Vast reduction of Irish colleges
Colleges have to merge or collaborate more intensively, either on the basis of specialism or on a regional level. The coming years five regional clusters will be established. The Higher Education Authority agreed with the proposals and will start consulting the colleges for an advice, which will be given in March to the Minister of Education, Ruairi Quinn.
Institutes of technology will reform
However consults have been planned with the colleges, they can’t opt out since future funding will depend on changes made by these colleges. Ireland’s universities won’t have to merge but the institutes of technology might see some changes in the coming years.
Some formal alliances have been made between institutes and some of the partnerships aim at a promotion to the status of Technological University. At the same time some other small institutes might become a part of a regional university.
The Higher Education Authority’s key objective is “to protect the distinctive roles and mission of universities and technological institutes, while delivering the quality outcomes in teaching, research and engagement for students and stakeholders”. The regional collaboration must lead to a reduction of identical courses at the different .