Written Answers. - Institutes of Technology.

Joe Costello

Question:

60 Mr. Costello asked the Minister for Education and Science the terms of reference of the planned major review of the role of the institutes of technology; the person by whom the review will be carried out; if the review is intended to result in a diminished range of courses at the institutes of technology; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21762/02]

The review of the remit of the institutes of technology is being carried out in my Department at present in consultation with interested parties and is concerned with the range of courses which it is appropriate for the technological sector to provide.

The need for the review was identified earlier this year on foot of applications by a number of institutes for approval to run courses which appeared to fall outside the range of courses traditionally provided by the technological sector. As any expansion of the range of provision by the technological sector would have significant implications not only for that sector but for third level provision generally, it was decided not to approve any such applications pending a review of the remit of the institutes.

The views of the council of directors of the institutes of technology and of the Higher Education Authority have been sought and will be considered by me in consultation with the relevant officials within my Department in the overall context of the review.

It is not intended that the review will result in any diminution in the range of courses provided by the institutes.