Date Published: 17-Mar-2011
By Dara Bradley
Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) will abolish an exams appeals board that was being abused by some students in order to have fail marks upgraded to pass, the Galway City Tribune has learned.
Disbanding the Aegrotat Appeals Board forms part of a major shake-up of the institute’s new procedures in relation to the handling of exam cheats, student appeals and improving standards within the college following a series of damaging revelations in this newspaper.
The Aegrotat Board was set up in GMIT in 2006 to review cases of impaired student performance immediately prior to and during exams. For example, if students were ill or suffered family bereavement at the time of exams they could appeal their results to this board.
But lecturers had become increasingly exasperated that students were abusing this review mechanism. In one recent instance, Dr Gay Keaveney, a chemistry lecturer with 32 years experience within GMIT’s School of Science, complained that the Aegrotat Board had upgraded four students’ fail marks (8.5%, 8.5%, 14% and 18.5%) to pass even though the external examiner “agreed that there was nothing in what they had written that would warrant them getting a pass”.
In a statement this week the college said the Academic Council of GMIT has “recommended to the Governing Body that the Aegrotat Board be dissolved”. This recommendation is expected to be ‘rubber-stamped’ by the Governing Body at a meeting on March 31.
The abolishment of the Aegrotat Board means that student representatives will have less influence on whether or not students have their exam marks upgraded on appeal. Students always had two Student Union representatives on the Aegrotat Board but will not be represented on the Examinations Board.
GMIT Students Union Vice-President, Joe O’Connor, said he had no comment to make when contacted by the Galway City Tribune. The Examinations Board is seen by lecturers as a far more democratic way of dealing with reviews.
Another major shift in policy to be introduced is that students will no longer be allowed to progress into the next year of their course without having passed all subjects.
Up to now, bizarrely, there had been cases where students advanced to their third and final years even though they hadn’t passed certain subjects in semesters in their first and second years of study at GMIT. This practice will no longer be allowed.
For more on this story, see the Galway City Tribune.
Galway County VEC Chief takes High Court case
Date Published: 07-May-2013
The High Court is hearing arguments from the state in an action brought by two VEC bosses who are challenging the loss of an annual allowance worth 12 and a half thousand euro.
Former president of the GAA Joe McDonagh who’s the CEO of County Galway VEC and Dr Katie Sweeney, CEO of Mayo VEC, say a special Transport Liaison Officers Allowance should not have been cut, even though that part of their role no longer operates.
Lawyers for the Department of Education deny the allowance is part of their pay.
The case is in the context of planned changes within the VEC system under the Croke Park agreement.
Planning go ahead for community facility in Doughiska
Date Published: 09-May-2013
A hotel in the city is to be changed into a community facility.
Planning permission has been granted to DRA Community Development Company Limited to redevelop the ‘Racing Lodge Hotel’ in Doughiska.
It’s planned to use the building for community, educational and pastoral use.
Planners have attached 4 conditions to the development, including the stipulation that all uses at the building be on a not-for-profit basis.
Galway call for Transport Minister to intervene in bus strike
Date Published: 13-May-2013
City Councillor Michael Crowe is calling on the Transport Minister Leo Vradkar to urgently intervene to end strike action by Bus Eireann in Galway.
Major travel disruption is expected in Galway and nationwide as the national strike enters its second day.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing their picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city.
It’s understood up to 80 Galway workers took part in the picket on rotational rosters yesterday.
Speaking on Galway Talks, City Cllr Michael Crowe said Minister Vradkar needs to take urgent action to intervene so that transport services can be restored.