June 28, 2020

HECA welcomes the creation of a new Higher Education Department

The creation of a new Department of Higher Education, Innovation and Science in the new government is welcomed by the Higher Education Colleges Association. We congratulate Minister Simon Harris and look forward to working with him in the coming years. The formation of a separate department dedicated to Higher Education provides an opportunity for the introduction of equality for all students regardless of whether they attend a private or a public HE college. The Chair of HECA, Andrew Conlan-Trant, commented “currently, students who attend private Higher Education colleges and study a course that is quality assured by the state body Quality & Qualifications Ireland, are excluded from the benefit of free tuition fees, SUSI grants and disability supports. We welcome the review of the SUSI grants outlined in the programme for government while recognising that this inequity disadvantages many students, which will be even more acute as the country endeavours to successfully live with the COVID-19 virus. The opportunity to have funding follow the student rather than the institution is one to be taken now and we wish the new Minister well in addressing this.”

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