Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Education and Skills Brendan Smith has welcomed the publication of reports from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) today aimed at achieving greater cohesion within the third level sector in this country.
 
Deputy Smith said: “Fianna Fáil recognises the need to centralise resources within the higher education sector in a way that will benefit students at all levels. The previous Government began the process of examining how we can bring about better cooperation between third level institutions to ensure that resources are used to the maximum effect and that students are given the best possible opportunities that the sector can offer them.
 
“Throughout this process we must ensure to maintain equality of access to third level for all students in every part of the country.  It is vital that access to third level education is not hindered in any way. In fact, the entire focus of this process must be the students and enhancing their learning experience at third level.
 
“The individual circumstances and services of each institution must be carefully considered before any strategic decisions are made.  For that reason, I am calling on the heads of all institutions to submit a comprehensive plan for reform based on the needs of their students and their communities.”