards automatically to PhD graduates in sectors of the economy where shortages exist in such areas as sciences, engineering and technology. DCU President Ferdinand Von Prondzynski is sceptical of Fine Gael’s intentions. The plan, he believes, “betrays the
Photograhy by Daniela Sabina Sirbu political system’s absurd obsession with old-style job creation statistics, which cannot possibly be predicted accurately and which actually obscure the real opportunities.” “As the media have not surprisingly focused on this particular aspect of the Fine Gael document it risks losing its value, as the figure of 6,000 jobs is both irrelevant and bizarre,” stated Prondzynski. Prondzynski admitted that the FG document is worthwhile as it focuses on a new student visa procedure and “more helpful
rules to allow international students to work, and ideas on retaining those who come here to do higher degrees where their skills are of benefit to the Irish economy are all extremely useful.” Prondzynski signals caution in the intention to double international student numbers, saying it will not be easy and should not just be about “revenue generation”. “In fact it is important to maintain a balance of home and international students, for educational as well as cultural reasons, and... Seeing international students
as a source of subsidy for Irish students is both morally wrong and tactically unwise,” he added. There are currently 12,000 students from 138 countries other than Ireland studying at universities, institutes and colleges here, according to figures released by the Higher Education Authority. This represents 8.3% of the 145,690 full time students at Irish state-funded institutions. This percentage has remained broadly the same for the last three years.
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March 23rd 2010
3 Universities face funding crisis l Staff cuts inevitable Focus Continued from page 1 Philip Connolly
Photograhy by Daniela Sabina Sirbu
Universities are facing a difficult future as government cutbacks begin to bite. It has recently emerged that Irish universities, including UCD, are under instructions to cut staffing budgets by 6% by the end of the year. IFUT (Irish Federation of University Teacher) leader Mike Jennings believes that universities are now beginning to really feel the pinch. “We are facing the most difficult period for universities for 20 years. Universities have never been so under-funded, staff have never been so demoralised and the cutbacks just continue,” Jennings confided. Jennings says that from his position in the union he is obviously concerned by public sector pay cuts. His greatest worry is, however, the current embargo on recruitment and promotion in higher education institutions. “Universities will say that they have a certain leeway to hire certain staff, but one way or another it’s going to be a decrease of at minimum 6% by the end of the year.” Jennings believes the government must be held accountable. “The declared intention is to reduce the headcount on the public pay roll which includes universities. One part of their brain is trying to get more undergraduates into the system, while the other part of their brain is thinking that they can run the
l Government policy criticised
current system with less resources. Until the two parts of the government’s brain start talking to one another, we’re all in trouble.” UCD lecturer and President of SIPTU’s Education Branch Kieran Allen echoed Jennings’ statements. “There is a problem in this country and that is that the government has a disastrous policy on looking after the financial economy [banks] rather than the real economy. We will put between €70-80 billion on banks, most of which will not be recovered. That is money that in the long term will come out of public services.” Allen went on to voice his concerns about UCD’s financial management “SIPTU has in the past written to UCD on several occasions warning against the extravagant spending on consultants, managerial salaries, on the creation of too many managerial posts, and we hold the present management responsible.” “The financial planning in the university leaves a lot to be desired. It is our view that is current management that has lead to the deficit not the current staff. The people who should be paying for this are the ones who created the problem in the first place,” commented Allen Jennings agrees with Allen, stating: “We have already spoken about the exorbitant pay claims lodged by the heads of the university president’s collectively, and the exaggerated view they seem to have of their role as corporate management.” Jennings stated that while university man-
UCD Ball under pressure l UCD and TCD Ball rivalry develops l Anti-Jedward sentiment rife Cathy Buckmaster The beat goes on, or the rivalry certainly does. The competition between UCD and Trinity about as healthy as the ‘Student Special’ in the Restaurant - reached a new level recently. UCD Ents Officer Mike Pat O’Donoghue’s assertion that the “UCD Ball has a total capacity of 8,000, far exceeding its lesser rival, the Trinity Ball, and is officially Europe’s largest private party” was meet with some grumbling in the corridors of TCD. The UCD and TCD ball respectively are Ireland’s biggest college parties and this year have begun a battle of numbers. UCD just increased its capacity from 5,000 to 8,000, meaning it has surpassed TCD’s capacity by 500 tickets. O’Donoghue is confident that the UCD Ball will live up to its hype, but would not say which Ball had the upper hand. “The UCD Ball formula we have developed in recent years has proven itself to work for UCD students. I don’t think the two events are comparable because they are so different and aimed at two different student populations.”
The first batch of tickets for the UCD Ball sold out in four minutes. “We’re absolutely delighted with the sales of tickets,” says O’Donoghue. “People were queuing outside the SU shops from the late morning, and the online purchasing activity was like nothing we’ve ever seen before.” The Trinity Ball 2010 sold out in two days, after students lined up across the front square to purchase one of 7,500 tickets. Trinity Students’ Union Entertainments Officer Mick Birmingham describes the Trinity Ball as his “best achievement yet”, as it will see over 30 Irish and international acts perform, including Dizzee Rascal and Digitalism. The steep €78 price tag will provide students with an 8-hour event spanning across five stages on campus. Birmingham says the Ball is the “most highly anticipated night of the year”, describing it’s as an “unparalleled event in Trinity”. However, there has been more hype surrounding the UCD Ball after the announcement of performers Jedward. John and Edward Grimes, from Lucan in north Dublin, have gained worldwide popularity since appearing X-Factor.
However, the twins have not been met with a warm welcome from all students. Those disgruntled at the choice of these UCD Ball performers have taken to Facebook to express their disgust. ‘I’m going to egg Jedward at the UCD Ball’ has 780 fans and ‘While Jedward are on stage at the UCD Ball and let’s get the crowd to sing Rage Against The Machine’ has 128 fans at the time of going to print. However, even these members combined are not enough to exceed the 1,142 people in the ‘Lets have Jedward at the UCD BALL ‘10!’ group. O’Donoghue defended his choice to involve Jedward. “It’s important to remember that Jedward are just one of ten acts playing on the day, and they are not, nor anywhere near, the headline act.” “There’s been both a positive and negative reaction to the announcement. Jedward is a classic case of ‘love them or hate them’, and naturally, there’s going to be one or two acts you’re not hugely fond of at an event the size of the UCD Ball,” O’Donoghue concluded.
agement has been guilty of misspending funds, they are also suffering because of the cut backs. “On one hand we are all in this together, and we understand how frustrated University Management is by under-funding and ridiculous statements from Batt O’Keeffe saying we should be able to do more with less.” University managers have squandered this sympathy though, according to Jennings. He cites the fact that UCD have paid €232,435 to IBEC in membership fees over the past five years, even though the university has “one of the biggest personnel departments of any third level institution, and shells out an equivalent in lawyers’ fees for dealing with employee relations.” Jennings commentated that despite claims of misspending by university management, it is principally a government policy issue. “Don’t get it wrong, even if management were 100% prudent there is still not enough money in the system. Batt O’Keeffe laps it up - whenever money is misspent - claiming it would be fine if the money was spent more wisely. This is nonsense; no matter what they do there is not enough money” HEA (Higher Education Authority) spokesman Malcolm Byrne says that Universities have negotiated some flexibility in implanting cuts. “There is a general public service moratorium on new appointments. Universities have to reduce their staff budgets by 6% by the end of the year. Where that staff comes from is a matter for UCD and other universities, they can balance it out.”
News in brief
Postgrads step up fee campaign
Compiled by Cathy Buckmaster
l Students inadequately notified l Research services suffering
UCD seeks planning permission UCD has sought planning permission from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council for the construction of a part two-storey, part three-storey 6,117 sq. m. building. The new School of Law will incorporate lecture theatres, teaching areas, office space, and associated ancillary facilities on a site to the South East of the Quinn building. The construction is planned to include a new realigned section of internal campus ring road for vehicles, which will connect to the existing network. It will include the future provision of pedestrian-only and cyclistonly routes within the campus. All the associated site development works include hard and soft landscaping and lighting.
Redmond running for USI President UCDSU president, Gary Redmond, is running for president of the Union of Students of Ireland (USI) for the 2010/11 term. Having studied Computer Science at UCD, he is currently serving as UCD Student Union president. He has previously served as Entertainments Vice-President, full-time Events & Operations Manager and part-time Communications Officer for UCD Students’ Union. USI is the sole national representative body for students in Ireland. Founded in 1959, USI now represents more than 250,000 students in over forty colleges across Ireland. Primary Care Insurance Scheme The referendum discussed by UCDSU mid-February, advocating the implementation of a mandatory health insurance scheme, was never held. However, the proposed primary care insurance scheme is still being considered within the university. This is a scheme where students will get back €25 per GP visit whether in the Health Centre or any GP. It will cover students for up to seven visits. It will also include cover for 40 euro back for specialist visits and Accident & Emergency visit. It will also cover travel insurance. Dr. Sandra Tighe of the UCD Health Centre believes “the numbers of potential customers in UCD given the student body will ensure a good deal for students.” Voting Ron for USI education campaign In light of current education officer, Donnacha Ó Suilleabháin, running for USI education officer, a Facebook campaign has been launched urging everyone involved to vote Ron for USI Education. The election for the position of USI Education Officer is uncontested again this year and Donnacha Ó Suilleabháin is the only candidate. Citing the article concerning Donnacha’s handling of Science Day 08/09 in the last issue of the College Tribune titled, ‘Charity awaits money one year on’, the page claims Donnacha is unsuited for the job and cites his track record in the position.
March 23rd 2010
Photograhy by Daniela Sabina Sirbu
A group of UCD postgraduate students has recently mobilised to combat a proposed hike in fees for fourth year PhDs. The Postgrad Campaign Group held a mass meeting on the 3rd of March to discuss their progress so far. The group formed to resist a proposed doubling of fees for fourth year PhDs. Last October notice was given by UCD regarding the change planned to the PhD fee structure. It was decided that the postgraduate research students would pay the same amount of fees each year. Students previously paid full fees for the first three years and then the rate was decreased for subsequent years. Representatives from the group met with UCD management on the issue, but are still waiting on confirmation for proposed resolutions. In an email, the group cited UCD “Management’s inadequate notification and communication systems” for lack of information about the matter. UCDSU also came under fire for their alleged inaction on the issue. With the resignation of the Students’ Union Postgraduate Officer before Christmas, UCD’s postgrad population are virtually unrepresented within the SU. Mature Student Society Auditor and UCDSU’s Mature Student Programme Officer Martin Lawless urged them to elect representatives to the SU Council and make their voice heard. A letter and email campaign to members of UCD
Coke boycott narrowly rejected l 52% vote yes, 48% vote no l Coca-Cola products on shelves Amy Walsh Students recently voted to end the seven-year Coca-Cola boycott in SU shops on campus. The proposal was narrowly passed with 52% voting in favour and 48% voting against. The referendum on the 3rd and 4th of March asked the UCD electorate “Do you wish the Students’ Union to lift its existing boycott of Coca-Cola products, thus allowing the Students’ Union to sell Coca-Cola products in its shops and be in a position to accept sponsorship from the Coca-Cola Company?” UCDSU President Gary Redmond explained the decision to hold the controversial referendum. “An SU Policy Review Group was established earlier on in the year to assess the current status and relevance of the existing boycott policies.” “It recommended that a referendum be held to gauge student opinion on continuing the Coca-Cola boycott, as seven years had passed since its inception, and as there had been developments in the areas upon which the boycott was first based. A motion was brought to SU Council on 16th February to hold the referendum, and a majority of councillors supported it,” Redmond stated. The overturn of the ban will see Coca-Cola
and its affiliated drinks such as Sprite returning to the shelves in the next few weeks. “The Kiosk shop in the Student Centre has been selling a small amount of Coca-Cola products in the past week. Obviously it’s been seven years since the SU last stocked Coca-Cola products, so there are some supply-chain issues that are being resolved in the coming weeks,” added Redmond. The Coca-Cola ban was introduced in 2003 following reports that the company was involved in the paramilitary murders of several employees in its Columbian bottling company. The dead were all members of the Columbian trade union, Sinaltrainal and this was widely believed to be the reason behind the deaths. Sinaltrainal brought Coca-Cola to court and subsequently launched the ‘Killer Coke’ campaign. UCDSU introduced a ban on CocaCola in all SU shops, allegedly becoming the first institution in the world to boycott Coke. In relation to complaints by some students at the outcome of the referendum the SU stated: “The referendum passed by a clear 52/48, so there was never question of re-running it, the SU abides the wishes of its members. If the referendum had been rejected, there would similarly be no intention to re-run it, as the students would have spoken.”
Governing Authority has been launched. An online petition has also been set up to voice opposition to the fee increase. The petition is addressed to the UCD Heads of Colleges, UCD Office of the President and Dáil Eireann. The attached letter states the postgraduate research community in UCD believes that the planned increase contrasts with the university’s claims of commitment to research. “It thus damages the university’s reputation as a high-ranking research institution,” they said. The statement adds that postgraduate students are already susceptible to increases in the registration fee, which has risen steadily in the last few years. The group is furthermore campaigning against cutbacks in resources such as the library and funding for research postgrads, including conference and travel allowances. “In exchange for the increase in both registration and programme fees for many postgraduate students, the postgraduate community is presented with a reduction in required services.” “Due to the employment freeze, the main library opening and service hours are reduced, the UCD Archives has also seen a reduction in opening hours, and the general administration services has also not gone unaffected,” the petition states. The group has also questioned the funds being used to build the new Student Centre, while funding has been cut in other areas. They argue that the increase could pressurise PhDs “into rushing to complete their research, which could consequently be of lower quality.” The group have therefore urged UCD to repeal the decision.
March 23rd 2010
4,000 students make their voices heard l Lynam elected President on first count l Elections cost €40,000 Amy Walsh Over 4,000 students turned out to vote in the UCDSU elections on campus on the 3rd and 4th of March. A fifth of the student population showed up to pick their preferences for the five Sabbatical Office positions. Sole candidate for the President position Paul Lynam was elected on the first count with 2,819 votes. RON (or Re-Open Nominations) received just under a half this number with 1,300, representing 32% of the vote to Lynam’s 68%. Lynam will replace current incumbent Gary Redmond for the 2010/11 academic year. “I’m pleased to be elected, first and foremost. Obviously no matter what the vote was, I would have preferred it to be higher. I’m content with the results and I think the most important thing is: it’s not a victory until you make it a victory with a good year next year,” said Lynam in reaction to his win. Pat de Brún was elected Campaign and Communications Vice-President over opponent Colm Maguire.
De Brun was the favourite with 67% of the votes, compared with Maguire’s 25%. De Brun told the College Tribune that he was honoured to be chosen to represent UCD students. “My campaign team and I worked extremely hard on what was a tough election against a very worthy opponent. My priorities for next year are making this Union a visible, relevant part of the average student’s college experience,” he added. The electorate gave uncontested Jonny Cosgrave a victory with 83% of the vote for Entertainments VicePresident. This represented the highest proportion of votes for any candidate. Scott Ahearn maintained his position as Welfare Vice-President for another year. Ahearn ran as the only candidate and managed to clench 77% of the votes. The smallest margin occurred in the closely contested Education VicePresident race. James Williamson narrowly defeated John Logue’s 41.3% with a 52.4% win. Williamson was largely boosted on votes from Science, where he is a student. The candidates faired equally in other buildings, but Williamson came out
with 556 votes in Science compared to Logue’s 40. “I was more disappointed for the team than I was for myself - I was pretty okay with it, because I knew we were fighting an uphill battle from the start,” Logue said. Logue congratulated his opponent: “[Williamson] is a good guy, he is an experienced guy. We got on like a house on fire the whole way through the campaign. I think he needs to bring a couple of my policies on board, because we won’t have any money next year and that is what my manifesto is geared towards. However, he will do a good job and I hope he does.” There has been some negative reaction among students on boards.ie about the cost of the elections. The UCDSU Draft Budget for 2009/10 shows that the process costs approximately €40,000. On the days of the elections the Arts polling station was the most frequented by voters, closely followed by Science, Health Science and the Quinn School of Business. The Students’ Union for the year 2010/11 will take office on July 1st.
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College Tribune March 23rd 2010
Grade inflation rubbished by academics and recruiters l Irish rank highly among EU graduates l Concerns over second level education Focus Continued from page 1 Philip Connolly If reports over the weekend are anything to go by, Irish graduates are highly regarded in Europe. The European Commission study found Irish universities attained top position “due to the graduation output, which is not only high in number but also the best in perceived quality” Claims of grade inflation have been widely dismissed in Ireland. According to Dr. Padraig Walsh, chief Executive Officer and Secretary to the Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB), the issue of grade inflation was blown out of proportion by the media. Speaking to the College Tribune, Walsh stated: “If you follow the actual sequence of events and look at two and two becoming twenty rather than four, the minister had a meeting with various multination companies, and my understanding is that they expressed concerns at PISA tests, which are administered to 15 year olds to test literacy, scientific and mathematical content, which show that Ireland performs
well on literacy but average, at OECD levels, in the other two levels. The point they made was that at junior cert levels that is not good enough to have average at any level of education. “That got translated into higher education. If there is an increase in the number of high grades, how can this be if we are scoring averagely in that? The whole thing got convoluted.” “There were comments attributed to John O’Herlihy of Google, saying that they preferentially recruited from UCC, UCD and TCD. He never said anything about not taking people from certain colleges. The only study I have seen that isn’t anecdotal, is one on comparative performance or view of Irish performance was a study done by the expert group in future skills needs which operates under the department of enterprise trade and employment back in 2007. “What it points out is that there is very little difference in multinational companies views of Irish graduates as compared to the UK or Northern European universities. It would appear that in certain areas, particularly mathematical content, that graduates from central and Eastern Eu-
rope who have worked in Ireland more recently perform better, but they make the point that this group is likely to be a self selecting group anyway, they are not average. As leader of IFUT (Irish Federation of University Teachers) Mike Jennings expressed concerns that lecturers cannot win in the situation. In discussion with the College Tribune he stated: “A few years ago Irish universities were castigated, our standards were deemed to be too high, we didn’t have enough first class honours degrees. We were compared to the UK where the percentage of first class honours students was much higher, and we were told we were not in touch with the times, our standards are elitist. Now they tell us that our standards are too low and we are giving out high grades too freely.” He also expressed his concerns at the perceived lack of attention towards University students and staff, by the government, while multinational corporations are given preferential treatment. “The CEO’s of Intel and Google go to Batt O’Keeffe and as soon as they speak to him he immediately responds to them, and sets up an enquiry. I would like to see a situation where the minister for education pays as much attention to staff and students as he does to the CEO’s of private corporations. It says a lot about the ethos of the Department of Education that they listen more to Google and Intel than their own students and staff.” University standards are dictated by peer review preventing major grade inflation according to Jennings. “Universities, going back 600 years, have always had a rigorous standard of quality control, which is external and peer review. Any examination you do in any university, there is a participation of external examiners. Rather than dictating academic standards by the requests of CEO’s, the system should ensure Irish university standards are the same as the rest of Europe, by listening to external examiners and staff.” A senior UCD lecturer also stated that he did not see any evidence of inflation within UCD. “I don’t see grade inflation. I haven’t seen any increase in people getting A’s; in many ways people would say we are quite stingy. Where I think the pressure ultimately comes from a model of education which is competitive. If you see the student
as a customer, and the customer just want grades rather than a broader education, then you may schools competing over grades. To be fair, I have not seen it happening yet.” Spokesperson for the HEA, Malcolm Byrne, explained that while graduate standards remain high, there is a growing concern that Second Level education is not adequately preparing students for university or the challenges if the work place. “The skills required to go through higher education are not necessarily the same as those required for the Leaving cert, that is a debate that needs to happen and it is a concern among many people. In the HEA we have met with Google and many other multinationals and indigenous companies, people are quite happy in the quality of graduates. The concern that is being raised quite often is that people studying the leaving certificate, rather than learning how to learn, are learning how to pass a particular test.” “There is a serious concern at second level is too focused on training for a test and not for further learning or work. In strictly numbers terms you could argue that there is grade inflation. Yet at the time, 10 or 15 years ago, there were so few firsts that external examiners are critical. What has happened is that there was a very low rate and now student are up to a normal level.” Yet despite this Irish graduates rank highly among European standards according to Byrne, “the evidence from the ECOFIN report show that Irish graduates in terms
of when recruited by employers are ranked no1 in Europe and assessed in a peer review, when other European universities are recruiting graduates, we rank 2nd behind Finland. On the basis of those studies we are doing well, but our point is that we must not be complacent.” Recruiters from both Manpower and Sigma agencies stated that they have had no experience of complaints regarding University grade inflation and Irish graduate standards remain high. While Ireland ranked highly on the European Commission study of third-level education, in contrast, another group of countries – including Bulgaria, Spain, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Portugal and Greece - were labelled as being “highly inefficient”. The US also came out as being “quite inefficient”, although the study did not consider private education institutions, which would be an important aspect of the US thirdlevel system. The report also found that some EU member states, such as France, Germany and Italy, were ‘‘far from efficient’’. It also noted that ‘‘Ireland, Lithuania and Britain have a good performance both in the number of graduates per 1,000 inhabitants and per member of academic staff ’’. Ireland came top of the list of countries with the highest number of graduates per 1,000 inhabitants and second in the list of countries which have a high graduate throughput compared with the number of academic staff.
A4 student promotion poster bleed.pdf 20/03/2010 18:57:51
March 23rd 2010
An Act of Contrition Sergeant Matthis Chiroux served in the American Army for over 4 years in 3 countries; after being called back to serve his country he refused to go to Iraq, he tells Philip Connolly why
Sergeant Matthis Chiroux served in the Army for over 4 years in 3 countries around the globe. Chiroux had until Sunday, the 15th of May 2008, father’s day in America, to report for duty. He did something that some regard as heroic and others the definition of cowardliness, he did not report for duty. Chiroux was one of over 7,500 troops who have been “reactivated” and chose to not participate in the occupation of Iraq. Since March 20, 2003 over four thousand Americans have died in Iraq, while the estimate of Iraqi casualties lies anywhere between one hundred thousand up to a million, while in Afghanistan over a thousand American lives were lost along with countless Afghans. While the Iraq conflict draws to a bloody close for coalition forces, Afghanistan remains the main front of the so called War on Terror. Sergeant Matthis Chiroux served in the Army for five years, with tours in Afghanistan, Japan, Germany and the Philippines. He was honourably discharged and was placed in the Individual Ready Reserves, a pool of former soldiers who can be “reactivated” and ordered to deploy to war. “Afghanistan, I went to in 2005, although only for a very short stint. I was an Army journalist working for General B.B. Bell at the time. He was still the commander of US Army Europe. And we went down to catch up with a unit from Hohenfels, Germany, a training unit that was in fact only supposed to be assisting other soldiers who were training there. They had been deployed as a non-deployable unit under the direct command of a Romanian battalion, and I went down to Afghanistan to tell the stories of those soldiers deployed with that unit. “ “My combat experience is very limited, and I don’t want anybody to feel like I’m trying to hide that point. I never discharged a round in a combat zone, and I never took one, either. But that does not make me any less qualified to determine or to choose between, as I’m required to, a lawful and an unlawful order and either following or refusing those orders alike.” As a journalist working for the military Chiroux was in a position few writers would envy. “I spent a lot of time writing stories and taking photographs in the interest of the commands that I served. It was basically just like anything any civilian journalist would do, except at the end of the day my duty was not as much to
the truth as it was to the truth that the Army wanted not just its soldiers to see it, but civilians on the outside.” “I once did a story about a Romanian soldier who had been wounded in Afghanistan. He had his leg blown off by a mine, and I went to interview him at the hospital to produce to produce a piece for the US Army Europe quarterly magazine about how we, as the American Army, were so generous by agreeing to treat a coalition soldier in a US Army hospital. Now, this story came at quite a personal expense for me. When I went to do it at the hospital, he was one out of about, I believe, sixty-five men and women who had lost limbs in either Afghanistan or Iraq, and I went to do the story about the Romanian guy, ignoring the doz-
“the truth that the Army wanted not just its soldiers to see it, but civilians on the outside” ens of other American troops who had also been suffering greatly in combat, but their stories could not make us look nearly as well as this Romanian guy who we were caring for.” “I’ll never forget leaving the ward that day. And there was a young man, couldn’t have been more than nineteen years old, lying on a gurney, and he was missing both arms and legs, and he looked over at me, because I had the camera, and I was there with the story, and he said, “Hey, are you a journalist?” And I said, “Yeah, I’m from the US Army Europe, and I’m here to cover this story about this Romanian troop right down the hall. Do you know him?” And to which he just got really quiet and distant and looked at me and said, “Sixty-five blue-blooded Americans on this hall, and the journalist shows up to do the story about the Romanian. That’s cold-blooded.” “
“So, situations like that—I mean, that’s a particularly poignant one for me in my mind, but typically situations like that, where I would be telling a story, I would be writing a story based in fact, based in quote, but I would also be limiting the scope of that story to the topic which would make the military look like it was really taking care of its people, make it look like it was really taking care of coalition troops and make it look like it was really accomplishing something.” Did he raise that story with his editor? “Absolutely, I did. I raised it, and I told him I thought it was terrible and that actually that experience kind of affected me. It came less than a year before I got out of the military. That one was what put the nail in the coffin for me. I was disgusted that I was being ordered to produce a story about this guy, to go in and have to interview a man who has had his leg blown off in somebody else’s war not but a week earlier and to not be able to report about the fact that when I interviewed him, I was in full protective gear, because this young man had contracted a bacteria from the sands of Afghanistan that is spreading pretty rampantly, or at least at the time was, through Army hospitals all over the world, and he was inside an isolation chamber where all the oxygen was flowing in, rather than out, to try and keep his bacteria contained.” And so Chiroux refused to tour Iraq, and now campaigns against the war along with other military veterans. “I’ve never been to Iraq. That would have been my first tour. Fortunately—well, by nothing more than good fortune, in my five years in the military, all after September 11th, I was never asked to deploy to Iraq.” “There has never been any lack of disgust for the Iraq occupation on my behalf. You know, I remember quite clearly watching the invasion while I was still in Army journalism school in Fort Meade, Maryland. I remember watching it on my company’s big screen television and feeling entirely shocked and awed to see what was going on at the other end of those cameras in Baghdad and know that our actions were not sanctioned by the international community and were at the word of a few people who were saying Saddam Hussein is a threat. So since that time, since the invasion, I’ve been against this occupation to various degrees.”
College Tribune March 23rd 2010
One step beyond Controversial character, Jeremy Kyle gets off the steps to chat to Colman Hanley about his critics, the colourful guests on his show as well as his life changing car crash The man divides the opinions of many. special landmark show. The actors who Like him or loathe him, Jeremy Kyle is a took part especially on the show stayed television star who can boast over 1,000 ‘in character’ from the hit soap. For the episodes of his own hit programme, ‘The presenter, interviewing ‘David Platt’, ‘Tina Jeremy Kyle Show’, and the prospect that Maguire’ and ‘Nick Tilsley’ was an excitthe show is moving across the continent ing experience. “It’s the only thing I really in an attempt to smash the market in the watch. I Sky+ it and I watch it on Sunday United States. night and I’m the biggest, biggest Corrie For 44 year old Kyle, the current success of fan”. his ‘conflict-resolution’ show is something However Kyle’s career was not always as that he is hugely proud of. “We’ve signed prosperous as it is now. Kyle studied hisa deal to bring the show to America and tory and sociology at the University of that’s hugely exciting. It will be exactly the Surrey, earning a 2.2 grade degree which same as it is in Britain; the same sort of he admitted meant, “I didn’t go to too stories, and make sure it’s exactly the same many lectures and probably drank too over in America in order to see if it works”. much.” He worked as a salesman for life “When I originally first came to ITV Assurance, recruitment and radio adfive years ago, Jerry Springer was doing vertising between 1986 and 1995, durthe show, and when I came in for him, I ing which time he met his first wife and thought I wouldn’t last very long. He was quickly broke up soon after. supportive and helpful to me early on and Kyle’s glittering radio career began in 1996. I hope he will be over in America”. Kyle worked with Orchard FM, Leicester ‘The Jeremy Kyle Show’ celebrated its Sound, Invicta FM, and Birmingham’s 1,000 episode only last week, welcom- BRMB, until he moved to Centruy FM in Tribune Ad:Layout 05/03/2010 15:41 Page ing10374 actorsBNAG from Coronation Street for1the 2000 to present ‘Jezza’s1Confessions’. This
format proved popular as Kyle earned a move to Virgin Radio in 2002, before then moving onto Capital Radio in 2004 with the same format of show. It was a year later that Kyle would earn his opportunity with ITV to present a TV format of his radio show. The rest is now history, and as Kyle points, “I fell into the media by default, and have been incredibly lucky to work with many people.” However, the Londoner’s hit show does not appeal to everyone. Kyle’s strong attitude with guests on the show, despite the seriousness of the topic being discussed, has seen him regularly criticised. However, Kyle dismissed any criticism made of him. “I think it’s like anything, when you express your opinion in a straight, honest and direct fashion, which we’ve always said we would do, then it’s like marmite. Some people will love it, while other people will never ever, ever like that sort of genre of show.” “They don’t like what we do, because for them, it shines a light on a part of soci-
ety that best doesn’t exist. But it does exist. There are eight to ten million people in Britain living in situations where they don’t get the support family wise and addiction wise. Most of all, I’m proud about the aftercare on the Jeremy Kyle Show. The work that the team does, it’s never been done before”. “I don’t know the numbers of people that we put into detox, but I just know that many other shows are now copying the help we provide afterwards. So for the people who criticise the show, that’s fine. We’ve been going for five years and 1,000 shows, I thought it would last a couple of weeks, so please keep complaining.” Kyle also had a near death experience back in 2008, when his chauffeur driven car was involved in a 70 mph car crash. Kyle miraculously escaped from the car with no injuries, while a co-worker was lucky enough to escape with only two broken ribs. “The accident was one of the weirdest things that ever happened to me. I was on
route to work in Doncaster and actually asleep at the time when the accident happened. I was actually very lucid when I woke up to two air bags, and with the dust all around you from the impact, you think you are dead.” “There were fire engines and ambulances everywhere, the car was stuffed, I was on the phone to my wife and she was panicking. It was a horrible accident, but it didn’t change anything in my life. You just get back into the run of things.” Since that moment, Kyle’s hit show has become one of ITV’s leading shows for ratings in the late morning to early afternoon period. Judging by the hundreds of UCD students that queued to see the TV presenter on his recent visit to UCD at the Law Society event in the Science building, his popularity doesn’t seem to be waning. Should Kyle become a success in America, the old chant of ‘Jerry, Jerry’ may be altered to ‘Jeremy, Jeremy’ worldwide.
Scéim Chónaithe Ghaeilge Bhord na Gaeilge UCD 2010/2011
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March 23rd 2010
Sex has never been so prominent in Irish society, Sisi Rabenstein discovers the effect this may have on our youth What ever happened to Mrs. Robinson? While the term ‘gone and buried’ may seem premature, it does seem that the world is changing and while the population in general is aging, thanks to modern medicine, you’d never know it. Today, if ever a woman over 40 is shown in a beauty capacity, it is to emphasise how smooth and youthful they can be when enhanced. On the opposite end of things, children are being made look older. This is occurring in the form of their appearance, the trend of young mothers or simply the fetishising of youth in general. Recently, the Internet and tabloids alike were fascinated by the story of an anonymous nine year old in China, who gave birth to a healthy baby boy. This sparked interest in the youngest mother ever recorded, Lina Medina of Peru, who gave birth to her son in 1939, aged six years and five months old. This fascination with the sexualisation of youth in the media is a worrying trend. Gender and Youth sociologist, Dr. Sean Morrisey voiced his opinion; “I think
there’s a split personality when it comes to the issue of sex in children. We’re terrified of the sexualisation of children. When though of in the context of abuse, paedophilia and the Ryan report...on the other hand young people’s aspiration are to lead lives that are similar to celebrities, portrayed as being largely sexual.” “Studies have shown young people want to be like celebrities and if the dominant representations concern them as sexual objects, I think that has to have an impact.” The increased interest in who’s sleeping with who, kiss and tells and mistress count (in the case of Tiger Woods) can easily be seen in column inches. It’s no wonder children also have an increased interest in appearing older and acting beyond their years. Glamour model Jordan’s (Katie Price) daughter Princess Tiaamii has been pictured numerous times sporting fake eyelashes and a full face of make-up at the ripe old age of two years old. The question of sexuality and identity is a complex one from start to finish, men and women develop their ideas of self, masculinity and femininity, in relation to each other, it would seem that this exponential rise in sex and awareness or interest in sex is fed by both sexes as Morissey says, “gender is very much a relational phenomenon.” How youths are depicted in the media greatly affects how they view themselves and others. In many cases the actors playing teenagers in teen dramas are in fact in their mid twenties and this may well contribute to the apparent fervour to be the pretty one in the class, the mature sexual being that is desired by the males of the species.
Gaeilge COGAR! Tá iris nua stílbheatha ar an bhfód sa COBÁC. COGAR! is ainm dó. Iris lándaite, lánGhaeilge, lánsuim. Iris lán le hailt shuimiúla ar ábhair iomadúla na cruinne; cúrsaí reatha sa COBÁC féin, spórt, ceol, faisean, greann, ailt shainspéise agus mórán eile nach iad. Is féidir teacht ar an iris in Áras Newman ag an seastán an tseachtain seo ar fad nó ar shuíomh Bhord na Gaeilge (http:// www.ucd.ie/bnag/). Tuilleadh Eolais ó email@example.com
Cinderella, Sparkles and Sex Appeal
While a sexualised child may be the media taboo that won’t budge, images of this sort are proliferated every day. A series of photos of a nude, ten year old Brooke Shields were removed from a display in the Tate Modern amid a scandal raised by child rights activists in 2009. Another scandal has arisen around the Polish Film Director, Roman Polanski, who was charged with the sexual assault of the then thirteen-year-old Samantha Geimer, in 1977. The interesting aspect of this case is the media response to his re-arrest in 2009, after fleeing charges in the US. Many have come out in support of Polanski, stating that he is a genius, the crime is dated and he has atoned during his exile. The victim herself has spoken numerous times to advocate his release; however, one must consider the gravity of the case, the original charges were rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and leviscious act upon a minor under fourteen-years-old and furnishing a controlled substance to a minor. These near schizophrenic attitudes to child sexuality stem from a social confusion and inability to state in black and white what is and isn’t permittable. As in the case of Lina Medina, it is extremely rare though possible for children to experience a premature maturation in which
their hormones are produced earlier than average and they experience many of the physical changes of puberty as toddlers or infants. These incidents are not given as a challenge to rights and legislation but merely to exemplify the variation in child sexuality and identity. The idea of child sexuality itself is often shied away from because of its pedophilic association, but the fact remains that some children develop earlier than others. The famed novel ‘Lolita’ by Vladimir Nabokov, released in 1955,depicted a sexual relationship between step-father and twelve-year-old step-daughter and was very negatively received by the media of the time, as wrong and immoral. If we consider periods in history when children as young as nine were already married and awaiting motherhood, these black and white distinctions given by the law become even more questionable; however the need for legislation is clear. Morrisey stated, “Obviously there is already a system in placed and perhaps people don’t make best use of that system. Anything that society can do to protect the rights of children to live without the threat of abuse, whether that’s sexual, domestic or bullying at school, or anything like that, would certainly be welcome.” The classifications given to games and
movies are an example of this, and a worrying example at that, it is very rare that a child of fifteen has not seen a movie rated eighteen or played a game that includes high levels of violence and sexual explicitly. It raises the question, has modern culture become a social black-hole, an area where once there was the restrictions on culture and behaviour, such as the church. Is this the age of explicitly? Morrisey said, “I think Irish society is slightly unique in that respect because of the role that the church has played in the cultural and political life of Irish society, I think about British society, sex has always played a prominent role in culture and to an extent, lifestyles that people were leading.” “I think what we’re seeing is a change in the representations of sexuality with the explosion of things like the Internet, the ability for people to view pornographic material, I think there’s a gap between young people’s use of technology and their parents ability to regulate that use so in the future there will be greater challenges regarding the protection of children from images that are inappropriate for them. I would hope that society would view the protection of children as one of it’s key responsibilities.”
Marc as Deich do Ceol ‘10 Cormac Breathnach Is éard atá i gceist leis na dlúthdhioscaí CEOL ná bailiúcháin d’amhráin chlúiteacha atá aistrithe go Gaeilge ar mhaithe le hairgead a ghnóthú ar son an eagrais charthanachta Bernardos. Seoltar dlúthdhiosca nua ag tús Sheachtain na Gaeilge gach bliain. Tá an feachtas seo ar an bhfód ón mbliain 2005; nuair a seoladh an dlúthdhiosca SNAG ’05. Ó shin i leith tá amhránaithe ar nós Gemma Hayes, Kíla, Mundy, The Cononas, Delorentos, The Saw Doctors, Bell X1 agus fiú The Swell Season (buaiteoirí Oscar don amhrán is fearr “Falling Slowly” sa bhliain 2007) théis an deis a thapú a gcuid ceoil a léiriú trí mheán na Gaeilge. Bhí rath ollmhór ar an bhfeachtas go dtí seo le CEOL ’08 ag baint Uimhir 1 amach i gcairteacha na hÉireann, ag tuilleamh airgid do Bernardos agus ag cur an Ghaeilge go daingean i mbéal an phobail. Is mór an t-éacht atá
déanta ag lucht Sheachtain na Gaeilge leis na dlúthdhioscaí seo. Le haistriúcháin chruinne agus amhránaithe móra le rá páirteach, tá bealach nuálach, cliste, samhlaíoch, spraíúil aimsithe acu chun ár dteanga a chur chun cinn i bhfoirm cheoil. Cuidíonn na dlúthdhioscaí seo le cinntiú go bhfuil teanga na Gaeilge sofheicthe in Éirinn, i rith SNAG ach go háirithe. Seoladh an dlúthdhiosca CEOL ‘10 ar an Aoine 5ú Márta i mbliana. An séú cuid den fheachtas “CEOL,” caitheann CEOL ’10 súil siar ar bhuaicphointí na ndlúthdhioscaí eile go dtí seo. Tosaíonn sé leis an amhrán ollmhór “Foirfe” de chuid Eddi Reader, agus críochnaíonn sé le rian bónais “Éist a Ghrá” le The Coronas. Measctar an rud bríomhar leis an rud gruama go snasta ar an dlúthdhiosca seo. Tá a leithéid de “Éist a Ghrá” (The Coronas) agus “An Cailín Sin” (The Saw Doctors), ar aon le “Taibhse nó Laoch(ra)” (The
Coronas) agus “Taibhse” (Luan Parle) fite fuaite go néata air. Filleann Mundy leis an amhrán ollmhór sin “Cailín na Gaillimhe” a bhí le cloisteáil ar fuaid na tíre i rith an tsamhraidh sa bhliain 2007 chomh maith. I mbliana tá rud éigin ann do chách. Agus mé ag éisteacht leis an dlúthdhiosca sheas cúpla amhrán amach dom. Dá mbeinn chun amhrán a mholadh uaidh mholfainn “Taibhse nó Laoch(ra),” “Trí Bliana d’Aois,” “Taibhse,” “Cabhraígí Léi,” agus “Éist a Ghrá.” Bhain mé rí-thaitneamh as éisteacht leis an dlúthdhiosca seo agus molaim go hard na spéire é. An t-aon locht amháin a bheadh agam air na nach bhfuil ach amhrán nua amháin air, agus is trua seo ar bhealach. Tá an deis rogha leathan amhrán nua as Gaeilge a chur ar fáil caillte. Ainneoin sin, sílim gur chóir daoibh ar fad, a chairde Gaeil, dul amach agus é a cheannach agus tacaíocht a thabhairt don fheachtas fiúntach seo!
March 23rd 2010
La Dolce Vita
Despite the poor reputation of Naples for crime and chaos, Eileen Gahan found an energetic, vibrant city-with pizza to die for
The city of Naples has received a lot of bad press over the past few years. From its crisis over refuse collection to the Camorra criminals who control areas of the city you would be forgiven for thinking there is nothing to entice you to this coastal city. But you would be missing out. Naples pulses with life and energy. The character of southern Italians has even more of a reputation for being passionate, fiery and chaotic than their northern counterparts and in their case the stereotype seems to be deserved. Whether they are flirtatious waiters chatting to you
throughout dinner, argumentative families attempting to steal your seat on the bus or just friendly passers by asking you about your trip, reserved is never a word that could apply to Neapolitans. It is probably this zest for life that is to thank for one of the best reasons to visit Naples-the food. Naples is the home of the pizza and what pizzas they have. In the numerous small family run restaurants that can be found on practically any street in the city you will be served homemade, traditional food made with the freshest ingredients, with prices that put most Irish restaurants to shame. Between their pizza to the delicious seafood dishes and the tastiest of pasta dishes no-one should hope to lose weight on a visit to Naples but it is completely worth it. And you won’t just come to the restaurants for the food. Eating out is the Neapolitan
equivalent of the Irish pub and in these restaurants you will experience a local, convivial atmosphere perfect for chatting into the small hours. If you are the type of person who likes to get a taste of how the locals live their lives when you visit somewhere new you won’t find a better place then a restaurant full of local families, with the old men drinking red wine from glasses the size of soup bowls and the bar lined with young men in leather jackets with their motorbikes parked just outside. The city itself is a mixed bundle. There
are some charming areas to stroll along the seafront, in the more wealthy part of the city. In the sunshine the view across the bay is incredibly picturesque with the turquoise blue water and several old stone castles such as Castel Dell Ovo along the waterfront adding to the charm. It is along this waterfront that many of the higher end hotels and restaurants are to be found and in the summer the beaches are thronged with bathers enjoying a dip in the Mediterranean. The Museo Archeologico Natzionale and the Pallazo Raele are also impressive and graceful buildings. The Secret Room in the Museum exhibiting ancient pornography is also fun to have a peek at if the classical paintings get a bit boring. There is also a chaotic side to this city. Although the refuse collection crisis has long been resolved and visitors do not have to
worry about encountering rotten heaps of rubbish on the streets they should still be prepared for a bit of untidiness. Even on the main shopping streets there is a rather gritty, unpolished air about the place and many streets are lined with stalls of very, pushy men trying to sell you Prada handbags for a tenner and, admittedly, a fair bit of rubbish scattered about. Although there is a lot of impressive architecture in the city, especially the Piazza del Plebiscito in front of the Palazzo Reale the city authorities unfortunately do not seem to be too concerned to keep them free of graffiti, which is ubiquitous in almost all parts of Naples. Another national stereotype is confirmed by the traffic in Naples. The drivers there are crazy with no real regard for pedestrian crossings or traffic lights. If you are crossing the road, which you will probably not be able to avoid during your visit, keep your wits about you. A good strategy is to find a group of locals and stick with them as they cross, on the off chance that a driver is less likely to plough through a group of several people than two bewildered looking Irish women. Naples is an easy city to get around however. The public transport system, consisting of buses and an underground rail system is frequent and very cheap, with a ticket for less than two euro buying a days unlimited bus and metro pass. Many of the chief areas of the city are close enough to get to on foot with the shopping street and the sea front close together and the museum not to much further away. But beyond the city is where the true interest lies for the culture vulture. One of the many bus services will take you to the ancient Roman towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum, which are a must for any visitor to the bay of Naples. It is less than ten euro admission to these sites, less for students and the experience is well worth it. Pompeii is the larger town and visitors in the summer are recommended to carry plenty of water as there is little shade to shield from the fierce heat. Her-
culaneum is much smaller than Pompeii but better persevered and both towns give a wonderful, if poignant picture of the everyday life of the people who lived on the
in the summertime it is well worth taking a few days to tour the famous Amalfi coast down to the town of Sorrento or even to take a daytrip out to the beautiful island of
bay of Naples almost two thousand years ago. The fabulous paintings and mosaics are testament to the high culture of Ancient Rome while the brothel on Pompeii, with its graphic illustrations, is an example of a rather less high culture and an amusing reminder that human nature does not change much over millennia. Both Pompeii and Herculaneum can also be reached by the Circumvesuviana train which services the entire Bay of Naples and
Capri. The train is also cheap and easy to use but are often crowded and as with all public transport in Naples you should take care of your bags and valuables. Although the experience of Naples was overwhelmingly positive there are some reasons for visitors to beware. Although the Neapolitan mafia, known as the Camorra, has received a lot of attention in recent years, unless you seek out the nogo suburbs of Scampia to the north, it is unlikely that your experiences with crime in Naples will come from them. Rather there are many touts and scam artist on the street all keen to rip off unsuspecting tourists. Aside from the faulty or stolen phones and cameras they may sell you is not uncommon for one person to distract you while the other rifles through your backpack or jacket. Women should be prepared for the open male attention that is a part and parcel of daily life in Naples. Although most of it is friendly and harmless, consisting of no more than an appreciative ‘Ciao bella!’ you should also be wary of the occasional wondering hand especially on crowded public transport. However all this is no reason to avoid visiting Naples and with the added attraction of Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri and the Amalfi coast with easy reach, it makes a memorable, cheap and worthwhile holiday.
March 23rd 2010
Universities Must Restore Educational Standards
Academic standards in UCD and the other universities have declined and the grade inflation problem has gone unchecked for over a decade. How did President Hugh Brady and others in the educational establishment become so detached from the reality of falling standards at third level? The recent inquiry by the Department of Education was triggered by the concerns of multinational executives who demanded action about misleading graduate awards. The problem was so serious that the Minister for Education ordered a rare investigation to shake up the third level educational establishment.
The findings of the inquiry confirm the scale of grade inflation whereby higher awards were increased without any real improvements in learning. For example, the overall proportion of students in Irish universities achieving first class honours increased from 8.3% in 1997 to 13.3% in 2008. Further research by the Network for Irish Educational Standards has shown that there is no evident correlation between the quality of entrants and the level of awards being given by the institutions. Educational standards are the cornerstone of a university. Grade inflation is a destructive process whereby higher
grades are awarded without any real improvement in learning. Because grades are no longer a faithful representation of actual performance, the value of examinations as a quality control mechanism on educational standards is undermined. Moreover, both lecturers and students grow less motivated to achieve, since apparent success can be attained with less effort. Employers are then faced with graduates that have misleading qualifications. Grade inflation has been driven by the fact that our universities prioritised student numbers and expansion at the expense of educational standards. For UCD and the other colleges, institutional growth was paramount and the quality of awards was inevitably demoted. Back in 2004, Forfás warned of “a significant body of opinion, both in the enterprise community and among academics that standards have declined in the Irish education system over the past decade”. In early 2009, a Royal Irish Academy conference of over seventy representatives of the third level sector heard an uncompromising message from industry that “large numbers of poorly qualified university graduates will not assist in Ireland’s economic development”. At an institutional level, the response has been an extraordinary refusal to grapple with the problem. Hugh Brady has dismissed grade inflation as “irrelevant”
and has claimed that the vastly improved awards are purely the effects of semesterisation, continuous assessment and better marking. This denial is not credible and it illustrates a lack of understanding about the nature of grade inflation itself whereby changes in process are mistakenly interpreted as a transformation in learning. Where were the educational regulators? The Irish Universities Quality Board (IUQB) is responsible for oversight of quality in Irish universities but it has no powers of enforcement and is captured by the colleges that it is supposed to oversee. Of the eighteen IUQB board members, nine are either current or former Irish college presidents, registrars or deans. Board meetings are infrequent and member attendance is poor. Grade inflation has long been internationally recognised as a serious threat to educational quality but it is not an apparent issue for the IUQB. Within the self-regulating universities, the procedures for examining students and arriving at grades have proven to be remarkably susceptible to pressure to degrade standards. Procedurally biased quality assurance reviews have notably failed to address the fall in standards. At an individual level, the response is more encouraging. Academics have openly expressed their concerns and revelations about institutional pressures to raise grades are starting to emerge. Stu-
dents and graduates are also making an important contribution to the debate. The first step in combating grade inflation is to ensure that the level of educational awards is independently monitored. A new single regulatory agency for third level will be established later this year but the universities and those that lead them need to be held more accountable for their actions and be subject to sanctions. A broad consensus must emerge amongst academics, institutions and policy-makers that grade inflation is a serious problem for the integrity of Irish educational awards. As a part of this, third level institutions must restore priority to the maintenance of educational standards. Finally, individual academics must also shoulder their professional responsibilities to resist the pressures that erode the quality of academic awards. Simon Quinn Simon Quinn is a lecturer in accounting at the Institute of Technology Tralee. He graduated with a degree in accounting and finance from DCU. He completed an MBS in International Accounting at University College. He is also a founder member of the Network for Irish Educational Standards. All of the grade inflation research is available at www.stopgradeinflation.ie
A myth that raises important issues As a graduate of the now defunct NUI, I am now, if the national newspapers are to be believed, the holder of a bachelor of science in which my grades were inflated. Naturally, I would dispute that. I worked hard for my degree and in my final year where my lab work, a thesis and the traditional exams process were how I was assessed I would question how my grade was inflated. Unfortunately I believe this debate has been framed within the wrong context. I believe what is missing from the debate is the quality of what the learner learns and what the institute teaches. It is very surprising that the term ‘grade inflation’ has caught on so quickly with the print media which went from reporting about the issue to reporting that it was now an issue. Even before the ministers’ preliminary report into the situation it was evident that this was a juicy story fit for the front pages of our broadsheets. Alarmingly, apparent weakness of the higher education quality bodies and the management teams of colleges and universities in addressing this issue indicate a bigger problem in our sector. Quality is where this discussion should be at. Surely it would be irrelevant if the proportion of firsts awarded by universities here rose from 8.3pc to 16.2pc between 1997/8 and 2008 if we knew that the quality of the education for the learner was impeccable? And as a graduate I believe my degree is worth the marks I earned and that I received
a quality education – both inside the lecture hall and outside. What disappoints me that the media and the ministers’ only apparent interest in this subject were spurred on by business. Again the debate on whether our third (and fourth) level should create graduates specifically for the workforce is an ideological issue. Is the role of universities to create a conveyor belt of graduates to work in companies such as Google? Or is the role of universities different? Should it be to open the mind of the learner or has that day passed? The role of academia and the right of universities to accredit their own degrees is being called into question. Entrepreneur Jerry Kennelly was quoted in the Sunday Business Post (07/03/10) ‘‘To hell with the rights of lecturers for ‘academic freedom’, where they effectively set their own standards. It’s about time they were scheduled for a proper week’s work like the rest of society, not just the sixteen hours which they can be rostered for today.” While comments like this certainly do not help the debate it is true to note that the universities set their own standards and always have done. As an undergraduate my entire class (which in Botany was only five students) were examined by an external examiner brought in from a London University. This mechanism ensures that the quality within a subject is internationally viable and akin to international measures.
At a recent European Student Summit I brought up this issue and many European national students unions stated that the massification of higher education facilitated a similar phenomenon within their countries. However the debate was framed in a ‘quality of learning’ structure where the role of further and higher education was examined and the focus was on producing flexible graduates. While I do not buy into the idea of ‘grade inflation’ I welcome the opportunity to discuss quality of tertiary education and hope that this issue will shine a spotlight on the quality and associated quality assurance mechanisms within third level as this can only be positive. As students I believe we should be quality watch dogs for our own education. We must feed into the quality assurance procedures during our education and if the educational institute does not have mechanisms to allow this to happen easily – well then we have a bigger problem than supposed ‘grade inflation’. Peter Mannion 2006 - BSc NUI Galway 2006 – 2007 NUIGSU Education Officer 2007 – 2008 USI Education Officer 2008 – 2009 USI Western Area Officer 2009 – 2010 USI President
March 23rd 2010
Brady’s charmed bunch
It is once again a worrying realization that while the country is experiencing the worst recession in modern history and this university is slowly clawing its way out of a hole of 20million euro debt, that the president of UCD, our leader, is throwing €100,000 away on travel expenses. Brady, who currently receives a salary of €220,000 a year, racked up this bill by globetrotting, majorly using business class. UCD’s current budget deficit clocks in at €11million, which is only kept from top place in the league of bankrupt universities by University College Cork. However, this hasn’t stopped the president of UCD from blowing thousands of euro wining and dining clients, donors and other business colleagues with expensive meals at exclusive restaurants, games and events at golf clubs not to mention his gratuitous accommodation in five star accommodation as well as the business class flights. This fact is even more deplorable when considering the state of and controversy over student finances this year; the ongoing protests against fees and the hiked up registration fee, of which’s purpose is still being debated, have ensured the general population is well aware of the distress caused to students about their finances. Not to mention the newly introduced health centre fees and discussion of mandatory health insurance that were added anguish for those students struggling to make ends meet. The huge contrast between the favours being received by Brady’s charmed bunch and the struggling students in his university leaves one wondering how this presidential treatment can remain so overlooked.
Money wasted on elections
If UCD Students’ Union wants to make itself more relevant to UCD’s student population, as most of this year’s candidates promised they would, the best start would be to stop spending €40,000 of said students money on elections. While the College Tribune has not seen a breakdown of this amount, it causes one to wonder what exactly the money is being spent on and whether it can be justified. In the weeks running up to the election the campus becomes coated in a veritable snow storm of paper: leaflets, manifestoes and posters. It usually all ends up in the bin of the unfortunate person cleaning the theatres, corridors and concourse at the end of the day. There is no need for such blatant waste. The newly elected SU officers will hopefully come up with a more environmentally friendly, efficient way for candidates to campaign next year. Ultimately, they may have to do it out of necessity as the money will probably not be there. The canvassers for the candidates could also learn from the maxim that less is more. Their attitudes and behaviour was obnoxious and terribly off-putting on Election Day. No one wants to be harassed as they go from class to class. One confident acolyte informed College Tribune members that the polls were about to close and could we be escorted at that time to the polling station vote for his chosen one? Pushiness does not a willing voter make. There are now bigger fish for some SU officers to fry: USI elections. If the annual €96,000 subscription/affiliation fee is anything to go by, than students should really have more of a say in who gets elected. One of the candidates has already stirred some controversy, so the Tribune will be watching this space.
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It’s Satire Stupid!
s e g n a h c h c r t Chu c a r t t a o t e g e c ima n e i d u a r e young
When someone close to you dies, move seats Scientists believe a day without Brady and O’Leary join Mile High Club sunshine would As it emerged that UCD CEO Hugh The concourse will be levelled to make Brady spent €100,000 on flights, Ry- a runway for Ryanair’s new Donegal airbe like night anair maverick Michael O’Leary of- port (“only twenty-five minutes by bus Banks borrow money from pessimist association, they don’t expect it back Death found to be hereditary Researchers confirm there is no future in time travel Prostitutes appeal to Pope Sex Education Delayed, Teachers Request Training
fered his services to banish the cashstrapped president’s budget blues. Michael “I don’t see how onboard gambling can make the image of airlines worse” O’Leary has been asked to streamline university operations. UCD Inc. will now offer low budget education to students. It looks as if the student book shop may be the first to go in O’Leary’s bid to cut the UCD fat. “Business books are bullshit and are usually written by wankers,” quaffed the ever-eloquent, honey-tongued entrepreneur. “Kafka’s Metamorphosis, on the other hand, is one of the central enigmas of the modern literary imagination and is really more my cup of tea.” In the UCD of O’Leary’s wet dreams, students will be charged per toilet use. A toilet paper tax and tissue charge would be strictly enforced, and bathroom facility frequenters who want to sit will pay extra. O’Leary hopes to get rid of sitting in toilets altogether, with his patented “Shit Ur Pants” pants awaiting approval from the Irish Consumers’ Association any day now.
from Letterkenny”). Lectures will always start half an hour late and gates - sorry theatres - will be frequently changed without informing students. O’Leary plans to turn O’Reilly Hall into Hanger 6.1 and hopes Tanaiste Mary Coughlan will eventually answer his Facebook invites to cut the ribbon at an opening ceremony. “I’ve also poked her, but no word as of yet. Fingers crossed!” he tweeted. The timid businessman’s unorthodox “blow jobs and free beds” approach to entrepreneurship will resonate among UCD’s “banging for books” student population. O’Leary will find favour among students with his ability to fit the entire nose of a Ryanair jet inches into his oversized gob. Academics will be overjoyed at his plans to make a “Would ya mount ‘em?” calendar of UCD’s twelve most doable lecturers. Spendthrift Brady denied that O’Leary had been recruited, stating: “I would never fly with that shite excuse for an airline. Although the free offers in his business class sound intriguing...”
Saucy Sean Brady Pope Benedict XVI’s pastoral letter to Ireland’s Catholics has failed to arrest the scandal engulfing the church, with pressure growing for the resignation of bishops who were in positions of authority during a mass cover up that Josef Fritzl himself would be proud of. It said Bishop Joseph Duffy, who also heads the conference, said “I see naked children escape from the vestry all the time, I never ask questions, I just release the hounds.” These remarks sparked angry protests on Grafton Street with many people chasing the convicted priests and beating them with Dildos. One mother excitingly claimed “I got him, I got him right in the face with a big blue one,” Cardinal Sean Brady was put into stalks at the entrance to St. Stephens Green while many parents teased him with their children. The police arrived and soon dissolved the
situation. Although our turbine correspondent couldn’t get an interview with the Cardinal, he has been caught on video being dragged from the scene in tears screaming “And I would have got away with it, if it wasn’t for them sexy kids”. There has been more controversy surrounding the sentencing of many of the priests involved. Archbishop Wolfgang Bang from Diepholz was charged with indecent exposure, but when our Turbine journalist asked him did he have anything to say, he exclaimed “To be honest, in my eyes it was decent exposure, I have the body of Christ.” An excommunicated priest explained that the pope mobile wasn’t to prevent the ‘top dog’ being shot but to prevent him from attacking children that may be onlooking.
College Tribune March 23rd 2010
the college tribune
The College Tribune 23.03.10 www.thecollegetribune.net Down the Line
Concentrating on what’s happening inside the sport, Eoghan Brophy takes a look at the effect of media hype outside it. So David Beckham has torn his Achilles tendon and will miss the World Cup. Does anybody really care? Beckham’s career has been over since the last world cup in Germany in 2006, and some would argue that is has been finished even longer. But yet again, we are going to have media coverage about what exactly an Achilles tendon is and the woes of Beckham, as opposed to concentrating on the football ahead of the world cup in South Africa this summer. Beckham’s Achilles is just one in a litany of issues that is hiding away from the reason why so many people follow the world’s most popular game... the football. John Terry’s personal life is not something that should be anywhere near the back pages of the paper. The cursed on your marriage that comes from playing left back for Chelsea and stories of similar happenings is not what should be told to hype up the “greatest league in the world.” Then again, with the ‘Clash of the Titans’ proving uneventful and boring, the media are clutching at straws. Soccer is not the only sport to be overhyped by media reports that have nothing to do with the actual game. Tiger Woods has recently announced his return for the masters. Everyone who has been alive the past week knows that, how many people know who won the World Golf Championship event last year? Yes, Tiger is great for ratings for golf and on the whole the players will be delighted to have him back. Is it purely a coincidence that Padráig Harrington has upped his game at the same time that Tiger is coming back? Excusing the pun, can we put it to bed and carry on with watching the golf? And even just last week, the most hyped season in Formula 1 turned out to have a very uneventful opening race with Fernando Alonso winning for Ferrari. The season that promised so much early on has failed to deliver. I know it’s just one race but with even the drivers calling for help on their twitter pages on how to improve the sport, you have to wonder if it’s going to be a long season.
Sunday’s midday fixture on the old familiar Astro 1 was a walkover. The match was due to have taken place between The Opposition and Vagestic Adventurers FC, however as only four of the Vagestic players turned up in their bright yellow, there was indeed no game. For this reason all you fans of the supreme soccer reporting which this column has produced will, we are afraid, be at a loss for this week. For this we are truly sorry. There was of course another match on at 2:00pm between Joey Barton and The Sex Offenders. Unfortunately however this re-
It’s football… but not as we know it
porter couldn’t attend that game and you may rightly ask why. Was it the half one match between Manchester United and Liverpool? Or was it even a tasty Sunday roast calling? The answer to both of these theories is no. What in fact threw a spanner in the works was the coming of parents from the darkest depths of the country. This reporters mother was of course cautious of travelling to Dublin, least the Inter Yer Ma lads were around the campus stalking like wolves in the night, the smell of middle aged vagina in their nostrils as they spring
from the bushes in a rush of once monthly blood lust! It can be presumed however that if either Joey Barton or The Sex Offenders did turn up, unlike Vagestic, their match would have involved some manner of sodomy from the latter who are heading the league table for premier Sunday at the moment, while Joey Barton would, of course, have lived up to their name sakes reputation and started a scrap probably among their own team as poor Ousmane Dabo could attest to. They may be in ‘gaol’ as we speak. We will however never know for sure, unBright future for equestrian team The previous few months have been a busy one for the college equestrian team and they have shown there is a bright future ahead. The club achieved success earlier in January with victory the colours competition over UCD Vets and Trinity. That achieved was added to at Intervarsities last month. First year Sophie Dillon won the individual show-jumping event, while Emma Ponsonby also finished in a very good sixth place. In the team showjumping, Ponsonby, Eoin Fives, and Sophie Dillon placed sixth, while Daisy Grehan performed well in the dressage competition. The success continued in the Prix Caprilli as Christine Cummins and Luke McMullan took first and second place in the individual competition. They were joined by Lisa Carroll as UCD also took the team event, leaving the club with a strong future for 2010 and beyond. Archery only one shot out UCD Archery club will have some fantastic results to show on April 10th when they travel to Limerick to take part in the IV finals. There potential can be seen after only missing out on top spot in the GMIT IV by a single shot. In the team ranking, UCD’s archers just came in ahead of UL with the judges having to compare single shots to decide which team took second place. UCD got the call and are now 6 points behind UL in the league. The UCD team of Anne-Marie Donohoe, Shane Keaveney, Ines Rauch, James Ryan and Rachel Schneiders returned a score of 123, something
less of course one of the teams is reading this and would like to send us an e-mail letting us know how the game went. As we come to the end of Superleague reporting for this year, we must wish all the teams the best of luck, even the shit ones. For now all that can be asked of you all is that you turn up for your matches so we actually have something to report on. We shall leave you with these words of wisdom, using a feather is erotic; using the whole chicken is kinky.
which hasn’t been seen in nearly two years for the college. Club champion James Ryan continued his individual success by taking the intervarsities title with a score only 4 short of his league record. Ines Rauch set a personal best and finished third, and with many other individuals improving on their form, the UCD team are in a strong position to compete down in Limerick. UCD team: Erika Gard, Colin Travis, Anne-Marie Donohoe, Brian Cullen, Ines Rauch, James Ryan, Niccole Barnes, Robert Collins, Elaine Chapman, Rachael Schneiders, Shane Keaveney. Women close again UCD Women’s soccer team were once again cruelly denied as they lost in the final of the WCSAI Intervarsities cup to UL. Having come close in the futsal tournament earlier in the year, UCD were desperately looking for a win. They had proved dominant on their way to the final, scoring ten and conceding none on their way to the final with an impressive 7-0 over UUJ in the group stages. However in the final, UL took the lead with Siobhan O’Sullivan poking home after a scramble in the box. The Dubliners battled back into the match when Louise Quinn, UCD’s top scorer for the tournament, saw her free kick find the top corner just before half time. However, just when it looked like UCD had secured a draw, the ladies hearts were broken by Kasey O’Driscoll as she headed in the winner in injury time. Eoghan Brophy
College Tribune March 23rd 2010
UCD achieves further success in rugby
Colman Hanley reflects on the success for UCD’s Irish contingent, while also looks back on a great triumph for UCD in the colours clash Last Saturday evening left a bitter taste in many people’s mouths as Dan Parks late touchline penalty sailed through the posts at the hill sixteen end of Croke Park. The Irish team and the players with UCD links (Jamie Heaslip, Brian O’Driscoll, Robert Kearney, Gordon D’Arcy, and Seán O’Brien) were always going to struggle to match the achievements of last year. The raised expectations by both fans and the players themselves, and the tougher fixture list, meant that this year’s Six Nations was likely to be less spectacular. However, their younger counterparts in the under 20’s (U20) proved more than capable to reach the standards set of them. The Ireland U20’s ended their Six Nations campaign in first place and as Triple Crown champions. The achievement was made all the sweeter with a 44-15 win in Dubarry Park, Athlone last Friday. Led by Captain Rhys Ruddock at blindside flanker, the Irish team never lacked leadership or drive from the back row. Ruddock, who made his Magners league debut earlier this season for Leinster away to the Dragons, is a player destined for full international caps should Leinster give him the chance to develop. Other mainstays in the successful U20 side were UCD scrumhalf John Cooney and UCD second row Ben Marshall. Both performed consistently throughout the championship and were ever-presents in each game. UCD’s Risteard Byrne, Dave McSharry and David Doyle were all involved from the bench or in squads during this 2010 U20 Six Nations campaign, the achievement of UCD to have six representatives in this successful Irish side gives hope that the college will have future possible champions in the senior side like there are
at present. Ireland U20’s sole defeat came away to France, going down 20-15 in Mazamet. The narrow defeat was unjust on a side which dominated possession in the game. However the convinci,ng 25-10 win over England in Gloucester more than made up for the disappointment against the French and was the key point in the campaign for Allen Clarke’s side. Speaking on his side’s fantastic achievement, Ireland U20 coach Allen Clarke commented, “If you’d have told us we’d be in this position before the campaign began, we’d have been very happy”. Clarke went on to praise the structures that have been set in place for youngsters to progress. “From an Irish rugby point of view, it reflects where our programmes are, it reflects the support of our schools and our clubs and provinces. This isn’t just a reflection about the current management team, the management team are fantastic, this is a reflection of the whole of Irish rugby and where we are in terms of our pathways at the moment.” Further success on the field came three weeks ago as UCD claimed the honours in their colours clash with Dublin University (Trinity College) at Donnybrook. A comprehensive 28-8 victory gave UCD the bragging rights in the 58th ever colours clash, as a confident performance and 13 points with the boot by UCD outhalf Niall Earls helped UCD run out easy winners. Two first half converted trys from Andy Cummiskey and Tom Fletcher gave UCD an early 14-3 lead after just seven minutes. Alan Matthews managed to cross the line for Trinity to give his side some hope, but two penalties and a drop goal from Earls extended UCD’s lead to 23-8
going into the half-time break. UCD killed off any hopes that Trinity had when wing Tom Fletcher burst onto a kick forward from scrum half Rob Shanley to grab his second try. UCD went in search of a fourth bonus point try, but it was to no avail. Nonetheless, UCD ran out easy winners as Matt Nagle lifted the trophy and the UCD players enjoyed their 34th success against their rivals Dublin University. UCD: Michael Twomey; Terry Jones, Andy Cummiskey, Eoghan Conran, Tom Fletcher; Niall Earls, Rob Shanley; John A Lee, Conor Geoghegan, Brian Hall, Ciaran Ruddock, Brian Cawley, Shane Grannel, Kevin Croke, Matt Nagle (capt). Replacements used: Conor Mitchell for Hall, Risteard Byrne for Geoghegan, Arthur Houlihan for Cawley (all 69 mins), Brian Hall for Mitchell (73), Peter du Toit for Shanley, Rory Allwright for Jones (both 76).
UCD aim to bounce back against Bray Colman Hanley Following last Friday’s 3-0 defeat to league leaders Saint Patrick’s Athletic, UCD will hope to get back to winning ways against the ‘Seagulls’ at the Belfield Bowl, kick-off 7:45pm. UCD will welcome back Greg Bolger from suspension following his absence against Saint Pat’s, that as a result of his two yellow cards in the 2-1 home defeat to champions Bohemians. Defender Seán Harding, midfielders Paul Corry and Robbie Creevy, and goalkeeper Ger Barron all missed last week’s game in Inchicore through injury. UCD manager Martin Russell will hope to welcome back at least one of those five back into his match-day squad for Friday. Their opponents, Bray Wanderers, had the misfortune to be relegated TWICE last season. Having finished bottom of the division, they were saved by the miss-management of Derry City and given a place in the promotion relegation play-off. However, defeat to Sporting Fingal in the two-legged tie meant that Bray again suffered relegated. However the collapse of Cork City meant that Bray once more survived and they were re-instated to the Premier Division of the Airtricity league with only two weeks before the season kicked off.
Bray have started the season with three successive defeats to Dundalk, Galway United and Sporting Fingal last week. Manager Eddie Gormley will look to the experience of former Shelbourne league and FAI Cup winner Ritchie Baker and also to former UCD, Bohemians and Saint Patrick’s Ahtletic forward Robbie Doyle to lead his side to their first points of the season at the Bowl. However, having only a small amount of time to assemble his squad together, UCD will go into the game as strong favourites to claim all three points. With Wexford man Bolger expected to be back in the midfield for UCD, they will be a lot more solid and carry a greater scoring threat. Bolger’s two league goals sees him tied with forward Ciarán ‘Killer’ Kilduff as topscorer after just three games. Should ‘Killer’ get the service that he received in the 3-0 away win to Drogheda United on the opening night of the season, he could be amongst the goals again. With architecture student David McMillan having also returned to the first team lineup last week, he too will be looking to open his account for the season having finished in double figures last year. College Tribune prediction: Expect goals and UCD to bounce back with their first home win of the season at the Bowl, 3-1.
College Tribune March 23rd 2010 The campus of UCD will host hundreds of athletes this Saturday in its first ever road and cross-country race. Rás UCD will take place this Saturday on the 27th of March, with the starting gun set to to go off at 11:30am. For head-organiser of the event, UCD second year medicine student Dónal Ó Hanrachtaigh, the event combines both his passion for running and his devotion to the UCD Volunteer Overseas (UCD VO) campaign. “I’ve always had a keen interest in sports, as I played a lot of Gaelic football at home and still do here in UCD. But running is something I’ve a keen passion for. Therefore, when I wanted to raise money for UCD VO’s, I came up with the idea of the 5km race in UCD. UCD is such a great college for people to play many different sports, so naturally there are a lot of sporty people around the place. Hopefully we’ll see them all taking part on Saturday”. With souvenir t-shirts and goodie bags for the first 500 entries to the race, €1500 worth of prizes for athletes, prizes for the best dressed athletes, and prizes for people in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s 70’s, and not to mention the under 20’s too, the day promises to be a great occasion. The event has already seen a lot of interest, with its oldest entrant at the time of print a 75 year old man. Members of the Irish army will take part on Saturday, and former Irish athlete James Nolan will be on hand to present people with the winning prizes. The route of the race sees the competitors start opposite the Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Church (opposite GAA pitches/end of concourse beside the Student Centre), and continue on the road up towards the Clonskeagh gate of UCD. However, competitors will take a left turn on the road and go ‘cross country’ on the dirt track up by the creche on campus and will eventually cut out back onto the road up by the church again. Three laps will be required from each competitor, and the
Stage set for first ever Rás UCD
With UCD’s First inaugural race in aid of UCD Volunteers Overseas taking place this Saturday 27th Of March, organiser Dónal Ó Hanrachtaigh talks to Colman Hanley
first to cross the finish line at the sports centre will crowned the first ‘Rás UCD Champion’. The Meath born student was keen to emphasis the great work that UCD Volunteers Oversea do in many places. “Last year I was lucky enough to go to India and this year I’ll be lucky enough to go back again. It’s a fantastic experience to go abroad and help other people. I’d advise the experience to everyone.” The idea behind UCD Volunteers Overseas was born in 2002 after students asked
why there was no organised voluntary experience in the college, and a group went to India under the title ‘Delhi 2003’ after making contact with the Sisters of Jesus and Mary in Delhi, India. UCD VO became a registered charity in 2004, and has now organised trips to Haiti since 2005, Nicaragua since 2007 and Tanzania since 2009. Rás UCD also uniquely ties in both Hanratty’s efforts to fundraise for UCD VO and his use of the Irish language. O’Hanrachtaigh says he hopes to see many
people compete at the weekend, “Tá súil agam go mbeidh a lán daoine ag glacadh páirt sa rás agus ag labhairt as Gaeilge ag an am céanna. Tá súil againn chomh maith go mbeidh míle daoine ag rith timpeall UCD ar an lá, bheadh sé sin ar fheabhas ar fad ar son UCD VO.” With many prizes on offer and all the proceeds raised going directly to UCD Volunteers Overseas, everyone should look to get involved.
UCD Sports Scholarships Awarded
Colman Hanley assesses some of the talented UCD sports people who picked honours before the break
O’Reilly Hall on Friday 5th of March was the venue for some of the talented sportspeople of UCD to pick up their scholarship for achievements and great talent in their field of competition. Hockey and GAA (hurling, football and camogie) led the honours as cycling, athletics, soccer and golf were represented. Hockey led the way with four players being awarded with their scholarship. UCD men’s Captain Timothy Hill and Gavin O’Halloran were both selected, while from the women’s team, Grace O’Flanagan and Laura Wilson were selected for their excellence. In hurling, Dublin star Oisín Gough was awarded with a scholarship. Gough starred for Dublin last year and played in the Leinster senior hurling final against Kilkenny during the summer. He’ll hope to have a more successful campaign with Dublin this year. Alongside Gough to pick up his scholarship was fellow Dublin intercounty star David ‘Dotsy’ O’Callaghan. O’Callaghan starred for UCD this year as a dual player in both the Sigerson and Fitzgibbon cups, and has also been heavily involved in the National League campaign for Dublin this year. Both UCD scholars were on the losing side to All-Ireland champions Kilkenny last Sunday in the National league. Gaelic football was represented by Dónal Ó Currán of Gaoth Dobhair in Donegal. The under 21 footballer has been a mainstay in the Sigerson Cup panel, though unfortunately has had an interrupted sea-
son due to injuries. The full-back though is expected to shake off a back injury to take part in Donegal’s Under 21 provincial semi-final against Armagh this week. Lastly in Gaelic football, Michael Savage was awarded with his scholarship. Savage played in goal for the UCD this season, sadly having only one opportunity to impress in UCD’s brief Sigerson Cup campaign. Camogie was represented by Galway’s Therese Manton. Manton, an All-Ireland finalist against Cork in 2008, was part of the UCD camogie side to be beaten this year by UCC in the semi-finals of the Ashbourne Cup. Athletics was represented by sprinter Steven Colvert-Tate and Eoin Mulhall. Mulhall’s silver medal at the IUAA Indoor Championships last year was particularly a great achievement for UCD athletics. Golf was represented by duo Jame Rothwell and Stephen Walsh. Both players have shown great potential this year, and alongside UCD’s Gerard Kelly who won the Irish Universities Golf Championship last October, the duo will only improve even more in the years to come. Caitlín Elliott was the sole representative for cycling, the architecture student won the National Championships last year and is currently in her final year at UCD. ‘Cait’ is probably one of UCD’s only athletes to have her own website too. Robbie Creevy and Louise Quinn were scholars that represented soccer at O’Reilly Hall. Creevy, who is currently on the sidelines with an injury, scored the
dramatic winner for UCD in last months in the ‘Colleges Universities’ final against DIT in Tolka Park. The former Shamrock Rovers youth player is expected to be challenging for a first team place in UCD’s midfield this season in the Airtricity League. Quinn was involved in UCD’s run to the semi-final at the Futsal tournament in Galway and run to the Intervarsities Cup final this year. Finally, the president’s award saw two sportspeople pick up some honours from UCD President Hugh Brady. Patrick O’Leary was honoured for his tremendous work behind the development of the Lacrosse Club, while Megan TenantHumphries role to Ladies Hockey was acknowledged as she has both represented UCD as club captain and has earned honours with the Irish National team.
UCD Rugby take the colours title
UCD look to bounce back against bray
Report Page 18
Preview Page 18
the college tribune
The College Tribune 23.03.10 thecollegetribune.net
Unhappy return for Russell as UCD fall at Pat’s St Patrick’s Athletic 3 UCD 0 Faherty 45 Guy 87, 88
Richmond Park, Inchicore 19 March 2010 Niamh Hanley It was an unhappy return to an old haunt for UCD manager Martin Russell, as his side slumped to a second successive defeat in a disappointing night at Inchicore. Russell, who starred in a Saints midfield that won successive league titles in the late ‘90’s, could have little complaint about the overall result, if not the actual scoreline. The team itself saw four changes from the lineup that faced Bohemians, one enforced due to Greg Bolger’s red card against Bohemians, while Chris Mulhall, Keith Ward and Graham Rusk all
dropped to the bench. Danny Fallon, David McMillan, Peter McMahon and Shane Fitzgerald all came into the UCD side. The first half saw the home side stake their immediate intent, as the Saints were aggressive from the off. It was a baptism of fire for League debutant Danny Fallon in the UCD midfield, and ‘keeper Billy Brennan was often the only impediment to the frontline assault, clearing a dangerous cross early on, and remaining alert to the danger of Saints striker Alex Williams’ successive attempts on goal. The first goal, on the blast of half time, was long overdue - Vinny Faherty capitalising on an attempted clearance by Evan McMillan, and neatly chipping Brennan from just outside the box to see the ball curling into the top corner of the net. It was the strikers second goal in two games. Russell’s half time team talk had obviously im-
pacted his team in no small way, however, as the second half proved to be far more even, and UCD gained the upper hand for a considerable period, aided by the introduction of both Ward and Mulhall. Despite the relative ease of UCD’s passing game in midfield, they failed to make any impact in the final third, with a hardworking Pats defence clearing their lines on various attempts. It was a frustrating night for Ciarán Kilduff, whose profile had been raised after his two-goal haul against Drogheda, but never imposed a real threat to the home side. Despite a third substitution by Russell, introducing Rusk to the game, it was the changes made by Saints manager Pete Mahon that was the death knell to UCD’s grip on the game. McAllister was subbed for Gareth Coughlan, while the switch of Ryan Guy to the right side of midfield unlocked the UCD defence again.
Coughlan did well to resist the attentions of McMillan, crossing for Conor Sinnott, whose first touch found Guy, burying the ball with a powerful shot into the top left-hand corner. It was just a sign of things to come, as within a minute, former UCD striker Paul Byrne was rounding both Brennan and the advancing UCD defender, to cross for Guy once again, his finish a near-copy of the one scored seconds earlier. Kilduff ’s late yellow card for a high challenge on Saints’ captain and Damian Lynch told the story of a frustrating night for the Students. The Saints ended the game with four former UCD players on their side, Damien Lynch, Conor Kenna, Ian Bermingham and Paul Byrne, but it was former manager Pete Mahon whose impact was more prominent. His second half changes gave ‘The Saints’ the added impetus needed to see out the game as they added the extra gloss on what was a
deserved home win UCD: Brennan; Shortall, Nangle, Boyle, Evan McMillan; David McMillan (Mulhall 56), Fallon, McMahon, Roche (Ward 56), Fitzgerald (Rusk 62); Kilduff. Subs not used: McGinley (gk), Leahy. Referee: Alan Kelly