Archive for Schools

Back to School

Posted in Biographical, Covid-19, Education, Maynooth with tags , , , , on August 26, 2020 by telescoper

News that primary and secondary schools in Ireland are re-opening this week reminded me of this picture I saw a year ago:

I suppose the items on display there provide one way of dealing with the stress of worrying whether re-opening will result in a large increase in Covid-19 cases!

Meanwhile the Third Level sector is also preparing to re-open. Although we have another month to go before teaching is supposed to restart at Maynooth University, I’m already getting quite a few emails from students asking what things are going to be like when it resumes in September. All I can answer is what our plans are, but whether or not we can put those plans into practice depends crucially on things outside my control, including local factors (such as the number of students taking each module) and national factors (especially the restrictions intended to prevent the spread of Covid-19).

On the first matter we’ll have to wait until students register which, for first years will be very late in the day because of the delayed leaving certificate results this year. We will know a bit sooner about returning students, but even for them it will be a couple of weeks or so.

The national picture is even more uncertain. As of yesterday, the average number of new Covid-19 cases per day over the last 7 days was an uncomfortably high 103.6:

Over the next month will the local lockdown in Kildare carry on? What will be the impact of schools’ reopening? Will the national Covid-19 picture improve or deteriorate? Although at this stage we plan to resume (partly) campus-based teaching on September 28th, but we have to accept that if things take a turn for the worse we might not be able to do that and will instead have to go online. We’ll just have to wait and see.

That doesn’t help students, of course, because they have to make decisions about accommodation and travel. It’s a very awkward and stressful situation for them but I think the only way to approach the queries I’m getting is to tell the truth. Sometimes “I don’t know” is the only honest answer.

At least my own preparations are proceeding. I’ve just had my own tensor barrier put in. This is intended to deter people from wandering into my office and spreading their germs. I don’t think the installation is finished yet, however, as it doesn’t seem to be connected to the mains electricity.

Cardiff Schools and Colleges

Posted in Education with tags , , , , , , on June 25, 2012 by telescoper


There was a mighty kerfuffle around these parts last week, stirred by an email from the Vice-Chancellor “designate”, Prof. Colin Riordan. The incoming Vee-Cee doesn’t take over until September, but he’s clearly planning to do some pre-emptive reorganization.

The Cardiff University is currently divided into academic Schools and administrative Directorates. There are 27 Schools, including Physics & Astronomy where I work. The current system is a bit unusual in that the Heads of these Schools report directly to the Vice-Chancellor. Some other universities have an extra organization layer on the academic side, sometimes called Faculties.  Cardiff University used to have faculties, actually, but it lost them some time ago. The same could be said for many of its staff, come to think of it.

Anyway, Prof. Riordan has decided that he doesn’t want to have to talk to 27 Heads of School and has proclaimed that Cardiff will have a new structure consisting of three Faculties Colleges into which the existing schools will be grouped in thuswise fashion:

 

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Cardiff Business School

Cardiff School of City and Regional Planning

Cardiff School of English, Communication and Philosophy

Cardiff School of European Languages, Translation and Politics

Cardiff School of History, Archaeology and Religion

Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies

Cardiff Law School

Cardiff Centre for Lifelong Learning

School of Music

Cardiff School of Social Sciences

School of Welsh

College of Biomedical and Life Sciences

School of Biosciences

School of Dentistry

School of Healthcare Studies

School of Medicine

Cardiff School of Nursing and Midwifery Studies

School of Optometry and Vision Sciences

Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Wales Deanery / School of Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education

School of Psychology

College of Physical Sciences

Welsh School of Architecture

Cardiff School of Chemistry

Cardiff School of Computer Science and Informatics

School of Earth and Ocean Sciences

Cardiff School of Engineering

Cardiff School of Mathematics

School of Physics and Astronomy

I didn’t realise before that some Schools are called “Cardiff School of….” or even “Welsh School of…” and others just “School of…”. I wonder why? Anyway, you can see that we’re now in the College of Physical Sciences along with Chemistry, Engineering etc and, um, Architecture. The new arrangement may also provide me with an opportunity to find out what “Informatics” means…

Having these new-fangled Colleges means that there are positions available as Heads thereof, and existing Heads of Schools have been invited to apply, hence a flurry of CV polishing.

Fortunately for all concerned, I’m not eligible.