National News in Brief

Record numbers graduate from IT CarlowInstitute of Technology Carlow has seen record numbers graduate this year, according to their President Dr. Patricia Mulcahy.  2,200 graduates were conferred with degrees in the first two weeks of November across the four campuses of Carlow, Wexford, Wicklow and Dublin.Speaking at one of the eleven conferring ceremonies, Mulcahy stated: “We have increased our learner population by over 30 per cent in the past five years to more than 7,000 learners in this academic year, and our graduates by over 50 per cent.”News of the record number of graduates comes as the IT continues to petition to be recognised as a Technological University. The IT was given the green light in 2013 to merge with Waterford IT to become the South-East Technological University.At the conferring ceremonies, Dr Mulcahy also pointed to the high rate of employment for graduates from the IT. She said that the rate is currently at 93 per cent, which is above the national average of 80 per cent.[br]Trinity Consultants get paid €2.8 millionTrinity College Dublin (TCD) paid €2.8 million to external consultants to help with “change management” at the university, according to Irish Times.The Irish Times obtained figures under the Freedom of Information Act, which show that the university paid Clarion Consulting to manage their overhaul of administrative and support services. Trinity had the biggest expense for external consultants among all of the universities in Ireland.The Irish Times were also able to reveal the expenses paid by other universities for external consultancy. They revealed that NUI Galway spent €68,898 on HR consultancy companies during their gender discrimination case from September to June 2014.  Their Freedom of Information request also revealed that UCD paid PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) €55,346 last year. University of Limerick (UL) paid law firm Arthur Cox €154,355 in 2013/14 in a whistleblowers case. They went on to pay them another €121,440 in the nine months leading to June 2015.The Irish Times’ FOI revealed that in total, the seven universities in Ireland spent €24,667,441 on external consultancy fees over a three year period.  A spokesman from the HEA told The Irish Times that they had no objection to external consultancy as long as it was best value for money.[br]UCC Student turned away by health centre after suicide attempt A student from UCD has claimed in a letter to UCC Express, the student newspaper on campus, that they were turned away by the university’s health centre after a suicide attempt.  The letter, which was published anonymously, claimed that they informed reception that they had attempted suicide. Despite this, the student did not see a professional, nor was an appointment made for them to see one.The student wrote in their letter: “I went to the UCC Health Centre and told the person behind the desk I needed to see a doctor.”“I told the person I had tried to kill myself and nothing had changed with the failed attempt. Shortly thereafter, I walked out the door and on to College Road not with an appointment, not with having seen a counsellor but with nothing.”“There were no appointments, no emergency appointments and the person could do nothing for me but direct me to the Mercy A&E.”Michael Byrne, director of Student Health and Wellbeing in UCC responded to the situation. “It is a matter of real concern that this student describes a situation where they felt we weren’t there for him/her when they presented to the department, and that he/she describes that no alternative immediate help was arranged for him/her.”The editor of UCC Express confirmed that they passed on numbers for counselling services to the student.