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.
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.
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
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – Sloan School of Management
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. and the Minister of State with special responsibility for Housing and Urban Development Damien English T.D. today released the end Q1 2019 progress report on the National Student Accommodation Strategy.