Dáil Éireann - Volume 599 - 09 March, 2005
Written Answers. - Third Level Education.
Mr. J. O’Keeffe Mr. J. O’Keeffe
101. Mr. J. O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Education and Science the progress being made towards the establishment of a tertiary education authority; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7904/05]
Mr. Neville Mr. Neville
127. Mr. Neville asked the Minister for Education and Science when the Higher Education Authority (Amendment) Bill will be published; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7896/05]
Mr. Hogan Mr. Hogan
128. Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for Education and Science the OECD third level education report recommendations which are being implemented at present; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7909/05]
Ms Hanafin Ms Hanafin
 Ms Hanafin:I propose to take Questions Nos. 101, 127 and 128 together.
The OECD review of Irish higher education makes far reaching recommendations for reform and development of the sector, against a background of the crucial role that has been identified for higher education in achieving Ireland’s broad strategic objective of becoming a world leading knowledge based economy. The report identified a continuing need for an independent policy advisory and funding authority for the sector and recommended the creation of a tertiary education authority which would have responsibility for both the university and institute of technology sectors. I have already indicated my agreement in principle that such a single body offers the best way of ensuring a unified strategic and management approach for the sector.
I am currently engaged in an extensive consultation process, aimed at developing a comprehensive response to this and other recommendations of the OECD report. As part of this, I met recently with representatives of the Conference of Heads of Irish Universities, the Council of Directors of Institutes of Technology, the Dublin Institute of Technology and the Higher Education Authority. It was apparent that there were many points of consensus between all parties in their response to the report and this is very encouraging. It was agreed that further detailed consultation on certain issues is required. It will also be necessary to meet with a range of other stakeholders as part of the consultation process. I intend to bring forward proposals for reform of higher education, including legislative proposals where necessary, at the earliest possible date.
Dáil Éireann 599 Written Answers. Third Level Education.