Saturday 24 September 2016

Third-level colleges need to become more efficient

Published 13/09/2016 | 02:30

The Cassells report, published two months ago, pointed up the need for an additional €1bn in funding. Stock photo
The Cassells report, published two months ago, pointed up the need for an additional €1bn in funding. Stock photo

The funding gap in Ireland's third-level education sector needs to be urgently addressed. It was long-fingered by the last government as an election loomed into view.

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The Cassells report, published two months ago, pointed up the need for an additional €1bn in funding. There is no confidence that the current minority Coalition will grasp the nettle, a situation which is very discouraging.

But while there is a strong case for improved third-level funding, there have also been lingering questions about the need to address the issue of efficiency.

New research by the Trinity Business School published today addresses this topic of efficiency. The study, covering the years 2009-2013, offers positive findings in the area of research and knowledge transfers across the sector.

This is good news given the vital role of research in helping Ireland keep pace in a competitive global economic environment. This country needs to diversify its operations and move into higher-value areas of economic activity.

The less-than-good news has been doubt about the quality of teaching available to students. Anecdotally, we have known about complaints in this area for some time.

It is a serious issue as the students of today are to be our economic, social and political leaders of tomorrow. This research needs careful study followed by action.

Irish Independent

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