Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (431)

Thomas Byrne

Question:

431. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the work underway to examine the Cassels report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36189/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

Following a request from the Oireachtas Committee on Education and Skills for an economic examination of the three policy options proposed by the report on future funding of higher education (Cassells report), my Department engaged with the European Commission Structural Support Service throughout 2018 to ascertain the scope for the economic evaluation to be carried out with support from the European Commission Structural Reform Support Programme (SRSP).  The SRSP provides tailor-made support to all EU countries for their institutional, administrative and growth-enhancing reforms to carry out the analysis of the three policy options identified by the Expert Group. 

A formal application for support under the SRSP was submitted in October 2018 and subsequently approved by the Commission. The Commission has sought the submission for proposals to undertake the work as outlined in the detailed Terms of Reference.  It is currently expected that the evaluation will be completed in September 2020. 

Having this evaluation undertaken through the Commission’s SRSP will provide access to the type of independent international expertise and analysis that will be very beneficial to a major evaluation of this nature.