National Competitiveness Council – Statement on Education and Training

“Education is central to our ability to improve our quality of life and wellbeing through success in selling goods and services on international markets. The quality of education outcomes is central to national competitiveness. Ireland’s education system has been a key contributor to economic growth and improvements in living standards in recent years. We need to have one of the best education and research systems in the world to drive economic recovery. This Statement on Education and Training outlines priority recommendations to enhance Ireland’s education and training system.”

See here for the full report, published by the National Competitiveness Council on 9 March. The recommendations on Higher Education (as summarised in the press release) are:

“It is vital to clearly identify the expected outcomes to be achieved by the sector over the next decade and set an agreed vision to provide higher education institutions with the autonomy and funding required to achieve these outcomes.

“Higher education tuition fees should be reinstated in conjunction with a revised student maintenance grant, a universal student loan system and targeted tuition waivers based on both income and assets to ensure that lower and lower-middle income families are not disadvantaged.

“Greater specialisation and amalgamation of courses among Irish HEIs is required in order to reach critical mass.

“Greater use of competitive funding mechanisms would yield efficiency improvements in the delivery of higher level education.”

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