University teachers concerned about DCU merger

DCU’s merging process with Mater Dei and St Patrick’s College has taken a hit after the Irish Federation of University Teachers (IFUT) expressed their concerns about the plans.

The proposed incorporation of the Church of Ireland College of Education, Mater Dei Institute and St Patricks College into DCU was put forward without prior negotiations with the IFUT. The proposals, due to come into effect for the 2015-2016 academic year, were criticised last week by University staff affected by the change.

Speaking to The College View last week about the issue, IFTU General Secretary Mike Jennings said: “Nobody has explained what needs fixing in regards to this merger. We have this very radical proposal which is going to have a huge impact on the careers of over 200 of our members.”

The Sahlberg report, which advised such changes, also proposed to relocate teacher education facilities of TCD, UCD and the National College of Art and Design to Marino College on Griffith Avenue. This proposal was rejected on the grounds of impracticality.

Speaking about the report, Jennings said, “This was drawn up by people who spent a sum total of three days in Ireland. They drew up this radical transformation programme on the basing of three days. I just think that’s outrageous”.

The Central Applications Office (CAO) has already been informed that the changes will be taking place for the 2015-2016 academic year.

On the potential of the project without IFUT approval Mr Jennings said, “Without our buying into it, it won’t happen and the sooner people realise that, the better”.

The proposal is based on suggestions made in the 2012 Initial Teacher Education (Sahlberg) Report and was based on findings of a team lead by Finnish education expert Pasi Sahlberg.

Michael Sheils McNamee

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