Colleges and universities must merge or lose funding
The Education Minister is beginning to play hardball with the universities and colleges, finally. There's going to be a cut in the number of courses around the country that are almost exactly the same.
The Higher Education Authority has contacted all third level institutions to tell them that there will have to be mergers between them if they want to continue to get government funding. Small colleges will have to be absorbed into larger ones and others will have to band together into 'regional clusters'.
The colleges will have to put their heads down and actually draw up plans to ensure they begin to provide value for money for the State. The move is the first in the attempt to completely reform Ireland's bloated third level sector.
The HEA documents sent to all institution heads in Ireland also detailed the setting up of new 'Technological universities'. However, again these will be formed through the amalgamation of existing Institutes of Technology and universities.
Colleges to make their subject focus smaller and work on their core strengths to avoid the unnecessary duplication of courses. The HEA also acknowledges that recent policy on third level education has resulted in bloated and complex structure.