Taoiseach dismisses UK and US style loan scheme

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on October 14th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Leo Varadkar’s unclear plans for the proposed ‘Student Loan Scheme’ outraged the Union of Students in Ireland, who led the march for publicly funded education in Dublin on October 3rd …” (more)

[Cait Caden, Irish Times, 13 October]

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Resignation, not Frustration, as Higher Education Assesses Budget 2018

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

Ireland“Yesterday’s Budget was a low-key affair all round. Outside the lobby of Buswells there was the usual hustle and bustle, but across the country, there was little of the usual frenzied anticipation. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, themselves were playing down expectations – this was a ‘balance-the-books’ budget, not a glamorous giveaway …” (more)

[Róisín Power, University Times, 11 October]

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Avoiding excessive student debt

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on October 3rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Last year in Ireland the Cassells Report (Investing in National Ambition: A Strategy for Funding Higher Education) offered three options for funding higher education. The third of these (deferred payment of fees through income-contingent loans) was clearly seen as the best option …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 2 October]

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Varadkar takes UK-style loans for student fees off the table

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on September 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Taoiseach Leo Varadkar shot down a British or US-style student loan scheme that would leave graduates being ‘saddled with enormous debts’. The future funding of the university system is under scrutiny with the Cassells Report putting student loans forward as an option of boosting cash-flow. But there remains a lack of clarity on how the soaring cost of third-level education will be funded …” (more)

[Alan O’Keeffe and Katherine Donnolly, Independent, 27 September]

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Taoiseach addresses education funding at Trinity event

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on September 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said while third level students should make a contribution toward their education, he could not support a system that left them repaying substantial debts …” (more)

[Mark Hilliard, Irish Times, 27 September]

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I Won’t Saddle Students With ‘Enormous Debt’, Varadkar Tells Trinity on 425th Anniversary

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on September 26th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“In the 425th anniversary of Trinity’s foundation, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told an audience in the College that he couldn’t support a funding model that would see students ‘saddled with enormous debt’. The thorny issue of a funding model has dominated debate in the higher education sector over the last several years …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath, University Times, 26 September]

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I Get the Message, Varadkar Tells Students Over Concerns About Summer Abortion Referendum

Posted in Governance and administration on August 4th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The government has promised to take into consideration student concerns about a referendum on the eighth amendment being held in the summer, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has told students at a talk in Queen’s University Belfast …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath, University Times, 4 August]

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A Summer Repeal Referendum Would Suppress the Student Voice

Posted in Governance and administration on August 3rd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“No doubt many people will have now heard that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar last Friday announced his intention to potentially hold the repeal referendum next June or July. I am currently calling it the repeal referendum, as are many people, despite the fact we have no clear indication if we will actually be asked whether we want to repeal anything or not …” (more)

[Annie Hoey, University Times, 2 August]

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Mary Mitchell O’Connor won’t be drawn on €16k top-up

Posted in Governance and administration on July 18th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Super junior minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor has refused to say if she is still seeking a €16,288 salary top-up linked to the role despite the fact that the payment would need new legislation to be passed by the Dáil. The Fine Gael TD declined to clarify the situation on three occasions during a media briefing at the Department of Education, insisting the issue is ‘very low down on my agenda’ …” (more)

[Fiachra Ó Cionnaith, Irish Examiner, 18 July]

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€6.6bn later … Atlantic Philanthropies holds final Irish board meeting

Posted in Governance and administration on June 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has praised Atlantic Philanthropies which is holding its last Irish board meeting after a 30-year grant allocation programme which saw it award amounts totalling €6.6 billion. Mr Varadkar praised the organisation for its contribution to peace in Northern Ireland, support for healthcare, equality, and third-level education, and its help in changing attitudes to the LGBT community …” (more)

[Colm Keena, Irish Times, 26 June]

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Wary of Loans, but not Progressive Enough for State Funded, Varadkar Might Leave Education in Limbo

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

Ireland“First came the hope, then the headaches. Even the weathered trade unionists and opposition politicians allowed themselves some optimism this week when Leo Varadkar announced the creation of a new ministerial position with responsibility for higher education. The ensuing furore over the creation of a new super junior ministry, however, has suggested some of this optimism might be misplaced …” (more)

[University Times, 18 June]

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FF to block Mary Mitchell O’Connor appointment as ‘super junior’

Posted in Governance and administration on June 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Fianna Fáil will not support legislation to create a third super junior role for Mary Mitchell O’Connor. Ms O’Connor was appointed as a Minister of State with responsibility for higher education in Wednesday’s re-shuffle by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. The position will allow her to sit at the Cabinet table …” (more)

[Sarah Bardon, Irish Times, 16 June]

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New legislation required for Minister Mitchell O’Connor to receive extra €16k allowance

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on June 16th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“New legislation will be required to allow Fine Gael TD Mary Mitchell O’Connor hold the role of super junior minister in Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s cabinet. Minister for Finance Pachal Donohoe confirmed that the legislation would be required …” (more)

[TheJournal.ie, 16 June]

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Cabinet Manoeuvres Make Mockery of Government Commitment to Higher Education – Byrne

Posted in Governance and administration on June 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education and Skills Thomas Byrne TD says he is deeply disappointed in the manner in which Higher Education has been treated on the Taosieach’s first day in office. Deputy Byrne made the comments after it emerged the Taoiseach decided at the last minute to assign Deputy Mary Mitchell O’Connor as Minister of State with responsibility for Higher Education after she took issue with being offered the Equality and Law Reform portfolio …” (more)

[Fianna Fáil, 15 June]

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Bruton Returns and Mitchell O’Connor Given Third-Level Responsibility, as Funding Decisions Loom

Posted in Governance and administration on June 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Richard Bruton has been reappointed Minister for Education and Skills in Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s cabinet, while Mary Mitchell O’Connor has been given responsibility for higher education – a move that has been welcomed by the higher education sector …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath and Kathleen McNamee, University Times, 14 June]

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Mitchell O’Connor biggest loser in reshuffle

Posted in Governance and administration on June 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Former jobs minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor was the biggest loser in the new Taoiseach’s Cabinet. It emerged last night that Ms O’Connor was initially offered a super-junior minister position with responsibility for equality and law reform. However, she expressed concerns about the portfolio, forcing Mr Varadkar into a rethink. The Dún Laoghaire TD, who is a former primary school principal, was then given the option of a role in higher education …” (more)

[Cormac McQuinn, Independent, 15 June]

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Mary Mitchell O’Connor demoted in Leo Varadkar’s Cabinet

Posted in Governance and administration on June 15th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Mary Mitchell O’Connor was the only casualty in Leo Varadkar’s Cabinet reshuffle following his appointment as Taoiseach on Wednesday. Eoghan Murphy, Regina Doherty and Michael Ring have been promoted to the senior ministerial ranks with Ms Mitchell O’Connor, who had been minister for enterprise, making way along with the outgoing Enda Kenny and Michael Noonan …” (more)

[Sarah Bardon, Irish Times, 14 June]

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€887m public sector pay deal won’t prevent tax cuts, says Varadkar

Posted in Governance and administration on June 9th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“There will still be money for tax cuts in the next Budget despite a public sector pay deal that will cost €180m next year, incoming Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said. Unions will begin balloting the country’s 250,000 public sector workers in the coming weeks on the proposals, which include regular pay increases until 2020 …” (more)

[Cormac McQuinn, Herald, 9 June]

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Leo Varadkar: Public sector pay deal means ‘it won’t be possible to do all we want in next budget’

Posted in Governance and administration on June 8th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“The incoming Taoiseach has welcomed plans to ballot public workers on a proposed new pay deal. However, Leo Varadkar has conceded that the costs of the new deal will reduce the amount available to spend elsewhere in the Budget …” (more)

[BreakingNews.ie, 8 June]

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Varadkar vows to block public sector from ‘pocketing’ all benefits of recovery

Posted in Governance and administration on November 7th, 2016 by steve

Ireland“Social Protection Minister Leo Varadkar has warned he will resist any attempt to cut social welfare spending in order to facilitate fresh pay demands by public sector workers …” (more)

[Niall O’Connor, Independent, 7 November]

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