Deloitte comment on National Strategy for Higher Education
Commenting on the publication of the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 (the Hunt report) Gerard Lyons, Partner, Deloitte and leader of the Deloitte Education Team, said:
“This long awaited report makes many recommendations for the future development of the higher education sector in Ireland with a focus on providing a basis for future sustainability through efficiency optimisation and opportunity realisation. It is also implicit from the report that growth in the Higher Education Sector can assist in building an economic recovery platform.”
“While the report provides recommendations in key areas such as teaching and learning, research, and internationalization; sustainable and equitable funding is one of the issues discussed where recommendations may have wide reaching implications across many sections of our community. One of the recommendations in the report is that the student pay an “upfront fee” with a deferred payment facility which is income contingent. The argument for the introduction of such is that the student will realise future benefits, due to their qualifications.”
“Recently we saw the publication of the Browne report in the UK, where they too are also facing a funding crisis. The report recommended that the cap on existing fees were raised and the onus was put back on the Higher Education Institution to source required funding. Such proposals were met with massive opposition from students in the UK. However, the reality in Ireland is that Higher Education Institutions will continue to require substantial funding and as public funding will be severely restricted in the future, alternative sources of income will need to be found.”
“As the report is published only weeks before a potential change in government, we will have to wait and see whether anything will be implemented from this report and what the future holds for the higher education sector.”
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