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Will the Government’s Plans Harm the Universities?

Posted on: April 26th, 2005

The Government has responded to the report of the OECD on higher education in a way which may be anti-university. I do not mean just Dublin University, I mean all universities and institutes of technology.

I would like to have a full debate on what is being called an innovation fund for which universities would have to compete. This may be a very good idea but it would be a major culture shock for the universities of Ireland if they have to engage in such a process. It is no coincidence and I suppose it is motivated by the report which says that Irish universities are falling out of the top international league.

I do not know whether the solution is to set up a fund and announce that all universities will have to compete for it but this House could usefully debate the issue. The Minister for Education and Science should come to the House. She is a thoroughly conscientious Minister who is putting a great deal of work into this issue. She should come to the House for a question and answer session about university education.