Posted by Old Boy
THE PUBLICATION of a major report on higher education, which recommends the merger of University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin among a series of sweeping changes to the higher education system, has been delayed.
University sources claim the controversial report – commissioned by the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and carried out by an international panel of education experts – has been “shelved”. However, this was strongly refuted by official sources last night.
The report was due to be circulated among university presidents and other college heads yesterday but its release has been postponed after discussions between the HEA and the Department of Education.
Scheduled meetings between college heads, the HEA and the international panel – due early next month – have also been postponed to an unspecified date.
In a letter to university presidents and other college heads last Thursday, HEA chief executive Tom Boland said some further time was needed “for clarification on policy issues and for wider consultation”.
The report of the international panel, chaired by Prof Frans Van Vught, a Dutch academic specialising in education policy, proposes the State’s 20-plus higher education colleges should be consolidated into just six. It envisages a series of changes including the UCD-TCD merger and the creation of a national technological university with a campus in both Dublin and Waterford.
There is speculation that other changes in the unpublished report include the merger of DCU, NUI Maynooth, Athlone IT and Dundalk IT; the merger of NUI Galway with colleges in the region, the merger of all colleges based in Cork-Kerry and the merger of colleges based in Limerick.
In a letter to college heads earlier this month, Mr Boland says the r