Sunday 20 August 2017

Colleges running 'significant deficits'

The report acknowledged the difficult environment for the sector arising from cuts in Government funding, contributing to cash flow difficulties and depletion in cash reserves (Stock image)
The report acknowledged the difficult environment for the sector arising from cuts in Government funding, contributing to cash flow difficulties and depletion in cash reserves (Stock image)
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Three institutes of technology continue to have "significant" financial deficits, according to the Higher Education Authority (HEA).

However, another three that were on the critical list last year are now balancing their books, the Public Accounts Committee was told yesterday.

Waterford IT, IT Tralee and Galway Mayo IT still have "significant" deficits, but provisional figures for 2016 indicate that Cork IT, Dundalk IT and Letterkenny IT have improved their situation, Andrew Brownlee, HEA head of system funding, said.

HEA chief executive Dr Graham Love said it was working with the institutes to help them address their serious financial situations. The HEA has advised that all six colleges must continue to deliver their agreed financial plans to ensure long-term sustainability.

The precarious situation of the six institutes was highlighted in a HEA report last year, which warned of a real risk of cash running out for three institutes within the next two years.

The report acknowledged the difficult environment for the sector arising from cuts in Government funding, contributing to cash flow difficulties and depletion in cash reserves.

Overall cash reserves fell 40pc to €78m between 2008 and 2015.

It also noted a difference between colleges in how they responded to funding challenges.

Irish Independent

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