Minister must take action to address funding crisis in IoT sector says Offaly TD

Minister must take action to address funding crisis in IoT sector says Offaly TD

Carol Nolan TD

Sinn Féin TD for Education and Skills, Teachta Carol Nolan, has said that the Minister for Education and Skills must take action to ensure to address the funding crisis in Institutes of Technology across the state following on from the recent HEA report.

Teachta Nolan was speaking in the Dáil chamber during questions to the Minister. She stated, “the report released by the Higher Education Authority raises serious concerns in relation to the funding of the IoT sector, which has now reached crisis point.

She remarked that the €36.5 million allocated to Higher Education under Budget 2017 would not adequately address these concerns.

“The report references the possibility of further redundancies and cost cutting measures in the IoT sector and I fear that students will suffer from further cutbacks."

She claimed the sector 'cannot be burdened' with the 'impossible task' of trying to balance budgets that are simply unworkable.

“The Action Plan for Education is silent in relation to the IoT sector which provides higher education opportunities for many disadvantaged students that otherwise would not be in a position to avail of Higher Education."

She said, “Sinn Féin had put forward a package of €120 million in our alternative budget in order to provide immediate financial assistance to the Higher Education sector.

“The Minister must accept that this issue needs to be addressed urgently and he must make a clear commitment that the current standard of course provision in the IoT sector will not be sacrificed in order to balance the books,” concluded Teachta Carol Nolan

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