Items this week:
(1) I'm currently recovering from a late night at the NUI Galway Annual Gala Banquet. The evening was very enjoyable, lots of opportunity for friendly chat and it was good to see the student volunteering activity of the ALIVE programme being selected as the theme for the evening. The alumni awards were also being televised for a slot in Ardan next week on TG4.
(2) The Education Guardian this week reported that there is mounting pressure from the campaign to publish in open access journals, particularly research that has been funded from the public purse. The article begins with a quote from an academic journal publisher "Ours is the best of businesses: we get our raw material for free and our customers pay us a year in advance." This topic also appeared on the BBC website.
(3) Meanwhile, this week also saw the official launch of the European Research Council with a budget of 7.5 billion euros to promote "blue skies" research in science, technology and the humanities.
(4) The new President of UCC, Dr. Michael Murphy, called, in the Irish media this week, for a return of third level fees to secure more income for the university sector. A pity, given that other countries have been commenting favourably on Ireland's model! But there you go, sometimes it is difficult to "see ourselves as others see us" as Robert Burns put it!