Strategy will Reinforce the International Standing of Irish Higher Education

The Higher Education Authority has welcomed the Government’s National Strategy for Higher Education as a blueprint for the development of the sector for decades ahead. In particular, the HEA welcomed the recommendations in the Strategy which are aimed at creating a more co-ordinated and coherent system of higher education.

HEA Acting Chairperson, Dr. Mary Canning, said,

“This wide-ranging and ambitious Strategy recognises that a flexible and innovative higher education system is a key element in reinforcing social cohesion and addressing the needs of the global knowledge economy; issues that are of particular importance in Ireland today. As more and more people see the benefits of higher education the demand on the system will continue to increase. This Strategy, when implemented, will equip the system as a whole to develop to the advantage of Ireland and its people.”

Dr. Canning noted that change will be necessary, at both institutional and system level, to achieve the objectives set out in the Strategy. In particular, institutions will be required to renew their commitment to excellence with a continuous focus on the quality of teaching and research capacity, on improved facilities for students and on efficiency in resource utilisation.

A major systemic challenge, which Ireland shares with most developed economies, is how to ensure that increased participation does not adversely affect the quality of higher education. The Strategy discusses this issue as well as how improved student access and learning experiences could be achieved through increased regional co-operation or institutional alliances. The stronger link between funding and performance proposed by the Strategy was also welcomed.

Dr. Canning said that the strategy places a responsibility on the HEA as a key actor to work with the Minister and the institutions in leading these system improvements and she noted that the strategy will require the HEA itself to change and develop. “The HEA stands ready to implement this reform agenda and looks forward to working with other key stakeholders, government, institutions and private sector.”

Dr. Canning complimented Minister Coughlan on her personal interest in the strategy and also the members of the task force led by Dr. Colin Hunt in its preparation.

[HEA, 11 January]


2 Responses to “Strategy will Reinforce the International Standing of Irish Higher Education”

  1. Simon Quinn Says:

    Mary Canning is the Acting HEA Chairperson but as she is also a member of the Hunt group that authored the report so it is hardly surprising that she welcomes the contents!

  2. The HEA’s input into this so called strategy must be seriously examined.

    It smacks of conflict of interest.
    BTW, apart from Mary Canning, don’t forget that Tom Boland CEO of HEA was on the committee.

    “The Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes (2009) recommended that the HEA be abolished and its staff and functions be merged back into the Department of Education & Skills. ” p77

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