I would like to assure the Deputy that my Department and the Higher Education Authority (HEA) consistently seek to treat any information received regarding possible wrongdoing in a higher education institution very seriously.
As the Deputy will be aware, under the current statutory framework, Universities are independent and autonomous bodies and on that basis are responsible for the conduct of their day-to-day affairs. The performance of this role is, however, subject to detailed governance, oversight and accountability requirements.
The Higher Education Authority (HEA) is aware of the matter referred to by the Deputy. In line with usual protocol in such cases, the HEA has raised the matter with the University concerned and has sought a detailed response in relation to the specific issues that have been highlighted. The HEA will update the Department once the response from the University has been considered.