Cultural Writings


Survey Shows Non-Irish Students and Postgraduate STEM Students have Highest Levels of Engagement

The Irish Survey of Student Engagement held its latest data collection in 2018, and saw a 7% increase in response rate from students, with 38,371 students from twenty seven higher education institutions participating in the survey, and is representative of all courses of study and demographics.

Universities all across Ireland, in addition to the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), encourage students to take part in the annual survey, sometimes even offering incentives to do so. The survey explo

UCD Investing €6.5 million to House 50 per cent More Start-up Companies

Last August, UCD announced a €6.5 million development project to expand the capacity of NovaUCD, the University’s Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs, to increase capacity to house early-stage start-ups by over 50%. The project to renovate and extend the facility’s east courtyard commenced in August 2018 and is expected to be completed by summer this year.

Last August, UCD announced a €6.5 million development project to expand the capacity of NovaUCD, the University’s Centre for New Ventu

Brexit, Irish Higher Education and research: challenges and opportunities

With the uncertainty around Brexit affecting all sectors of the economy, its effect on education in the UK as well as Ireland remains a major unknown. The Higher Education Authority (HEA) has released a report laying out the possible aftermath of Brexit based on currently available information. It plans to update the report as more deciding events occur. Planning for post-Brexit outcomes is necessary to mitigate any negative impact on education in the Republic of Ireland as well as Northern Ireland.

Analysis: Irish Survey of Student Engagement 2017

The results for student-faculty engagement have further improved in 2017, according to the Irish Survey of Student Engagement, and could have stemmed from greater focus on specific aspects of the student experience. One quarter of STEM students report that their coursework emphasized applying facts, theories or methods to practical problems or new situations. This shows a positive score in applicability of course content to real life.

Analysis: The National Access Plan 2015-2019

Increasing levels of participation in third level institutions is a priority of Ireland’s Department of Education and Skills. With skill shortages seen in vital economic sectors, this is of paramount importance to build a generation of skilled human resource for the nation.

Equity of access to higher levels of education for pupils from every socio-economic background is a core objection of the Irish education policy and will serve towards fulfilment of this intention through greater social inte

Funding Higher Education

Investment in higher education is of paramount importance for every economy in order to maintain a productive, skilled workforce. With nearly 223,000 enrolments in various levels of higher education in 2016, it becomes imperative for Irish universities and colleges to have a directed and continuous flow of funds to support the system. The exchequer has forwarded an additional amount of nearly €92.5m towards higher education...

Higher Education: Is It Worth It?

High levels of institutionalised education has undoubtedly become an implicit part of modern-day life, with college education becoming almost synonymous with success in our information-driven global economy. There has been an increase of nearly 20% in the number of entrants into third level institutions in Ireland over the past decade. However, as authorities are working towards higher participation, the exorbitant fee has pushed a considerable crowd out of favour with higher level education..


Chamber Pieces in Literature: Jhumpa Lahiri in Conversation at the Italian Institute for Culture

Jhumpa Lahiri, Pulitzer Prize winning author, graced the Italian Institute for Culture in Dublin on Friday, 8th March. She was in conversation with Professor Cormac Ó Cuilleanáin, former Head of the Department of Italian in Trinity College Dublin, at the launch of The Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories, an anthology compiled by Lahiri. The book contains stories by forty Italian writers, some well-known and some Lahiri’s discoveries, translated into English.

"Print , Protest and the Polls" - A hundred years of women's suffrage

This year marks the century of the Representation of the People’s Act, and Irish Suffragette Movement, when women were first allowed to cast their votes, after decades of demanding this basic right. It is an important occurrence in the history of Irish suffrage, and to commemorate the centenary of the first national female vote in Ireland, the National Print Museum set up a temporary exhibit, “Print, Protest and the Polls”, featuring various print propaganda from the movement on display, including posters, cartoon sketches, postcards and photographs.

The Feminist Resistance and the Modern Dystopia

The model of a dystopia is that of a bleak grey world of tortured, bound souls, ruled by cruel authoritarian powers. Dystopian societies are mostly created in critique of present social and political conditions and incite a sense of probability, however scant, of this becoming a reality. Though most dystopian works feature male leads, a sub-genre known as feminist critical dystopia has evolved since the latter part of the 20th century, that focuses on stories in dystopian settings narrated by a woman.


Avant-garde Eateries in Dublin

The food scene in Dublin, like any other modern city, is increasingly becoming more eclectic. This eclecticism is not only in diverse food options but also in innovative ways of using interesting ingredients in dishes.

Masa on Drury Street catches one’s eye with its minimalist metallic signpost. As you wander in, the functional decor and the tropical garden in the centre makes you wonder if the food will be as Mexican as the interior. Indeed! Their range of delightfully low priced tacos and que

Your Guide to Global Cuisines: Korean

This time, the focus is on cuisine from the Far East: South Korea. South Korean food is one of the most flavourful cuisines on the globe. Contrary to widespread perception, it is not limited simply to dumplings and kimchi; rather it offers a wide range of unique techniques and fermented preparations. The intensity of flavour in South Korean dishes comes from use of simple but sharp seasonings like scallions, dried seafood seasoning (jeotgal) and chili (gochugaru).

A(n) Ice Surprise

The festive season is upon us, and with it comes parties and gatherings where people are more often than not, drinking alcohol. There are some of us who are averse to downing ten helpings of mulled wine. Fret not friends, this is a brief guide for those of you who are looking for alternatives to the booze-fest that Christmas can be.

Extensive investigation of a few stores revealed that there are indeed quite a few non-alcoholic options available on the shelf of stores..

The Gin-fluence

If you consider yourself a true spirit connoisseur, you’ve surely taken a dive into the new trend of elegant drinking. That is the skillfully concocted and artistically presented G&T. If the smooth, refreshing gulp of a freshly-made cucumber and mint gin and tonic doesn’t make your worries take a break, nothing can. With as many as 30 gin brands being distilled in Ireland now, and certain growth in the coming years, it is undoubtedly the next big thing in the realm of spirits. Gone are the days

A Cheapskate Foodie’s Guide to Dublin

I’m sure you’ll all be hunting for easy-on-the-pocket food to fill you up after a night out, to take out that new crush of yours, or simply to find a decent meal to stop embarrassing stomach grumbles. Here’s a mini guide to the best places on-campus and in Dublin’s city centre that’ll leave you with enough change for another pint.

On-campus there are many options such as Centra’s legendary chicken roll, which, for a mere €2.95, will fill you up aplenty. UCDSU lunch deals, at €4.50, are good ‘un

Theatre + Fashion Reviews

Vegan Fashion Week: ethically elegant

We, as consumers, make use of enormous quantities of resources. Fashion is one of our most conspicuous consumption, as beyond the basic level of comfort, it is also associated with notions of self-identity and social conformity. Trends are followed, some things become ‘in’, as they phase ‘out’ others. Such fast fashion has created an easily disposable form of consumption and instant gratification, wherein consumers are encouraged to gorge on whatever is ‘in’ and dispose of ‘out’ trends.

An Electrifying Rock Opera: American Idiot by UCD Musical Society

UCD Musical Society ran an adaptation of Green Day’s jukebox musical, American Idiot, from the 20th to the 24th November. The musical follows three young men, Johnny, Tunny and Will, who are in high rebellious spirits and eager to leave home. The songs depict each boy’s individual journey as they start sobering up to realities of a life away from home. One could feel the tension emanating from the performers as soon as you entered the performance hall.

Review: Tom Odell’s Jubilee Road: the star at the top of your album tree

Tom Odell's latest album deserves to be on the top of your weekend playlist. His signature style of mixing instrumental brilliance and variable pitches is preserved in this new track-list and showcases the versatility of his voice. From melancholy jazz tunes such as ‘You’re Gonna Break My Heart Tonight’, to the soothing lullaby-like lyrics in ‘Jubilee Road’ and uplifting upbeats of ‘China Dolls’ this album has songs for varied tastes.

H&M X Moschino: High Street Haute Couture

The fashion world has seen a myriad of miracles and Moschino’s collaboration with retail giant, H&M is another such dazzling occurrence. Jeremy Scott, Italian fashion house Moschino’s Creative Director, has collaborated with H&M. The collection is a fulfilment of the liberal designer’s vision, telling that he wanted to make his designs accessible to the ‘masses’, with pieces from the range expected to cater to all budgets.

Review: Ready Player One

Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Zak Penn, Ernest Cline
Starring: Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Letitia Wright, Tye Sheridan, Lena Waithe, Mark Rylance
Release Date: 30th March

Based on the eponymous novel by Ernest Cline and set in the year 2045, Ready Player One is a film depicting how humans and virtual reality will plausibly interact in the near future.It starts off with the introduction of a nerdy, seemingly underprivileged Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), jumping from one campervan to the next in a neighbourhood in Columbus, Ohio, straight out of a dystopian novel. Sliding under a pile of trashed cars to his ‘cave,’ we watch as he plugs into a VR system which takes him into OASIS, a virtual world created by James Halliday (Mark Rylance) where “literally anything can happen.”