Universities welcome increased focus by Joint Committee on the future of higher education
The Irish Universities today had an extensive exchange of views with the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Education and Science. Speaking after the meeting IUA Chief Executive Ned Costello said: “we were glad to have the opportunity to meet with the committee. It was an intensive, informed and productive session which reflected the clear interest of the committee members in the vital question of the future of higher education”.
Among the issues covered were: the state of university funding, the pros and cons of fees and loans, the challenge of expanding participation in and access to university, the quality of teaching, the implications of any expenditure cutbacks for quality, and the role of higher education in developing the knowledge society.
In response to the committee’s questions, the Universities outlined the need to expand participation, improve the student experience and build the higher skills base which will deliver sustainable growth based on innovation throughout the economy. “We discussed with the Committee the need for an overall plan for higher education investment” said Costello. “While there are clearly different views about how the plan should be funded and the role that fees and loans might play, we were encouraged by the Committee’s interest in our case” he said.
He noted that the committee said that their engagement with the Universities was the first of a number of meetings on higher education, and further sessions would follow with the Department of Education and Science, and with the Minister for Education, Mr Batt O’Keeffe TD.
Notes for Editors
A copy of the IUA’s opening statement to the Committee is can be found here.
For more information contact
Lia O’Sullivan, Communications Manager, IUA, 01 676 4948, firstname.lastname@example.org