Consultative Meeting on Substance Abuse in Higher Education

Minister Mitchell O’Connor convening a consultative meeting on substance abuse in Third Level Education at The Writers Museum, Parnell Sq. Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills with special responsibility for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D today (24 June) brought together higher education representatives, students’ unions, leaders in the area of drug rehabilitation and Gardaí from the National Drugs Strategy Unit, for a consultative meeting to discuss substance abuse in higher education institutes. Minister Mitchell O’Connor recently attended two funerals of young students and made a solemn promise to parents she would look very seriously at this issue. Minister Mitchell O’Connor was joined at the meeting by Minister of State for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy Catherine Byrne T.D. Photo Kason Clarke No fee

Increasingly, we are all aware of the negative impact of substance and alcohol abuse, of alcohol and drug related behaviour, on the wellbeing of young people, and increasingly those young people are students in higher education.

It poses a real threat not only for the lives of our individual students and their families, but also the sector as a whole and wider society.

From a strategic perspective, the young people who are in our higher education institutes, are the future leaders and parents in our society and there is a need to give them our combined support to successfully negotiate the challenges they face – particularly those related to substance abuse.

For too long we understood drug and alcohol abuse as the reserve of the disadvantaged, of the jobless household or of those who are, in some way marginalised – but that is not the reality. Easy accessibility to alcohol, to illegal drugs, to other substances, these are major challenges that all young people in society face.

Those challenges do not know or understand social class, educational attainment or the dreams and expectations that our young people and their parents have.

We have to understand how we can work together and help each other to be responsible, to share the burden, to reduce the harm and to support recovery where that is the reality. I, as the first Minister for Higher Education am happy to take responsibility and to play my part.

Launch of Strategic Academic Leadership Initiative (SALI)

Today (21st June 2019) I announced the opening of the call for applications to the Senior Academic Leadership Initiative; a targeted positive action initiative which aims to accelerate gender balance at senior positions in Irish higher education institutions.

I am delighted and proud to be able to launch the HEA’s call today to higher education institutions to apply for the new and additional professorial and senior lecturer level 3 academic posts that will now be made available under the senior academic leadership initiative.

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Visit to US Universities 29-31 May 2019

Last week I visited five US universities over three days to discuss many aspects of Higher Education and connections and collaborations between these universities and Irish Higher Education Institutions. I also attended an important roundtable event with education stakeholders organised by the Irish American Partnership in Boston.

Though short, the visit was very productive.

Notre Dame – South Bend Indiana

Notre Dame, North Bend Indiana

Boston College

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – Sloan School of Management

Northeastern University

Harvard – Kennedy School of Management

Irish American Partnership, Boston

Irish American Partnership Boston

Yeats Academy of Arts, Design & Architecture @IT Sligo

Launching the Yeats Academy of Arts, Design & Architecture @ IT Sligo 04 June 2019

I believe that culture and creativity are the greatest assets of any society.

The Yeats Academy will help students of IT Sligo to develop their critical and creative thinking, be innovative, be engaged, be collaborative and be fearless.

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Ministers announce Student Support Scheme for Asylum Seekers to continue for coming year

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. together with the Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. today (04 June, 2019) announced a grant support scheme for asylum seekers in third level education will continue for 2019/20.

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Government announces €7.5 million capital funding to support Apprenticeship Programmes

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D., together with the Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. and Minister of State for Training, Skills, Innovation and Research and Development John Halligan T.D. today announced capital funding of more than €7.5 million for nine Institutes of Technology and the Technological University (TU) Dublin.

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Minister Mitchell O’Connor welcomes the delivery of rent predictability measures for students living in student specific accommodation

The Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. today (24 May 2019) welcomed the signing into law by the President of the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Bill 2018, which ensures that student-specific accommodation let under licence is included under existing Rent Pressure Zones.

Continue reading Minister Mitchell O’Connor welcomes the delivery of rent predictability measures for students living in student specific accommodation

Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018 completes Report Stage in Seanad Éireann

RCSI recognition as a university, English Language College regulation, Learner and teacher protection amendments all welcomed by Minister

Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. today (22 May 2019) welcomed the completion of Report Stage of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018 in Seanad Éireann.

This Bill will amend the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012 which established Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI), the national agency with responsibility for external quality assurance and qualifications across the further and higher education sectors.

Continue reading Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) (Amendment) Bill 2018 completes Report Stage in Seanad Éireann

Minister Mitchell O’Connor launches a European Charter to promote gender equality in the university sector

Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. Minister of State for Higher Education today (15th May 2019) formally launched a Charter to promote gender equality in the University sector.

SAGE – Systemic Action for Gender Equality – is an EU-Horizon 2020 funded project designed to seek stronger action on gender equality in higher education and research. SAGE devises and implements interventions to advance gender equality in European countries, and is being led by Trinity College Dublin.

Continue reading Minister Mitchell O’Connor launches a European Charter to promote gender equality in the university sector