Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, T.D., today, ( 23rd of November ), opened the consultation forum on the new Higher Education Authority Act.
The Higher Education Authority (HEA) is the statutory funding authority for the universities, institutes of technology and a number of other designated institutions, and is the advisory body to the Minister for Education and Skills in relation to the higher education sector. The HEA was established under the Higher Education Authority Act, 1971.
In launching the consultation process, Minister Mitchell O’Connor said:
“In the almost 50 years since the enactment of the HEA Act we have been remarkably successful in promoting participation in higher education. There are currently some 235,000 students in the higher education sector compared to approximately 20,000 in 1971. The population of our higher education institutions has become more diverse and inclusive and altogether more reflective of wider society. Over that period, Higher Education and Research has become central to Ireland’s society and economy and higher education will become even more critical role in the years ahead as we seek to further increase productivity in our workforce and build our social capital. However it is acknowledged that the legislative framework governing the HEA has not kept pace with these developments.”
The Minister initiated a consultation process on the updating of the HEA Act in July of this year and submissions were received from stakeholders as part of this process. There were 14 responses to the consultation and they are available here. The feedback from the submissions was presented to stakeholders today. There will also be a discussion about some key issues to emerge from the consultation process. The views expressed by stakeholders as part of the consultation process and at the consultation forum will be help to inform the development of the legislation.
Minister Mitchell O’Connor concluded by thanking the participants for attending the consultation forum: “I really appreciate your input into this process and look forward to your continued co-operation in developing this legislation. It is in all of our interests that we have a Higher Education Authority that is empowered to support and regulate the higher education sector in 2018 and in the years ahead. I look forward to bringing the Heads of the new Bill to Government in Q.1 2019 with the ambition of having the legislation completed during 2019.”
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 Q3 2018 progress report on the National Student Accommodation Strategy. The National Student Accommodation Strategy complements the initiatives being taken by the Minister for Housing to increase housing supply under Rebuilding Ireland.
Mary Mitchell O’Connor, Minister of State with special responsibility for Higher Education today (12th Nov 2018) announced the Senior Academic Leadership Initiative for the Higher Education sector at the launch of the Action Plan for Gender Equality in Higher Education Institutions 2018 – 2020.
The Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D., together with the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan T.D., today (25th October 2018) announced joint funding of €9 million for the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) to assist in the re-development of its historic Westland Row premises.
Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, today launched two important initiatives for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) education in Ireland. The first is DCU’s ‘A World of Opportunities’; a landmark STEM careers guide for parents, teachers and students. In partnership the Minister launched the fifth annual I Wish showcases, which takes place across four days in Dublin and Cork next February. To mark with the occasion, I Wish has released its annual survey of more than 2,200 Transition Year students, which shows secondary school girls and their teachers still don’t know enough about STEM subjects and the careers that can follow.
Following the granting on 17 July 2018 by the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, T.D., of the application for technological university status made under the Technological Universities Act 2018 by Dublin Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Blanchardstown and Institute of Technology Tallaght, the Dáil on 16 October 2018 approved a draft order by the Minister, appointing 1 January 2019 as the date on which these three Institutes of Technology shall be dissolved and the new Technological University Dublin shall be established. The Seanad had approved the draft order on 9 October.
Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills, speaking this morning in Maynooth University highlighted her role in securing agreement in the recent Budget for the €300m multiannual Human Capital Initiative (HCI) for Higher Education (HE).
The Minister of State for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, T.D., today (12th October 2018) announced a further €0.8 million in funding to four Institutes of Technology as the final element of the HEA 2018 call for funding submissions in relation to the development of technological university projects and other restructuring projects in the higher education landscape.