Monday 24 September 2018

€8.8bn for schools plan and €2.2bn for higher education

The plan commits €8.8bn to the primary and post-primary sectors between now and 2027 (Stock image)
The plan commits €8.8bn to the primary and post-primary sectors between now and 2027 (Stock image)
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Decent science labs and PE halls for all second-level schools and energy conservation measures in all schools built before 2008 are among the priorities in primary and post-primary education.

In all, the plan commits €8.8bn to the primary and post-primary sectors between now and 2027. It includes provision for the building of new schools and extensions to meet population growth, with an average of 20,000 permanent school places to be delivered annually over the medium term.

Some €420m of the funding is earmarked aside for the embedding of digital technologies in teaching, learning and assessment in schools.

Other promises include more certainty around funding for two school maintenance schemes, alongside plans to raise the value of these to €100m, annually, by the early 2020s.

Meanwhile, the third-level sector is to share €2.2bn to support vital infrastructural works, including an upgrade of old buildings and an expansion of campus facilities, including student accommodation, to deliver a quality experience to the growing number of students.

The seven universities alone are committed to infrastructural projects worth more than €3bn over the next decade.

Irish Universities Association director general Jim Miley welcomed the €2.2bn commitment, but said it "needed to be matched by an overhaul of the operational funding model for higher education which is long overdue to help improve the staff-student ratio".

Irish Independent

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