EDUCATING ULSTER : Northern Ireland has a chronic shortage of students, whilst Belfast has too many and the west of the province has too few. The solution is obvious.

September marked the annual return of students to their term-time accommodation. And within two days residents of the Holylands had lodged over 150 complaints of anti-social behaviour with Belfast City Council. That university neighbourhood’s term-time population comprises over 90% of students/young people, amounting to an estimated 7,000 in just one square kilometre. It will probably provide little comfort to residents of the Holylands to learn that Northern Ireland (NI) has the lowest provision of university places in the UK. And …

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Tuition Fee Increase Back On The Cards?

Tuition fees could be set to rise in Northern Ireland following budget cuts to the Department of Education and Learning. In an interview with the BBC’s Inside Politics, First Minister Peter Robinson suggested that fees could be increased. “There may well be an opportunity for us to look at tuition fees and see whether that cuts some slack to the universities.”

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A-levels: How to make some lemonade when you get handed a lemon

This is the time of year when students either celebrate success or drown their sorrows as the standard debate takes place about are these exams getting easier? And did Northern Ireland come first? Are you getting into the University of your first choice? It was August 2007 when it my turn to open up that envelope and find out the grades that would determine the next few years of my life. When I was at school, there was an unquestioning …

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University of Ulster: “part of China’s overseas propaganda set-up”

It’s a big day for the University of Ulster as it welcomes senior Chinese Communist Party Politburo member Liu Yandong to officially launch its Confucius Institute. While promoted as independent educational and cultural bodies, the Confucius Institutes have perhaps been more accurately described as “an important part of China’s overseas propaganda set-up.” Who said that? Some external critic of China, no doubt? No, none other than Li Changchun, the propaganda chief of the Chinese Communist Party and the 5th ranked member …

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Analysing government-media relations in NI

Political Studies Association

University of Ulster academics presented a paper on Tuesday which will interest local politicians, media and onlookers when it is published in a journal at a later date. Power, trust and accountability: relationships between government communicators and journalists in Northern Ireland. (Charis Rice, Ian Somerville and John Wilson) I spoke to Charis Rice at the close of this week’s Political Studies Association conference and she explained that she has been interviewing key department officials as well as key politicians to …

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