The Irish Universities Association today welcomed the revisions contained in the redrafted Employment Control Framework. Chief Executive, Ned Costello said: “the revisions acknowledge that the response to the national financial crisis must be balanced by according universities the flexibility to manage their resources to best effect.”
A key change is the removal of the former ceilings on research and privately funded posts. This recognises the importance of research in attracting foreign direct investment and promoting indigenous exports. In relation to privately funded posts, it is notable that the new framework explicitly recognises the importance of diversifying funding in higher education. “The universities are already very active in raising private funding through philanthropy, international education and contract research and commercialisation – this can now continue unhindered”, Costello said.
The Universities also welcomed the transitional provisions which have been put in place in respect of the required pension funding for certain research posts. However, IUA Council Chair, Dr. Michael Murphy expressed concern at the ultimate impact the pension funding requirement could have on research if steps are not taken to address this. “It is clear that the government recognises the importance of the technology sector in growing jobs and exports. The impressive growth in this sector will not be maintained if the infrastructure which supports it is eroded”, Dr. Murphy said.
“Overall, however, we are pleased that the government has listened to our concerns and responded to them”, he concluded. “We will continue to work with government in maximising the contribution of education and research to national recovery.”
For more information contact: Lia O’Sullivan, Communications Manager, Irish Universities Association. Tel: 01 6764948 firstname.lastname@example.org