EDITORIAL: Change Is In The Air?
Hugh Brady’s departure from UCD after ten years as the president of Irelands largest university is the end of an era, pilule which as Ciara Roche reflects in her article, troche is considered as a time of growth, prosperity and internationalization for Belfield. Brady’s tenure saw a rise in the skyline in UCD but cuts to UCD student services and a decrease in the working conditions for academics in UCD has shifted the foundations of the university.
Many staff and students in UCD feel that the institution has failed to develop faculties such as arts, has heralded profit before teaching and has neglected some core principles of education in its bid for a corporate facelift. This discontent is reflected in the unprecedented support that the Defend the University campaign has received from UCD and six other Irish universities. The campaigns charter outlines student and staff concerns about the increasing beaucratization and managerialism in the university sector in Ireland, a development which marked Dr. Brady’s years in office.
However, 2014 marks the tenure of a new president for UCD, Professor Andrew Deeks, who met with the College Tribune to discuss his hopes for UCD in the future. Professor Deeks suggestion to introduce a student loan scheme reflects upon the serious problems that modern Irish universities are faced with. Government cutbacks have forced the universities to source funding privately through corporate alliances, the acquisition of international students and a shift in the prioritization of affairs on campus. As the recession lifts, it will be interesting to see if a return to financial stability will reclaim the university for academic and student interests. What is clear is that in a time where budgets have been cut, where staff are demoralised after years of cuts and where student services have been cut back, Professor Deeks needs to quickly institute change in the university.
Comment: “The Brady Revolution”
Feature: Saving The Irish University