Leftist students for social progress.

Month: June 2022 (Page 2 of 2)

QS Rankings are Bullshit

University league rankings are infused with a corporate ethos that push the neoliberalization of our institutions and seek to pit them against each other in cookie-cutter, numerical categories that reflect nothing about real conditions on-the-ground.

They consider research output as the most important factor.

We might as well be article-producing robots for all it cares.

Such rankings will never consider mental health supports, which lack at our College so severely that it has 40+ days waiting times, the cost of education, which was just increased by 10% for many over a 4-year period, or staff working conditions and casualization.

Neither will they ever consider that during the pandemic, the number of students in fee arrears shot up from around 20 to 250.

We have to call these surveys for what they are.

The QS ranking system can find its place alongside other forms of fake tools.

QQI, the so-called Quality and Qualifications Ireland, cares about quality of education insofar as the bottom line, how financially viable the way institutions run their courses is. They would not recognize that staff working conditions are student learning conditions and would never recommend making them better to improve our education.

StudentSurvey.ie is a corporate survey that pushes the same cookie-cutter logic as QS, and its equivalent the National Student Survey (NSS) is boycotted in the U.K. for corporatizing universities and raising tuition fees.

National Student Engagement Programme (NsTEP), a joint initiative of the QQI, Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Union of Students Ireland (USI) and other so-called partnerships are fake. While they are taking away student representation on governing bodies of 60% of universities with the HEA Bill 2022, they pretend to “strengthen student engagement in decision-making across Irish higher education”. It is disgraceful.

Such initatives are empty promises on paper, like the Student Partnership Agreement (SPA) at Trinity, which seeks to reduce student representation into mere professionalized inputs into the bureaucratic machine rather than strengthen in so it can challenge the sociopolitical order of the world. It is great PR for those in charge but useless for students and staff.

Unfortunately, the USI and other stakeholders swear by these tools. This is unfortunate. We must have the political vision to imagine otherwise, a world in which it is truly the community voices that matter and not the fake initatives of the corporate world.

Who is against student representation? (HEA Bill 2022)

  • At a meeting of the Joint Committee on Further Education, student unions through the USI proposed to amend the HEA Bill 2022 to allow 2 to 3 student representatives instead of 2 on governing bodies.
  • This way, student unions like TCDSU would not lose that many officers on Board in the time of the aftershock of a pandemic, financial troubles and a mental health crisis.
  • Amendment 151 was voted down by 6 to 3. Who is on our side?

Simon Harris – Fine Gael – Wicklow – voted AGAINST.

Alan Farrell – Fine Gael – Dublin Finglas – voted AGAINST.

Paul Kehoe – Fine Gael – Wexford – voted AGAINST.

Jim O’Callaghan – Fianna Fáil – Dublin Bay South – voted AGAINST.

Pádraig O’Sullivan – Fianna Fáil – Cork North-Central – voted AGAINST.

Marc Ó Cathasaigh – Greens – Waterford – voted AGAINST.


Rose Conway-Walsh – Sinn Féin – Mayo – voted FOR.

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire – Sinn Féin – Cork – voted FOR.

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin – Labour – Dublin Bay North – voted FOR.

We will not forget their actions come election time.

Sign the petition!

#StopHEABill22

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