Higher Education Bill: striking the right balance is key

Pre-legislative scrutiny of the General Scheme of the Higher Education Authority

  1. It’s a big responsibility to ensure we end up with legislation that is fit for purpose.
  2. Striking the right balance is key. Accountability is paramount when we spend public money. But this should not come at the expense of institutional autonomy.
  3. This sector has been starved of funding for over a decade. It’s vital we examine all the implications of how this legislation may impact the ability of higher level institutions to borrow. And to examine how deficits and debts are treated. The Bill must be matched by investment.
  4. The Minister for Further Education’s preference is for smaller governing bodies. However, this runs the risk of overtaxing unpaid members of the governing authority to ask a substantially smaller group to do the same job or even take on extra functions.