Political parties rule out student loans to fund third level

Posted in Governance and administration on January 29th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“All major political parties have ruled out a student loan scheme as a way of funding higher education over the coming years. The comments were made at a debate on the future of higher education involving the spokespeople for the main political parties at Trinity College Dublin on Tuesday moderated by Newstalk’s Shane Coleman …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 28 January]

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Few Revelatory Moments in Tetchy Higher Education Debate

Posted in Governance and administration on January 28th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Higher education’s Cassells report came under scrutiny this afternoon at a third-level education debate held in Trinity, with politicians of all hues quarreling over funding during a debate that saw more arguments about figures and statistics than on the ideas underpinning the future of the sector …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee, Sárán Fogarty, Ciaran Molloy and Emer Moreau, University Times, 28 January]

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Minister admits need for increased funding as parties debate future of higher education

Posted in Governance and administration on January 28th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Representatives from six of Ireland’s main political parties clashed over the future of higher education at a debate held in Trinity today, with significant attention given to the balance between a system funded by taxation or by student fees and the current Fine Gael government’s allocations to higher education, which Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor said were larger than suggested by other parties but conceded that the sector still required ‘extra funding …” (more)

[Lauren Boland and Finn Purdy, Trinity News, 28 January]

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For Third-Level, a Sliver of Election Air-Time But Big Questions Unanswered

Posted in Governance and administration on January 27th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Is the general election campaign rolled on this week, the question of higher education finally received a few slivers of air-time. So far, it’s been abundantly clear that third-level education isn’t top of any party’s agenda, with concrete proposals for the future of the sector still nowhere in sight …” (more)

[University Times, 27 January]

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Fianna Fáil Would Maintain €3,000 College Fee in Government

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on January 23rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Fianna Fáil has pledged an extra €100 million a year in core funding for higher education, but refused to commit to any of the three options outlined in the 2016 Cassells report. The party is also promising a 20% increase in undergraduate state grants, a restoration of postgraduate grants and the maintenance of fees at their current level, Fianna Fáil education spokesperson Thomas Byrne said at a press briefing this morning …” (more)

[Donal MacNamee, University Times, 23 January]

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FF: Higher education fees will be frozen at current level

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on January 23rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Fianna Fáil will spend an additional €100 million per year and freeze higher education fees at their current levels should it be elected, while reducing primary teacher-student ratios to 20:1, the party said. At its education policy launch at party HQ in Dublin …” (more)

[Cianan Brennan, Irish Examiner, 23 January]

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The Big Two Parties on Higher Education – In Their Own Words

Posted in Governance and administration on January 17th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“If we’re to believe the pundits, this election more than most others in Irish politics is a battle of the big two – Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. The conclusion of the parties’ confidence-and-supply deal signalled the end of the uneasy truce that bound them together for three years, and potshots have started flying in both directions as the parties seek to differentiate themselves and pitch to voters …” (more)

[Faye Curran, University Times, 16 January]

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€29 Million Wiped Off Government Spending On SUSI Grants – Byrne

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 12th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education, Thomas Byrne, has questioned why the number of students in receipt of the SUSI grant is declining while the number of students attending third level education is increasing …” (more)

[Fianna Fáil, 12 January]

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Surplus in State training fund set to climb to €1bn in 2020

Posted in Governance and administration on January 6th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Government is facing calls for an ‘urgent review’ of a State training fund after it emerged that the surplus is set to climb to almost €1 billion this year. The scale of the surplus has emerged at a time when the higher education sector claims it is facing a financial ‘crisis’ linked to reduced State investment …” (more)

[Carl O’Brien, Irish Times, 6 January]

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Groundhog Day At The Department Of Education As Govt Re-Announce Third Level Funding

Posted in Governance and administration on November 9th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education, Thomas Byrne has said the constant re-announcement of funding for projects is raising false hopes for third level education. His comments come as the Government held yet another glossy launch for its Human Capital Initiative, a project first announced in 2018 …” (more)

[Fianna Fáil, 9 November]

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University Global Rankings

Posted in Governance and administration on October 19th, 2019 by steve

IrelandThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to develop a strategy to address the falling university rankings …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 17 October]

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Technological Universities Status – Cork IT and IT Tralee

Posted in Governance and administration on October 17th, 2019 by steve

IrelandThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the mechanism by which a Cork Institute of Technology will not take on the debts of IT Tralee in the event that they merge to form a new university; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 15 October]

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Third Level Institutions – Student Numbers

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 10th, 2019 by steve

IrelandThomas Byrne (Meath East, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the third level institutions which have informed his Department of plans to reduce enrolment in the coming years; the institute and planned enrolment reduction; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 9 October]

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Ministers under fire over cost of living comments

Posted in Governance and administration on August 18th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Two Government ministers are under fire for ‘alarming’ comments on the cost of living for students. Craig McHugh, Union of Students in Ireland vice president for the Dublin region, said young people face huge obstacles to university due to rising rents and stagnated student grants …” (more)

[Laura Lynott, Independent, 17 August]

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Minister comes under pressure over lobbying for Susi grants

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on August 16th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Higher Education Minister Mary Mitchell O’Connor has been accused of ‘wink-and-elbow politics’ after she made scores of representations on behalf of students whose Susi application was rejected. The Fine Gael minister wants students around the country to contact her office if their application for a grant is rejected by Susi …” (more)

[Hugh O’Connell, Independent, 16 August]

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FG is slammed for ‘let them eat cake’ attitude to grants and rental costs

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 15th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Government has been heavily criticised for suggesting students should use their Susi grant to cover the cost of accommodation, or go to regional colleges. Fianna Fáil accused Fine Gael of having a ‘let them eat cake’ attitude to higher education costs facing families, as Leaving Cert students receive their first round CAO offers today …” (more)

[Hugh O’Connell, Independent, 15 August]

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Education Minister Abdicates His Responsibility To Tackle Third Level Funding Crisis – Byrne

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education, Thomas Byrne, has said the Minister for Education must not be allowed to wait for the next Government to tackle the tumbling ratings of Ireland’s Universities. Deputy Byrne was speaking following comments made by Minister McHugh where he stated that the Government will not act to address the crisis in higher education in this Dáil …” (more)

[Fianna Fáil, 14 August]

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‘Reform Leaving Cert to bring it into 21st century’ – Ibec says radical overhaul of senior cycle needed to prepare students better for future world of work

Posted in Teaching on August 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“The Leaving Cert must be made more relevant for the 21st century, according to employers. As up to 59,000 students from the class of 2019 received their results, the employers’ group Ibec said reform of senior cycle and careers guidance was necessary to better prepare students for the future world of work …” (more)

[Katherine Donnelly and Evie Kearney, Independent, 14 August]

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Third-level funding reform scrapped until after election due to lack of Dáil majority

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 14th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Plans to tackle the funding crisis in Ireland’s third-level institutions are being scrapped until after the next election as the Government insists the sector already receives significant amounts of taxpayers’ money. Despite universities warning that nearly €140m in extra funding is needed to cater for rising student numbers, the Government signalled yesterday it would not move on the three-year-old Cassells report, which lays out options for the future funding of the sector …” (more)

[Hugh O’Connell, Independent, 14 August]

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No input from Department of Finance in promise to freeze college fees

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on August 12th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Education Minister Joe McHugh’s political promise to freeze college fees for five years was made without any input from the Department of Finance, the Irish Examiner understands. The promise to freeze fees at €3,000 a year for college students was made by Mr McHugh despite ongoing demands from universities for the Government to address a major funding shortfall in the sector …” (more)

[Daniel McConnell, Irish Examiner, 12 August]

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