University Libraries

Questions (87, 92)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

87. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether the public should but does not have the right to enter and use the libraries of publicly-funded universities in view of the fact that to promote learning in society generally is one of the statutory objects of a university. [20949/13]

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Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

92. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on whether members of the public should have the right to enter and use the libraries in public funded universities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20991/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 87 and 92 together.

The governing body and management authorities of a university are responsible for deciding its policy in relation to access by the general public to its library or other facilities and I have no role in the matter. It is a function of the university, as an independent statutory body, to determine appropriate arrangements and regulations concerning public access that are consistent with its objects under the Universities Act 1997.

State Bodies Mergers

Questions (88)

Andrew Doyle

Question:

88. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to merge the State Examinations Commission into his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20953/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I have no plans to merge the State Examinations Commission into my Department.

Departmental Reports

Question No. 92 answered with Question No. 87.

Questions (89, 90, 91)

Kevin Humphreys

Question:

89. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Education and Skills when will the report on the review of the feasibility and options for a national high performance computing service will be published which was undertaken under a steering group with representatives from the HEA, his Department, SFI and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20963/13]

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Kevin Humphreys

Question:

90. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will provide a breakdown of the financial contribution from his Department and the HEA towards the provision of a national high performance computing service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20964/13]

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Kevin Humphreys

Question:

91. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Education and Skills when was the decision made to award the national high performance computing service to (details supplied); if he will indicate the way in which that decision was made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20965/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 89 to 91, inclusive, together.

Since 2005 the main, though not exclusive, HPC provision in Ireland has been through the Irish Centre for High End Computing (ICHEC) which is hosted by NUI Galway. Other universities, also possess HPC facilities. Since its establishment in 2005 ICHEC has primarily received funding supports from Science Foundation Ireland and the Higher Education Authority.

During 2012 a small steering group comprising senior officials from my Department, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) was established to assess a number of issues regarding Ireland's high performance computing (HPC) service provision needs. As part of this group's work and following a tendering process in spring 2012, a report was commissioned from MacDougall Consulting, UK to examine a number of relevant issues regarding HPC services and demand in Ireland. The consultant undertook a series of meetings with a range of stakeholders, including higher education institutions, relevant Government Departments and Agencies, and key industry personnel and presented a report to the Steering Group in October, 2012. The consultant's report was prepared to assist the Steering Group in its internal deliberations rather than publication per se.

Following consideration of the report, my Department and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation agreed that they would jointly provide core funding to the Irish Centre for High-End Computing (ICHEC) to enable it to continue to provide a strategically important high performance computing service nationally. The Departments also decided that ICHEC would continue to be hosted by NUI Galway.

The joint-funding from both Departments will amount to €1.4m annually over the period 2013 to 2015, with €0.7m coming from my Department. The annual funding provision to ICHEC is subject to a range of conditions and targets involving the provision of a detailed annual business plan; ensuring best practice corporate governance arrangements; demonstrable alignment with national strategies and actions such as the Action Plan for Jobs and a national e-Infrastructure policy. ICHEC will also be subject to independent review over the period to 2015 and will be expected to leverage additional funding from industry, the EU or through national competitive research funding calls. In this regard, I understand that ICHEC was recently successful with a bid for supercomputing equipment in the 2012 SFI Infrastructure Call.

Question No. 92 answered with Question No. 87.

Teachers' Remuneration

Questions (93)

John Deasy

Question:

93. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the criteria for reaching the fifth point on the payscale for a primary teacher who entered at point three on the payscale in 2010. [21019/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

Primary Teachers appointed to permanent or fixed term positions progress up the incremental salary scale to the next incremental point having completed 365 days service. Primary Teachers appointed to casual positions progress up the incremental salary scale having completed 183 days service or 915 hours.

Schools Building Projects Status

Questions (94)

Joanna Tuffy

Question:

94. Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding an application for a school extension (details supplied) County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21042/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The major building project for the school referred to by the Deputy is at an early stage of architectural planning. My Department's review of the Stage 1 report which was submitted by the Board of Management and their Design Team is nearing completion. Upon completion of this review, subject to no issues arising, the project will be authorised to proceed to Stage 2A, which is the Developed Sketch Design Stage. Due to competing demands on my Department's capital budget, imposed by the need to prioritise the limited funding available for the provision of additional school accommodation to meet increasing demographic requirements, it was not possible to include this project in the five year construction programme. Schools which have not been included in the five year construction programme but which were previously initiated will continue to be progressed to final planning stages in anticipation of the possibility of further funds being available to my Department in future years. The project referred to by the Deputy remains available to be considered for progression in this context.

Schools Building Projects Status

Questions (95)

Joanna Tuffy

Question:

95. Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding an application for school extension in respect of a school (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21047/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The major building project for the school referred to by the Deputy is at an early stage of architectural planning. My Department's review of the Stage 1 report which was submitted by the Board of Management and their Design Team is nearing completion. Upon completion of this review, subject to no issues arising, the project will be authorised to proceed to Stage 2A, which is the Developed Sketch Design Stage. Due to competing demands on my Department's capital budget, imposed by the need to prioritise the limited funding available for the provision of additional school accommodation to meet increasing demographic requirements, it was not possible to include this project in the five year construction programme. Schools which have not been included in the five year construction programme but which were previously initiated will continue to be progressed to final planning stages in anticipation of the possibility of further funds being available to my Department in future years. The project referred to by the Deputy remains available to be considered for progression in this context.