Cowen reassures universities

“Both Taoiseach Brian Cowen and Minister for Education Batt O’Keeffe moved yesterday to reassure the other universities that the new UCD/TCD research merger will not see them marginalised. Mr Cowen said all colleges would have to compete openly for research monies, with no question of ‘ringfenced’ funds for the new innovation alliance. Mr O’Keeffe said the new alliance in no way takes from the opportunities available to the other colleges. ‘The Government’s competitive funding provides opportunity for quality proposals across the system. For instance, there will be no compromise on the principles of quality and competitiveness, allied to independent international assessment, on which the next round of research funding awards will be based.’ The seven university presidents united yesterday to back the UCD/TCD research alliance, despite a week of recrimination between them …” (more)

[Seán Flynn, Irish Times, 12 March]

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