Covid-19 (Higher Education): Statements

Posted in Governance and administration on January 16th, 2021 by steve

IrelandSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael): With the agreement of the House, I will share my time with the Minister of State, Deputy Niall Collins. I welcome the opportunity to update the House on the impact of Covid-19 on the further and higher education sector. I was a little disappointed that, for the first time in my political career, some Members of the Dáil actually voted not to have me here today for questions and answers. I find that a little bit regrettable, as almost half a million people in this country are in further or higher education …” (more)

[Dáil debates, 14 January]

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Fees – withdrawal from courses

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on December 16th, 2020 by steve

IrelandAnnie Hoey (Labour): I am raising the need to address the issue around higher education funding being potentially lost to students who withdraw from their courses and the knock-on consequences that this will have not only for free fees – a term I use lightly – but also for their access to Student Universal Support Ireland, SUSI, grants …” (more)

[Seanad debates, 15 December]

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Minister Harris welcomes application for TU status from Athlone and Limerick Institutes of Technology

Posted in Governance and administration on November 23rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris today (Monday) welcomed the application to establish a new technological university in the Midlands and Mid-West from Athlone Institute of Technology and Limerick Institute of Technology …” (more)

[gov.ie, 23 November]

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Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science: Statements

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on November 20th, 2020 by steve

IrelandSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael): I very much welcome the opportunity to update the House on some of the work of the new Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science just under five months on from its creation and the formation of the Government. I very much appreciate the support and interest from all sides of the Oireachtas for a new stand-alone Department to place a renewed focus on the further and higher education sectors and enhance and develop research and innovation …” (more)

[Dáil debates, 19 November]

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Third Level Payments

Posted in Governance and administration on November 19th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Niall Collins, Junior Education Minister, talks to Cormac about the €50 million scheme launched today to help third level students …” (audio)

[RTÉ – Drivetime, 19 November]

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Student accommodation policy ‘not working’, says Harris

Posted in Governance and administration on November 12th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The State’s current policy on student accommodation and housing is ‘not working’, according to the Minister for Further and Higher Education. Simon Harris was speaking to the Oireachtas education committee with Minister of State Niall Collins to discuss the establishment of the Munster Technological University (MTU) …” (more)

[Jess Casey, BreakingNews.ie, 12 November]

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Budget 2021 – Ministers Harris and Collins announce a range of measures including €50 million fund to provide financial assistance for full-time students, new reskilling and retraining package and extension of Apprenticeship scheme

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on October 13th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD and Minister of State for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins TD have today announced a series of new measures as part of Budget 2021. The package includes …” (more)

[MerrionStreet.ie, 13 October]

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Third-level students should be refunded for accommodation, says Fianna Fail TD Niall Collins

Posted in Governance and administration on October 11th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Third-level students who have paid for accommodation up-front should ‘absolutely’ be refunded, says Fianna Fail TD and Minister of State for Skills and Further Education Niall Collins. Third-level institutions were originally supposed to be offering a ‘blended’ experience to students with some classes taking place online and others on-campus. Thus, many students have moved to university, however, with new Level 3 restrictions it is unlikely they will be attending lectures in person …” (more)

[Ciara O’Loughlin, Independent, 11 October]

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Ministers and Secretaries and Ministerial, Parliamentary, Judicial and Court Offices (Amendment) Bill 2020: Second Stage

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 25th, 2020 by steve

IrelandSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael): I move: ‘That the Bill be now read a Second Time’. It is a great pleasure to present to the House the Ministers and Secretaries and Ministerial, Parliamentary, Judicial and Court Offices (Amendment) Bill 2020, which passed all Stages in the Seanad yesterday. This Bill establishes, for the first time in the history of the State, a Department focused on further and higher education, research, innovation and science. We will now have a Department whose chief remit will be the further and higher education needs of our economy and our people …” (debate, resumed debate)

[Dáil debates, 24 July]

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Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Bill 2020: Second Stage

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on July 25th, 2020 by steve

IrelandNiall Collins (Limerick County, Fianna Fail): … I thank the Cathaoirleach for the opportunity to present the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Bill 2020 to the House. The primary purpose of the Bill is to establish the new Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. The establishment of the Department is a major initiative of the new Government. It underscores our strong belief that the interface of knowledge, skills, innovation and access to educational opportunity at further and higher level is critical to our future prosperity and fairness as a society …” (more)

[Seanad debates, 23 July]

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HEA welcomes Government roadmap and stimulus package in support of students and higher education institutions in Ireland

Posted in Governance and administration on July 23rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The Higher Education Authority (HEA) today, Wednesday 22nd July, welcomed the publication of a high-level Government Roadmap towards the return to higher education in autumn 2020 by the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD and Minister of State Niall Collins TD …” (more)

[Maura O’Shea, HEA, 22 July]

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Ministers Harris and Collins launch Further Education Strategy for next five years

Posted in Governance and administration on July 16th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD and Minister of State for Further Education Niall Collins TD have today launched the National Further Education and Training Strategy. The strategy sets out a five-year roadmap for the sector which is built around three key pillars …” (more)

[Department of Education and Skills, 16 July]

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Returning to third level college is going to be ‘exceptionally challenging’ says Limerick TD

Posted in Governance and administration on July 10th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Returning to third level college in the autumn is going to be ‘exceptionally challenging’ says Limerick TD Niall Collins. The newly appointed Minister of State at the Department of Higher Education, Innovation and Science with responsibility for Skills and Further Education was speaking following the announcement by the University of Limerick of their plans for the new academic semester …” (more)

[Aine Fitzgerald, Limerick Leader, 9 July]

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Niall Collins Appointed Minister of State in Higher Education Department

Posted in Governance and administration on July 2nd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins has tonight been appointed as a minister of state in the newly created Department of Higher Education. In a tweet tonight, Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris welcomed Collins, saying that he was ‘looking forward to working with the new Minister of State as we create our new Department’ …” (more)

[Cormac Watson, University Times, 1 July]

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Student Grant Scheme

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 11th, 2020 by steve

IrelandNiall Collins (Limerick County, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if the eligibility criteria for SUSI grants will be changed to take account of changed financial circumstances that parents of students are experiencing presently; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 9 June]

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Student Accommodation – Refunds

Posted in Governance and administration on June 5th, 2020 by steve

IrelandNiall Collins (Limerick County, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will engage with third-level colleges and universities that have to date failed to refund some students for their prepaid student accommodation not now being used; if he will request that students be fully refunded; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 3 June]

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Third Level Staff Recruitment

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

IrelandNiall Collins (Limerick County, Fianna Fail): To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if the Minister of State with special responsibility for higher education or officials on her behalf have ever directly or indirectly canvassed the president of a higher education institution on behalf of a job applicant; and if he will make a statement on the matter …” (more)

[Dáil written answers, 17 December]

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UL whistleblowers’ situations yet to be resolved after four years

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on August 23rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Four years after the Limerick Leader first reported that two members of the UL finance department had been suspended after refusing the offer of a settlement package that included a confidentiality agreement, the employees known as Persons B and C have yet to have their situations resolved …” (more)

[Limerick Leader, 23 August]

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Decline In J1 Students Needs To Be Addressed – Collins

Posted in Governance and administration on July 21st, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade Niall Collins TD has revealed that the number of students participating in the J1 Visa Programme has declined in recent years. The figures released to Deputy Collins reveal that the number of students heading to the US on the J1 Visa has declined from 4,347 in 2016 to 4,190 in 2017 to 3,522 in 2018 …” (more)

[Fianna Fáil, 21 July]

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52% Cut In Research Funding For Irish Third Level Since 2016

Posted in Research on January 15th, 2018 by steve

Ireland“Just €14.4 million has been allocated in Budget 2018 compared to allocations of €30.4 million and €14.4 million in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Ireland’s future economic prosperity is being put at risk by the apparent failure of the Government to adequately resource third level funding schemes, claims Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Niall Collins TD …” (more)

[Hot Press, 15 January]

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