Shake Up Of Ireland’s Third Level System Imminent

A shake up of this countries 3rd level colleges appears imminent, with a possible end to the 5 months of Summer Vacations time currently enjoyed, which leaves expensive equipment and buildings lying idle at the expense of the tax payer.

Higher Education Authority (HEA) chief executive and head of the State’s third-level funding body,

Tipperary Institute

has warned that there are too many universities and colleges, and these must now merge or die.

At present, there are 40 State funded Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) made up as follows: seven universities, 14 institutes of technology, seven colleges of education, latter which are involved in the training of teachers, seven other State funded colleges such as the Tipperary Institute, here in Thurles, and five recognised colleges of the National University of Ireland.

Mr Boland, speaking to a conference on public services in Croke Park, stated:

“All institutions must be more strategic in their course offerings, collaborating more with partner institutions and ending courses and programmes. We can no longer afford the long the lock up of expensive facilities during summer months. Changes here will require reform of employment contracts. This will require a shift to more flexible teaching and learning techniques where students can study anytime and anywhere.”

Mr Boland also called for a single body to award higher education grants as local bodies were unable to make grant decisions in a timely manner last year, leading to added costs for the colleges and students.

Full time student numbers are now projected to grow from 155,000 at present to almost 190,000 within the next five years and possibly to 270,000 by 2030.

This news will not be received well by the Irish Federation of University Teachers.


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