Higher Education Department deletes tweet quoting US president’s advice

Many Twitter users said they believed the tweet sent the wrong message to students beginning their college careers
Higher Education Department deletes tweet quoting US president’s advice

By Dominic McGrath, PA

The Department of Higher Education has come under fire for a tweet that quoted a former US president’s advice on the benefits of education.

On Monday, the department tweeted a quote attributed to US president Theodore Roosevelt: “A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car, but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad.”

Mr Roosevelt, the 26th president of the US, was in office between 1901 and 1909.

Under the quote, the department wrote: “Congratulations and best wishes to all the men and women starting their third-level education today. Enjoy every moment!”

The tweet prompted mockery among Twitter users and appears to have been quickly deleted.

One user described it as an “incredible” message from a Government department.

Another Twitter user said: “Many thanks to the Department of Further and Higher Education for hitting the ground running this morning with this spectacular example of unconscious bias in the wild.

“You’ve just sorted tomorrow’s class for every sociology lecture in the country.”

Many Twitter users indicated that they believed the tweet sent the wrong message to students beginning their college careers.

With the start of the new term, students across the country have been returning to Irish universities and colleges.

Students will be hoping for a relatively normal educational experience in the coming academic year, after the Covid-19 pandemic closed college campuses and forced the vast majority of learning online.

Last week, college students staged a protest outside the Dáil amid growing frustration over the accommodation crisis.

Representatives from the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) have said that thousands of students have been left without a place to live at the start of the new academic year.

The Department has been contacted by the PA news agency for comment on the tweet.

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