15.09.21: The Irish Universities Association (IUA) has called on the government to substantially increase investment in higher education and research as part of the post-COVID, post-Brexit national recovery. The IUA has outlined a comprehensive range of measures in a €900m+ package including €418m in extra core funding and a €490m capital expenditure programme for the sector.
Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, Chair of the IUA and President of NUI Galway said “The EU-sponsored Study on the Cassells funding reform options has been received by Minister Harris and his Department a number of months ago. An Taoiseach and the Minister have given their strong support for increased investment in education and research as the bedrock of Ireland’s continuing development as a society and sustained competitiveness as an economy. For this generation of students, it is imperative that this generation of political leadership now act on the recommendations from that study consistent with the commitments in the Programme for Government and make a step-change investment in the sector in Budget 2022 after decades of under-funding.”
The proposals to government are framed on supporting the core elements of the Strategy of the Department of Further, Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science. (DFHERIS) and include:
- €155m in extra core funding and €290m in capital funding to include investment in digital capacity and in a Green Campus initiative in line with the Climate Action Plan;
- €64m to support inclusion including broadening access to higher education for disadvantaged students and to fund key initiatives on consent;
- €83m on skills and talent to underpin employment growth;
- €278.5m in research and innovation investment to provide the cutting -edge facilities and the talent to deliver breakthrough research that will sustain Ireland as a globally competitive economy;
- A €37.5m international fund to promote Ireland as a destination of choice for international students and to increase mobility of Irish students abroad.
The Director General of the IUA, Jim Miley added: “The higher education sector has a pivotal role to play in national recovery as the producers of the talent and innovation pipeline for the economy. We have seen the proven value of advanced knowledge, research and science during COVID. The sector is now ready to play its part in the recovery. Investment in both the talent and innovation needs of the country is fundamental to the successful national recovery now and into the future.”
IUA_Pre Budget Submission_2022_Supporting National Recovery_Final_June2021
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