Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (325)

Damien English

Question:

325. Deputy Damien English asked the Minister for Education and Skills the total annual cost in Trinity College Dublin of providing free open online courses worldwide as part of a new global partnership with Futurelearn; if he will provide a breakdown of the cost of the programme design, server maintenance, advertising and any other line item costs associated with free online courses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31777/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The position is that higher education institutions, including universities such as Trinity College Dublin, are autonomous bodies and their day to day operational affairs including issues such as the provison of online courses are the responsibility of the management authority and governing body of the University. However, I understand that the HEA has been in contact with the college and has been informed that the platform, technical and marketing costs of these courses are covered by FutureLearn with the programme development costs covered by Trinity. The HEA also understand that to date no costs have been incurred and Trinity College expect future costs to be minimal. They will be monitoring the cost-benefit of this initiative.