Ministers announce capital funding to support Apprenticeship Programmes

Posted in Governance and administration on July 10th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD, together with the Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, and Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation and Research and Development, John Halligan TD today announced capital funding of just over €8 million for 10 Institutes of Technology …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 10 July]

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Row over status of third level facilities brewing

Posted in Governance and administration on June 19th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Department of Education looks set to become embroiled in a political row over a Government policy that might allow a single institute of technology become a technological university. The department is determined that two or more institutes of technology (IoTs) must merge in order for technological university (TU) status, despite a stipulation in last year’s Programme for Government that an exception might be made to that requirement …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 19 June]

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Ministers Bruton and Halligan launch 6,471 free higher education places under Springboard+

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on May 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD, together with the Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills, John Halligan TD, launched over 6,400 new free education places under springboard+ 2017.The courses are targeted at jobseekers and those in employment or self-employment who wish to upskill, reskill or cross skill in the Biopharma/Med Tech and ICT sectors …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 25 May]

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Minister Bruton and Minister Halligan welcome latest rolling review project for the Higher Education Sector

Posted in Research on May 23rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Higher Education Authority (HEA) and Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) are to commission a review of Intellectual Property (IP) policies and their implementation and the policies and procedures in the HEIs for the management of Conflicts of Interest in respect of the commercialisation of intellectual property …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 22 May]

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PAC tell John Halligan to clarify criticism of group for examining WIT financial issues

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on April 14th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Dáil’s Public Accounts Committee has told junior minister for skills John Halligan to clarify why he criticised the group for examining financial issues at Waterford IT, amid claims of an attempt to block any investigation that may damage his constituency …” (more)

[Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Irish Examiner, 14 April]

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‘We can’t have every minister firing out statements willy-nilly’: John Halligan asked to clarify criticism of PAC

Posted in Governance and administration on April 13th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is to write to Junior Minister for Skills and Training, John Halligan to ask him to clarify a statement he made regarding the questioning of Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT). Officials from the college appeared before the PAC last week …” (more)

[, 13 April]

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Minister John Halligan defends WIT President’s reputation

Posted in Governance and administration on April 12th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Minister of State John Halligan has warned that any incorrect suggestions of impropriety could have a destabilising effect on Waterford Institute of Technology at a critical point in its campaign for University status …” (more)

[WLR FM, 10 April]

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Ministers Bruton and Halligan announce the launch of the Irish Research Council’s €2.5m Frontier Research (LAUREATE) Programme

Posted in Research on April 6th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD, and Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, John Halligan TD, today (Thursday) announced the launch of the Irish Research Council’s €2.5 Million Frontier Research Programme, which will be titled the Irish Research Council’s Laureate Awards. The Programme will aim to attract world class researchers to Ireland …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 6 April]

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Science Foundation Ireland – North-South Collaboration

Posted in Research on February 17th, 2017 by steve

IrelandSeán Sherlock (Cork East, Labour): To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of SFI awards that have been made to HEIs for collaborations between the North and South under the CSET, SRC, PICA and PIYRA programmes; the details of the awards for the years 2015 and 2016 showing which HEIs and research teams benefitted from these awards, in tabular form …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 15 February]

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Minister Halligan announces €34.5M in funding for the Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative

Posted in Research on January 17th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Minister Halligan has announced funding of €34.5m for the third phase of Enterprise Ireland’s Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative (TTSI) which serves to bolster the capability within the knowledge transfer system in Ireland ….” (more)

[Merrion Street, 16 January]

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Courses see 80% leave live register

Posted in Governance and administration on December 29th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Government-backed training courses saw 80% of those who participants leave the live register over four years, a new report has found. Meanwhile, Skills Minister John Halligan hailed the number of women in Springboard+ linked technology training schemes …” (more)

[Cormac McQuinn, Independent, 29 December]

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Govt announce more than 5,800 free places for jobseekers in higher education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 15th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“The Government has announced more than 5,800 free higher education places for jobseekers. Almost 700 are part-time, two-year ICT Conversion Courses …” (more)

[, 15 June]

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Higher Education: Legislation Programme for the Current Session

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 8th, 2016 by steve

IrelandThe Government has now published its Legislation Programme: Current Session (here), with very few surprises after the Organisation and Current Issues document of barely a month ago (here), as discussed in Eoin O’Dell’s blog. As was already public, the Technological Universities Bill (debated before the election) has now been restored to the order paper; presumably the plan is to push on with it much as before, though the need to placate some independent TDs (notably John Halligan of Waterford) may lead to a re-think of its most controversial aspect – that ITs can only upgrade to Technological Universities if they have first undergone a merger. In practical terms this means that the TU4Dublin (Dublin IT, IT Blanchardstown, IT Tallaght) will very probably appear quite soon, though all else is still to be fought over.

That aside, there is no 3rd-level-specific legislation on the ‘urgent’ list; none has been labelled ‘Priority Legislation for Publication This Session’.  Other proposals are mentioned but are still bubbling under, and are evidently not regarded as compelling for now:

  • Higher Education (Reform) Bill: To modernise the legislative framework underpinning the governance and functions of the Higher Education Authority and the governance structures of the universities. Status: ‘Heads are currently being drafted’.
  • Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Amendment) Bill: To amend the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 to address some issues that have arisen regarding the scope of QQI’s responsibilities in relation to recognition of awards and regulation of private and voluntary providers, to ensure adequate protection of enrolled learners where providers discontinue a programme, and to give greater authority to Institutes of Technology to award Level 9 qualifications. Status: ‘Work is underway in Department’.
  • Universities (Amendment) Bill: To ensure compliance with government guidelines on remuneration, allowances, pensions and staffing numbers in the University sector. ‘Heads approved in October 2012. Drafting underway’. (This last has been hanging around for some years now without being progressed; I remain of the view that its only function is as a scarecrow for universities tempted to breach financial guidelines, and that there is no serious plan to enact it.)

Onwards and upwards …

The Blogmeister

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John Halligan vows to get rid of ‘unfair’ JobBridge

Posted in Governance and administration on May 21st, 2016 by steve

Ireland“John Halligan has said he will do everything in his power as a junior minister to get rid of the ‘unfair’ and much ‘abused’ JobBridge scheme …” (more)

[Elaine Loughlin, Irish Examiner, 21 May]

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Waterford TD confident WIT can stand alone in Uni bid

Posted in Governance and administration on May 12th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Waterford Independent TD John Halligan says he was the one who insisted that the requirement for IT’s to merge in order to gain university status be removed …” (more)

[WLR FM, 9 May]

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A good day for the University of the South East campaign – no mergers and no Jan O’Sullivan and Tom Boland

Posted in Governance and administration on May 8th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“A good day for the University of the South East campaign – no mergers and no Jan O’Sullivan and Tom Boland. John Halligan announced on Facebook that … ‘I have also secured a commitment that the need to merge with another IT will be taken out of the criteria for Technological University Status’ …” (more)

[The John Halligan Facebook post is here]
[University of the South East Campaign, 7 May]

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Third Level Funding

Posted in Governance and administration on April 23rd, 2015 by steve

IrelandDeputy John Halligan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the funding that was allocated by the Higher Education Authority to each third level institute in 2014 …” (more)

[Dáil Éireann Written Answers, 21 April]

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Institutes of Technology: Waterford IT and IT Carlow

Posted in Governance and administration on March 28th, 2015 by steve

IrelandJohn Halligan (Waterford, Independent): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the projected cost of the proposed merger between Waterford Institute of Technology and Carlow Institute of Technology; if parallel management structures will be retained at each institute after the merger; the projected cost of retaining parallel management structures at each institution; the amount that has been spent to date by each college on due diligence on the proposed merger; the amount the State will contribute to the cost of the proposed merger; and if she will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Written answers, 26 March]

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Minister ‘can’t get involved’ in ITs row

Posted in Governance and administration on February 12th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Education Minister Jan O’Sullivan says she cannot get involved in the dispute in which lecturers at institutes of technology in Cork and Tralee are moving towards industrial action over a planned merger. The Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) has lodged a dispute …” (more)

[Niall Murray, Irish Examiner, 11 February]

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University ambition ‘kicked down the road’

Posted in Governance and administration on January 20th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Independent TD John Halligan believes the university question for Waterford will be ‘kicked down the road’ until after the next general election …” (more)

[Dermot Keyes, Munster Express, 20 January]

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