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HEA and Department must account for the Governance of Third Level Institutions – Nolan

26 May, 2017

Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson on Education and Skills Carol Nolan has said that the Higher Education Authority and the Department of Education and Skills must come before the Oireachtas Education Committee to account for the Governance of Third Level Institutions. Teachta Nolan was commenting after significant revelations relating to the financial management of third level institutions were raised in the Prime Time Investigates Programme last evening;

Teachta Nolan said:

“The questions raised by the Prime Time Investigates Programme last evening are very serious and a cause for concern.

“It is clear that the accountability structures and the relationship between the HEA and the Department in terms of oversight over the sector must be examined. All institutions must be subject to full scrutiny in terms of the use of public funds.

“Higher Education Institutions cannot hide behind a cloak of autonomy while there are clear suggestions of waste and mistruths in relation to the use of public funds.

“In light of the ongoing debate in relation to the funding of higher education, it is particularly important that we have a full and accurate picture of the financial circumstances of each institution in order to make an informed decision.

“I will be writing to the clerk of the Oireachtas committee tomorrow in order to request that the HEA and the Department be asked to appear before the committee in order to discuss the Governance Framework of Higher Education Institutions.

“I will also be proposing that the Committee examine this Framework and the role of the HEA as watchdog of the sector. It is important that we ensure robust oversight and accountability and I will be requesting that the Committee make recommendations in order to achieve this.” 

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