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Minister Harris launches stakeholder consultation on reform of Higher Education Authority legislation

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris TD has today (19 February, 2021) launched a stakeholder consultation on the reform of the Higher Education Authority legislation. A report to update stakeholders on the recent developments in the reform of the legislation has also been published.

The Higher Education Authority (HEA) is responsible for the funding and oversight of the higher education sector. The legislation governing the HEA is 50 years old and in that time there has been a transformation in the higher education sector.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said:  “I am very pleased to launch this consultation on the legislative reform of the Higher Education Authority Act.

“It is important that robust and refreshed legislation for the higher education sector is in place.

“We want a higher education system which is innovative and adaptive, advances equality, diversity and inclusion, strengthens engagement with society, and maximises the contribution of higher education to social, economic and cultural development. 

“As demand for higher education continues to grow, we need to ensure that the higher education system is managed efficiently and effectively to deliver on these goals.”

The legislation will put an emphasis on strong internal governance by the higher education institutions within a clear performance and governance framework with the HEA.

The HEA will be provided with the necessary statutory basis for its functions, including working with the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to implement Government policy and providing for general oversight and support of the HEIs to ensure accountability and value for money in the utilisation of public funds, whilst retaining their adaptability and autonomy.

The Minister is now inviting views on the consultation report on the reform of the Higher Education Authority Act. Submissions should be sent to by 5 March 2021.