Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Questions (51, 64)

Clare Daly

Question:

51. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Education and Skills to set out the action he will take to ensure that students at All Hallows College who are in the middle of their education are allowed to complete programmes such as the ALBA programme, which is undertaken mainly by mature students and which is validated by DCU; and if he has undertaken any review of the way in which other educational organisations can take them on to complete the programme. [23721/14]

View answer

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

64. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Education and Skills to detail the potential solutions that can be found by his Department in conjunction with a college (details supplied) in north Dublin to keep the historic college open. [23909/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 51 and 64 together.

All Hallows College is a private college and is not an approved institution under the Higher Education Authority (HEA). It does not receive core funding, however, my Department provides a grant in lieu of tuition fee funding to the College in respect of three approved undergraduate courses. Whilst there is a cap on the number of students to which such free fees funding applies , the College has not reached that number since its introduction. Funding of 430,000 for the 2013/14 academic year has been allocated to All Hallows. The ALBA programme referred to by the Deputy is a part-time course and is therefore not an approved course for fee fees funding. A wide ranging reform programme of the higher education system is being implemented arising from the modernisation framework in the National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030. That report recommended that continuing funding support for institutions such as All Hallows, who receive limited public funding for specific programmes, should be a matter for the HEA and subject to ongoing review in the context of quality outcomes, overall demand and available provision within relevant regional clusters. In their consideration of the limited free fees funding that is allocated to All Hallows, the HEA concluded that existing provision should be continued. The Deputy will appreciate that it would not be appropriate for my Department to become involved in issues surrounding courses in one college whilst the overall reform agenda is underway. My Department does not have a role in the placement of students in any third level institution, including All Hallows College, however, I welcome the fact that the college has stated that it intends to wind down in a phased basis in order to facilitate as much as possible the completion of students' studies.