Tuesday, 24 March 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
1100. Deputy Brian O’Shea asked the Minister for Education and Science if he has asked the Higher Education Authority to recommend, as provided for under section 9(1) of the Universities Act 1997, the membership of a body, including international experts and national experts, for appointment by the Government to advise the Higher Education Authority on whether Waterford Institute of Technology should be established as the University of the South East; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12281/09]
Minister for Education and Science (Deputy Batt O’Keeffe): The position is that applications have been received from three higher education institutions for designation as Universities; Waterford Institute of Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology and Cork Institute of Technology.
The issue of university designation does not just affect the institutions and the regions from which applications have been received; it also impacts on the future structure of the higher education system throughout the country. The Government wants to build on our strengths and to provide an environment where all our higher education institutions can develop in a way that best serves the country as a whole as well as the regions where they are based.
That group is now critically examining the roles and relationships of higher education institutions so that the system can deliver the levels of efficiency, performance, innovation and growth that will optimise Ireland’s ‘smart’ economic recovery and social development.
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