Posted tagged ‘Hugh Brady’

University College Dublin

July 17, 2013

And from Wales to Ireland: University College Dublin today announced its new President. From January 2014, UCD will be led by Professor Andrew J. Deeks, currently Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Durham University. Professor Deeks is an engineer, and as PVC has had responsibility for the Science Faculty in Durham. He will take over from Professor Hugh Brady, who is coming to the end of his 10-year term as President.

Given my blog post of earlier this week, it can be said that Andrew Deeks is coming to Ireland at a time when universities are under some pressure, both in terms of funding and in the context of the changing regulatory landscape. But there will also be opportunities ahead, and I wish him well.

Hugh Brady has been seen by some as a very controversial President, but it is undeniable that UCD grew hugely in stature and influence during his term of office. It will be interesting to see what he will do next.

Summer schools

July 24, 2010

You know it’s summer in Ireland when June’s relatively good weather has turned into wind and rain and when you start to read reports about the MacGill Summer School. Reading reports is as far as this has gone for me, as I have never been at it – so maybe that should be my ambition for next year. Heavens, I don’t even know whether you can just turn up or need to be invited.

Anyway, this year’s programme has been on the theme of ‘Reforming the Republic’, which is a kind of fashionable topic right now, as it tens to allow anyone and everyone to indulge in their whinge of choice. However, the reports of the event have been interesting, and individual speakers have pursued ideas and thoughts that could well be helpful as we try to work our way back to a better state of the nation.

On Thursday there was a session on education reform, and this was used by Hugh Brady, President of UCD, to set out the case for tuition fees (and point to the collateral damage caused by ‘free fees’ to university car parking). In addition, he warned that it may no longer be feasible for universities to increase student intake in the light of the funding problems they face. The risks we run by not facing up to the funding of Irish higher education and the return of fees was also addressed a day later, on Friday, by former EU Commissioner Peter Sutherland.

The still developing Irish tradition of summer schools is quite unique, as far as I am aware – and their capacity to stimulate informed national debate is hugely valuable. It is a practice we should nurture.