Official Responses to Our Requests for Grade Data

 

Further to your emails and letter, I regret that the Institute does not currently have the resources available to compile the data required to address your specific query.

Diarmuid O’Callaghan PhD., Registrar, IT Blanchardstown

 

Good afternnon. I am sorry that it has taken me so long to respond, IADT will not be providing this information to you at present. My understanding is that this information is available from Hetac.

Dr Annie Doona, Registrar, IADT

 

HETAC is not in possession of the data in the format you specified. As I have indicated to you, HETAC has grade data which was submitted by the IoTs for the purposes of conducting the First Destinations survey. The data identified the learners’ personal details – name, gender, address along with award and grade. To facilitate your request and process this data for a different purpose, HETAC must secure the permission of the Registrars. In the event of this being forthcoming, HETAC must reformat this material into the structure you require.

Ian McKenna, Head of Function, HETAC

 

On foot of your earlier letter we arranged a workshop with you here in LIT. Our staff were impressed by your data collection, but concerned by the lack of rigor in the conclusions drawn. A rigorous and comprehensive research study of the massification of education in Ireland could be of benefit. However, the nature and methodology of the study would need to ensure quality of research, with the study itself undertaken by an objective and reputable party. It is not clear that the Network for Irish Educational Standards is such a body. Recent public pronouncements by the network and the network website raise questions about the objectivity of its research. Nor does the network appear to have a Research & Ethics Policy to guide the quality of its work. Limerick IT provides information annually to HETAC/HEA on student numbers and grades. This information is also provided to the general public and the media under Freedom of Information. Moreover, within the parameters of Data Protection legislation, Limerick IT is willing to provide information to a reputable organization to carry out an agreed national study of the massification of higher education in Ireland. On receipt of the assurances sought above Limerick IT would be willing to provide data for a study.

Terry Twomey, Registrar, LIT.

 

This institute has a policy of supporting research in all areas. We are particularly interested in supporting research into the delivery of educational services. However to maintain our standards we require any research done on campus or done with our data to conform to basic ethical and methodological standards. Any requests for access to data, students or staff by our own staff or students or by any external body must go through our ethical procedures. We also will accept the ethical clearance from another reputable institution. If you have such a clearance please submit it and we will be happy to supply the data. Alternatively please submit your research proposal and we will put it through our procedures. Could I point out that the data you require is also available from HETAC. I would have thought that that source might deliver data which might allow direct comparison between institutes and years as they are submitted in a standard form from all institutes and have been for a considerable period.

Stephen McManus, Dundalk IT

 

On foot of your earlier letter I discussed this request with sectoral colleagues. The shared commitment to the maintenance of standards is evident and your Network’s voice echoes anecdotal report that the massification of education has come at a price. I’m open to supporting a comprehensively researched and agreed study into the matter but would not wish to see a series of public pronouncements that can serve only to undermine confidence in a system of education that, whatever its faults, has served this country well. In stating this, I am speaking only for Athlone Institute of Technology. This institute is willing to supply information for an agreed study but would welcome some indication of how this might best be managed.

Dr Joseph Ryan, Academic Registrar, Athlone IT