HEA welcomes publication of Funding Allocation Model Review and revised System Performance Framework
By Maura O'Shea
Posted: 15 January, 2018
The Higher Education Authority welcomes the publication today of the Review of the Allocation Model for Funding Higher Education Institutions and the Higher Education System Performance Framework 2018–2020 by the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D., and Minister for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D.
The Review of the Allocation Model for Funding Higher Education Institutions was carried out by an independent Expert Panel, Chaired by Brid Horan, former Deputy CEO of the ESB. In welcoming the publication of the report, Dr Graham Love, CEO of the HEA, thanked Ms. Horan and the Expert Panel. According to Love, “The way our students learn and what Ireland needs from its Higher Education Institutions is changing fundamentally. Therefore, our funding model needs to change too. This is the first major review of higher education funding allocation in over a decade. Its implementation will drive increased transparency, better alignment of national and regional skills development needs, and bring optimal return for Ireland as increased funding is invested in higher education”.
The Higher Education System Performance Framework 2018–2020, also published today, sets out the Government’s key objectives for the higher education system over the next three years. The HEA recognises that the Framework’s publication, while setting a high level of ambition for higher education, is also a recognition by the Ministers and Government of the contribution the sector has and will continue to make to Ireland. Love noted that “the revised Framework sets a high bar for the next three years” and that “the HEA looks forward to working with the institutions, the sectoral bodies and wider stakeholders in implementing both the funding model review and the framework”.
The HEA will shortly engage in a consultation process with higher education institutions and other stakeholders on the implementation of the revised 2018–2020 performance framework. The previous Framework ran from 2012 to 2017 and a report of the performance of the higher education system in delivering on that challenge was published by the HEA today (www.hea.ie). The HEA report, Higher Education System Performance, 2014–2017, charts the performance and progress of the higher education system with reference to the last steering and performance based framework, published by the Minister for Education and Skills and a process of annual performance review carried out by the HEA Executive, with input from international experts. The most recent reports of the outcomes from these annual performance reviews will also be published on hea.ie in the coming weeks.
The HEA will shortly establish an implementation group to begin a process to action the key recommendations in the funding model review during 2018. Some of those recommendations include a rebalancing of the funding mechanism to better recognise the cost of science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) programmes, a system more open to lifelong learning and more responsive to demographic challenges and changing patterns of student demand.
In closing, Dr Love stated, “after a difficult decade for higher education in Ireland, recent first steps in reinvestment in the sector, together with the reforms embodied in today’s publications, point to a reinvigoration of Irish higher education”.